Honesty is the Best Policy – Our Mothers and J.R.R. Tolkien are Agreed

honesty




My first job taught me how to lie. I needed to be “Good” and “Great” when someone asked after me. Honesty was irrelevant to them. Therefore, I learned to say “Good. How about you?” Even on my worst days, I replied positively.

Frodo Baggins, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, must have learned the same lesson. For when Faramir, son of Denethor II, learned about these two hobbits holding the One Ring, he thought of only what his father told him to do. And, though Frodo tried to stop him, the hobbits held their tongues (at first!) about the One Ring’s power. This was a mistake.

Some Background on Why the Hobbits Abstained from Honesty




Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee had already undergone many trials because of the One Ring. And the trials came in many forms. Frodo suffered psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Sam, who chose to stay with Frodo whether Gandalf ordered him to or not, suffered in a different way. He suffered because he saw his friend suffering.

Despite the pain, Frodo and Sam knew they needed to destroy the One Ring. To destroy it at any cost. Gandalf had also warned them against peoples, especially among Orcs, Nazgul, and Men, who would try to take the ring. The steward of Gondor was one such man. He sent out his eldest son, Boromir, to obtain the One Ring.

Everyone in the original Fellowship knew how the One Ring drove Boromir mad, driving him to his death.  Though, no one knew better than Frodo and Sam. For this reason, knowing what the ring did to Men, Frodo and Sam tried to hide the One Ring from Faramir. And when that failed, to at least hide the dishonor that befell Boromir. But, because they hid the truth, Faramir almost suffered the same fate as his brother.

How Honesty Saved Good Men and Hobbits from Harm




Truth has the ability to strike hard and brutal blows to men’s egos, emotions, and intellect. As a result, many people choose to live, and to allow others to live, in ignorance. However, individuals who choose to overcome pain, learn to recognize evil, and fight to obtain righteousness will receive blessings from God.

For example, because Frodo and Sam knew how the One Ring brought men into madness, they withheld information from Faramir. For these two good hobbits failed to recognize the fellow desire for righteousness and peace in Faramir, a good and strong captain. And because Faramir dealt mostly with scathing and manipulative orcs, he didn’t know whether to trust these hobbits from the Shire. All three had fallen into spiritual darkness.



But this did not last. First, Samwise brought the truth to light. Shouting at Faramir, Samwise made known Boromir’s fall into madness when he tried to take the One Ring. He pointed to Frodo’s own  struggles with evil and madness while carrying the ring to its destruction. Soon thereafter, Faramir witnessed Frodo’s struggles when Frodo tried to give the One Ring to the Nazgul.

Faramir had great intelligence, greater than either his father or his brother. Merely hearing about the One Ring’s evil, and seeing Frodo’s struggle, alerted Faramir to the importance in destroying Sauron’s ring. He chose to face his father’s wrath, to risk death in seemingly impossible fighting conditions, and to allow Frodo, Sam, and even Smeagol to carry on into Mordor. He chose the hard road, the painful road, for the sake of righteousness. And it was all because Sam spoke honestly.

Honesty Brings Benefits to Hobbits and Humans Alike




Americans today, and I imagine UK citizens as well, live in a society where hard work and honesty are frequently punished. For greed and avarice drive many wills and many governments into evil practices that give to the lazy and the selfish and take from the honest and the hard workers. Christians have reason to shrug this horrible truth from their shoulders.

God’s Word speaks about rewarding believers who work diligently. And those who pray and ask God for help will receive, as long as their will aligns with God’s will. Therefore, if Christians give their time, love, and money to God, then they don’t need to worry about being able to pay all their bills. For God will provide to those who are faithful.

The same is true for other good things. If Christians desire and ask for peace, God will calm their hearts amidst life’s storms. Because, like Faramir, we must battle for righteousness in a fallen world. Scripture says wars will always exist, without ever ceasing. So, we must wait for Christ Jesus’s return for everlasting peace. But! That does not mean that we cannot fight the good fight, speaking honestly and upholding righteousness, in pursuit of God’s glory filling all the earth!



