So Much Owed, By So Many, To So Few

[The issue when discussing anything J.R.R. Tolkien related is this: there are books (which a fair number of people have not read) and there are movies (which most have seen). There are things discussed in the books which did not make it into the movies, and there are some things in the movies which are exaggerated or made more important than they were in the books. So, for the purpose of this post, all commentary relates to the movies and not the books.] 


J.R.R. Tolkien has argued, many times, that he didn’t intentionally write his Lord of the Rings series to be a commentary on the socio-political atmosphere of the time. In truth, he probably didn’t…but that doesn’t mean that his experiences, and the world he lived in, didn’t shape his writing. The similarities between The Lord of the Rings and the politics of the 1930s is eerily similar. But, I’ll respect Tolkien’s claims that the similarities are just coincidence.

The politics of Middle Earth are, at the very least, a lesson in international relations. On one hand, you have two leaders (Sauron and Saruman) strike a deal in order to coordinate their armies against a threat (the rest of Middle Earth) and attempt to retake a weapon that was taken ages ago. On the other hand. you have a spec ops group on a journey to destroy said weapon. Most importantly, the fate of an entire world was placed in the hands of four who had no experience, no skills, and no chance of success…practically the definition of a suicide mission Yet, they go anyway. While they’re journeying to destroy the world’s worst WMD, the political leaders spend hours ‘discussing’ the situation, in hopes that it will go away. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t, and war comes regardless of their preparedness. Eventually, as a distraction, an alliance of nations eventually draws together to fight the combined forces of the two leaders who want the weapon for themselves.

The thing about politics, of course, is that when you have such a dangerous weapon in play, war is pretty much inevitable. In this case, alliances created years before and abandoned become the only way to stop the spread of darkness across the whole of Middle Earth. Much like the period between WWI and WWII, Middle Earth’s alliance system is practically defunct. Comfortably believing that the war with Mordor was over centuries ago, no one is prepared for the build up and execution of war that comes. Unfortunately, their comfort and security isn’t forever. When Mordor attacks, the world of Men is not prepared, and attempts to flee the responsibility and ramifications of such.

In the end, the weapon is destroyed and the enemy defeated by his own creation. A wanderer became a King, and peace is returned to Middle Earth. The cost, however, was terrible. Although the armies of Mordor are obliterated, the armies of Elves and Men are also decimated. Psychologically, four hobbits who had no previous experience with terrible things, are introduced to the worst the world had to offer, and one of them will never quite recover. Men, and Elves, and Dwarves, and Wizards all return to their respective worlds, and an attempt to return to what was proves futile. Although Middle Earth can’t go backward, it can go forward, and attempt to prevent anything like Sauron from returning again. This time, however, there is hope t hat the peoples of Middle Earth respect the cost of their victory and act accordingly.

In the end, Middle Earth is made safe again. Sauron and Saruman will fade into history, and the story of four young hobbits who went on an adventure and saved the world will become a child’s bedtime story. In time, the war for Middle Earth will be relegated to the pages of books, those who lived to tell the tale will be gone, peace will be taken for granted and a new dark force will rise. The sacrifices of the few will be forgotten, and Middle Earth will find itself embattled again. However, that tale has yet to be told. For now, there is peace is Middle Earth, and the bedtime stories will tell tales of adventure and the bravery of four young hobbits.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 141 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 3,082 hits
First 50 Words - Prompts for Writing Practice

Write the first 50 words of YOUR story in a comment.

A Consummate Confessional

There's only one thing a man can do when he's suffering from a spiritual and existential funk...

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

The Stuff They Won't Include in Any Tourist Guide: The Real England

The Real England is a concise, direct, and not-so-gentle window into the depths of the leftovers of the world’s once greatest empire. It is told from the perspective of one lone (or not so lone) long term visitor. It informs one of the dregs of the country and helps to explain quaint British oddities such as the crack addicted chav.

Vegan Chicks Rock

Here Be Dragons!

Chic Vegan

Vegan and Fabulous!

Wellness Mama®

Simple Answers for Healthier Families

The Coconut Mama

Real Food. Natural Living. Coconut Love

Smart Girls love SciFi

science fiction romance books

Daily (w)rite

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Reading, LIstening, and Reviewing LGBTQIA Books!


The mindless witterings of an author at work - and play.

Here Be Dragons!

%d bloggers like this: