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The Lord of the Rings (1 Viewer)

The Space Cowboy

Senior Member
I loved these books.

When I was in eigth grade I found "The Hobbit" on a desk in the library. I was intrigued by the picture on the front and I took it home, read it, and loved it. I found out that the series "The Lord of the Rings" is somewhat of a sequel to "The Hobbit" and so I read those as well. Possibly the best books ever written (in my humble opinion)

I've heard that there a biblical references in LOTR but, me not being a very religious person, I'm unable to pick them out. Has anyone heard anything along those lines as well?
 
S

sugarpeepunited

My Mother pointed the biblical references out to me, but I didn't get them either. I'm guessing that when Gandalf falls from the bridge, it's like Jesus dying on the cross. But that's just what I get from it...
 

The Hooded One

Senior Member
Religion is a touchy subject, however if you've read the series and look at the series outline you get this. The all seeing eye would be the devil,gandalf could represent an arch angel figure helping out humans in there fight against morder(the devil). Frodo represents humanity in there struggle against the everyday trials and temptations. Smeagle and the ring represent along the lines of sin. So altogether the plot comes down to good vs evil with religious guidelines.

ps. hope this helped

Yours Truly - J.C
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Tolkien wasn't a big fan of religious overtones. There's some stuff in LOTR, but it's nothing you even need to know about to get the message. Not at all like C.S. Lewis, who Tolkien looked down upon for the overt allegorical nature of the Narnia books.
 

J. Bryan Shoup

Senior Member
If you read The Silmarillion, you'll find it possessing a creation myth very similar to the Judeo-Christian myth - one deity creates a horde of angelic beings who sing before him. One of them, a leader among the beings, begins his own melody, and some of the other angelic beings join him, causing discord with the god's melody.

There are differences, of course. The god there doesn't condemn the rebel to hell, and the leaders among the angelic beings are entrusted with creation. It's much as if the Jewish God created the Greek Titans to create the world.
 
N

NealCassady

I don't think Tolkien had much in mind about the bible when writing this...although you can find religion in anything mellodramatic if you really look for it in a subjective frame of mind. I think most of Tolkien's referances were taken from Irish/English/Norse folklore and he rewrote most of it giving it new names and new styles (as folklore is usually treated) to be bought by the masses.

If anything I see a lot of political satire and cultural alleghory. Famously; the scene where the hobbits are partying with the goblins before their adventure off to the misty mountains before The Hobbit and there are vague referances to drugs and drinking. This lead to a general rumor by the next generation of hippie pot smokers that the book was an alleghory for a drug trip where the hobbits were off to the "misty mountains" to fight the dragon "smaug."
 

The Hooded One

Senior Member
NealCassady said:
I don't think Tolkien had much in mind about the bible when writing this...although you can find religion in anything mellodramatic if you really look for it in a subjective frame of mind. I think most of Tolkien's referances were taken from Irish/English/Norse folklore and he rewrote most of it giving it new names and new styles (as folklore is usually treated) to be bought by the masses.

If anything I see a lot of political satire and cultural alleghory. Famously; the scene where the hobbits are partying with the goblins before their adventure off to the misty mountains before The Hobbit and there are vague referances to drugs and drinking. This lead to a general rumor by the next generation of hippie pot smokers that the book was an alleghory for a drug trip where the hobbits were off to the "misty mountains" to fight the dragon "smaug."

Ever hear the song "Puff The Magic Dragon?? O:)
 

FinnMacCool

Senior Member
I loved the Lord of the Rings! I'm an atheist so I don't care for it's christian backdrop but I still am cool with it. It's a bit difficult to read at times but I find myself appreciative of the vast effort Tolkien made in literally creating his own world. I have to admit, I was a bit less taken of him after I found out that he supported the fascist Franco but this does not make his writing any less good.
 

K-P

Senior Member
Can't say I was a fan of Tolkein's writing style. He fell too hard onto the details, and he'd go off talking about the trees and the mountains and the river that meandered off into the ocean where the fishies played and the elves sailed off to their secret land and... by the time he got back to the story I'd forgotten what was going on.

Some parts were exciting and enjoyable, but they were encrapsulated by the most boring prose this side of Ayn Rand.
 