Reckless Hate Follows Us All – Lessons Learned from The Two Towers

reckless hate

Reckless hate exists in every political party, people group, and family unit. A fact clearly portrayed when the Uruk-hai attacked the Rohan people in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. King Theoden, dazed at the amount of death amongst his people, knew the folly and helplessness amongst the peoples of Middle-earth:

What can Men do against such reckless hate?
~ King Theoden of Rohan (The Two Towers, 2002)



Sauron’s Reckless Hate and Men’s Weakness in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth

In this grand utterance, both horrific and true, King Theoden summarized the problem among Middle-earth’s inhabitants. All the various Orcs, Trolls, Nazgul, and Fighting Breeds followed Sauron. This dark lord dominated half of Middle-earth’s creatures, filling them with the desire to kill and squander, but he wanted dominion over all the land. No Man, Hobbit, Elf, Wizard, or Dwarf was safe.

The Elves had their own power, and used their power to resist the evil and flee the land. Wizards chose either good or evil, and Dwarves and Hobbits resisted Sauron so as to keep living as they chose to live. But Men on Middle-earth were easily swayed between the hope for peace and the desire for power. Consequently, they either fell prey to their evil desires, or died trying to fight against them.

What Reckless Hate Symbolized in J.R.R. Tolkien’s World




To put it plainly, J.R.R. Tolkien could have easily been describing two real-life, evil forces when he wrote about the wars between Sauron’s forces and the other peoples in Middle-earth. The first example Tolkien may have used was Germany and Russia in World War I (WWI). The second, Satan and the sinful human nature.

Everyone who has taken high school history knows the atrocities from the World Wars. Though Hitler hadn’t risen to power yet in WWI, his country and Russia behaved just as savagely in fighting for dominion over the other European countries. How Germany bombed London, scaring the citizens and causing them to send their children north, would be enough to cause any English boy to think of Germany as the ultimate evil, domineering force.

I may think too highly about the power behind spiritual enemies, but the devil and the sinful human nature could have certainly influenced Tolkien, as well. Spiritual darkness certainly influences men to war with each other. So, reckless hate could very well describe the constant war, between God and Satan, for human souls. And it is the Christians who stand up and fight the good fight. The unbelievers, filled with hate for what all Christians believe, fight against us.

What To Do About the Reckless Hate in the Real World




Terrorist groups and other violent organizations run around the world, bringing destruction to everything they hate. And American teachers tell us to sit back and “respect their religion.” This makes me seethe with anger. Why? Because no one, since I was a child until now, has ever respected my beliefs as a Christian. My faith receives more hatred and disrespect than any other. So, why must I learn to accept and respect other religions?

Christians are told to live with peace with everyone, as much as they can. Otherwise, as Aragorn said to King Theoden, let us ride out. Let us fight for what we believe in, upholding what is good and right and just. Otherwise, the reckless hate in this world will overrun us, trample us, and kill us. If not literally, then it will certainly kill us figuratively.

J.R.R. Tolkien understood the importance in fighting for a good cause. And while we argue about what the good cause is, we should never fight each other for it. Respect each other and love each other whenever possible. Our beliefs may collide, and we may never learn to accept what someone else believes, but we all should aim for life, and for peace.



Wrong to Despair – The Necessity in Hope and Courage

wrong to despair

Orlando Bloom may have thrilled many women with his baby face and elvish grace, but his line in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers is what forged its way into my heart: “‘We have trusted you this far. You have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair,'” (The Two Towers, 2002).

This line, derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, leads to many thoughts regarding self-discipline, hope, emotional stability, and courage. People throughout all nations, weak and discouraged, scared and troubled, often fall into the pit of despair. Legolas, prince among elves, was just the same.



Wrong to Despair – Why We So Easily Fall Prey to Our Emotions

From what I heard and saw when I worked in the retail business, what I am about to say doesn’t apply to older generations. People aged 80-years and more, as of this month and year, January 2018, often practice a self-discipline unseen in younger and up-and-coming generations. And yes, I do call myself an undisciplined brute. For I know about self-discipline, but fail to practice it.

Therefore, since most people lack in discipline – don’t deny it, for I know I’m not the only one – our every whim and fancy makes itself known. Makes itself obnoxious and obtrusive. And one such unmanageable fancy is the fear of the unknown, and our tendency to despair over it.




Now, don’t scoff at me! People are control freaks in their heart of hearts. They need to know that everything is running, and will continue to run, smoothly and efficiently. And, running according to how they personally think how things ought to run.

If things seem off track, then “The world is coming to an end! Why was I born to such a life?” People get dramatic when they despair. Or, to state it differently, they scare themselves and many people around them because they lack in self-discipline. Hence, it is wrong to despair.



