Discover Hope in Tolkien’s Tales

Every direction we look, people are hungry for hope.

I know numerous friends and family—as do you—whose lives have been turned upside down by the Covid-19 crisis. Our planet’s pandemic has triggered an avalanche of further dreadful outcomes. Collapsing economies. Loneliness. Relapse into destructive addictions. Spikes in depression and suicide. Increase in child abuse. Perhaps it seems less severe, but very serious issues are emerging in families and neighborhoods. Relational schisms occur between spouses , parents and children, and neighbors, too-long-together under one roof or huddled in a housing unit.

Fortunately, we find solid examples and heart nudges toward real hope throughout Tolkien’s tales in The Lord of the Rings. In fact, Tolkien’s take on hope delivers something deeper, more provocative and far-reaching than our everyday, run-of-the-mill view of “hopes and dreams.” Middle-earth hope is different than our typical hope. It’s more than just crossing your fingers, thinking happy thoughts, and wishing for better days. So, buckle up. As we visit Tolkien’s tales of hope, we might discover some personal applicability: fresh doses of hope for our own hearts during this very-dark season in Present-earth.

Hope is a recurring, resplendent thread woven throughout the Legendarium. The Professor’s nudges come via both people and places, colorful characters and carefully crafted situations. There really are so many. We’ll revisit just a handful and see what we might discover.

Beyond all hope

At the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf perished in Khazad-dûm. Or so it seemed.

  1. The Two Towers, 116.
  2. All Things New, 9-10.
  3. The Return of the King, 133-35.
  4. Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty, 80-84.
  5. The Return of the King, 220.
  6. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings: A Guide to Middle-earth, 172-173.

Want to read the rest?

Members receive access to everything.

Eucatastrophe members have unrestricted access to the whole site!

Eucatastrophe members have unrestricted access to the whole site!