How Anglo Saxon’s Éarendel Inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Eärendil

Eärendil

Eärendil was a mariner
that tarried in Arverenien;
he built a boat of timber felled
in Nimbrethil to journey in…

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (1994)

Clarification for all readers who have yet to read The Silmarillion, including myself, is here required: The character Eärendil, of whom the star of Eärendil was named, appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien Elvish mythology, and received much reference elsewhere for genealogy purposes. Below, I have consolidated the information from three sources, detailing how an Anglo-Saxon poem inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Eärendil and all that the character embodied.

When Eärendil First Appeared to J.R.R. Tolkien as Éarendel




In reading Humphrey Carpenter’s biography on J.R.R. Tolkien, I stumbled across a name which rung a familiar tune. The name was Éarendel. Found in the Anglo-Saxon religious poems, entitled the Crist of Cynewulf, Éarendel was the one significant Anglo-Saxon influence of only a spare few Anglo-Saxon influences seen in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. And what Tolkien drew and created from this inspiration formed the significance behind Elrond, Ruler of Rivendell, and all his kindred.

But let me not jump ahead. First, an explanation on how young Ronald Tolkien found this name: It happened during Tolkien’s time spent studying at Oxford University. In-between his lengthy essay writings, he took some time to delve more deeply into “the West Midland dialect in Middle English,” as described in Humphrey Carpenter’s J.R.R. Tolkien: a biography (2000, p. 72). When he read the Cynewulf lines, he felt an awakening, or something more akin to an enlivenment of his inner imaginative being.

Eärendil Origins As Seen in the Meaning Behind Éarendel




The Cynewulf lines contained definite religious context, explaining why Ronald Tolkien interpreted Éarendel as symbolizing John the Baptist, the prophet proclaiming the coming of Jesus Christ. However, as Carpenter discovered from his own research on J.R.R. Tolkien, the up-and-coming scholar and author “believed that ‘Éarendel’ had originally been the name for the star presaging the dawn, that is, Venus” (Biography, 2000, p. 72). To decipher the certain meaning behind the possibly-Germanic-origin name is presumably impossible, as noted in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (2000).

Both interpretation and personal belief scream out the origins behind Tolkien’s Eärendil. Because Eärendil had an Elvish mother and a Mortal father, he would father children who could choose immortality or mortality. An Elf species, such as the half-elf Elrond, that could choose Middle-Earth over the voyage into the immortal land. The clearest example existed in Elrond choosing to voyage to the next land, while his daughter, Arwen, chose mortality to stay behind with Aragorn.

As for Eärendil being exiled to shine brightly as a star, representing to all as a beacon of hope…. Well, I would think the connection to J.R.R. Tolkien’s astronomical belief about Éarendel representing Venus – a star to the earth, for all intent and purposes – to be evident.

How J.R.R. Tolkien Used Eärendil, Seen in a Christian Perspective




For those who haven’t made the connection yet, Éarendel is the same name as Eärendil, only the latter is in the Elvish language. One language, I’ve heard, of the 10 or 12 languages that Tolkien created. Along with creating languages, Tolkien used Christian theology, in an uncommon way, to portray faithful Christians in their walk with God in The Lord of the Rings. An example in mind is Tolkien’s idea of both immortality and mortality being gifts from the One God.

Though J.R.R. Tolkien is known for his devoutness to God, a note in The Letters teased that the idea of mortality being a Godly gift is nothing but ‘bad theology.’ However, in continuing to read this particular letter, the reader learns about how Tolkien desired to show the beauty in Christians staying faithful to God and practicing His Will, while still living on earth.

Then comes the symbolism where Eärendil shines as the brightest star: The star gives Men, Elves, and all the good species hope for a brighter future, free from the slavery to darkness. Much like how John the Baptist gave the hope of Christ to a dying world, enslaved to sin.

Concluding Thoughts on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Eärendil




I, too, can appreciate the phonetic beauty in both names, Éarendel and Eärendil. This appreciation led to a discovery on how J.R.R. Tolkien truly tied his epic fantasy to Catholicism, and on how Christians ought to live during their time on earth. But much more symbolism lies in wait, I am sure, of what Christian living ought to look like. And with that, I hope to make deeper connections with the Holy Bible itself.

Please feel free to comment below. This is a study in progress, and all helpful commentary is gladly welcomed. Thank you for reading, and I hope you will join me as the journey through Middle-Earth continues.

Or, start on this journey’s beginning here.

Title picture as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, found at Movie Screencaps.com.


