Lord of the Rings
Selection of additional comments
compiled from various sources
The Ring as an Anti-Sacrament
As Grace and Truth is experienced through a
Sacrament, so Control and
Destruction is experienced through an Anti-sacrament — the One
Ring. The Ring that Frodo bears is not Symbolic, but rather Operates
as an Anti-sacrament.
Dependent on a Person's Spiritual Disposition, a
Sacrament literally allows Grace and Life to Flow into
a Person, when it is Administered. From the Catholic Catechism:
CCC-1116 - Sacraments are Powers that comes forth from the Body of Christ, which is Ever-Living and
Life-Giving. They are Actions of the Holy Spirit at Work in his Body, the Church. They are "the Masterworks of God" in the
New and Everlasting Covenant.
The Sacraments according to
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
The Ring as defined in
The Fellowship of the Ring
|The Sacraments derive their
Power and Efficacy from the
Passion, Death, and
Resurrection of Our Lord.
||The Ring derives its Power from Sauron:
"And into this Ring, he poured his Cruelty, his Malice and his Will to Dominate all Life"
|The Sacraments are a Sign of God's Love for
us, and give us Peace.
||The Ring seeks to Enslave and
Control those who wear it.
|The Sacraments instill Virtue and
Humility, Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
||The Ring is gifted to those who desire
|The Sacraments Illumine the
Human Heart with Truths and
||The Ring seeks to Deceive.
|The Sacraments bring Divine
Life and Grace.
||The Ring brings only
Suffering and Death.
Likewise in Middle Earth, a characters' Spiritual Disposition makes them more
or less Susceptible to the Anti-sacrament Power of the Ring,
which if worn, literally brings Evil and
Destruction upon the Bearer.
In the Shire, the Hobbits come Naturally to Living a Beatific Life that
Christ calls all Christians to live by. The Hobbits
are the Meek that Inherit the Earth, the
Merciful who Receive Mercy, the Pure in Heart, and the
Peacemakers (Matthew 5:3-12). Consequently, Elrond is lead to comment in the Fellowship:
And yet to have come so far, still bearing the Ring, the Hobbit has shown Extraordinary Resilience to it's Evil.
The High Level of Sanctifying Grace which existed in Frodo's Soul
gave him the Power to Resist the Evil of the
Ring until the very end at Mount Doom. Even though Frodo eventually succumbed to its
Power, God in His Providence uses Gollum’s
Concupiscence to give Frodo another chance. Thus, Frodo’s own
Mercy to Gollum becomes a Factor in his Deliverance from the
Consequences of his Ultimate Failure. However, Divine
Justice deemed that he Suffer the Loss of a Finger for
his last-minute Weakness. His Long and Difficult
Perseverance, and Heroic Sacrifice
was indeed Rewarded with God's Justice and
Aragon as 'Healer'
Aragon ministers to the lifeless Éowyn, Mortally Wounded while killing the Witch King of Angmar
The Houses of Healing were the houses that lay in the Sixth Tier of Minas Tirith,
surrounded by Lawns and Trees, where the Healers of Gondor did their work. The Houses of Healing are Representative of
Hospitals which were First Instituted by the Catholic Church
to care for Victims of the Crusades.
It is to the Houses of Healing that Éomer brings his sister Éowyn, when he discovers her
Dead after the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Éowyn has succumbed to Injures
resulting from her Battle with the Witch King of Angmar.
The Scene unfolds as follows:
Scene 41 - Shieldmaiden of Rohan
<Back on the Pelennor Fields.>
<Merry crawls from beneath the dead Oliphaunt in time to see Éowyn facing the Nazgûl alone.>
<Enraged The Witchking moves in for the kill. The Witchking entwines his iron fingers around Éowyn's neck, lifting her from the
Witchking: You Fool! No man can kill me.
Witchking: Die now!
<Merry rises up behind and stabs his sword into the knee of the Witch King. Merry screams
out in agony, clutching his arm, and falls to the ground, while his swordblade bursts into flame and dissolves. Startled, the Witch King
screams, and drops Éowyn.>
<Éowyn stands up before the Witch King, removes her helmet, shaking out her long blonde hair, and brandishing her
Éowyn: I am no man!
