Arwen

Arwen's part in the Lord of the Rings is limited to just a few pages, but if one reads Appendix A and the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, one catches a glimpse of the sacrifice that Arwen makes in loving and committing herself to Aragorn, 'the greatest traveller the world had known.' arda There are Three Unions of Elves and Men. Tuor and Idril who produced Earendil . Each of these unions is critical to the fulfilment and fate of the Race of Men. Tolkien, on more than one occasion, draws attention to...

Three Seven Nine

One smaller point that also lends credence to symbolism in the story is the use of numbers in the Lord of the Rings. 1, 3, 7 and 9 3x3 are often employed by Tolkien to denote something of importance from a good and divine perspective or possibly evil point. Tolkien mentioned he didn't like any type of meaning hunting in his story i.e. the 5 wizards the 5 senses Letters p.262 . So in mentioning numbers, this is not trying to explain how the quantities represent something but show that the use of...

It seems their delight to slash and beat down growing things that are not even in their way[LotR p605

Mordor twists the very life out of creation. Sauron hates Eru and hates everything he created, like Satan hating God and hating man. The Church has always taught that objects created matter can have blessings prayed over them. A prayer can be prayed over an object, it can be blessed, so that it through the signification of that object, it can carry a special Grace from God. This is not superstitious, but ties in with the fact that all matter and spirit can be blessed by God see below for more...

Exaltation Of The Humble

Diminishment versus Aggrandizement a theme that is deeply valued in the Lord of the Rings. Regarding his own book Tolkien once wrote, There are of course certain things and themes that move me especially. The interrelations between the 'noble' and the 'simple' for instance. The ennoblement of the ignoble I find especially moving. Letters p.220 I loved them the hobbits myself since I love the vulgar and simple as dearly as the noble, and nothing moves my heart beyond all the passions and...

First Last Things

While the Lord of the Rings is very grounded with earthy and real themes, the story is also very Eschatological and prophetic in its outlook and existence. Eschatological means last things from Greek - 'eskhatos' meaning last , and in a Christian sense it is referring to God's purpose and fulfilment to come, both in a global sense and also in a personal sense. 'Last things' is very much related to Death, Judgment and Heaven and Hell. But to start talking about these Last things, it's worth...

They represent the artistic aesthetic and purely scientific aspects of our Humane nature raised to a higher level than

They awake into the world before Men and are immortal in the sense that they will live in Middle-earth and not die. Their immortality isn't really eternal life but serial longevity. They will carry their sorrows and joys all their lives it will become a burden for them. But to the Atani Men I will give a new gift. Men receive a special grace different to that of the Elves. Sil p.35 Our God gifts to Man the special state of being both matter and spirit. We are different to the angels and it is...

Trees Of Life

The creation story in Middle-earth tells of the Two Trees that gave Light to the Blessed Realm and the light that they radiated was the Flame Imperishable, the source of life, the Flame of Iluvatar God . Telperion was the Silver Tree. Laurelin was the Golden Tree. The Trees were destroyed by Melkor a fallen Vala, or angelic being he would become known as Morgoth and Ungoliant, an evil form of life. The Light of the Two Trees was captured in the Silmarils, the great hallowed jewels made by...

Work of Westernesse no other blade not though mightier hands had wielded it would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter

Another example is Gollum cursing and choking when he tries to eat the Lembas bread of the Elves and the Lembas is like the Eucharist see Lembas . The Elven cloaks are also like blessed objects that carry a special grace of protection see Women of Middle-earth . Below is a list of other objects created matter that cause a blessed or beyond the natural effect in the story.

The appalling destruction and misery of this war mount hourly destruction of what should be the common wealth of Europe

Hear of the endless lines, 40 miles long, of miserable refugees, women and children pouring West, dying on the way. There seem no bowels of mercy or compassion, no imagination, left in this dark diabolic hour I do not mean that it may not all, in the present situation, mainly created by Germany, be necessary and inevitable. But why gloat We were supposed to have reached a stage of civilization in which it might still be necessary to execute a criminal, but not to gloat, or to hang his wife and...

