Monday, April 09, 2007

Christianity in Tolkien: A traitor's place in salvation

Tolkien's work is usually too subtle for plain allegorical comparison.
Frodo is not exactly a Christ figure. At the end his goodness fails; the temptation to claim the ring overcomes him.
But Gollum is much closer to a Judas figure, a traitor. Gollum's treachery was predictable and long-expected. The only thing that was largely unexpected was that his treachery worked out for the good, much like the treachery of Judas Iscariot or of the brothers of Joseph son of Jacob.
Tolkien brings out one of the themes of Christ's life in the character of Gollum: even treachery tends to go wrong, and traitors often do good that they never intended. It's not that Sam Gamgee was wrong to distrust Gollum; it's that Frodo was righter still to bring him anyway.

All graphics from New Line Cinema's Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, presented under fair usage.

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