Bibliography
  1. Humphrey Carpenter J.R.R. Tolkien: a biography. Great Britain: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
  2. Humphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien The Letter of J.R.R. Tolkien. Great Britain: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings. Great Britain: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1994.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – The Lord of the Rings Backed with Cornerstones

J.R.R. Tolkien's early years




Everyone with even a slight interest in the man behind The Lord of the Rings knows J.R.R. Tolkien became, and remained, a devout Catholic all his life. Don and Author, J.R.R. Tolkien’s early years provide hints as to why he took this scholarly and literary path in life. As to his success in these pursuits, little need be said.

The third book I’ve picked up, to learn more about this great Christian Author, is Humphrey Carpenter’s biography on J.R.R. Tolkien. More questions arose in my mind about the literary giant’s parents, and how their behaviors and decisions influenced J.R.R. Tolkien for the long term. I will detail the most obvious influences, as much for my benefit, as for any young person who has yet to learn about the Most Influential Fantasy Author of this age.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – Why Hobbits Enjoy English Countrysides




Soon after young J.R.R. Tolkien turned four-years-old, his father passed away from rheumatic fever. Therefore, his mother, Mabel Tolkien, was forced to take charge for her two sons, Ronald (as J.R.R. Tolkien was then called) and Hilary. After many months of staying with her family, Mabel finally found an affordable spot in Sarhole, the English countryside.

Author Humphrey Carpenter emphasized the strong impact this move made on J.R.R. Tolkien and his imagination. He went on to describe how young Tolkien and his younger brother would trespass on their neighbors properties, including local farms. Memories from these times must have influenced J.R.R. Tolkien in writing The Fellowship of the Ring. Or, at the very least, it influenced the film makers. Merely consider how Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took joined Frodo and Sam, as they travelled to Rivendell, from the following quote:

An old farmer who once chased Ronald for picking mushrooms was given the nickname ‘the Black Ogre’ by the boys.
~ Humphrey Carpenter, as found in J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – How Middle Earth’s Languages Were Born




Ever since Mabel first began to teach her sons, Ronald showed an enthusiastic interest in linguistics. Enthusiasm, and to emphasize an obvious point, GREAT aptitude. Word meanings, as well as word sounds, fascinated Ronald. And he brought this fascination with him to King Edward’s School, where he added on to his Latin, French, and English language skills.

To connect this with The Lord of the Rings requires no effort at all. Everyone who has read the books, and/or seen Peter Jackson’s movies, knows about the Elvish language. The language that J.R.R. Tolkien created himself. And, as I recently learned in my studies about the man, the Elvish language was only one of many. One of 14, was it? I will find out for certain later.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years –  Why The Lord of the Rings Contains Many Christian Values




In my last article about The Lord of the Rings, many readers made the assumption that I assumed Tolkien’s great work lacked in Christian principle and meaning. This is false, for I have read and heard the Holy Bible many times, and I have a fair understanding about what the Christian values are (though, Christian values in regards to Catholicism, and all the meaning behind it, I am completely ignorant of). And, having read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I can see where the values and principles apply.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s early years ended up containing much family drama, especially in regards to religion and death. Mabel Tolkien and her sister, May Incledon, both decided to become Catholic and receive instruction, around the time Ronald entered his school years. The predominantly Baptist Tolkien relations, and Mabel’s Unitarian father, were outraged. And much funding that Mabel relied on was suddenly cut.

Suffering both from financial hardships and diabetes, Mabel crossed over to be at peace with Our Father in Heaven in year 1904. She left Ronald and Hilary orphaned at the tender ages of 12 and 10. Thus, her passing solidified J.R.R. Tolkien’s love for linguistics and Catholicism, and his love for her and all she did for her children.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – In Summary




I pray that I have done J.R.R. Tolkien justice, based on what I have written so far. I intend to learn a great man’s mind, and attempt to share what I learn with my peers. My apologies for upsetting many readers with my previous article. It surely was close-minded and presumptive.

Humphrey Carpenter has so far written plainly and comprehensively on J.R.R. Tolkien’s early years, and I can’t wait to read more! I see where humanity’s fallen nature affected the Tolkien family, but what more can we expect from people who walked the earth? I shall not cast the first stone, for I am not without sin.

Title picture as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, found at Movie Screencaps.com.



Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Debate About Wizards and Angels

Symbolism behind Gandalf

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Background




English 101, a requirement for this particular religious university. An attractive female professor taught the class, barely older than her students, and a complete fantasy nerd. What does she give for her students to research and debate about? Either The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, asking which contains stronger meaning and symbolism.

