LOTR – More Than Symbols of Power
Before I start this off, let me thank Amy Cavenaugh for the idea for this post! She mentioned Lord of The Rings in a comment on my last post about Samson’s hair and symbols of power. The One Ring is a FANTASTIC example of a symbol of power, especially one that both binds people together and tears them apart.
Lord of the Rings has been debated as an allegory for so many different things that I tend to just watch it for the entertainment value, and not bother trying to look for the subtleties discussed by critics and fans alike. But Amy’s comment about the One Ring being a symbol of power got me thinking of the Biblical connections in LoTR, which end up being more representations of every spirituality and walk of life. But that’s one of the beautiful things about the series: every person can find at least one thing with which to identify in the series through the variety of characters and belief systems.
You have the brotherhood between Frodo and Sam…
Sam stuck by Frodo during his darkest hours, when his life was surely condemned and even when he shunned Sam in favor of solitude, and the company of Gollum, whom he perceived to have a deeper understanding of his trouble.
And GOLLUM! Gotta love Gollum!
He’s representative of both a villain and a fallen: he was once an innocent, even a good man, and fell to become the creature obsessed with the Ring, and willing to throw anyone to his death to get his grubby hands on it, even himself. But he seemed to be a sinner of circumstance, and not truly evil, just corrupted by greet, envy, and lust.
To protect the ring and get that unearthly power to its place of destruction, the Fellowship was formed by all species in Middle Earth.
This reminds me of the Apostles and their aid of Jesus Christ, even when it became clear the end of their fellowship would be in tragedy.
There’s a horny beast!
And the Elves, and their travel out of Middle Earth is somewhat an exodus, somewhat an ascension.
And as if to show the opposite between the light Elves and the dark world Sauron has inspired with the Orcs, the Eye of Sauron (and pretty much everything about Mt. Doom) sure looks a lot like Hell.
Regardless of the political allegories debated about Lord of The Rings, I think it’s a wonderful example of the whole point of Biblical FanFic: there’s something in it for everyone, a character with whom each of us can identify as we watch them struggle, triumph and fall. We’re reminded of our roots, of the beliefs that structured us since childhood no matter what specific background we come from or what faith we practice now. Flawed men and women, those seeking absolution and power, those who fall and those who rise – these are all Biblical FanFic themes we can connect with on many levels.
Which character from LoTR do you connect with most? Which is your opposite?