October 26, 2005
What It's About
We gave Jason the Lord of the Rings Trilogy on DVD for his birthday. He had seen it once already last year, having fulfilled the prerequisites of turning ten AND reading all four volumes: The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. He liked it so much he wanted to watch it all again for his birthday this year.
Since the movies take over 9 hours to watch, we obviously had to spread it out over several days, especially given the fact that Emily couldn't watch with us (not having read more than The Hobbit and part of the next book, and being only 7.5 and a rather sensitive girl at that). So the past several nights when we could, after Emily's bedtime, we've been seeing one volume or a half a one, until we finally finished last night, here in Dublin, Ireland.
These books and movies are really striking, well done, hitting to the heart. Epic proportions of heroism and character. I know I've posted on this before. If you haven't read the books or seen the movies yet, don't read on, just go read/view. Otherwise, here are the themes that stuck with me after the ending scene:
- Deep, Deep Courage (Frodo & Sam on the whole quest; Aragorn all the time; Arwen facing death; Eowyn facing the Black Rider)
- Selflessness (Aragorn giving Arwen up so she won't have to die; Frodo giving up his whole life to save everyone; Sam doing all to help Frodo; Gandalf flitting here and there where he can be of most use & staying behind to fight the Balrog so the others can get away)
- Sacrifice (Arwen giving up immortality; Frodo giving up his peaceful life; Faramir giving up his safety to try to please his $%^! father; Elrond giving up his daughter to true love)
- True Friendship (Sam & Frodo; Legolas & Gimli; the whole Fellowship grieving for supposedly fallen members)
- Loyalty (Sam to Frodo; Legolas to Gimli; Faramir's men following him to certain death at Os Giliath; Eomer's men following him to exile)
- Perseverance in the face of hopelessness (Frodo and Sam all along the way, keeping on until the task is done despite the tiny odds)
- Serious Skill (Gandalf's magic & wisdom; Aragorn's tracking & swordmanship; Legolas' bow & eyesight)
- True Love (Arwen staying for Aragorn; Aragorn turning down beautiful Eowyn's request b/c of his heart already being taken)
- Security (the feeling you get being with Gandalf and/or Aragorn and/or Legolas)
- Leadership (Eomer with his band of Rohirrim; Aragorn with the Fellowship and at all the battles; Gandalf with the Fellowship and the battles; Faramir with the Men of Gondor; the way not to lead: Denethor, and Theoden at the beginning)
- Repentance and Forgiveness (Boromir to the Hobbits after trying to take the ring; Legolas to Aragorn for despairing before the Battle of Helm's Deep; Frodo to Sam for doubting him, in the orcs' tower near the end)
- Humility/Servanthood (Aragorn kneeling before the Hobbits just after being crowned King of Gondor, and not claiming his kingship for a long time, just doing what needed to be done where and when it was needed, without fanfare)
- Liberation (the river being freed to overrun Saruman's domain; King Theoden being released from Wormtongue's power and Saruman's spell; Gandalf rescued from Saruman's tower by eagles, and Sam & Frodo from the volcano the same way)
- Purpose/Meaning (the quest, a clear goal, a real reason for being alive for all the people in the fellowship, a way to be deeply useful to all around them)
- Honor to the Point of Death (all the nameless warriors who fought and died for their land, their honorable (or not so) leaders, their families. There was no negotiating with Sauron and Saruman, let me tell you. It was either stand and fight, or be overrun by filth and watch many more innocents die painfully)
How refreshing to see movies/hear stories exalting all these character traits/concepts. There were plenty of bad guys, but they were all clearly portrayed as evil. The good guys made mistakes, but they realized it and turned back. Deeply deceived people were transformed and turned to the right path.
I love Tolkien's world and story. God created J. R. R. Tolkien and developed his writing skill. This makes me think we will spend a fair amount of time in heaven sitting at God's feet listening to captivating and exhilarating stories. In the meantime, God, please be transforming me into a courageous, selfless, loyal, perseverant, skillful, loving, repentant, forgiving, humble, liberating, purposeful, honorable servant-friend. This will take quite some doing, but You are, after all, God.
October 26, 2005 | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What It's About: