I also love how vividly Tolkien portrays evil in The Lord of the Rings. He makes you feel how seductive, how terrifying, how oppressive – how truly evil – it is. For example, I love when Frodo is looking into the Mirror of Galadriel and see Sauron’s eye: “In the black abyss there appeared a single Eye that slowly grew, until it filled nearly all the Mirror. So terrible was it that Frodo stood rooted, unable to cry out or to withdraw his gaze. The Eye was fimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and…
Home and Holiday
As I am working my way through The Lord of the Rings and entering into the world that Tolkien created, I find it makes me long for heaven. Sam’s description of Lothlorien to Frodo really captures this feeling: “I’ve often wanted to see a bit of magic like what it tells of in the old tales, but I’ve never heard of a better land than this. It’s like being at home and on a holiday at the same time, if you understand me. I don’t want to leave” (361).
The Price of Adventure
They stood for a while silent on the hill-top, near its southward edge. In that lonely place Frodo for the first time fully realized his homelessness and danger. He wished bitterly that his fortune had left him in the quiet and beloved Shire. He stared down at the hateful Road, leading back westward – to his home. The Lord of the Rings, p. 188.
Lewis, Tolkien, and Friendship
One of the interesting parts about The Narnian has been reading about Lewis’ friendships, and in particular his friendship with Tolkien. They made some funny statements about each other. For example, on hearing that the London newspaper the Daily Telegraph had done an article on Lewis which at one point referred to him as “ascetic Mr. Lewis,” Tolkien wrote to his son, “‘Ascetic Mr. Lewis’ -!!! I ask you! He put away three pints in a very short session we had this morning, and said he was ‘going short for Lent.’” Concering Tolkien’s reluctance to receive criticism and make changes…
“But where shall I find courage?” asked Frodo. “That is what I chiefly need.”“Courage is found in unlikely places,” said Gildor. “Be of good hope! Sleep now!”
The other day I read Tolkien’s preface to the second edition of Lord of the Rings, published in 1965. In it Tolkien insists that his book has no allegorical significance (apparently a lot of readers and reviewers were speculating that the ring symbolized Nazi Germany since he wrote it during WWII), and that his only aim was to write a really good story which would delight and captivate readers. As I read I experienced such a deep sense of delight that I can only describe it by saying that not only did I feel as though I was reading a…