The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
by J.R.R. Tolkien

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reviewed Monica Hurd

Utúlie'n aurë! Aiya Eldalië ar Atanatári, utúlie'n aurë!
Auta i lómë!

The first of J.R.R. Tolkien's Trilogy, The Fellowship Of The Ring, will premier this December in movie theatres across the globe to be followed over the next two years by The Two Towers and Return of the King. The year-long promotion of the movie has made it one of the most anticipated openings in some time. By looking at the trailers, I think the Lord of the Rings movie is well deserving of the anticipation by movie-goers and will be jolly good fun. The movie, filmed in New Zealand, is exactly how I pictured Tolkien’s world to myself.

Previous efforts to make these movies have failed becrings_lumin.jpg (67476 bytes)ause of the lack of technology. Having overcome the technological hurdle, it is the actors and scripts that will make or break this film. One complaint I have of the movie is that Arwen, who doesn’t appear until the last book of the Trilogy, is made into a "warrior princess" for the movie. This slight deviation from the book imputes more romance into the movie than is present in the books. Ah well, one can’t have everything. Otherwise, the costumes, makeup, and settings look great!

I encourage you to take the time to read the book before viewing the movie so you can recognize the differences in the story. J.R.R. Tolkien was a wonderful writer. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is sometimes considered Tolkien’s best work. It consists of The Hobbit (the introduction to the trilogy) followed by The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and the conclusion: The Return of the King. He delved with his books where no man has before ventured.rings_legolas.jpg (82765 bytes)

Every writer has their fault, and Tolkien’s not so subtle one was making up languages. He had dozens of languages: Elvish, Orkish, the Common Speech, old Elvish, Entish, Dwarfish and many more. Most are grammatically incomplete, so one cannot learn them. Orkish is harsh and gutteral: ash nazg thrakatuluk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul. Elvish, however, is smooth and flowing: Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen, yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!

Tolkien created a world of his own in which dwelled Hobbits, Men, Elves, Orks, Trolls, Ents, Dragons and all manner of beautiful things. His favorites were the Hobbits – he considered himself one of them. They were comfortable creatures, caring little for the world around them and much for the comforts near at hand. "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or it: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort." (The Hobbit) 

Hobbits like to wear bright colors and tend toward plumpness as they enjoy more then several meals a day. Like Tolkien, Hobbits enjoyed smoking pipes, sending smoke rings hovering fitfully over the Shire. The Shire is a small country with rows of holes that small, round, green doors filled surrounded by well-tilled fields and gardens - especially gardens. Outside the Shire and across the Lonely Mountains lies the dark forest, Mirkwood, the green fields of Rohan, and the White Tower of Gondor. Past these protectors lies the bare waste and mires of Mordor. 

In The Hobbit the One Ring is discovered by the burglar-hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. He didn’t want to be a burglar, mind you, but how can you refuse twelve impatient dwarves? This seemingly innocent ring was gold, lacking in all adornments, but strangely perfect.

"Three rings for Elven kings under the sky
Seven rings for the Dawrf lords in their halls of stone
Nine rings for mortal men doomed to die
One ring for the dark lord on his dark throne
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them
One ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie."
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Bilbo, a small, luxury-loving hobbit, had accomplished his mission of capturing the One Ring. But Bilbo didn’t realize exactly what was in his custody. While in possession of the Ring, he continued to live as he had. He didn’t seem to grow old, he just felt … stretched, as he put it.

Isuldur had previously stolen the Ring from Sauron, and Sauron was stretching out all his senses to find it. Bilbo’s mission was to get the One Ring before Sauron so it could be destroyed. To destroy the One Ring, a chosen few, the Fellowship, must travel into Mordor, the very seat of the Dark Lord’s throne, and throw it into the Cracks of Doom where it was forged. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is the story of this wild journey.

I enjoyed reading Lord of the Rings heartily. Why? Because it’s a whole different world. Tolkien created a world, populated it, equipped each nation with its own language, divided the population by countries, and it all seems so real while so imaginary. Tolkien’s world is younger than ours – they use the sword, spear, and bow - but it’s also older than ours.

Tolkien was a contemporary of C.S. Lewis and a Christian. His Christian worldview shows through in his books. As opposed to the currently popular Harry Potter books, Tolkien draws a very distinct antithesis between good and evil - right is right and wrong is evil. Mordor is evil and will have to be destroyed. In the end… well, I will have to let you get there yourself.

Tolkien has an active, imaginative mind that fills his books with humor and vivid imagery. Visit the movie’s web site at www.lordoftherings.com for screensavers and more information on the movie and its making. You can download movie trailers at http://www.lordoftherings.net/join/realchannel/trailerdownload.html
and
http://www.lordoftherings.net/join/realchannel/trailerdownload2.html.

For an excellent synopsis of the Christian worldview embedded within Rings, visit www.leaderu.com/humanities/wood-classic.html.

Fortifying
The
Family

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Patrick L. Hurd
Weatherford, Texas
PHurdWford@AOL.com

EST. 01/01/01