Mercy Forgiveness

Tolkien's understanding of Mercy and Forgiveness is imprinted on his story. For someone who lived through two world wars and fought in WWI it is amazing to see how Tolkien's outlook deeply embraces the Christian philosophy of forgiveness. It is shown in Gandalf's wise words regarding Gollum, after Frodo suggests, What a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance. LotR p.58 Gandalf replies Pity, it was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Pity and Mercy not too strike without need. And he has...

God would not allow any evil unless his wisdom and power were such as to bring out it an even greater good

God uses all things to bless his children. God allows evil in the world he doesn't create it or beget it, but he can use it for greater good. The devil has brought about evil, then, man with his free will chooses to follow temptation and commits further evil. Then, through the most heinous evil act ever committed in the universe, the killing of the Son of God, the greatest good has been achieved for humanity salvation. C.S Lewis said that suffering is like God's megaphone to humanity crying out...

There is of course a mythological structure behind the story It is a monotheistic but subcreationalmythology[Letters

Tolkien describes his creation as sub-creational. Why The first reason is that like St Thomas Aquinas, he understood God as the Primary Artist in the universe and his artistic pursuits flowed from this reality. But another reason why he mentions this is to firmly and humbly submit his sub-creation under the authority and majesty of the True Artist. Tolkien hasn't set up a new religion or philosophy of mythological beliefs for man to then give worship or reverence to. He has written a story, a...

But Melkor has cast his shadow upon it [death and confounded it with darkness and brought forth evil out of good and

Melkors twisting of truth begets lies and his incitation of lear comes from the denial of Love of the Creator. Love drives out all fear, it begets Trust. Men come to believe the lie about death from Melkor and see it as a curse, But they will also begin to deny their trust in the Fatherhood of Eru and the natural order and hence fear him and his gift true death. This is very similar to what happened in the Garden of Eden. Satan is the father of lies and spirit of...

Seven Great Themes

The Lord of the Rings is a monumental work of literature. It combines so many aspects in subtle ways that make it appealing and enthralling, that it's difficult to break them down. But as most writers do, and as is shown in HoME the History of Middle-earth , Tolkien built his story piece by piece often reworking and re-writing. The themes in the Lord of the Rings are not in the story by chance. And it's worth studying them. Joseph Pearce, in his book Tolkien Man & Myth brings up the notion...

We have passed through Lothlorien and the gifts and favour of the Lady go with us

Galadriel also gives to Frodo the Phial of Galadriel or Star-Glass which contains Light from the Star of Earendil, the most beloved Evening Morning Star of the elves. Earendil was Half-Elven i.e. mixed parents - Elven and Man from the First Age of Middle-earth and he was the one who, acting on behalf of both races, Elves and Men, the Elves carry elements of an unfallen race and Men are easier to corrupt was allowed to sail into the West to beg the forgiveness and help of the Angelic Powers in...

Th Of The Month

The day on which the Ring is finally destroyed is the 25th of March and the day on which the Fellowship commences their Quest is the 25th of December. LotR Appendix B - Tale of the Years p.1069 . In historical Christian calendars these are the dates of the Birth of Jesus and the Crucifixion of Jesus. The fact that these dates are probably not the actual dates of these great events in Christ's life isn't really important, as what counts is the fact that the Church chose these dates to honour and...

Metaphysical Elements

I would strongly suggest reading the page Creation before this one as it lays down a foundation and history of Middle-earth. Terms and concepts discussed on this page will reference elements from the page Creation. The Norse Myths and Greek Legend and other elements of the Lord of the Rings have been inhabited by a hidden power residing behind the natural fabric of the story. While some fragments of the story are similar to other myths and have drawn upon them, e.g. Orthesa, Shrak, Kalevala,...

Theologically I imagine the picture [ed story to be less dissonant from what some [including myself believe to be the

These religious' ideas and parallels are in the story, but not as direct metaphors. It is important not to be univocal i.e. not to be too literal or expect exact reflection of these when looking at Tolkien's works or writing. But they are there in essence. Priest,, Prophet and King. The Trees of Life. 25th of the Month. Three, Seven and Nine. The Lembas. Metaphysical Elements. Women of the Middle-earth.

