“For thus is it spoken: Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”

—Legolas, The Return of the King

“Every day that passes is a precious day lost.”

– Frodo, The Two Towers

“You must either go through or give up your quest. And I am not going to allow you to back out now, Mr. Baggins.”

– Gandalf

“Dangerous or not, a real sunrise is mighty welcome.”

– Frodo

“The hands of the King are the hands of healing.”

– Gandalf

“Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt.”

– Gandalf

The word eucatastrophe (good catastrophe) was coined by J.R.R. Tolkien to describe what he believed was the essence and highest function of fairy-stories.

It is the sudden, unexpected joyous turn.

Tolkien explains, “In such stories when the sudden ‘turn’ comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through” (‘On Fairy-Stories’, 61).

Our latest content:

A Glimpse of Hobbiton – Interview with the Werts

A Glimpse of Hobbiton – Interview with the Werts

Dan Cruver talks with Jim and Emily Wert about their trips to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand. Whether you’ve been there before or not, you will enjoy hearing about their experiences in Hobbiton. Their love of all things Middle-earth comes through wonderfully. Available in video and audio-only. Also enjoy the gallery of…

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

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

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 that word, it is important to know that our beloved Professor…

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

“…and Tolkien’s point is accordingly missed, as I think he intended…” (Tom Shippey) 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…

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The Bigger Reason We Enjoy the Shire

The Bigger Reason We Enjoy the Shire

Brilliant flowers. Colorful fruits and vegetables. Impressive rocks. During the 1970s and early 1980s, three gorgeous gardens graced my grandparents’ backyard. In the center of their fenced lawn stood a young, flourishing tree. As children of summertime, my cousins and I romped our way into every manner of adventure in their yard. We climbed the…

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“The Resurrection is the Eucatastrophe of the story of…”

“The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy.” What does the word “Eu-cata-strophe” mean? To answer this question, we must always remember that J.R.R. Tolkien was first and foremost a student of languages. He was a brilliant philologist. So, what did Tolkien mean by his…

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Essay – May 2020 Theme: The Water and the Music

Essay – May 2020 Theme: The Water and the Music

May’s theme is: The Water and the Music. In anticipation of our May content, the essay question is: What is the most captivating water scene in Tolkien’s Legendarium? Reflect on that one scene—perhaps a sea, river, or waterfall—that most vividly captures your imagination. In your own words, share why this scene stirs your heart and…

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Tolkien Quotes

Tolkien Quotes

The power of story. Enjoy these quotes . . .  and appreciate them all the more as you recall how they fit into their individual stories.

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Interview with Astrid Winegar

Interview with Astrid Winegar

Astrid Tuttle Winegar Author, Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving SoulsThis month’s theme is “Life in the Shire.” How could we possibly talk about life in the Shire without food? Right. So this month we’re introducing Astrid’s work in earnest. She answered some questions for us AND has three delicious recipes…

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Bombur’s Pork-Pie

Bombur’s Pork-Pie

Our springtime theme is “Life in the Shire,” where we all may take Glory in the Ordinary. I will present to you a complete meal. This pie is requested by our beloved Bombur, as you might remember in The Hobbit. A lovely salad will follow, and we’ll finish our Shire meal with some delicious biscuits…

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As an author, Tolkien was a creator—or, as he would put it, a “sub-creator.”

 
Tolkien created a fully-imagined world. Middle-earth has a depth of diverse cultures, histories, geography, peoples, characters, family trees, languages, and calendars unrivaled in 20th- and 21st-century literature. Although Tolkien stated that The Lord of the Rings is not an allegory, he did say there’s always an abundance of applicability available for readers to use in their Present-earth lives and historical context.
 

Eucatastrophe.com strives to suggest new vistas of potential applicability for Tolkien fans to explore and enjoy, taking you deeper into Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythology.