A Fragrantly Recurring Tolkien Smoke-Ring

John Elton Pletcher loves storytelling, all-things-Tolkien, and literary analysis (with a special eye for everyday applicability). Speaker, author, pastor, and curator of @GandalfTheGuide, John lives in Lancaster, PA with his wonderful wife, Nancy, and three high-energy, creative sons. Though they never met, I am quite confident that J.R.R. Tolkien would have loved my grandfather, Everett…

A Most Curious Tolkien Word—for your Week-after-Easter Motivation

“Tolkien viewed this wonderful concept as operative for our history, not just Middle-earth.” Like most inhabitants of Present-earth, you are probably not uproariously excited about going back to work after the holiday weekend. You might take heart as you move into your post-Easter workweek by pondering one rather quirky word, unique to Tolkien’s lexicon. Before we consider…

Tolkien’s Often Missed Reference to Good Friday in The Lord of the Rings

In the quotation above, Tom Shippey gives us a window not only into the brilliance of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world-building prowess, but also into its striking and easily missed subtext. Tolkien’s point to which Shippey refers comes after The Return of the King chapter (“Mount Doom”) in which Frodo and Gollum (against all their desire) destroy the Ring,…