But in Moria the burden of Gandalf had been laid on him and he knew that he could not now forsake the Ring if Frodo

He understood that the evil in Middle-earth would only be overcome by people willing to lay down their lives. This theme of selflessness in the main heroes of Middle-earth is carried throughout and echoes yet another truth of Christian life through the darkness of suffering will come victory and greater light. This is shown in the character of Aragorn, who through trial and years of separation wins the love he desires and inherits his Kingship, a renewed Kingdom. Aragorn meets Arwen when he is...

Women Of Middleearth

The Lord of the Rings contains very few women characters. The characterization and development of these women figures is fairly limited. But if one considers the context and desired result of the story, this apparent lack can be better understood although it should be said that many consider the number of women and their presentation to be exceptionally written. It could be argued from an analytical and psychological point of view that 4 things influenced Tolkien's writing of women characters....

Divine gifts

Sanctifying Grace - the grace that makes us holy - it is a supernatural gift and elevated them beyond their human nature and vivifies their 'heart'. It gave them participation in God's own divine nature. God condescends to share and gift us His Life directly. The Indwelling of the Blessed Trinity - God within us. God would live in their souls. This leads to the understanding that we are adopted sons and daughters of God, a divine gift. The infinite God has made it possible that his presence...

Became the religion of the region Thus the Church continued the local traditions but replaced them with Truth Light

Another parallel are the cataclysmic events using created elements to deter evil and work good the raising of the Bruinen river close to Rivendell by Elrond to wash away the Black Riders. this is yet another parallel of Biblical happenings, i.e. Moses parting the Red Sea . the earthquake that arises when Frodo destroys the One Ring is like the earthquake at Golgotha when Jesus is crucified. the Flooding of Isengard by water created element and hence it's cleansing, is very biblical and memorial...

Info

Aragorn enters the City and heals Eowyn, Merry and Faramir. Faramir's healing is especially moving with Aragorn calling Faramir back from a 'dark vale', which is very Christ-like, and reminiscent of the Good Shepherd. He then 'breathed' on the athelas leaves and crushed them. A living freshness filled the room as if the air itself awoke and tingled and sparkled with joy he then cast them into bowl of steaming water and all hearts were lightened. LotR p.847 Suddenly Faramir stirred and opened...

Ipass the test I will diminish and go into the West [LotR p357

Her humility here is evident, and along with her wisdom, is the chief reason she overcomes the temptation. She mentions the bitterness herself and the Elves will encounter if Frodo succeeds in the quest because the Three Elven Rings will pass away. She is willing to sacrifice their abode and works, for the deliverance of Middle-earth. She is misunderstood by the outside world and is referred to as the, Sorceress of the Golden Wood by Boromir and Eomer and also the, Mistress of Magic by Faramir...

Gandalfs staff

the Rings of Power good ones the Palantiri seeing Stones the Athelas plant with healing power Sam's small Galadriel garden-box. This is also true of satanic curses being placed on objects or people. Satan always mocks and perverts some truth or good about God or man. Satan wishes that all matter especially man as matter and spirit be pulled to his own perversion. There is a profound mystery at the heart of Christendom of the Fall of Man and the Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection of...

Death is their fate the gift of Iluvatar [Sil p36

Men shall die after a time within Middle-earth and it is a gift. While the Elves are of a higher nature than men within Middle-earth, men have received from Iluvatar, a higher if un-revealed destiny outside of Middle-earth Letters p.286 . Their future outside the circles of the world has not been revealed by Iluvatar. This future outside the world that is higher than the Elves is like Man receiving a higher destiny than the Angels in our world. Why is mans future magnanimity greater than that...

The entering into Men of the Elvenstrain is indeed represented as part of the Divine Plan for the ennoblement of the

This is dealt with in depth on the page First and Last Things. Dwarves The Dwarves are an exception in the Divine Plan. They are in fact not part of the children of Iluvatar. They come about through the disobedience of one of the Valar Aule. Aule fashions the dwarves in secret wishing to create creatures of his own. Eru knows of this act the instant is it done. He says to Aule Why hast thy done this Why dost thou attempt a thing which is beyond thy power and authority For thou hast from me as a...

