Lord of the Rings
Selection of additional comments
compiled from various sources
The Lord of the Rings may deal with uncommon elements, like Hobbits and Elves and Magic Rings,
but the Themes that lie beneath the surface are Universal. For Teens especially, one of the most Significant Themes is that of
Friendships forged in Dark Times. The popularity of the Harry Potter
Series reflects this same Truth.
Key to the Story is the Friendship of Frodo and Sam. It is Frodo's Quest to take the One
Ring to Mount Doom, but Sam refuses to let him go alone. As Frodo admits at the end of
The Two Towers Movie, he “wouldn’t have got far without Sam”. Sam stays by his side
to the Very End, a Friend and almost a Guardian Angel to Frodo's
Weakening Mind and
Less obvious, however, are the other Relationships formed along the way. In The Fellowship of the Ring,
moviegoers can see the almost Paternal air Boromir takes toward Merry and Pippin; that
Bond proves to be his Redemption.
Legolas and Gimli’s Friendship begins to evolve—surprising since Elves and Dwarves do not usually get along. In fact,
at the Council of Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring Movie, the
Two (2) Races nearly come to blows over their differences. Yet by the time Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn
meet-up with Éomer in The Two Towers, Legolas is ready to defend Gimli
with his Life.
Also evident is the Theme of Duty, of Finding and Attaining one’s Place in Life. Aragorn must accept his Destiny as King of
Gondor, whether he feels worthy or not. Although he finally decides he is ready to Ascend the Throne, some are not ready to accept
him as their King. Students, especially those graduating from High School or College, feel a keen sympathy for Aragorn: They, too,
are seeking their Rightful Place in the World, and they Fear the possibilities of
Opposition and Failure.
Fans of the books will know that Love, too, can come out of Strife.
The story of Aragorn and Arwen is greatly emphasized in the Movies, whereas in the Books it occurs largely in the Background.
Aragorn Loves her so much that he is willing to send her across the sea, where they can never
be Re-united, if it will Save her the Pain of Mortality. Such
Self-Effacing Devotion again illustrates his Kingly Qualities.
Layered atop these Themes is a Majestic, Sweeping Tale of Loyalty,
Redemption and Courage. The Nine (9) Members of the
Fellowship of the Ring have little in common at the start of their Quest, but they Band
together, like the Communion of Saints,
for the Good of Middle Earth. In the End it is because of those Bonds that they are
Prayers for the Dead
King of the Dead: Release us. . . .
I hold your Oath fulfilled. Go . . . be at Peace.
After the Feast of All Saints (1 Nov)
comes All Souls (2 Nov), when the
Church invites us to Pray for the Faithful Departed,
that, released from Purgatory and fully Purified,
they may be admitted to the Eternal Bliss of Heaven. The existence of
Purgatory and the Prayers for the
Dead are Rejected by Protestants. The Protestant Doctrine of Justification
leaves no room for Purgatory. Man is Justified by
Faith alone; therefore it is useless to Pray for the Dead.
The Catholic Belief in Prayer for the
Dead is very Ancient. It goes back to Judaism, and is mentioned in the Second Book of Maccabees (2Maccabees 12:43-46).
The Author tells how a number of Jews, who had Fallen in Battle, were found with
Idolatrous Amulets, forbidden by the Law, and how Judas Maccabeus took up a collection and sent the
money to Jerusalem to have a Sacrifice offered for their Sin.
The Writer praises his Faith in the Resurrection and his
"If he had not expected the Fallen to Rise Again it would have been Superfluous and Foolish to Pray
for the Dead, whereas if he had in view the Splendid Recompense reserved for those who make a Pious End, the thought was Holy and
Devout. This was why he had this Atonement Sacrifice offered for the Dead, so that they might be Released from their Sin".
In the Lord of the Rings we find the following examples of
Prayer for the Dead:
<The three Hunters ride towards the burning carcasses. Gimli starts to shift through the
smoldering pile, and pulls out a charred belt and dagger sheath.>
Gimli: It’s one of their wee belts.
Legolas: <with his head bowed and eyes closed>
Hiro hyn hîdh… ab 'wanath... (May they find Peace in death)
In the Two Towers, Gandalf says a Prayer
for King Theoden's Dead son Théodred, who was Killed by
<A white flower comes into view, held up by a hand. It is released
and spirals down to land among similar flowers, in front of a Tomb.>
Théoden: Simbelmynë. Ever has it grown on the tombs of my
forebearers. <Looks at Gandalf>
Now it shall cover the grave of my son. Alas, that these evil days should be mine. The young perish and the old linger. That
I should live to see the last days of my house.
Gandalf: Théodred’s death was not of your making.
Théoden: No parent should have to bury their child.
<Théoden starts to weep>
Gandalf: He was strong in life. His spirit will find its way to the halls of your
fathers. Westu hál. Ferðu, Théodred, Ferðu. (Be-thou Well. Go-thou, Théodred, go-thou.)
And finally, in the Return of the King, King Theoden remembers those
who were Slain in the Battle of Helm's Deep.
<Theoden offers the Boblet in praise to the dead of Rohan.>
Tonight we remember those who gave their blood to defend this country.
<He offers up the goblet.>
Hail the victorious dead
Hail! <they return his prayer>
<Aragorn hesitates for a moment and prays for the dead before he drinks.>
God's Blessings as Flowing Water
<Arwen reaches the river, and splashes across the ford.
She pauses and looks back. The Nazgûl have stopped at the edge of the water. Their mounts rear up, screaming, seemingly
terrified of entering the river.>
<<Nazgûl: Give up the halfling, she-Elf!>>
<<Arwen: <draws her sword in challenge>
If you want him, come and claim him!>>
<The Nazgûl draw their swords and urge their reluctant horses
across the ford. Arwen begins to chant to the river.>
Nin o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer,
Rimmo nin Bruinen, dan in Ulair!
Nin o Chithaeglir, lasto beth daer,
Rimmo nin Bruinen, dan in Ulair!
(Waters of the Misty Mountains
listen to the Great Word;
flow waters of Loudwater
against the Ringwraiths!)>>
<Gradually, the water level rises. A great flood comes around
the bend, with peaks like white horses. The Nazgûl are cast from their mounts and washed away down the river as Arwen watches.>
In Arwen's Prayer, the Great Word represents
the Word of God, Jesus Christ from Whom
all Blessings Flow. Water signifies Great Blessings, just as
Dryness signifies a Curse. In Ezekiel 47 the Prophet sees water
pouring from beneath the Temple. Initially it reached his ankles, then his knees and waist, welling up into a river that could not be
crossed. The river flowed into the sea and made its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all Living Creatures teeming in it will Live.
Treebeard reflects this Truth after the Death of
Saruman, when he says "The filth of Saruman is washing away. Trees will come
back to live here. Young trees. Wild trees".
The Nazgûl and His Prey
Do not come between a Nazgûl and his Prey
<The Dragon moves in for the kill, Théoden is helpless. But, Éowyn rises defiantly before the
Éowyn: I will kill you if you touch him.
Witchking: Do not come between the Nazgûl and his prey.
<The Dragon moves to kill Éowyn, but Éowyn turns her sword and swiftly removes the head of the
As Members of Christ's Mystical Body and the
Communion of Saints, we are called by
God to "Come between a Nazgûl and his Prey".