Students were required to make a five minute speech about their chosen topic, and answer any questions which their fellow students had about their speech.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Set-Up




First day of speech and debate, and a teenager, as sweet and shy as she was tall and lanky, took stage. She influenced nobody. Her audience, whether action-driven The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fans or geeky, wanna-be-a-wizard Harry Potter fans, already had their minds set. And she was too hesitant and receding to sway anyone.

What did she argue? According to her research, and according to her religious parents and teachers from her high school years, LOTR far outdid Harry Potter in everything good and right. The Boy Who Lived dealt in nothing good, for it developed from Wicca.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Question




I could hardly stomach her judgment on Harry Potter. To say something to bring her down felt like a necessity, not a personal inclination. So, being the even-more hesitant and shy Harry Potter nerd, I posed her the one question that I could think of as a flaw in her argument:

“If anything with wizards and magic is so distasteful and disreputed, then why did J.R.R. Tolkien include wizards in his Middle Earth?” The hesitance in my voice didn’t match the swelling anger in my heart, and I waited with bated breath.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Answer




Miss Tall and Lanky seemed afraid when I raised my hand. But, when she heard my question, some confidence filled her person. Effusing sweetness and gentleness, she answered:

“J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t write in the wizards to represent magic and witchcraft. The wizards actually symbolized God’s angels. Does that make sense?”

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Reality




At the time, I merely mumbled in agreeable understanding, seething in my heart at having failed to defend Harry Potter. But now, having finished the Harry Potter series, and having set it aside for several years, my interest in the Inklings  and their works piqued. C.S. Lewis might have started me in studying theology, but J.R.R. Tolkien and his symbolism now appears in a new light to me.

Miss Tall and Lanky had argued a beautifully true and honest point, regarding J.R.R. Tolkien and his use of symbolism. Her faith at that age allowed her to see it, whereas at that age I was still lost and unable to see. But, please don’t just take my word for it. Let’s look at how Gandalf spoke and behaved within the first two chapters in The Fellowship of the Ring.

 Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Strong, Yet Subtle, Meaning




Take the small speech from Gandalf, as he tried to comfort Frodo about holding the One Ring. It’s meaning struck me as plainly as a child throwing her toy at me. But J.R.R. Tolkien explained it in better words in The Fellowship of the Ring:

‘Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.’

Gandalf spoke the above words to Frodo, as Frodo lamented over having hold on the most dangerous thing imaginable. The indication of a stronger, more powerful force is now clear to me, as it had been clear to the other student all those years ago. And its subtlety, based on the alludence to naming the good force, more clearly indicates something real in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, such as his belief in the holiness in Christ Jesus and His power over all things.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Final Conclusion




Gandalf seemed to represent God’s angels in other ways in these first chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring.  His watching over Frodo’s well-being represents guardianship. His roaming Middle Earth to help find answers to present oddities much represented to me how God’s angels roam the earth to help humanity fight the evil forces. And more examples will appear later in the series showing the symbolism behind Gandalf.

Ultimately, the other student was mostly right in her argument, at least in regards to the symbolism in The Lord of the Rings. Seeing as she had never read Harry Potter, she remained in the dark to that series’s great qualities. But, as my readers and I go through J.R.R. Tolkien’s most popular series, I hope to be able to learn and share more about the hidden meaning behind the text.

Title picture as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, found at Movie Screencaps.com.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past

Tolkien's Hobbits resembled men in decades past



Some will probably roll their eyes at this title. After huffing in annoyance, they will say, “J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated men as men in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Hobbits are part of the fantasy.” This is how it seems to them. Those of us who have dwelled a bit longer in Tolkien’s Middle Earth see things differently. For, we see how Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past.

But, don’t take my word for it. Take a look at what the author had to say about the matter himself:

It is plain indeed that in spite of later estrangement Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves. Of old they spoke the languages of Men, after their own fashion, and liked and disliked much the same things as Men did. But what exactly our relationship is can no longer be discovered.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – Prologue



The above quote came from the second page in The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, I could relist all the characteristics Tolkien used to describe the Hobbits, comparing them to mankind’s characteristics. However, that seems redundant. So, I will settle with brief descriptions and outlines from the prologue and first chapter.

Without farmers, mankind would cease to exist. Farmers work hard, love to see things grow, and are skilled with farming equipment. Traveling back through time would reveal how vital growing grains, vegetables, fruits, and animals were to everyone who wished to get by in relative comfort. The average modern American man forgets the farmer’s vitality.  However, Tolkien did not, as can be seen in his garden-loving Hobbits.


Other ways in which Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past exist in the various Hobbit races. Though America is quickly turning into the biggest melting pot imaginable, where children are born with fair eastern skin tones and flaming red hair, it did not begin this way. Most of mankind’s recorded history reported various races and cultures amongst the earth’s populations, other than Adam and Eve. Hobbits are the same.