Hear that you have used my gift well The Shire will be forever blessed and beloved

Also interesting is the plant Athelas, otherwise named Kingsfoil. In an article written by George Sayer, a personal friend of Tolkien, he describes a walk he took with Tolkien in the woods near his home. Tolkien often pointed out plants and philologically described where their names had evolved from and what their meanings were. Celebration p.5-6 One in particular was called Herba Benedicta - 'the blessed plant', which Tolkien said was incorrectly translated into English as St Benedict's herb....

The Sacraments signify what they effect and effect what the signify

That is, they sign and point to Jesus and effect what they sign the out pouring of the Grace of Christ. Christ came to fulfil the Old Covenant, not do away with it. using blessed oil for anointing, washing of hands with water to signify God's cleansing, lighting a blessed candle to signify Gods presence This has been born out of many Old Testament traditions and the Law of Moses. Christ came to fulfil the Old Covenant, not do away with it. In the general use of the word sacramentum visible form...

Where do these first and last things come together in Tolkiens writing

The Lord of the Rings carries themes of Death and Immortality, Memory and Longing, Grace and Nature, and of course, Time and Eternity. But first let us look at Tolkien's personal view. Tolkien had a profound attachment to the mystery of the Fall of Man. He had known great grief and sorrow in his life from being orphaned. He had seen horrific atrocities in WWI and many of his friends die. He had seen the aftermath of war, then witnessed it happen all over again with the outbreak of WWII though...

The Lord of the Rings is in fact very Sacramental

The book itself, holds a presence which points and reflects something deeper and True. As Tolkien maintains himself, the very nature of myth does this, it draws one into a deeper understanding of life and existence but it does so in pointing to the Christian understanding of experience of life it points to Him who has loved us beyond our comprehension. We've already spoken about the sacramental effect of the music of the Elves lets look at them a bit more In the race of Elves we find this...

Allegory

There has always been controversy whenever the word allegory is mentioned around the Lord of the Rings. Tolkien didn't like any form of allegory being associated with this work, especially that of World War II or the allegory of nuclear weapons and their power. As for any inner meaning or message, it has in the intention of the author, none. It is neither allegorical nor topical. LotR p.2 preface to 2nd edition , There is no 'allegory', moral, political or contemporary in the work at all....

Priest Prophet King

Three ministries foreshadowed in the Old Covenant, and fulfilled in the messianic Jesus, are very much echoed in the Lord of the Rings Priest, Prophet and King. This parallel, mentioned by Steven D. Greydanus in his article and Stratford Caldecott in his essay, involves the characters of Aragorn, Frodo and Gandalf decentfilms.com - article here, Celebration p.29 . All of these are Christ-like and reflective of him in some aspects. But certainly as Tolkien himself says There is no embodiment of...

Preternatural gifts

preter Greek for beyond These are what are called the 4 As. Infused knowledge - God gave them knowledge. Adam knew the nature of each creature when he named them and he knew many other things without having to be taught. They had a harmony with nature and also received a conscience so that they knew how to behave and live. Integrity - there was complete harmony within themselves. Their reason was obedient to God and hence the powers under their reason e.g. the will were obedient. There was no...

Respect for Nature

Tolkien's love of nature began as a child in the semi-rural region of Sarehole. He climbed in the trees near by his house and enjoyed walks in the fields. Later he witnessed the destruction of this homely land as industry slowly encroached many trees were cut down or burnt to make way for factories, plants, foundries and machines. He saw the small villages in rural England transform into industrial cities where men became numbers and products were mass produced merely for greed or war. The...

Think it is true that I owe much of this character to Christian and Catholic teaching and imagination about Mary

But what is Catholic imagination about Mary To fully appreciate similarities in Tolkien's female characters and the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is worth considering what Catholicism thinks of her. The early Church understood Mary's place to be special and more than just a human vessel in which God came to his people see here for the Church Fathers . The Church believes that Mary was consecrated and set aside by the Lord for this special task. She was preserved from sin and kept immaculate by a...