Wrong to Despair – What We Need to Fight Our Cowardly Instincts

Some people run scared. They operate at high-anxiety levels in every task they perform, and sometimes they literally go running and screaming in fear. I am one such individual, and I know others like me. Our fear, anxiety, and omnipresent despair are the natural, human way. But as natural as it may feel, we should fight against the despair which always threatens to overcome us.

Oh, now I’m a know-it-all for knowing how to overcome despair? Well, alright, I’ll give you that. Because I, along with many friends of mine, have undergone many lectures about how God has ultimate control. About how people may hurt us, even kill us, but only God controls our destiny.

Does this help to control my level of despair in critical situations? Yes, it normally does. How? How could mere knowledge about God’s supremacy help to lesson the despair, the hopelessness, and the fear? Because God expects us to take charge in our lives. And if we dedicate our lives to him, living as he would have us live, then God will guide our steps.



Wrong to Despair – What We Can Do Ourselves to Fight the Despair, To Fight the Good Fight

A blog, called Lies Young Women Believe, which I stumbled across in my search for a quote, contained an article on the movie Cinderella (2015). The blogger had perfectually captured the essence in what we need to remember to keep on fighting the good fight. First, we must remember our status as God’s children. We won’t get far without Christ’s help and guidance. But the key ingredient is Courage.

Numerous times throughout the Bible do the prophets encourage God’s people to have Courage. The book of Joshua is a popular example, where a prophet encouraged Joshua to have Courage within the first chapter, and several times thereafter. Why the constant need to remind people to have courage? Because we all so easily fall into the pit of despair!




To push through the tough times, whether a believer or an unbeliever, people need emotional stability. I don’t know how to find this, for personally, I’m a ticking time bomb. But, from what I do know, people have found several solutions to gain this particular strength.

For example, people sometimes need medication to rearrange the chemicals in their brain. Sometimes people need therapy, to share all their problems to a listening ear. And other times, people just need to take the hits, practice a little self-discipline. It all goes around in a vicarious cycle, doesn’t it?



Wrong to Despair – Concluding Thoughts

I feel like a fraud in writing this article. For I have as much self-discipline, courage, and emotional stability as a kid in primary (a.k.a. elementary) school. But, during those rare moments when I somehow manage to practice these disciplines, I realize that they work. I truly can stave off the horror and the despair.

But these rare moments of success belong to God, the Father. Without his supremacy and strength guiding my family and friends, there would be no reason to fight the good fight. So, in this household, we aim to give God control, uphold our emotional IQs, and remember why we walk the Earth.




Legolas had despaired when Aragorn, the man whom he chose to follow, seemed to be fighting a hopeless fight. But, just because death may come, it doesn’t mean we fight without purpose. As Aragorn knew, and as Legolas soon learned, a greater cause beyond ourselves makes our lives worthwhile. And if it’s at stake, then we should devote ourselves to fighting for it.

With faith in the Holy Trinity, we fight this good fight with love. Choosing to show concern and compassion for every person, in every country, at every given moment. Aragorn, Legolas, and all Christians live to worship God, and to love each other as we love ourselves.



“What renown is there in that?” (The Two Towers, 2002)

renown

Screenwriter Peter Jackson barely touched upon J.R.R. Tolkien’s character Éowyn and her desire for renown. Searching through several blog resources revealed much more information on Éowyn and her quests for glory. Information which I shall discuss in more detail when I come across the underlying story in The Lord of the Rings book series. Until then, allow me to tell you what I’ve found.



What Some Christians First Think When Someone Seeks Renown

Watching the theatrical edition of The Two Towers glosses over Éowyn’s desire for renown. Possibly because of the negative connotation associated with the word. My favorite online dictionary defines renown as fame, glory, distinction, and so forth. Everything that man’s sinful nature desires.

For that is exactly what Christians fight against in their own personal walk with Christ: The desire to make themselves great. One phrase that a New Testament writer described this desire as was Selfish Ambition. Believers need to focus on giving all glory to God, not to themselves. To do God’s will ensures God will guide our steps in life.

Consequently, when a Christian hears this line in the extended edition of The Two Towers (yes, I speak of myself), she balks at her own Selfish Ambition existing in a Tolkien character. Yet, there exists something more astonishing within this beloved series: Éowyn found her renown. And it was considered good.



How Shieldmaiden Éowyn Found Her Renown in Life

The theatrical cuts for The Lord of the Rings leaves out all references to Éowyn’s search for glory. All references other than those connected to Aragorn II, son of Arathorn. But according to Tolkien Gateway , and I must assume to the books which I have forgotten, Éowyn did eventually find her renown. Simply in a different form than she first imagined.

