Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Christianity in Tolkien: What is Strength?

In the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien also challenges our worldly ideas of strength. Is there a land in all of Middle Earth strong enough to defeat Mordor?
A land like the Shire
could defeat a land like Mordor
not by might of arms such as the long stalemate waged by Gondor
but like this, with compassion for the enemy.
In Tolkien's scheme, the Shire was stronger than Gondor. Gondor, for all its might of arms, had become a little too much like Mordor, just as Saruman had become a little too much like Sauron. But the Shire was a humble land filled with people who boasted no great deeds. They loved good tilled earth, good food and celebrations. They alone in Middle Earth had the strength needed to defeat Mordor. They still had humility, compassion, and hope. Frodo's love of his enemy played an essential role in the rescue of Middle Earth.

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

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