As for the story regarding how Bilbo Baggins acquired the One Ring and all his fame and fortune, that is for another tale. We will explore with Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit in another series. For a quick reminder, merely pick up The Fellowship of the Ring and read the last part in the prologue!

How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – Chapter One: A Long-Expected Party



J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past (and, to be completely honest, even more so in modern men) in their less desirable qualities, as well. And, when I say less desirable qualities, I mean the sinful nature common to all mankind. For even the Hobbits had some less than admirable characteristics.

Reading through the first chapter brings a certain Hobbit name forefront to the mind when thinking about lesser qualities: The name is Sackville-Bagginses. When Bilbo Baggins told stories about these disliked relatives, there always seemed to exist a strong aura of greed, theft, selfishness, hatred, and discontent. Much like past and current men and women throughout the world.



Oh? Might someone disagree with me about having disagreeable qualities in his or her nature? To each his own faith and religion. As for me, I shall adhere to the belief that everyone will die for their sins, but Christ can save us all if we only believe.

There also existed in the Hobbits a strong sense of xenophobia (i.e. the fear of strangers). Throughout the years, the Hobbits withdrew, slowly but surely, from the Middle Earth’s Men, Elves, Dwarves, and other creatures. They even grew suspicious, doubtful, and presumptuous toward their own Hobbit races. Why did the Sackville-Bagginses distrust and dislike the Brandybucks? I have no clue, other than their being distrustful and dislikable themselves.

How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – To Be Continued…



This short article is by no means a comprehensive look at how J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past! As the story continues, I along with fellow fans and readers will learn to see how the Hobbits exhibit mannerisms and qualities, both loveable and dislikeable, similar to humans. However, to see the similarities properly, one might need a PalantÍr Stone or the Mirror of Galadriel.

Please continue with me as I move forward through The Lord of the Rings trilogy once more! I shall do my best to read other interpretations and gather all the cohesive thoughts on the beloved books. If you think I’m too off point, please tell me your thoughts in the comments below!


Reckless Hate Follows Us All – Lessons Learned from The Two Towers

reckless hate

Reckless hate exists in every political party, people group, and family unit. A fact clearly portrayed when the Uruk-hai attacked the Rohan people in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. King Theoden, dazed at the amount of death amongst his people, knew the folly and helplessness amongst the peoples of Middle-earth:

What can Men do against such reckless hate?
~ King Theoden of Rohan (The Two Towers, 2002)

Sauron’s Reckless Hate and Men’s Weakness in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth




In this grand utterance, both horrific and true, King Theoden summarized the problem among Middle-earth’s inhabitants. All the various Orcs, Trolls, Nazgul, and Fighting Breeds followed Sauron. This dark lord dominated half of Middle-earth’s creatures, filling them with the desire to kill and squander, but he wanted dominion over all the land. No Man, Hobbit, Elf, Wizard, or Dwarf was safe.

The Elves had their own power, and used their power to resist the evil and flee the land. Wizards chose either good or evil, and Dwarves and Hobbits resisted Sauron so as to keep living as they chose to live. But Men on Middle-earth were easily swayed between the hope for peace and the desire for power. Consequently, they either fell prey to their evil desires, or died trying to fight against them.

What Reckless Hate Symbolized in J.R.R. Tolkien’s World




To put it plainly, J.R.R. Tolkien could have easily been describing two real-life, evil forces when he wrote about the wars between Sauron’s forces and the other peoples in Middle-earth. The first example Tolkien may have used was Germany and Russia in World War I (WWI). The second, Satan and the sinful human nature.

Everyone who has taken high school history knows the atrocities from the World Wars. Though Hitler hadn’t risen to power yet in WWI, his country and Russia behaved just as savagely in fighting for dominion over the other European countries. How Germany bombed London, scaring the citizens and causing them to send their children north, would be enough to cause any English boy to think of Germany as the ultimate evil, domineering force.

I may think too highly about the power behind spiritual enemies, but the devil and the sinful human nature could have certainly influenced Tolkien, as well. Spiritual darkness certainly influences men to war with each other. So, reckless hate could very well describe the constant war, between God and Satan, for human souls. And it is the Christians who stand up and fight the good fight. The unbelievers, filled with hate for what all Christians believe, fight against us.

What To Do About the Reckless Hate in the Real World




Terrorist groups and other violent organizations run around the world, bringing destruction to everything they hate. And American teachers tell us to sit back and “respect their religion.” This makes me seethe with anger. Why? Because no one, since I was a child until now, has ever respected my beliefs as a Christian. My faith receives more hatred and disrespect than any other. So, why must I learn to accept and respect other religions?