Disgusted at the mere thought of caring for Rohan’s women and children, Éowyn revealed more than was proper to Aragorn, the man whom she loved. However, he knew she would never find satisfaction in a life with him. And he told her so in Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King (2003). Though heartbroken at Aragorn’s refusal to be with her, she still pursued her need for glory.

Thus, when the time came to fight against the evil forces, Éowyn disguised herself and went out with the Rohan men to fight against Mordor. Here she nearly met her death. But, here, she also fought the Witch-king, defending King Théoden from more harm, and earning her title as Lady of the Shield-arm. Then she was at peace, which resulted in her falling in love with Faramir and becoming Lady of Ithilien.



What J.R.R. Tolkien Revealed on His Thoughts of Renown

When J.R.R. Tolkien’s father died, and his mother married a man who practiced Catholicism, J.R.R. Tolkien grew up with the Catholic faith. Therefore, he knew about man’s will to pursue Selfish Ambition. He simply didn’t condemn it. Recognizing the sinful nature as something within every man, he merely told the tale on how it can bring a person to fight when she need not fight.

Aragorn made a point in The Return of the King which resounded with me strongly: The point about how valor often exists without renown. Aragorn said this to Éowyn, telling her, gently and discreetly,  how she would regret joining in union with him. He said this mere minutes before appearing to desert Rohan’s men on the eve of battle. He couldn’t have been more right in what he saw in Rohan’s shieldmaiden. For she rejected him for his misconstrued departure.

And, now, I bid my readers good day. Asking them to conclude their own judgments on whether mankind should pursue personal renown in today’s fallen world. If J.R.R. Tolkien found a way for this human trait to coincide with the good fight, then surely my thoughts on its evil ways must be wrong. Only the Lord knows for certain.



“No Parent Should Have to Bury Their Child.” (The Two Towers, 2002)

bury their child

King Theoden, situated at his son’s graveside, weeping tears of grief, spoke truth for all parents who have had to bury their child: The truth being that no one should have to.

What inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to add this morbid scene to his novel, The Two Towers? King Theoden lost his son to war, but what other events occur to make parents bury their child? Detailed below are all the reasons that may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to include this tearful scene.



To All the Parents Who Have Had to Bury Their Child

Parents have lost their children numerous ways. I personally have known more parents who’ve spoken of deceased children than I care to remember. For, I cannot understand their pain, considering my own childless situation. But the pain is all too real. Their grief and despair being way too strong for mere imagination.

King Theoden, albeit a fictional character, lost his son in battle. Nobility of character ran strongly in his family’s blood, so they saw the need to fight against the evil forces. But knowing this did nothing to ease the pain in the loss. Just as nothing eases the pain for parents in modern day. The following list details some ways children die, whether by carelessness, thoughtlessness, or evil intention, and why their parents grieve:



  • Miscarriage hurts parents who hoped for children.
  • Abortion hurts parents who realized their mistake in having the procedure.
  • Car accidents hurt parents who blame themselves for helpless situations.
  • Murder hurts parents who failed to warn their children about the world.
  • Suicide hurts parents who feel personally responsible.

I refuse to say that parents are always guiltless. For abortion runs rampant in today’s generation, and the women who undergo the procedure are responsible for the loss of human life. But, other than this and domestic violence, parents who bury their child should be pitied more than anyone else. For human life is the most glorious of all God’s gifts.



Why J.R.R. Tolkien Wrote About Parents Who Had to Bury Their Child

It requires little imagination, and only a little information, on why J.R.R. Tolkien would write about King Theoden losing his son to war. For Tolkien lived through, and fought in, both World Wars. Considering how many English and American men lost their lives in battle, Tolkien most assuredly knew many parents who had to bury their child. And sometimes more than one child.

Moreover, J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife had four children. Imagining the loss of one’s own child becomes easier when the individual actually has children. And if friends lost one or more children, then the horror that would come at the thought of losing one’s child would be only natural.

Did J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife bury any of their children? Did they experience miscarriages, or lose their children to war? I will find out the answer to these questions as I continue to learn about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings. Knowing that these men survived through two World Wars, I would be surprised if all their children did make it through alive.



How to Assist Parents Who’ve Had to Bury Their Child

God is the answer. Always has been, always will be. Every parent whom I’ve known to bury their child has turned to God for comfort and peace. Even women who’ve gone through abortions regret their decision, ask God for forgiveness, and join the church community. I need not say how parents respond to their grief without peace and comfort, for everyone has seen grieving people who speak and act with anger in their hearts.

