Lord of the Rings
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LORD OF THE RINGS - WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT ?
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings - The Books

I was so impressed with the detail and sheer cinematic scope story of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy that I decided that I would do well to read and enjoyed the book The Lord of the Rings.  That book was so captivating that I decided that I needed more knowledge about middle earth and how Bilbo Baggins indeed came by the ring that I decided that I should read The Hobbit.  Now about 1300 pages later I am somewhat knowledgeable about Middle Earth, so much so that I had my wife buy as my anniversary present The Ring.  Yes, I wear the official New Line Cinema Ring ..... with all the Elvish inscriptions on the inside and outside.  Of course I carry my map of middle earth in my wallet, much as one would carry a Wine Vintage Chart.  So when you see me, check it out.  Well now on to some comments regarding the Trilogy as it was wonderfully brought to the screen by Peter Jackson.

Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring is the beginning of the John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) trilogy regarding the thought provoking epic tale of the Quest of Frodo Baggins to destroy the one ring to rule all others and it the commencement of how various men deal power.  This is of course so timely in the current event of our world. 

Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers

I enjoyed the highly acclaimed Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers.  It is one of the great movies ever made and depicts the many thought provoking concepts of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) and his ecological insight, and the responsibilities of mankind to all forms of life, especially as it exists in the world of our times.  I recommend that all see this great film and see it on the big screen.  I also hope that viewers take the time to think about what they have seen for both the sake of excellent film making and for the timely message being delivered. Try to remember that we are responsible for our fellow man and to the environment that with share with human beings throughout the world and all life that inhabits the earth.

Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

This film ranks among the greatest movies ever made which was proven by winning Oscar's in all eleven categories in which in was nominated. For me this conclusion of the trilogy ranks this movie among Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather, Ben Hur, Gone with the Wind, The Last Emperor and  Schindler's List as the greatest movies ever made.

The quest to destroy the ring is completed in this film and people are free to extrapolate the story into many historical and mythological examples, even ones that occurred after this book was written.   Was it the Crusades and is Aragon really King Arthur, and is Gandalf really Jesus Christ and does Frodo and the Hobbits really exemplify that the meek shall inherit the earth?  what is great about the movie is that examples can move the mind in many directions.  There are character of Finnish mythology that are supposed to have had an influence on Tolkien. 

The amazing cinematic and musical extravaganza is sure to entertain and thrill everyone.  So go and find a way to see them all if you have not already done so enjoyed the highly acclaimed Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers.  It is one of the great movies ever made and depicts the many thought provoking concepts of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) and his ecological insight, and the responsibilities of mankind to all forms of life, especially as it exists in the world of our times.  I recommend that all see this great film and see it on the big screen.  I also hope that viewers take the time to think about what they have seen for both the sake of excellent film making and for the timely message being delivered. Try to remember that we are responsible for our fellow man and to the environment that with share with human beings throughout the world and all life that inhabits the earth.

Who Was Tolkien?

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a major scholar of the English language, specializing in Old and Middle English. Twice Professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at the University of Oxford, he also wrote a number of stories, including most famously The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955), which are set in a pre-historic era in an invented version of the world which he called by the Middle English name of Middle-earth. This was peopled by Men (and women), Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Orcs (or Goblins) and of course Hobbits. He has regularly been condemned by the Eng. Lit. establishment, with honorable exceptions, but loved by literally millions of readers worldwide.

In the 1960s he was taken up by many members of the nascent "counter-culture" largely because of his concern with environmental issues. In 1997 he came top of three British polls, organized respectively by Channel 4 / Waterstone's, the Folio Society, and SFX, the UK's leading science fiction media magazine, amongst discerning readers asked to vote for the greatest book of the 20th century. Please note also that his name is spelt Tolkien (there is no "Tolkein").