P

Pebble

The 'Fall' motif is very present in Tolkien's writings : the Ainur (god-like, angelic beings) fall, the Elves fall, the Humans fall, then they fall again...I even think I read him write somewhere (where's the Silmarillion when I need it ? I think it was in an introduction to that book) that much of what he wrote was in fact about the Fall. Many so-called Christian values are in that book also - hope not least amongst them, love, er, swearing oaths is (very, very) bad, etc. However, I found it interesting to notice that, even though there is a god (Eru) who is outside the world and intervenes extremely rarely as well as god-like figures, his 'agents' in the world (the Ainur), religion (as an institution, rites, etc.) is hardly present at all, in any of his books.
If there is an allegory at all though, I would rather look for it in his attitude towards nature, technology and industry, as represented through the figures of the Ents and Saruman.
But then as said earlier, he disliked allegories...
It might be more interesting to pick his cultural influences I suppose...the story of Turin in the Silmarillion resembles very much that of Kullervo in that Finnish epic myth, the Kalevala. Speaking about Finnish, one of the languages he created, the Quenya, is very close to Finnish, while another, the Sindarin, is close to Welsh. Most of the names the Dwarves in the Hobbit bear are from the Edda. An unfinished time-travel story, The Lost Road would have involved twentieth-century men, Lombards, Danes (Scyld Shefing), the Tuatha de Danaan, etc.

Having said that, I think I'll go back in a corner and rant about how much I love the Silmarillion and the rest.
 
T

TheInklings

Hodge said:
Tolkien wasn't a big fan of religious overtones. There's some stuff in LOTR, but it's nothing you even need to know about to get the message. Not at all like C.S. Lewis, who Tolkien looked down upon for the overt allegorical nature of the Narnia books.
I've read alot of indepth information on the lives of both men. They were best friends and helped each other write. Tolkein helped with Narnia and Lewis with Middle-Earth. Tolkien did not like Lewis' straight forward aproach to his allegory however, he did use some himself. The whole creation of middle earth which is told in The Silmarilian is like the bible. Morgoth is the devil as he fell from grace from Illuvitar as satan fell from heaven and God. Tolkien was not as straight forward but it was there. And in no way did he look down upon his best friend. It was just minor dissagreements. He was the one who brought Lewis into christianity in the first place. Tolkien may not of written with the purpose of informing people of the Grace of God but it is quite clear that his Faith has influenced his writing.
 

Dephere

Senior Member
Hey, thought I'd drop in and throw my opinion into the mix. When I read the books I liked them, but now that I've read so many others I can't say that Tolkien was a great writer. He was a good world builder, but I'm not too fond of the way he uses his prose. I must give him props, however, for giving a good kickstart to Fantasy. THANKS FOR THAT!

Oh, about the religious thing...I can't believe no one mentioned the resurrection. Jesus died and then was resurrected, much like Gandalf. And he came back all pure and as a white wizard, washed away of all his sins.
 

jrudder

Member
He was a good world builder, but I'm not too fond of the way he uses his prose.
That's because he wrote in the "old style". Look at all the old writers; a bunch of them wrote that way. Just because it may be a bit difficult to read doesn't detract from how good something is.
 

Kane

Senior Member
It my not detract from how good something is, but it doesn't make it any more readable. I read the Hobbit and LOTR when I was in 9th grade, some 15 years ago or so. I loved them all immensely. However, I tried to go back and read Return of the King a few years ago, after the first movie came out, and found myself getting bored easily. The same happened when I read the Iliad, The Oddyssey, and Quo Vadis, among other stuff. It just reads so clunkily to me. Perhaps back I'm just used to reading more modern stuff, but the older stuff just doesn't get me goin' like it used to.
 

jrudder

Member
I agree, but I was talking to Dephere, who basically said Tolkein wasn't a good author because she couldn't understand the language he used.
 

Dephere

Senior Member
Well, looks like you can't understand a simple gender tag...I'm a guy...that wasn't too hard for you, was it?

I could understand the language fine, nothing was complex in that book, nothing. And that's exactly why I didn't really like the prose. It just kind of presented the information, almost like a history book, but a little more interesting.

I have no problems with reading comrehension, in fact that is one of my strong points, so please don't tell people what I'm trying to say, because you obviously have no clue.
 
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kalibantre

Senior Member
jrudder said:
That's because he wrote in the "old style". Look at all the old writers; a bunch of them wrote that way. Just because it may be a bit difficult to read doesn't detract from how good something is.

I read a lot more of old literature than modern and I could not get through Tolkien, as much as i wanted to, I lost where I was in in the narrative while he was describing an ancient blood line or something.. I just couldn't do it..

It's not cause he was an older writer it's minaly his style, which is all fine and dandy for some, however, not for me.
 

jrudder

Member
Dephere said:
Well, looks like you can't understand a simple gender tag...I'm a guy...that wasn't too hard for you, was it?
Whoa, my bad. :lol: I dunno, I had an idiot moment. :p As for the rest of it, my fault. I have met so many people who complain about how they don't like Tolkein because he writes weird and they can't understand it, and it looked like you were saying the same thing. Sorry.
 

Dephere

Senior Member
It's okay...I guess...:D

You're forgiven. I actually have no problem understanding books, especially considering I've read A Clockwork Orange, which is by far the strangest written book. Pretty much in another language.

I just hate when people speak for me, especially when they don't know me.
 
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