To everyone who has to bury their child, I recommend watching Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. Actor Bernard Hill performs magnificently as King Theoden of Rohan, capturing the loss and the pain in his life situation as a king. Because to see an example of someone who continued to fight the good fight, whether a fictional character or an actual person, gives the heart joy. Bernard Hill, acting as the grieving Rohan king, will bring joy.



Some Evil Drives Every Will, from Murderous Orc to Sinful Man

some evil

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis assuredly sat and thought together based on the similarities in their written works. And, in this case, Director, Screenwriter, and Producer Peter Jackson must have also thought along the same lines when scripting J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers.  Half the thought was about some evil fighting against the good in all their written works. And we must find the reason why.



How Aragorn Recognized “Some Evil” in the Creatures Which He Hunted

Peter Jackson’s second installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, started with Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. The creature following them since The Fellowship of the Ring, named Gollum, trailed close on their heels at this point. Causing Frodo and Sam to confront the evil and deformed creature head-on.

After this encounter with an evil-based character, the film panned over to the Uruk-hai. These debased, human-sized orcs tortured Merry and Pippin, showing their moral lacking and cruel thought patterns. When they sensed Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli on their trail, they sped up, determined to steal away the hobbits.



The three hunters filled the screen, Aragorn II, son of Arathorn, leading the way. He bent down, listened to the land’s reverberations, and updated the others on the Uruk-hai. Dejected at learning how the Uruk-hai had picked up their scent, Aragorn remarked on something ominous. Something dark, dangerous, and all-too-true:

There’s something strange at work here. Some evil gives speed to these creatures. Sets its will against us.

~ Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn II, son of Arathorn,
in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers



How “Some Evil” Based J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in Reality

Remember the boss who gave your raise and promotion to someone else, after you toiled so hard without complaint? Or, how about the sibling-in-laws who refuse to acknowledge you as family? And those un-Christlike church members, how they judge your faith and refuse to treat you like a loving brother or sister-in-Christ? “Some evil” inspired them all.

Evil, which manifests itself in countless forms, serves as the antithesis to God and his goodness. Writers write stories about good and evil because good and evil have such a strong presence in, what people most commonly refer to as, “the real world.” For the real world consists of much more than what we can see or hear. Forces unknown and unseen rule the real world, and we should be afraid.



What J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Peter Jackson Know About “Some Evil” Influence

I don’t intend to start a debate on whether people are inherently good or bad. For I realize some people want to think people are good, some people think people are bad, and yet other people think people are either good or bad.

Personally, I believe when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they introduced a spiritual strand in people that corrupts us and makes us bad. But none of this changes the undeniable evil, existent in the universe.



C.S. Lewis wrote many novels about the existent evil within the known universe. One such novel is The Screwtape Letters, in which Lewis took time to describe how the evil forces, known as demons, influence fallible and easily misled humans. A human-based reality also depicted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world.

Aragorn knew “some evil” led the Uruk-hai, for the orcs exhibited little intelligence or teamwork when left to their own devices. And “some evil” meant Saruman, Sauron’s ally.



“Wait a minute. Saruman was an actual character in the books and movies, not some spiritual force,” one might say. “There is no relation to C.S. Lewis’s demons.”

Wrong! Though I might have hesitated to say J.R.R. Tolkien refrained from any Christian symbolism in his work before, I’ve changed my mind now. Several scenes and script lines in The Two Towers forced me to rethink my stance.

For, as I’ve heard, the wizards in Middle-earth represented more than simple magic. According to God-fearing Tolkien fans, the wizards represented God’s angels. Making Saruman a fallen angel, a forbidding demon in control.



How “Some Evil” Translates Into the Christian Life in the Real World

So, if C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien agreed on evil forces affecting life-and-blood creatures, whether human or orc, then there must exist an omniscient good power. This good power is God, known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who knows just a little bit about these two men know about their great faith. If you don’t know, please just check up on that. It’s an eyeopener to see the expanse of their belief.



The people groups who worked as teams in The Two Towers represent the persecuted Christians in the real world. We lazy, laid-back Christians in today’s America don’t hardly compare to the persecuted Christians in the World Wars and every war following.

But, like the Christian people in past wars, the Fellowship in The Lord of the Rings stood and fought together. They pursued the right path, no matter how hard. They stuck to their beliefs.