Christians are told to live with peace with everyone, as much as they can. Otherwise, as Aragorn said to King Theoden, let us ride out. Let us fight for what we believe in, upholding what is good and right and just. Otherwise, the reckless hate in this world will overrun us, trample us, and kill us. If not literally, then it will certainly kill us figuratively.

J.R.R. Tolkien understood the importance in fighting for a good cause. And while we argue about what the good cause is, we should never fight each other for it. Respect each other and love each other whenever possible. Our beliefs may collide, and we may never learn to accept what someone else believes, but we all should aim for life, and for peace.



“What renown is there in that?” (The Two Towers, 2002)

renown

Screenwriter Peter Jackson barely touched upon J.R.R. Tolkien’s character Éowyn and her desire for renown. Searching through several blog resources revealed much more information on Éowyn and her quests for glory. Information which I shall discuss in more detail when I come across the underlying story in The Lord of the Rings book series. Until then, allow me to tell you what I’ve found.

What Some Christians First Think When Someone Seeks Renown




Watching the theatrical edition of The Two Towers glosses over Éowyn’s desire for renown. Possibly because of the negative connotation associated with the word. My favorite online dictionary defines renown as fame, glory, distinction, and so forth. Everything that man’s sinful nature desires.

For that is exactly what Christians fight against in their own personal walk with Christ: The desire to make themselves great. One phrase that a New Testament writer described this desire as was Selfish Ambition. Believers need to focus on giving all glory to God, not to themselves. To do God’s will ensures God will guide our steps in life.

Consequently, when a Christian hears this line in the extended edition of The Two Towers (yes, I speak of myself), she balks at her own Selfish Ambition existing in a Tolkien character. Yet, there exists something more astonishing within this beloved series: Éowyn found her renown. And it was considered good.

How Shieldmaiden Éowyn Found Her Renown in Life




The theatrical cuts for The Lord of the Rings leaves out all references to Éowyn’s search for glory. All references other than those connected to Aragorn II, son of Arathorn. But according to Tolkien Gateway , and I must assume to the books which I have forgotten, Éowyn did eventually find her renown. Simply in a different form than she first imagined.

Disgusted at the mere thought of caring for Rohan’s women and children, Éowyn revealed more than was proper to Aragorn, the man whom she loved. However, he knew she would never find satisfaction in a life with him. And he told her so in Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King (2003). Though heartbroken at Aragorn’s refusal to be with her, she still pursued her need for glory.

Thus, when the time came to fight against the evil forces, Éowyn disguised herself and went out with the Rohan men to fight against Mordor. Here she nearly met her death. But, here, she also fought the Witch-king, defending King Théoden from more harm, and earning her title as Lady of the Shield-arm. Then she was at peace, which resulted in her falling in love with Faramir and becoming Lady of Ithilien.

What J.R.R. Tolkien Revealed on His Thoughts of Renown




When J.R.R. Tolkien’s father died, and his mother married a man who practiced Catholicism, J.R.R. Tolkien grew up with the Catholic faith. Therefore, he knew about man’s will to pursue Selfish Ambition. He simply didn’t condemn it. Recognizing the sinful nature as something within every man, he merely told the tale on how it can bring a person to fight when she need not fight.

Aragorn made a point in The Return of the King which resounded with me strongly: The point about how valor often exists without renown. Aragorn said this to Éowyn, telling her, gently and discreetly,  how she would regret joining in union with him. He said this mere minutes before appearing to desert Rohan’s men on the eve of battle. He couldn’t have been more right in what he saw in Rohan’s shieldmaiden. For she rejected him for his misconstrued departure.

And, now, I bid my readers good day. Asking them to conclude their own judgments on whether mankind should pursue personal renown in today’s fallen world. If J.R.R. Tolkien found a way for this human trait to coincide with the good fight, then surely my thoughts on its evil ways must be wrong. Only the Lord knows for certain.



“No Parent Should Have to Bury Their Child.” (The Two Towers, 2002)

bury their child




King Theoden, situated at his son’s graveside, weeping tears of grief, spoke truth for all parents who have had to bury their child: The truth being that no one should have to.

What inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to add this morbid scene to his novel, The Two Towers? King Theoden lost his son to war, but what other events occur to make parents bury their child? Detailed below are all the reasons that may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to include this tearful scene.

To All the Parents Who Have Had to Bury Their Child




Parents have lost their children numerous ways. I personally have known more parents who’ve spoken of deceased children than I care to remember. For, I cannot understand their pain, considering my own childless situation. But the pain is all too real. Their grief and despair being way too strong for mere imagination.

