If you had to choose only one, what is the most important thing that you learned from The Lord of the Rings?
-That “even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
-In The Two Towers, Éomer asks; “Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?” To which Aragorn responds; “A man may do both . . . For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!” (Lord 434). To Tolkien, dreams, imagination and myth are every bit as valid as actual history and present perception. “Mythology is the ghost of concrete meaning. Connections between discrete phenomena, connections which are now apprehended as metaphor, were once perceived as immediate realities. As such the poet strives, by his own efforts, to see them, and to make others see them, again” (Barfield Poetic Diction 92). Tolkien was a poet in this sense though only a fraction of his writing is actually poetry; his prose accomplishes the poetic quality described by Barfield. Events that become myths are immortal in an ever mutating way and Tolkien believed “that legends and myths are largely made of ‘truth’, and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear” (Silmarillion xv).
– Whatever you dream, be it.
-“Not all those who wander are lost…” a great comfort to me when I feel lonely or sorry for myself. Also, a reminder to love the journey- to trust my instincts- & to respect the other guy– the one who doesn’t shave or wear a lot of khaki. He might be Vigo in disguise.
-I guess my answer wouldn’t be an idea, but rather a model. Tom Bombadil is, in my estimation, the most powerful character in the story, and it has something to do with his self perception, his ego, and how he sees his place in the world. His power flows at least in large part from a fun-loving wisdom, as well as a complete lack of fear and greed. Even the greed we don’t think of as greedy, the normal kind of longing. It seems to me this profound satisfaction with what he has is what makes him rich, and the only character over whom the ring has no power. He is also my most beloved character, and I think of him as a good role model for me.
– The importance of mercy.
– That gold is precious heh heh. Just kidding. Never give up even when things seem the darkest.
– Keep trying, no matter what happens. If you quit, you’re sure to lose.
– In a world where Elves prefer to hang with Elves and by tradition feel suspicious of Dwarves wearing hoodies, and where Dwarves prefer to hang with Dwarves and by tradition feel resentful of Elves, a Dwarf can fall in love with an Elven Queen, and an Elf can befriend a Dwarf, and they can join a fellowship that includes assorted Humans and Hobbits, and together they can intend to save the world.