<Éowyn strikes, stabbing the Witch King through his helmet. Éowyn drops her sword. Merry
still clutching his arm watches. The Lord of The Nine begins to writhe, as if he is being crumpled from the inside, his armor falls
empty to the ground. Éowyn falls to her knees. >
In the above Scene, Merry is Injured as his Swordblade bursts into Flame
after Stabbing the Witch King First. Éowyn, however, Succumbs to her resultant
The "Properties" of the Sword used by Merry during the above Battlefield Scene before Minas Tirith
requires comment. In the Book, Merry is armed with an Enchanted Blade of Westernesse, and
uses that Weapon to make the Nazgûl Vulnerable to Éowyn's own Attack. In the Movie, though,
Merry finds himself in the same situation with an Ordinary Sword, so that (in principle) the
Witch-king should have Survived.
However, the Solution to this Question lies in the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of
the Ring, where we see Merry presented with an Elvish Sword as he leaves Lórien in the following
<Galadriel smiles, and turns to Merry and Pippin.>
<<Galadriel: These are the Daggers of the Noldorin. They have already seen Service in War. Do not fear, young
Peregrin Took. You will find your courage.>>
The Seven Gifts given by Galadriel to the Fellowship upon leaving Lórien
represent in fact the Seven Sacraments. The Lembas Bread represents the
Eucharist, and the Sword given Merry is Indicative of the Sword of the Spirit
contained in Ephesians 6:11-17. The Sacraments Protect
us from Evil, and this is why Merry was not Killed during
the encounter with the Witch-king as Éowyn was. Éowyn had no
Sacramental Protection as Merry did.
In the Healing Halls, Aragon uses Water and his
Touch to administer Healing to Éowyn. In the New Testament,
Jesus used Touch and Material Things such as
Spit, Mud, Water, et al
during His Miracles. He used Material things only because
it pleased Him to do so. God is Perfectly Capable of performing
Miracles directly. Aragon, in his Representation of Christ the
King, uses Water and Touch to bring Éowyn back
to Life. Water is a Symbol of Life and is the Matter used during
Baptism to bring Life (Sanctifying
Grace) to the Soul as it Washes Away the Stain of Original
Sin. Aragon uses Water to Wash Away the Stain of the Witch
King from Éowyn, bringing her New Life.
Witch King of Angmar
The Witch King of Angmar, Enslaved to the Will of Sauron,
represents Judas Iscariot, Martin Luther, King Henry VIII, Thomas Cranmer and every
Apostate that ever lived. Once Noble and Endowed with Special Privileges, they Sold Out
Our Lord for the Silver of Temporal Things and having been Swallowed-up by
Mammon, now reap the Bitter Manifestation of that in the Horrific Shroud of the Nazgul.
That brings us to the Victim, if you will, of Free Will, and a Brilliant Depiction of how
Sin Corrupts Man and takes something Beautiful, turning it
Ugly. Gollum is the Perfect Example of that. Once a Hobbit himself, Smegol came
upon the Ring and it turned his
Heart. Just as Sin can look so Alluring - so Magnificently Portrayed in the 'Opening' of
the Ark of the Covenant by Nazi Operatives in Raiders of the Lost
Ark - so also the Ring, which represents Man's
Stubborn Will in trying to force Man's Will over
God's Will, turned Smegol into a Monster. A very Devious and Clever Mongrel at that, for
Andy Serkis' Portrayal shed a New Light on the Gollum I had read about years ago. I think Jackson's depiction even
surpasses Tolkien's for that particularly Tragic Character. Lured by the Sirens of Satan, the
Soul is Torn. Does he listen to what Good still remains of
Smegol's Conscience, or to the False Promises of what
he thinks he can attain? In a very certain sense, Smegol illustrates Man's Soul when Revealed
in all its Nakedness before God.
If the Soul is in Venial Sin, it will bear the
Fallible Characteristics and Foibles of Smegol. If it is in
Mortal Sin, it will appear Uglier than Gollum, full of Despair
and Desperation. Conversely, if the State of the Soul is in
Sanctifying Grace, it will Shine Brightly - more brilliant than Galadriel.
