Title: Lord of The Rings Trilogy
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Age: Middle School and Up (For advanced readers)
I wish my series that I read looks like the books above, but I had a Kindle gift card and that’s how I read Lord of The Rings (LOTR). I’m not a LOTR hipster. I honestly didn’t even watch the films until I got in college. The only reason I watched them was because of these two:
Caroline was always talking about the movies and how I would love them. One evening at their house, Garrett put the first movie on. I loved it… I went home and rented the rest. It wasn’t to long until I saw Caroline hauling the book around in her purse. I’m the Tolkien/Lewis loving fan that I am because of her. She told me about the books and the Inklings writing club. I thought it all was so cool! Thanks for the wonderful adventure Cline. On the brink of the movie release of The Hobbit, I decided to read The Hobbit over Christmas break. Thanks to a Library Science course the following semester, the only reading that was accomplished after that break,was children’s literature (I’ll be sharing some of that as well – later though). That did include Narnia, Harry Potter, Rats of Nimh, and other popular reads. Finally, this summer I made my way through LOTR. I had begun the first one during the school semester and during vacation I finished the second and began the third. Talk about action, adventure, and excitement – LOTR has it all. I understand that thesis long paper could be written on the ends and outs of each of the books, but to keep it simple I’m looking at them as a whole trilogy here. They are very, very deep books, so please understand this post will not do them justice.
While I could go back further, I’m going to start with a hobbit. During the adventures of The Hobbit, Bilbo found an enchanted evil ring and bequeathed it to Frodo (with encouragement from Gandalf). The ring once belonged to the evil Lord Sauron ( he is the Lord of the Ring referred to in the title), and he wants the ring back. Lord Sauron is rising up an army to take over Middle Earth and sends out the Black Riders to find the ring. Frodo, followed by hobbit buddies Sam, Pippin, and Merry, are sent by Gandalf to Rivendell to be safe from the riders and figure out what to do with the ring. There the Fellowship is formed, and the epic journey and battles ensues.
Okay…as said earlier, these books are very deep and sent my mind spinning sometimes. When you read these books, its important to know something about the author. He was a devoted Catholic and was against the industrialization that he saw taking place across his country. So this book could be viewed as a pastoral writing and/or a christian allegory of sorts. Now, in my reading on the Inklings, I have read that Tolkien didn’t want his books be to as allegorical about Christianity as Lewis’ writing… not everything has a direct parallel. Just the overall sense of good vs evil. However, there are some biggies that hard to not miss. Gandalf dies and comes back to life in the books, which is a huge hint he represents Jesus in my opinion. Now, I’m oneness and I have to remember that Tolkien was Catholic, and therefore more likely to be Trinitarian. So, If Gandalf is “Jesus”, who is “God”? Wikipedia has the answer, and has to do with the history of middle earth and such. Like I said, the books are very deep. I could be all wrong about this stuff, I’m new to Tolkien’s world. Garrett would probably say I’m thinking to hard about it. What fascinates me about these books, is how developed their world is. Tolkien created another universe in a book. He made it have its own maps, cosmology, language, history, culture – it is all very well done. Back to analogies, I keep wondering about the elves, are they just a chosen race (like the Hebrews from the Bible), or do they equate to Angels some how? I like how books like these are able to point out the faults of man kind and our nature, with out it being directly about us or to harsh. We realize our greed for power and other human faults when we have a chance to read a book like this. That is the under lining point of the battle of the ring. Greed. The ring is temptation. Men want power and the temptation of the ring is sometime to much. Sam came over that temptation because of his love and loyalty for Frodo, and he was a hobbit. He wasn’t greedy and didn’t want power. He wanted to be back to the Shire and marry Rosie. That is something to remember – keeping our priorities straight and love can help us overcome temptations and greed.
If you have anything to add or insights, please share them!
~Liz (aka Rachel)