King Theoden, albeit a fictional character, lost his son in battle. Nobility of character ran strongly in his family’s blood, so they saw the need to fight against the evil forces. But knowing this did nothing to ease the pain in the loss. Just as nothing eases the pain for parents in modern day. The following list details some ways children die, whether by carelessness, thoughtlessness, or evil intention, and why their parents grieve:

  • Miscarriage hurts parents who hoped for children.
  • Abortion hurts parents who realized their mistake in having the procedure.
  • Car accidents hurt parents who blame themselves for helpless situations.
  • Murder hurts parents who failed to warn their children about the world.
  • Suicide hurts parents who feel personally responsible.

I refuse to say that parents are always guiltless. For abortion runs rampant in today’s generation, and the women who undergo the procedure are responsible for the loss of human life. But, other than this and domestic violence, parents who bury their child should be pitied more than anyone else. For human life is the most glorious of all God’s gifts.

Why J.R.R. Tolkien Wrote About Parents Who Had to Bury Their Child




It requires little imagination, and only a little information, on why J.R.R. Tolkien would write about King Theoden losing his son to war. For Tolkien lived through, and fought in, both World Wars. Considering how many English and American men lost their lives in battle, Tolkien most assuredly knew many parents who had to bury their child. And sometimes more than one child.

Moreover, J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife had four children. Imagining the loss of one’s own child becomes easier when the individual actually has children. And if friends lost one or more children, then the horror that would come at the thought of losing one’s child would be only natural.

Did J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife bury any of their children? Did they experience miscarriages, or lose their children to war? I will find out the answer to these questions as I continue to learn about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings. Knowing that these men survived through two World Wars, I would be surprised if all their children did make it through alive.

How to Assist Parents Who’ve Had to Bury Their Child




God is the answer. Always has been, always will be. Every parent whom I’ve known to bury their child has turned to God for comfort and peace. Even women who’ve gone through abortions regret their decision, ask God for forgiveness, and join the church community. I need not say how parents respond to their grief without peace and comfort, for everyone has seen grieving people who speak and act with anger in their hearts.

To everyone who has to bury their child, I recommend watching Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. Actor Bernard Hill performs magnificently as King Theoden of Rohan, capturing the loss and the pain in his life situation as a king. Because to see an example of someone who continued to fight the good fight, whether a fictional character or an actual person, gives the heart joy. Bernard Hill, acting as the grieving Rohan king, will bring joy.



Some Evil Drives Every Will, from Murderous Orc to Sinful Man

some evil

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis assuredly sat and thought together based on the similarities in their written works. And, in this case, Director, Screenwriter, and Producer Peter Jackson must have also thought along the same lines when scripting J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers.  Half the thought was about some evil fighting against the good in all their written works. And we must find the reason why.

How Aragorn Recognized “Some Evil” in the Creatures Which He Hunted




Peter Jackson’s second installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, started with Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. The creature following them since The Fellowship of the Ring, named Gollum, trailed close on their heels at this point. Causing Frodo and Sam to confront the evil and deformed creature head-on.

After this encounter with an evil-based character, the film panned over to the Uruk-hai. These debased, human-sized orcs tortured Merry and Pippin, showing their moral lacking and cruel thought patterns. When they sensed Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli on their trail, they sped up, determined to steal away the hobbits.



The three hunters filled the screen, Aragorn II, son of Arathorn, leading the way. He bent down, listened to the land’s reverberations, and updated the others on the Uruk-hai. Dejected at learning how the Uruk-hai had picked up their scent, Aragorn remarked on something ominous. Something dark, dangerous, and all-too-true:

There’s something strange at work here. Some evil gives speed to these creatures. Sets its will against us.

~ Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn II, son of Arathorn,
in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers

How “Some Evil” Based J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in Reality




Remember the boss who gave your raise and promotion to someone else, after you toiled so hard without complaint? Or, how about the sibling-in-laws who refuse to acknowledge you as family? And those un-Christlike church members, how they judge your faith and refuse to treat you like a loving brother or sister-in-Christ? “Some evil” inspired them all.

Evil, which manifests itself in countless forms, serves as the antithesis to God and his goodness. Writers write stories about good and evil because good and evil have such a strong presence in, what people most commonly refer to as, “the real world.” For the real world consists of much more than what we can see or hear. Forces unknown and unseen rule the real world, and we should be afraid.

What J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Peter Jackson Know About “Some Evil” Influence




I don’t intend to start a debate on whether people are inherently good or bad. For I realize some people want to think people are good, some people think people are bad, and yet other people think people are either good or bad.