There was Eru the One who in Arda is called Iluvatar and he made first the Ainur the Holy Ones that were the offspring

These 'Holy Ones' are the Ainur, or Valar, or angelic guardians who have been created by Eru before all else Letters p.387 . They are the 'offspring of his thought'. First of all, we have One Being, existing before all else who is eternal, all-powerful, infinite and divine. He is also 'good' and acts with love. His actions and thoughts prove this. He is the One-God of Middle-earth. This is the first major and critical parallel in the mythology with the Judeo-Christian God. Next, we have the...

Am [obviously much in love with plants and above all trees and always have been and I find human maltreatment of them

Treebeard and the Ents have come to life in the story through this love of nature and trees that Tolkien possessed. The destruction of the Shire and Fangorn forest are also caught up in this theme. The crushing affect of what Saruman did in the Shire is shown by the text It was one of the saddest hours of their lives as the Hobbits witnessed the aftermath of the destruction. LotR p.993 The box of dust gifted to Sam by Galadriel to help rehabilitate the Shire is another illustration of the...

The Lembas

Tolkien stated once that the lembas also has a much larger significance, of what one might hesitatingly call a 'religious' kind. This becomes later apparent especially in the chapter 'Mount Doom'. Letters p.274-275, 1958 This 'religious' significance of the Lembas that becomes apparent in Mordor is the ability to rely solely on the sustenance provided by consuming it, and the strength it gives to the wills of Frodo and Sam. The Lembas had a virtue without which they would long ago have lain...

Frodo undertook his quest out of love to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense[Letters p327

There are very distinct elements of the Carrying of the Cross in Frodo's and Sam's trek towards Mt Doom. The text has so many points of similarity between the burden of the Ring ol Evil that Frodo carries, and the burden of Sin symbolized by the Cross that Jesus bore, it is astonishing. An extraordinary passage, also noted by Joseph Pearce, relates the parallel of Frodo's burden to that of 'the suffering Christ' Frodo seemed to be weary, weary to the point of exhaustion. He said nothing, indeed...

Have failed he says But Aragorn says to him No You have conquered Few have gained such a victory Be at peace [LotR p405

Aragorn words are not just for Boromir's comfort before death, but they are the truth. Boromir, before he dies, sees his fault and asks forgiveness, he gains a victory over himself in seeing how the Ring tempted him he repents and dies in peace. This act of Boromir, through providence, is crucial in helping the Quest succeed. Frodo and Sam make for Mordor alone, Pippin and Merry come to Fangorn, and Aragorn, Gandalf and the others ride to the help of Rohan. Once again the lesson is that God can...

Sacrificial Love

Any heroic story or romance has a hero a character who exemplifies certain characteristics that will endear him her to the reader or audience and set him her apart as a person of value and respect. Tolkien saw his mother die sacrificing her life for her children and passing on the Catholic Faith to them. He was raised by Catholic Priests where penance, fasting, prayer, abstinence and self control were all taught and practiced in love for Jesus Christ. He understood heroic sacrifice involved in...

Therefore when they [the Valar beheld them [Elves and Men the more did they love them being things other than

Of Iluvatar reflected anew, and learned a little more of his wisdom, which otherwise had been hidden even from the Ainur. Sil p.7 But Melkor, desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men and he wished himself to have subjects and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be master over other wills. Melkor desires to be God, like Satan. Sil p.8 Then Iluvatar brings all things into Being 'Therefore I say Ea Let these things Be. And I will send forth into the Void, the Flame Imperishable,...

A guardian who had been a father to me more than most real fathers [Letters p53

Tolkien learned much about his faith under Father Francis and developed his keen sense of charity, mercy and forgiveness. He read many of the lives of the Saints and received excellent teaching on Scripture and Doctrine. The sorrow of his mother's death remained with him for the rest of his life and his faith became a deep source of spiritual and emotional consolation. Tolkien understood the impact of the sacrifice from his mother in passing on the faith to him, Later he wrote When I think of...