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…

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,…