But that rock giant scene proceeds a scene with some of my favourite lines in the movie: Gandalf telling Galadriel why he chose Bilbo Baggins to round out Thorin's Company:
For me, that dialogue really sums up why I love the Lord of the Rings so much. And I love the world of Middle-Earth that has been brought to the screen, and am excited to see The Hobbit added to that world, alongside the The Lord of the Rings films. Author J.R.R. Tolkien called his Lord of the Rings a "fundamentally Catholic work...unconsciously so at first, but conscious in the revision...the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism." In Tolkien's story, the One Ring was destroyed on March 25th - the Feast of the Annunciation, when the old time made way for the new. You could also see the whole story as a kind of Passion play. And within this beautiful story is a plethora of Catholic virtue: Courage. Perseverance. Friendship. Integrity. Repentance. Hope in the darkness. The inherent goodness of creation. Divine Providence. Resurrection and Redemption. Love. The way that everything about the story permeates with a striving for the Good, fighting against evil and for freedom, so that everyone can do and live as they ought, is beautiful. Goodness just seeps out of every frame of the story, and this includes the action scenes in the movies. When push comes to shove, the Fellowship of the Ring is ready to throw down in order to keep the darkness at bay. The intensity of the action scenes really shows how much everyone is willing to sacrifice.
And the action scenes are incredible; some of the most impressive ever brought to screen. But so many of my favourite moments in those movies are not the big and fancy, but the "small every day deeds of ordinary folk." It's as if all the intensity of the action is encapsulated in the small, the simple, and the unassuming:
Sam, drowning in the river Anduin, about to be pulled out by Frodo - but not before Sam's limp hand suddenly comes back to life and grasps at Frodo's arm.
Aragorn, impossibly outnumbered at the Gates of Mordor, turns to his 500 troops before charging the enemy in one last act of courage in order to destroy the Ring.
The entirety of the Shire, where above all else, hobbits love things that grow.
|Wendell Berry Land!|
I'm reminded of what Blessed Mother Teresa once said: "We cannot do great things, only small things with great love." The small things that we
|(The Last) debate over.|