In J. R. R. Tolkien’s desire to create a mythology for his homeland, he actually made one for every person, every land, and every age. The Lord of the Rings is a catechism of spiritual warfare cleverly disguised as a fantasy. The struggle against evil that takes place inside its pages is the same one that occurs even now within the soul of each person.
As we cannot leave the field of battle until death takes us from it, we should learn as much as we can about how to fight from those who have labored before us. Certainly the Red Book of Westmarch is one source to use. We may not have to sacrifice ourselves as does Gandalf, but we can learn from him and his wise counsels and from the others who he taught. Frodo guides us as well, as he makes his torturous journey to Mount Doom and endures the Ring’s unceasing temptations. With him, we see that sometimes we overcome our temptations, and at other times they overwhelm us. We also learn, as he and Boromir do, to get back up and start the struggle anew. Sam shows us the height of hope and the depth of devotion. In fact, everyone in the tale, good as well as evil, has something to teach us.
Published by Westbow Press. Cover art by Jef Murray.