Therefore, if you believe in God, and you can recognize evil actions and thoughts, then I encourage you to fight. To battle against the evil that attacks from every imaginable force. Nothing greater exists than to do God’s will.

J.R.R. Tolkien recognized this, as did C.S. Lewis, and as Peter Jackson portrayed it in The Lord of the Rings. And if you’re looking at what good there is to fight for, then start with looking at what the Fellowship fought for in The Lord of the Rings.



Regarding the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings – Critical Review

Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

Reading the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings revealed much about the author. First and foremost, the text portrayed the outstandingly extensive breadth in all relations regarding J.R.R. Tolkien’s thought, study, and imagination. It also portrayed some of his likings and enjoyments in life.

“Concerning Hobbits” Section One in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Prologue contains a long, detailed script regarding all things in relation to Hobbits. Much detail was given on subgroups among the Hobbits, what they look like, where they dwell, how they work the land, who remains prominent among them, how they relate to other Middle-Earth folk, and more. There seemed no end to the history, allegory, or factual tidbits.

Words failed me when I tried to describe to my father the imaginative depth and shocking detail included in this first section, “Concerning Hobbits.”  However, my father, who has read The Lord of the Rings several times throughout his life, knew the perfect phrase: Obsessive detail.



Obsessive is exactly what I would call J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. Do some Tolkien fans take offense at this terminology? I hope not, for I mean no offense at this term. In fact, I have the proclivity and bias to believe deep people, obsessive and philosophical (and many times theological), lean toward genius in their arts and crafts.

The writing in this section layered detail upon detail, upon detail, and so on. J.R.R. Tolkien set the foundation for an imaginative people, then provided them with an imaginative history, then educated them with a language grounded in linguistic theory, and then added imaginative folklore for the imaginative Hobbits. In other words, Hobbits and the Shire could be real folk, in a real land, in a real world. Where could have J.R.R. Tolkien received his genius?

“Concerning Pipe-weed” Section Two in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

“Concerning Pipe-weed” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings provided the perfect laughing magic after much education regarding Hobbits. For within the very first paragraph to this second section, Tolkien wrote a word very similar to an English word called nicotine. This “Nicotiana” was what Hobbits stuffed into their pipes, clay or wooden, and smoked.



J.R.R. Tolkien proceeded to provide imaginative detail regarding where the weed first came from. Did it come from the Hobbit village named Bree? Or does the weed grow native in the man-ruled city called Gondor? Again, Tolkien proved his imagination’s depth in creating Middle-Earth history similar to our world’s history, which means every culture is flummoxed about actual historical deeds and actions.

What this section blatantly shows is the time in which J.R.R. Tolkien lived. Cigarettes and cigars dominated most Englishmen pastimes, especially during World War II (WWII). With this in mind, and the knowledge about how this nicotine helped our WWII men to relax and rest, I can see why Tolkien included the Nicotiana weed into his literature. For every creature needs some means to rest, bodily and mentally.

“Of the Ordering of the Shire” Section Three in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

“Of the Ordering of the Shire” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings detailed the government type that every conservative wishes for: minimal to nonexistent government. Based on how Tolkien described the governing society within the Shire, it resembled the United States government very much. The main similarity being free will, the other democracy.



Where the U.S. law enforcement writes speeding tickets and handles domestic disputes, the Shire’s law enforcement deals more with folk outside the gated borders. Hobbits called them the “Bounders,” strange folk on suspicious business. Such Bounders had appeared in Hobbit towns before. But those days were long ago, and the Hobbits had forgotten the danger these strange faces carried with them. Could this compare to the danger which German strangers presented to the English children in the early 1900’s?

“Of the Finding of the Ring” Section Four in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Here Bilbo Baggins took stage. His story, summarized in “Of the Finding of the Ring” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, revealed the dark story concerning a black heart and its “precious.”

Gollum would strike fear in anyone’s heart, let alone a simple, earth-loving Hobbit. For a ring to have so much power in prolonging a creature’s life, corrupting the creature to solely desire its power, made known the evil behind it. And to have the honest and adventurous Bilbo Baggins lie about how he found the one ring only made certain its terrible power.



This fourth section seemed put-in merely to set the stage for The Lord of the Rings. It informed the reader as to why poor Frodo Baggins had to carry his heavy burden, and consequently why all the connecting events occurred. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to draw people into Middle-Earth. As did his son, Christopher Tolkien, when he wrote on the history surrounding Middle-Earth. But that’s a different matter entirely.