Personally, I believe when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they introduced a spiritual strand in people that corrupts us and makes us bad. But none of this changes the undeniable evil, existent in the universe.



C.S. Lewis wrote many novels about the existent evil within the known universe. One such novel is The Screwtape Letters, in which Lewis took time to describe how the evil forces, known as demons, influence fallible and easily misled humans. A human-based reality also depicted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world.

Aragorn knew “some evil” led the Uruk-hai, for the orcs exhibited little intelligence or teamwork when left to their own devices. And “some evil” meant Saruman, Sauron’s ally.



“Wait a minute. Saruman was an actual character in the books and movies, not some spiritual force,” one might say. “There is no relation to C.S. Lewis’s demons.”

Wrong! Though I might have hesitated to say J.R.R. Tolkien refrained from any Christian symbolism in his work before, I’ve changed my mind now. Several scenes and script lines in The Two Towers forced me to rethink my stance.

For, as I’ve heard, the wizards in Middle-earth represented more than simple magic. According to God-fearing Tolkien fans, the wizards represented God’s angels. Making Saruman a fallen angel, a forbidding demon in control.

How “Some Evil” Translates Into the Christian Life in the Real World




So, if C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien agreed on evil forces affecting life-and-blood creatures, whether human or orc, then there must exist an omniscient good power. This good power is God, known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who knows just a little bit about these two men know about their great faith. If you don’t know, please just check up on that. It’s an eyeopener to see the expanse of their belief.



The people groups who worked as teams in The Two Towers represent the persecuted Christians in the real world. We lazy, laid-back Christians in today’s America don’t hardly compare to the persecuted Christians in the World Wars and every war following.

But, like the Christian people in past wars, the Fellowship in The Lord of the Rings stood and fought together. They pursued the right path, no matter how hard. They stuck to their beliefs.



Therefore, if you believe in God, and you can recognize evil actions and thoughts, then I encourage you to fight. To battle against the evil that attacks from every imaginable force. Nothing greater exists than to do God’s will.

J.R.R. Tolkien recognized this, as did C.S. Lewis, and as Peter Jackson portrayed it in The Lord of the Rings. And if you’re looking at what good there is to fight for, then start with looking at what the Fellowship fought for in The Lord of the Rings.



Regarding the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings – Critical Review

Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

Reading the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings revealed much about the author. First and foremost, the text portrayed the outstandingly extensive breadth in all relations regarding J.R.R. Tolkien’s thought, study, and imagination. It also portrayed some of his likings and enjoyments in life.

“Concerning Hobbits” Section One in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




J.R.R. Tolkien’s Prologue contains a long, detailed script regarding all things in relation to Hobbits. Much detail was given on subgroups among the Hobbits, what they look like, where they dwell, how they work the land, who remains prominent among them, how they relate to other Middle-Earth folk, and more. There seemed no end to the history, allegory, or factual tidbits.

Words failed me when I tried to describe to my father the imaginative depth and shocking detail included in this first section, “Concerning Hobbits.”  However, my father, who has read The Lord of the Rings several times throughout his life, knew the perfect phrase: Obsessive detail.



Obsessive is exactly what I would call J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. Do some Tolkien fans take offense at this terminology? I hope not, for I mean no offense at this term. In fact, I have the proclivity and bias to believe deep people, obsessive and philosophical (and many times theological), lean toward genius in their arts and crafts.

The writing in this section layered detail upon detail, upon detail, and so on. J.R.R. Tolkien set the foundation for an imaginative people, then provided them with an imaginative history, then educated them with a language grounded in linguistic theory, and then added imaginative folklore for the imaginative Hobbits. In other words, Hobbits and the Shire could be real folk, in a real land, in a real world. Where could have J.R.R. Tolkien received his genius?

“Concerning Pipe-weed” Section Two in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




“Concerning Pipe-weed” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings provided the perfect laughing magic after much education regarding Hobbits. For within the very first paragraph to this second section, Tolkien wrote a word very similar to an English word called nicotine. This “Nicotiana” was what Hobbits stuffed into their pipes, clay or wooden, and smoked.

J.R.R. Tolkien proceeded to provide imaginative detail regarding where the weed first came from. Did it come from the Hobbit village named Bree? Or does the weed grow native in the man-ruled city called Gondor? Again, Tolkien proved his imagination’s depth in creating Middle-Earth history similar to our world’s history, which means every culture is flummoxed about actual historical deeds and actions.

What this section blatantly shows is the time in which J.R.R. Tolkien lived. Cigarettes and cigars dominated most Englishmen pastimes, especially during World War II (WWII). With this in mind, and the knowledge about how this nicotine helped our WWII men to relax and rest, I can see why Tolkien included the Nicotiana weed into his literature. For every creature needs some means to rest, bodily and mentally.

