Friday, January 10, 2014

Lessons to Be Learned from The Lord of the Rings | Part I |

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(WARNING:  Spoilers for Lord of the Rings)

A while ago, I posted about the lessons that could be learned from The Avengers, which is full of great examples of how a Christian should live their life.  Another great movie series for that is The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Inn this post I will mention a few lessons that stand out to me.  Now mind you, I could probably do a whole series about this... and another one specifically for the book trilogy.  And I probably will do a separate one for The Hobbit as it continues to be released in parts.  :)
So, without further ado, let us begin!

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Frodo Baggins:  With Great Power Comes  Great Responsibilty

Young Frodo is a fairly average hobbit, though perhaps he is a bit more accepting of the eccentric and adventurous sort than others in the Shire.  Yet this ordinary young hobbit has the distinction of being the nephew and ward of the infamous Bilbo Baggins, and because of his relationship of our dear old traveler, Frodo inherits a highly extraordinary gift: the One Ring.
This ring was created by the dark lord Sauron, who has long been thought dead, ever since he was defeated during the Last Alliance.  He poured all of his will and malice into the gold of the Ring, and now it is yoked with his spirit forever.  Thus as long as the Ring survives, so does Sauron;  and should it ever fall into his hands again, he would be able to assume his physical form and wage war on Middle Earth once more.
The Ring holds great power, and great danger.  Most people in Frodo's shoes would have either tried to use it for their own gain, or tossed it away wanting nothing to do with it.
Yet Frodo knows that the Ring his come to him for a reason, and that it is his responsibility now.  So he sets off on a dangerous quest, willing to give up everything that he has, and knowing that he will likely lose his life, if not more.
Frodo has many chances to forsake his quest, whether by shirking his responsibilities and throwing them on someone else, or by giving in to the Ring's temptations and becoming as evil as Sauron's servants.  Yet he stands strong, and does not waver in his path.
Through perils and horrors unnumbered, Frodo steadily carries on, and though his resolve wavers several times, he does not give up; he perseveres until the very end.

Likewise we, as Christians, cannot bend to the world's constant temptations and evils.  While the world is a beautiful place, and life is a gift for us to live to the fullest, it is also filled with corruption.  Jesus has commanded us to follow Him and stay true to his ways, but the people of the world, not to mention Satan himself, will not rest until we have forsaken God and succumbed to our sinful natures.  But like Frodo, we must resist all temptations and stay on the straight and narrow way, persevering until the end of all things.

Samwise Gamgee:  Of Love and Loyalty

As a simple gardner to Bilbo, and later Frodo Baggins, Sam was never very grand or pretentious.  He was perfectly content to do a good, hard day's work and be with his family and friends.  He never had much to boast about, and even when he did, he was very quiet about it.  Thus he learned the value of humility from a very young age.  This, along with his loyalty, were his very finest traits.
So when his best friend Frodo sets out on a quest to save the world, Samwise knows he must go with him no matter what the dangers may be.  Though he is daunted by the gravity of the task, Sam bravely declares that wherever his master goes, he will follow.
Sam stays with Frodo throughout his entire journey.  Whatever trials Frodo endured, Sam endured also. Whatever horrors Frodo beheld, Sam saw too.  When Frodo had to concentrate on resisting the Ring and moving forward, Sam managed the simple but necessary things like food, supplies, and pathways.  When the Ring had exhausted Frodo's strength so that he could no longer walk, Sam carried him on his shoulders.  Sam even bore the Ring itself for a time without crumbling under its influence!
Even when Frodo lost his patience with his friend, and treats him poorly, Sam bears it all, and stands by Frodo through thick and thin.  Even when Frodo is blind to the threat that Gollum poses, Sam handles the situation beautifully by both obeying Frodo's wishes that the creature remain with them, all the while keeping a watchful eye on him.

Sam is the perfect example of a true friend, and more than that- a brother.  He is, arguably, an even greater hero than Frodo.
If we mirror his loyal, courageous attitude, and trade our pride for humble servant's hearts, then who could ever question our character?  Samwise Gamgee is indeed a person of unquestionable, honorable character.

Aragorn:  The True Leader

Aragorn is the heir to the greatest kingdom of men  on the face of Middle Earth, yet he has lived all of his life in exile, along with his father, and grandfather before him.  In fact, for generations, ever since the Last Alliance, the heirs of Isildur have wandered in the wilderness, waiting for the day when they can regain their strength and claim the throne of Gondor once more.
So instead of being called king, Aragorn is known as Strider, the Ranger, and regarded with suspicion by the very people he protects.
Like Sam, Aragorn is very humble, and when he joins Frodo and his group, his companions do not even learn of his heritage until they are informed by Bilbo in Rivendell.
But when his leadership is called for, Aragorn does not hesitate to 'take the wheel', so to speak.  He doesn't do it by forcing his authority on everyone, or insisting that his way is best.  He does it with great gentleness and humility.  He doesn't sit on a great throne, or ride a tremendous war horse as he surveys the battle from afar, rather, he gets down in the mud with the rest of his troops, coming alongside them and aiding them in their hour of need.
But for all his gentleness, Aragorn doesn't sugarcoat things.  He is honest and frank with his friends and soldiers, making sure that they know the gravity of all their situations.  And, when someone gets out of line, Aragorn does not compromise- not on moral matters.  He knows what is right and wrong, and his is unwilling that any of his people should fall to the wrong.  He will fight to the death for even the most insignificant of his soldiers.

Aragorn treats his people much like a shepherd treats his flocks.  In this matter, he is much like Jesus, who was often compared with "the Good Shepherd".  Now, Aragorn has his short-commings, but he rises above them in order to lead his people to victory.  He is willing to put aside his pride and ask for council in both matters of warfare, and personal conduct.  He is willing both to follow, and lead, which is a rare quality among men.  This is why Aragorn is the True Leader, and I believe, the greatest king that Gondor has ever known.

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Part II is coming soon.  :)

-Rayne Speryll

(DISCLAIMER:  I do not own Middle Earth, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, nor any of the characters, places, or plots therein.  Credit for these belongs to the copyrights holder(s).  
Images used in the post do not belong to me, but are pulled from the web and may be subject to copyright.)


  1. So very true, and so many great lessons to be learned from LOTR.

  2. Ooo, this is such a wonderful post. So many fine examples presented to us by my favorite movies! Thank you for this encouraging and delightful post!

  3. Fantastic analysis! I'm going to read part two right now :)