“NOTE ON THE SHIRE RECORDS” Final Section in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Not much need be said on the final section in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The author again showed his obsessive brilliance on imaginative history and folklore, connecting his work to how his readers would perceive it, as written accounts from Middle-Earth Men and Hobbits. To this fictional world there seems no end, and nor do we want there to be.

I hope anyone who reads this post will join me as we continue to read and review J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings! Continuing on with the series, we will compare and contrast how the story’s events relate to his personal life.

After all, Tolkien had mentioned this as a possible occurrence in his Foreword. Two biographies, one concerning the Inklings, the other concerning Tolkien himself, now exist on my bookshelf for this purpose. Let the fight between good and evil begin!



“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001)

live to see such times

Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring expounds Gandalf’s most significant message in the entire trilogy. Earlier in the film, Frodo had expressed his desire for all the evil to have never happened. So when Frodo stopped to consider his long and lonely journey ahead, Gandalf’s words came back to him: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”



We Who Live to See Such Times in the Modern World

Throughout this whole past year, left-leaning voters have whined heavily about USA’s current President Donald Trump for being USA’s current president. They live to see such times demolished and destroyed, never to happen again. They refuse to play fair with the right-leaning thinkers who also live in the country.

But politics are of little concern here in Mary Loves the UK. What concerns us more are the nuclear weapons. Why do people in other countries hate and fight fellow people in neighboring countries? Why do people have an intolerance for anything different?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits would never understand why men fight for power as they do. They live happy lives, growing what they will, taking on only simple troubles. And as elderly men live to see such times, they too begin to wonder why. Or else, they fall completely prey to the fight for power.



Deciding Our Course When We Live to See Such Times

People with strong faith in something greater than themselves normally have better perspective on what to do with their lives. Raised within the church and having read through the Bible, I know several proverbs that speak of men deciding where they shall go, praying and giving thanks for success, and the Lord leading them through it.

Too many people get caught up in the decision on what to do with their lives. Bad economies, terrorist incidents, natural disasters, oncoming wars, and much more can easily lead anyone to wish for better times. They also lead people to make excuses for not using their own, personal time wisely.

To use our best abilities for the best causes, we must first discover our abilities and learn about the most important causes. Faith in God should lead us to the Bible, which speaks greatly on the many ways to worship the Creator and to help each other. Local communities join together to help the poor, the widows, and the orphans. A good paying job could serve a greater purpose. The choice belongs to us.



To Live to See Such Times in Tolkien’s View

J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood was spent in England, specifically when Germany bombed London to smithereens. Hopefully some biographies on Tolkien will shed some light on whether or not J.R.R. Tolkien took the northern trains during his childhood. For regardless of his situation, it was for certain that the Tolkien family desired to see better times.

Maybe The Lord of the Rings came from this young boy’s faith in something greater. Maybe it came from his traumatic and misplaced childhood during World War I. Whatever the inspiration, J.R.R. Tolkien assuredly inspired many to see what they can do when given difficult times in which to live.



What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings vs. What J.R.R. Tolkien Said

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings

Who here had the great fortune to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as required reading in high school? I did! But I read the novels and some connected works several more times afterwards. And I realized what teachers say about The Lord of the Rings contradicts what J.R.R. Tolkien said about his masterpieces.



What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings – The Sorrowful Summary

Teachers have probably edited many great, adequate, and poor student summarizations to this 20th century masterpiece. And I cringe to hear the watered-down significance to this work, concerning both the plotline and the linguistics. However, the hastily-written summaries also help to explain the misapplied meaning behind the novels.

A summary from an uninterested literary student may read as follows: The Lord of the Rings is the fight between good and evil. Hobbits, elves, dwarves are on the good side. Orcs, wizards, and men are on the bad side. Some wizards and men can be good. There’s a ring that could destroy the world, so a group fights to destroy the ring. After a lot of fighting and traveling, the good guys win.

Terrible, miserable, and unacceptable! Anyone who writes such a summarization of J.R.R. Tolkien’s painstakingly detailed fantasy-world should fail the class. Yet, please consider, with this example now placed in mind, the wholly inaccurate meaning behind what teachers say about The Lord of the Rings.



What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings – The Made-Up Meaning

The Lord of the Rings symbolizes World War II.”