“Of the Ordering of the Shire” Section Three in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




“Of the Ordering of the Shire” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings detailed the government type that every conservative wishes for: minimal to nonexistent government. Based on how Tolkien described the governing society within the Shire, it resembled the United States government very much. The main similarity being free will, the other democracy.

Where the U.S. law enforcement writes speeding tickets and handles domestic disputes, the Shire’s law enforcement deals more with folk outside the gated borders. Hobbits called them the “Bounders,” strange folk on suspicious business. Such Bounders had appeared in Hobbit towns before. But those days were long ago, and the Hobbits had forgotten the danger these strange faces carried with them. Could this compare to the danger which German strangers presented to the English children in the early 1900’s?

“Of the Finding of the Ring” Section Four in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




Here Bilbo Baggins took stage. His story, summarized in “Of the Finding of the Ring” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, revealed the dark story concerning a black heart and its “precious.”

Gollum would strike fear in anyone’s heart, let alone a simple, earth-loving Hobbit. For a ring to have so much power in prolonging a creature’s life, corrupting the creature to solely desire its power, made known the evil behind it. And to have the honest and adventurous Bilbo Baggins lie about how he found the one ring only made certain its terrible power.

This fourth section seemed put-in merely to set the stage for The Lord of the Rings. It informed the reader as to why poor Frodo Baggins had to carry his heavy burden, and consequently why all the connecting events occurred. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to draw people into Middle-Earth. As did his son, Christopher Tolkien, when he wrote on the history surrounding Middle-Earth. But that’s a different matter entirely.

“NOTE ON THE SHIRE RECORDS” Final Section in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




Not much need be said on the final section in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The author again showed his obsessive brilliance on imaginative history and folklore, connecting his work to how his readers would perceive it, as written accounts from Middle-Earth Men and Hobbits. To this fictional world there seems no end, and nor do we want there to be.

I hope anyone who reads this post will join me as we continue to read and review J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings! Continuing on with the series, we will compare and contrast how the story’s events relate to his personal life.

After all, Tolkien had mentioned this as a possible occurrence in his Foreword. Two biographies, one concerning the Inklings, the other concerning Tolkien himself, now exist on my bookshelf for this purpose. Let the fight between good and evil begin!



“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001)

live to see such times

Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring expounds Gandalf’s most significant message in the entire trilogy. Earlier in the film, Frodo had expressed his desire for all the evil to have never happened. So when Frodo stopped to consider his long and lonely journey ahead, Gandalf’s words came back to him: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

We Who Live to See Such Times in the Modern World




Throughout this whole past year, left-leaning voters have whined heavily about USA’s current President Donald Trump for being USA’s current president. They live to see such times demolished and destroyed, never to happen again. They refuse to play fair with the right-leaning thinkers who also live in the country.

But politics are of little concern here in Mary Loves the UK. What concerns us more are the nuclear weapons. Why do people in other countries hate and fight fellow people in neighboring countries? Why do people have an intolerance for anything different?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits would never understand why men fight for power as they do. They live happy lives, growing what they will, taking on only simple troubles. And as elderly men live to see such times, they too begin to wonder why. Or else, they fall completely prey to the fight for power.

Deciding Our Course When We Live to See Such Times




People with strong faith in something greater than themselves normally have better perspective on what to do with their lives. Raised within the church and having read through the Bible, I know several proverbs that speak of men deciding where they shall go, praying and giving thanks for success, and the Lord leading them through it.

Too many people get caught up in the decision on what to do with their lives. Bad economies, terrorist incidents, natural disasters, oncoming wars, and much more can easily lead anyone to wish for better times. They also lead people to make excuses for not using their own, personal time wisely.

To use our best abilities for the best causes, we must first discover our abilities and learn about the most important causes. Faith in God should lead us to the Bible, which speaks greatly on the many ways to worship the Creator and to help each other. Local communities join together to help the poor, the widows, and the orphans. A good paying job could serve a greater purpose. The choice belongs to us.

To Live to See Such Times in Tolkien’s View




J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood was spent in England, specifically when Germany bombed London to smithereens. Hopefully some biographies on Tolkien will shed some light on whether or not J.R.R. Tolkien took the northern trains during his childhood. For regardless of his situation, it was for certain that the Tolkien family desired to see better times.

Maybe The Lord of the Rings came from this young boy’s faith in something greater. Maybe it came from his traumatic and misplaced childhood during World War I. Whatever the inspiration, J.R.R. Tolkien assuredly inspired many to see what they can do when given difficult times in which to live.