Thread: Poll LotR most important theme
Which did you choose and why?
This poll was suggested by Tyrhael (formerly known as Arco...) with a few tweaks by your's truly to make it fit our poll engine (and still later to fit the space allowed for our thread titles).
I chose Hope and Endurance, because the whole backbone of LOTR is time... WHEN will Sauron strike, Frodo still has TIME to destroy the ring... Plus for the fact that Gandalf (my personal favourite) spoke so wisely about waiting and endurance until death etc... He gives hope to men... Everyone in the story were affected by the evil, and had to endure and see what hope there is and what is left of it
I very nearly chose Bravery & Courage, for they are the culmination of so many of the other things listed: they spring out of hope, endurance, loyalty, friendship, etc. In the extreme, all the things listed require bravery or guts - even kindness and hospitality, when your guest is dangerous, or in danger, or puts you in danger. Sacrifice requires courage. Resisting temptation is a type of bravery. Loyalty (when those to whom you are loyal are under attack from an enemy you may not be able to defeat, and indeed probably won't be able to defeat) requires steadfast courage.
but in the end, I chose temptation and resistance because the one central object in this trilogy is the Ring, and what does it do? It tempts. It tempted Gandalf, Saruman, Galadriel, Boromir, Denethor, Faramir, Aragorn, Frodo, Gollum, and back in time to Isildur, to name a few. A very central theme that recurrs throughout the LOTR is the idea that power corrupts. Those that resisted the Ring's temptations were good and pure and lordly (Aragorn, Faramir, Galadriel) and those who succumbed to it were not necessarily bad, but they were not as "pure" of heart and had too much ambition (Boromir, Denethor, Saruman).
And then, you have the whole Nine Ringwraiths business. How did those hovering pieces of ugly black cloth come to be what they were? Well, surprise, surprise, they were tempted by Sauron!
Now, after typing all this, I feel as if I've made the right choice, but still, you can't really ignore some of the other options on this poll. I mean, all of them count for a great part of the book, and I guess that's the wonder of Tolkien's mythology: you can learn so many lessons from just one great story.
There's of course also the matter of Gollum getting to the brink of redemption, but refusing, and Frodo reaching redemption in spite of failure.
And of course there's the distressing matter of Lady Éowyn sacrificing all her desperately achieved glory & splendour to return to her life in a cage, a flower of Rohan picked by a sycophant from Gondor. Like father, like son, for did not Denethor do the same with Finduilas of Dol Amroth?