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.



“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.