A Glimpse of Truth: The Two Towers

“We shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on — and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same — like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?” –Samwise, The Two Towers

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6 Comments

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  • http://timfall.wordpress.com/ Tim

    And to build on Sam’s closing line, the tale we’ve landed in with Jesus is a wonder in itself.

    • Adriana

      “I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on . . .” I just finished The Pilgrim’s Progress for the first time. This quote feels especially moving in light of it.

      • nmcdonal

        Interesting tie, Adriana – life’s a journey. The Christian life’s a profound journey. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • nmcdonal

      Yes! Exactly, Tim. I’ve heard of late that there’s more Roman Catholicism in Tolkien’s writings than it seems at first glance. For example, “Galadriel” is supposedly Tolkien’s model of the virgin Mary? Interesting stuff.

      • RRitenbaugh

        No, Galadriel is not Tolkien’s model for Mary, although there may be some aspects of her character that are Mary-like. However, his model of Mary is Elbereth (“Star Queen”), also called Gilthoniel (“Star-kindler”), the female Valar named Varda, from “The Silmarillion.” In other words, she is Queen of Heaven. There are many other Catholic features in the trilogy, such as the “lembas bread,” as Sam calls it, which is analogous to daily communion. By the way, did you realize that the Fellowship started out from Rivendell on December 25 and the ring was thrown into the fire on March 25, evidently a Bethlehem to Calvary parallel.

        • nmcdonal

          Oooh interesting – this is the type of commentary I need. Someone who knows what they’re talking about.