An Interesting Book Review

This review of the book, Defending Middle-Earth - Tolkien: Myth & Modernity, by Patrick Curry as reviewed by Sarah Wells will give you some insight on what the contents of Lord of the Rings is designed to depict.  I hope you find it interesting and worthwhile as you takes these concepts with you in your mind to see John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's recently released film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers, in the movies and the Fellowship of the Rings on Cable Television.

Defending Middle-Earth - Tolkien: Myth & Modernity.
Patrick Curry
Floris books, Edinburgh, 1997
15.99. (Hardback now out of print.)
7.99 Paperback HarperCollins 1998

Review by Sarah Wells

This review originally appeared in Mallorn 35, 1997.

Defending Middle-Earth started life as a paper for the 1992 Tolkien Centenary Conference, but (as with all the best books) once Curry had started he found he couldn't stop. Each thought provoked more questions, paragraphs lengthened into chapters and eventually this book emerged.

Curry seeks to answer the riddle of why a book that consistently sells well around the world, is amongst the most popular borrowed from libraries and has repeatedly been voted "best book of the century" or indeed "of all time", should be so slated by critics? What are the readers getting out of it?

Many of the literary critics may be written off as literary snobs, who have written off all stories as being for children and the emotionally immature, lack the imagination to understand speculative fiction, or are simply obsessed with being, as one is described here, the Adult in the room. Dismissing the shallower critics, however, is easy, and no real answer. What is it about The Lord of the Rings that has led the book not merely to stand the test of time, but to grow steadily in popularity?

One of the commonest criticisms of The Lord of the Rings is that it is reactionary. Curry argues that it is instead anti-modernist, anticipating the modern Green movement rather than looking back to the Luddites. He is perhaps oversimplifying the case when he suggests that modern scientific rationalism was invented by Descartes and had few detractors until first Ruskin, and then Tolkien came along to herald the rise in our own generation of ecological awareness. In his definition of Modernity, Curry also lumps centralized government together with capitalist finance and heavy industry, neglecting to consider the ways that differing forms of power and greed have always been aligned.

He is on safer ground when suggesting that Tolkien was helping to restore a sense of Wonder, which is all too frequently lost in the bustle and confusion of everyday city-dwelling life. Curry compares the way the Shire is embedded in the wider world to differing levels of awareness of the world around us. The Shire to him represents the social realm, embedded in the natural world of Middle-earth, which is in turn surrounded by the Sea (Spirituality). As we move from the Shire towards the sea, so we grow in awareness of our surroundings, at first physical, later spiritual. The happier and more moral of the races of Middle-earth are firmly rooted in their environment - consider the elves of Caras Galadhon or the Ents of Fangorn Forest.

Conversely, evil is shown as springing from a love of power and a callous disregard of life for its own sake. The level of destruction of our countryside that Curry describes is deeply disturbing. He cites one example, no doubt dear to all our hearts, that of mushrooms. Seventy European species are now extinct, and a further 600 are now getting scarce. There are no easy solutions to our problems, but Tolkien's books at least give us hope that an answer exists, and remind us of the importance of striving to find it.

Curry also considers responses to Tolkien's depiction of good and evil, and the conflict between them. Many of the critics who have been most strident in accusing Tolkien of oversimplification have, Curry shows, themselves demonstrated an extreme inability to accept the existence of evil. He cites one example of a critic who cannot use the word Evil, even when talking of the Dunblane massacre or the Holocaust. As with the destruction of the environment, there is no simple solution to the problem of evil, but The Lord of the Rings at least gives us reason to hope.

This book is essential reading as a counterblast to Tolkien's critics, and effectively demolishes their weaker and ill thought-out arguments. In his description of the modern Green movement, Curry is much weaker, depending on an overly shallow summary of its history and occasional woolly thinking.

However, this is not a political tract and wisely does not attempt to be. What Curry does, and does extremely well, is demonstrate why environmental activists have adopted Tolkien as their own, and give us at least some understanding of why The Lord of the Rings has been so repeatedly voted Book of the Century.