Lord of the Rings
Selection of additional comments
compiled from various sources
Kingdom of Gondor
The Kingdom of Gondor is a Declining Kingdom with its Glory Days behind it, much like the declining Kingdom of
Israel after the Glory Days of King David.
Gondor was the Second of the Two (2) Great Nations of Men
founded in Middle Earth by Elendil after the Downfall of Númenor, the other being Arnor in the North. Gondor
was at First Ruled Jointly by Elendil's sons Isildur and Anárion. Both Elendil
and Anárion were lost in the Siege of Barad-dûr, and his brother
Isildur soon afterwards in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, and so the Kingship of Gondor fell on Anárion's son
Meneldil. Thus, the Kings of Gondor were descendants of Anárion through many Generations until the time of Eärnur.
When Eärnur was lost in Minas Morgul in III 2050, the Rule of Gondor
was taken up by the King's Steward, Mardil Voronwë; the Death of Eärnur was not
certain, and so Mardil and the Stewards who followed him Pledged to Rule 'until the King comes back'.
Unlikely though this seemed, it happened almost a Thousand Years later in
III 3019 when Aragorn II Elessar, descendant by Right Line of Isildur, Elder Brother of
Anárion, reclaimed the Throne of Gondor.
Just as the People of Gondor Hoped for the Return of the King and its Return to Glory,
the various Messianic currents in the Old Testament pointed to the coming of a
Messiah, i.e. Jesus and the
Kingdom which He established:
God's Promise to the Patriarchs that through them all the Nations of the Earth would be
The Prediction that the Tribe of Juda would be Supreme among the other Hebrew Tribes until the
coming of Him Whom all Nations would Obey;
The strange yet undeniable fact that in the Bible of the Alexandrian Jews, the Septuagint, one finds
clearly predicted the Virgin Birth of the Messiah;
The Prophecy of Isaiah 53 about the Patient Sufferer, the Servant of the Lord,
Who will lay down His Life as a Guilt-Offering
for His People's Sins;
The Perspectives of the Glorious, Everlasting Kingdom of the House of David
The decline of the Kingdom of Gondor and its Hope for the Return of the King
is explained in the following dialogue between Gandalf and Pippin after their confrontation with Denethor in
The Return of the King. The similarity with Old Testament Israel is Evident.
||All had turned to vain ambition. He would use even his grief as a cloak! A thousand years this city has stood and now at the whim
of a madman it will fall! And the white tree, the tree of the King will never bloom again.
|They walk through the courtyard towards the tree.
||Why are they still guarding it?
||They guard it because they have Hope. A faint and fading Hope
that one day it will flower. That a king will come and this city will be as it once was before it fell into decay.
(The camera shows the city of Minas Tirith)
The old wisdom born out of the west was forsaken. Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living and counted the old
names of their descent (the camera moves around and pans in on the city of Minas Tirith) dearer than the
names of their sons. (They walk along the parapet to the end) Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on
heraldry or in high, cold towers asking questions of the stars. And so the people of Gondor fell into ruin.
moves in on Gandalf and Pippin looking out over the city of Minas Tirith) The line of Kings failed. The white tree withered. The
rule of Gondor was given over to lesser men.
|Pippin moves away from Gandalf looking at the mountains of Mordor and the
disturbances that go on there.
25th of March
Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord
* The Annunciation to Mary by God's Messenger, Gabriel -
* Mary's Fiat to God: I am the Hand Maiden of the Lord -
* The Conception of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, in the Womb of Mary,
by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
A Prime Example of Mary's Presence in The Lord of the
Rings comes close to the End of the Book, after the Ring has been
Destroyed and Sauron’s Work Undone. The Ringbearer has Fulfilled his Mission. As
Frodo lies in bed recovering from the Ordeal, Gandalf happens to mention the Date on which
the World’s Salvation was achieved and the Dark Lord
Destroyed. In Gondor, he says:
"The New Year will always now begin upon the Twenty-Fifth of March when Sauron fell, and
when you were brought out of the Fire to the King. He has tended you, and now he awaits you. You shall eat and drink with him. When you
are ready I will lead you to him".
In our World, March 25th is the Catholic Feast of the
Annunciation. It is, of course, exactly Nine (9) Months before
Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity, December 25 –
itself the Date on which the Fellowship of the Ring is said to have set out from Rivendell.
In our World, March 25th is the day when Christ became
Incarnate by the Power of the Holy
Spirit. Consider these Insightful Words of Saint Alphonsus Liguori regarding the
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Consider that God allowed Four (4) Thousand
Years to pass, after the Transgression of Adam, before
He sent His Son upon Earth to
Redeem the World. And in the mean time, Oh, what Fatal
Darkness Reigned upon the Earth! The True God was not Known or
Adored, except in One (1) Small Corner of the World. Idolatry
reigned everywhere; so that Devils and Beasts
and Stones were Adored as Gods.
But let us Admire in this, the Divine Wisdom:
He deferred the Coming of the Redeemer in order to render
His Advent more Welcome to Man, in order that the Malice of
Sin might be better known, as well as the Necessity of a Remedy and the
Grace of the Savior. If
Jesus Christ had come into the World immediately after the Fall of
Adam, the Greatness of this Favor would have been but Slightly Appreciated.