No! Wrong! Have you read his second edition’s Forward?! J.R.R. Tolkien specifically stated within his 1966 Forward to The Lord of the Rings that his work symbolized something wholly other than World War II (WWII). Don’t believe me? Let me show you:

As for any inner meaning or ‘message’, it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical. As the story grew it put down roots (into the past) and threw out unexpected branches: but its main theme was settled from the outset by the inevitable choice of the Ring as the link between it and The Hobbit. The crucial chapter, ‘The Shadow of the Past’, is one of the oldest parts of the tale. It was written long before the foreshadow of 1939 had yet become a threat of inevitable disaster, and from that point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster had been averted. Its sources are things long before in mind, or in some cases already written, and little or nothing in it was modified by the war that began in 1939 or its sequels.

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

For those who grew up thinking J.R.R. Tolkien intended to symbolize WWII with his Middle Earth, please read the above carefully. This awe-inspiring author simply wrote for his own enjoyment. With the possible exception being….



What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings –  The Untold Meaning

Far be it from me to say J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to symbolize God, the Devil, and Everything Inbetween. For this, I myself, at this point in time, struggle to see within the novels. However, based on an additional chapter within the second edition’s Forward, I can see where people draw this conclusion.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about how he had begun forming Middle Earth, and all its rich history, during his childhood. His childhood was war-stricken (from World War I) and desolate (from the London bombings). With so much destruction around him, it’s remarkable to see how this childhood genius made it into something wonderful.

With J.R.R. Tolkien’s text note in mind, I will continue to read The Lord of the Rings and lookout for similarities between his childhood beliefs and his adulthood beliefs compared to the text. Please join me on this journey. And, hopefully, we’ll reach the end before Amazon’s Middle Earth comes to our screens.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings – Why This Presents an Ethical Dilemma

global television rights to The Lord of the Rings

Cue the funeral dirge. For a company, which entertains complete disregard for the Christian faith, has acquired certain rights to Tolkien’s work. That’s right: Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings.

Why Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

We Christians cannot fully blame Jeff Bezos for acquiring the global television rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. For the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust had presented these rights to him, as well as to other companies with wholly different views than J.R.R. Tolkien. Jeff Bezos merely presented the most attractive monetary agreement.

Why Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings requires little speculation: Jeff Bezos wanted more money. Whatever he paid for the right to televise The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) must have appeared as small change compared to the calculations for how much a LOTR miniseries would gain in profit. Jeff Bezos simply saw a great opportunity handed to him.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and What It Said About the Tolkien Estate and Trust

Declaring Jeff Bezos as the only greedy investor in this deal denies the greed working behind the Tolkien Society. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was wildly successful, and the Tolkien Society decided they wished for more such financial successes. A simple conclusion based on the common transactions and deals performed among organizations around the world.

Since Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, Christians need to pray for God’s help. Because if the Christian messages in the LOTR trilogy are to remain intact, God must perform a miracle. For it seems the Tolkien Society chairmen care little about the faith elements which J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated into his work.



Ethical Dilemmas Behind the Deals When Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

Why do I conclude the Tolkien Society cares little about J.R.R. Tolkien’s faith? I came to this conclusion because, based on international news found on the Internet and in the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Bezos supports causes that oppose Christian beliefs. To me, selling global television rights to The Lord of the Rings to a man who disregards God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit seems like folly.

To maintain the integrity behind The Lord of the Rings, and remain faithful to the remarkable Christian author, we must hope Jeff Bezos instructs his crew to stay true to the books. Making Tolkien’s beloved characters perform in ways defiant to what is right and true would skew the beauty in J.R.R. Tolkien’s messages. As would also be true if the evil characters performed kind acts.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and We’re Going to Watch It

As a general rule, my family never buys from Amazon, unless someone presents us with a gift card. However, even spending someone else’s money given to Amazon feels wrong and dirty. Why? Amazon supports causes, such as gay marriage, that the Holy Bible informs Christians to recognize as an abomination. Therefore, we, as Christians, generally refuse to support liberal organizations when they adamantly hate us for our beliefs.

In this particular case, I will make an exception. Since this blog focuses predominantly on British food and British flicks, I will find someone who has an Amazon Prime TV and watch the LOTR miniseries with them. Then, hopefully, I will be able to report to my readers how Amazon remained true to the stories. Though, I highly doubt such will happen.

Who is excited for Amazon acquiring the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings? Do you think Amazon will do well and skew the story only slightly? Or do you think Amazon will use this opportunity to demean J.R.R. Tolkien’s work?