Lord of the Rings II


Aragon leads the Souls of the Mutinous Dead, representing the Church Suffering, into Battle.
"He does not receive the Victor's Crown unless he fights well" - 2Timothy 2:5
"Let us run by Patience to the Fight proposed to us" - Hebrews 12:1

 

No Pain . . . . . . No Gain
No
Guts . . . . . No Glory
No
Cross . . . . No
Crown

 

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 Power.
The Sacraments Illumine the Human Heart with Truths and Reason. 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 Mercy.

 

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 ground.>


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 sword.>


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 Injuries.

 

 Comments

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 scene:

<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.

 

Gollum/Smegol

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.

frodo.jpg (3307 bytes) samwise.jpg (6139 bytes) gollum.jpg (4011 bytes)
Pictures of three Hobbits from the Catholic epic Lord of the Rings; Frodo, Samwise and Gollum. The Hobbit Gollum on the right symbolizes in a very certain sense man's soul when revealed in all its nakedness before God. The Conscience helps us to see this Truth before it is too late, as was the sad case with Gollum. The Hobbit Samwise, in the center, symbolizes Conscience which is always with us, loyally guiding us if only we listen to its Wisdom. Samwise plays a pivotal role in saving Frodo, for he sees through the veil of pretense Gollum puts on and constantly warns Frodo.

 

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.

 

Isengard

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.

 

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