Let us Hope and Pray that we will be Frodos and Sams,
and not Gollums. In the Climactic Finale, the latter finally gets what he had Long Lusted for -
his "Precious" - the Ring, but it was too late. He plunged to his
Death even though he had finally Retrieved the Ring. Tolkien knew
Gollum was Key to the Story, just as God knows Man is Key to the History of
Salvation. Just as in Life, so in the Trilogy, God's Providence definitely comes into Play.
Gollum and Man have a Free Will. They can Choose
Good, or they can Choose Evil. Though
Tempted and Tormented, Frodo, though he ultimately
Fails in completing his Appointed Mission, Chooses
Good and throws himself on the Mercy of God. Poor Smegol
Chooses otherwise. Watching Gollum plunge into the Molten Lava of Mount Doom reminded
me so vividly of Our Lord's Words in Matthew 16:26, "For what
doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his
soul?" We know what Gollum Chose. Not Wise.
One who was, however, was Sam Gamgeee who played a Pivotal Role in saving Frodo, for he sees through the Veil of Pretense
Gollum puts on and constantly warns Frodo. The young Baggins is too trusting, so much so that he turns against his friend
Sam in favor of protecting Gollum. Noble, but not Wise. Much in the manner, Peter
Denied Christ, Frodo realizes when subjected to the
Double-cross by Gollum, when led into the Lair of Shelob, that Sam was Right. In one way
Sam represents our Conscience which is always with us, Loyally Guiding us if only we listen to
Its Wisdom. A Stroke of Brilliance by Tolkien in naming him Samwise.
After the Spell of Wormtongue was lifted by Gandalf, the Grima hightailed it back to Isengard which, in so
many ways represents Paris, even to its Eiffel-like Tower of Isengard rising above the Low Roofs of the rest of the city.
It makes sense in light of the events of modern times when Godlessness has inundated France,
and the City of Lights has practically Abandoned the Light of the World
in favor of Diversity and Tolerance.
Paris was a place of Major Persecutions during the French Revolution. Keeping in scope the
French Connection, how many caught Tolkien's play-on Pippin - as in the First Ruler to bring the
Faith to the Franks - Pepin? Recall it was Pippin who warned Treebeard of what
Saruman had done.
The Great Battle on the Pelennor Fields represented the Great
Battle for Souls that is being waged Right Now. It is no Myth. It is happening and has been for
this Past Century, Intensified so much more over the past Forty (400 Years
and especially in this New Millennium when 'Sauron' is frantically trying to stave off
his Ultimate Defeat. That is why he has unleashed all the
Demons Personified in the Mighty and Beastly Characters of the Ringwraths on flying
Dragons, the Uruk-hai, the Easterlings,
and Haradrim who are trying to Lay Siege on the Mighty Fortress of Minas Tirith
(the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church). Another Battle
against Ancient Rome was launched by a fellow named Hannibal who used Elephants. This time, JRRT, an Astute Student of History,
dreamt-up the Enemies Steeds as Massive Mastodons, so masterfully projected by Jackson in
The Return of the King as the Oliphaunts.
Light of Glory/Transfiguration
When Gandalf stood in the Light of his Glory before the Three Men - Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli
represents when Jesus was Transfigured
before the Three Apostles - Peter, James and John.
Like Our Lord descending into Hell (Apostles' Creed)
while He was Three (3) Days in the
Tomb, so also Gandalf did in Destroying the Balrog. I saw the great, almost
Bottomless Pit within Moria as the Tomb of Christ. TheOrcs who
clamored for the Death of Gandalf and his 'Apostles' were
like the Jews and Romans who Persecuted and called for His
Death, summoning the Balrog. His falling into the Pit, including the Whip lashing at
Gandalf to pull him down, is likened to Christ's Passion.
Falling was both Gandalf's Crucifixion and Death, but
he was Reborn as Gandalf the White.
Like Christ, Gandalf descended from the Mountain at Helms Deep and led the charge down
the Hill, the Light of Heaven (the Sun) blinding the
Evil Army that had arrayed to meet the Rohirrim. That might be considered representing
Christ as the Light of the World.