Let us therefore thank the Goodness of God for having sent Us into the World after
the Great Work of Redemption was accomplished. Behold, the Happy
Time is come which was called the Fullness of Time:
When the Fullness of Time was come, God sent His Son, . . .
that He might Redeem them that were under the Law.
Now consider the Thousands of Years of Darkness
that Reigned on Middle Earth and our Earth except for a small corner of the world, represented
by the Shire and Israel. Next consider the Priestly Function of Frodo of the
Shire (which we have previously discussed) and the Priestly
Function of Jesus the Jewish Messiah.
(Mary's Yes over-
turns Eve's No)
Why then choose March 25th for the Destruction of
the Ring? Well, think what the Ring Represents. The
Ring of Power exemplifies the Dark Magic of the
Corrupted Will, the Assertion of Self
in Disobedience to God. It
Appears to give Freedom, but its
True Function is to Enslave the Wearer to the Fallen Angel.
It Corrodes the Human Will of the
Wearer, rendering him increasingly "Thin" and Unreal; indeed, its
Gift of Invisibility symbolizes this Ability to Destroy all Natural
Human Relationships and Identity.
We have previously discussed the Ring as an
Anti-sacrament and you could also say the
Ring is Sin itself: Tempting and seemingly Harmless, to begin with,
Increasingly Hard to give-up and Totally Corrupting in the Long Run. Its
Destruction, therefore, is a Type or
Figure of the Great Reversal of Sin begun at the
Annunciation when Mary welcomed the Word of
God into our World. Her Fiat,
"Let it be done to me according to Your Word", Overturns the Human
Refusal of God’s Will that we call Original Sin. That
Sin also resulted in a kind of Invisibility, as Adam hid from
the Lord in the Garden of Eden: "And the Lord God called unto Adam,
and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?’" (Genesis 3:9).
Another Prime Example in which the Virgin Mary's Presence would be clearly noticed by
Catholics in The Lord of the Rings, and it is under the
Symbol of Light. Galadriel's parting Gift to Frodo is a Phial containing
Light from the Morning Star. As one might expect, from the Key
Role this Gift is to play in the story, it is a Highly Symbolic Gesture. Not only does it create a further link between Galadriel
and Elbereth the "Star-Kindler", but it also establishes an important connection to
the Great Saga of the Silmarils. For the Morning Star, in Tolkien's Cosmos, is the
Light shining from the Silmaril bound upon the Brow of Eärendil, the Father of Elrond,
after he is sent by the Valar to Sail the Heavens and "Keep
watch upon the Ramparts of the Sky" following the Defeat and Exile of Morgoth
(First Dark Lord). It is this Light,
from an Age before the Sun and Moon, that shines in the Phial that
Frodo carries away from Lothlorien, and which aids him in the Conflict with the Giant
Spider, Shelob, a Creature of Darkness who is herself a descendant of
Ungoliant, the Destroyer of the 'Two Trees'.
Light shining in Darkness, representing the
Life, Grace, and Creative Action of God, is a Theme
we find in the Prologue of St John’s Gospel, and it is at the very Heart of Tolkien's Writing. To a
Catholic such as Tolkien, who believes Mary to be the Universal
Mediatrix of that Grace, she is present implicitly wherever
her Son is Present; that is, wherever
Grace is Present in the World. For Tolkien, then, the Light of the Silmaril,
which Beautifies whoever wears it, and which is carried by Frodo into the
Darkness of Mordor, is a reminder of the Beauty of the
"First Creation" before the Fall, and a Symbolic Anticipation
of the New Creation that would begin with the Incarnation. For
Catholics, the Virgin Mary has all the
Beauty Lost by Eve, the "Mother of the Living",
and is therefore the Mother of the World to Come.
To a puzzled non-Christian, who tells him that he has Created a World "in which some sort of
faith seems to be everywhere without a visible source, like light from an invisible lamp," Tolkien replies:
Of his own sanity no man can securely judge. If Sanctity inhabits his work or as a pervading
light illumines it, then it does not come from him but through him. And neither of you would perceive it in these terms unless it was
with you also. Otherwise you would See and Feel nothing, or (if some other Spirit was present) you would be filled with Contempt,
Nausea, Hatred. "Leaves out of the elf-country, gah!" "Lembas–dust and ashes, we don’t eat that".
The last sentence in the above quote from Tolkien is presented in context from the Movie Script from the
Two Towers, which depicts Gollum's Adverse Response to
Lembas Bread during the Trek through the Dead Marshes.
Sam: I hate this place, it's too quiet. there‘s been no
sight nor sound of a bird for two days.
Gollum: No, no birdses to eat, no crunchable birdses. We are famished,
yes! Famished we are, precious!
<Gollum spots a worm and eats it quick. Sam looks disgusted.>
<He tosses Gollum a piece of Lembas>
Gollum: What does it eats? Is it tasty?
<Gollum tries to eat it, but chokes on it>
It tries to chokes us! We cant eats Hobbit food! We must starve!
Gollum also responds Adversely to Galadriel's Parting Gift to
Sam of Elven Rope, which is used to Restrain Gollum during the
opening scene of the Two Towers:
Gollum: It burns! It burns us! It freezes!
Nasty Elves twisted it. Take it off us!