Essay Example on The dominant symbol of Christ in The Lord of the Rings

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The dominant symbol of Christ in The Lord of the Rings is Gandalf Evidence of this can be found by looking at how Gandalf came to Middle Earth and then thinking about his actions his actions throughout the story Gandalf was sent by the Valar The valar are the gods and goddesses of Middle Earth and Valinor is the land of bliss in which they dwell In The Silmarillion Gandalf is a spirit named Olorin and he only took on the flesh of men so that the people would trust him and have faith in his mission In a similar way Christ left heaven to come to Earth and took on bodily form to rescue humanity from sin and Satan When we first meet Gandalf in The Fellows we encounter an old wizened man with a long gray beard bushy eyebrows a flowing cloak and a wooden staff worn from travel Like Jesus everywhere Gandalf goes he looks to help others restore hope and fight evil He travels so extensively that the elves and men of Gondor call him Mithrandir which means the gray pilgrim Also like Jesus Gandalf has several different names that each have an odd meaning Incanus Lathspell Mithrandir Orin

The symbolism of Christ becomes most evident in Gandalf s actions as leader of the Fellowship that was appointed by the Council of Elrond in Rivendell When things become tough on the road Gandalf and the entire Fellowship are forced into the Mines of Moria in an attempt to pass under the Misty Mountains The slow journey through the mountains comes to a hand wringing climax when the Fellowship is chased by a fiery demon of the ancient world called a Balrog In this heart pounding moment surrounded by fire darkness whizzing arrows and terrified screams Gandalf realizes that no one will escape the Moria alive unless he puts his life at stake for his friends As Jesus once said Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friend John 15 13 As the Fellowship begins to cross the treacherous Bridge of Khazad dum the Balrog closes in from behind but Gandalf takes the rear guard and turns to face the monstrous beast alone Standing on the bridge surrounded by darkness Gandalf faces his enemy of flame and shadow and willingly sacrifices his life to save his friends Tears are shed by the Hobbits hope is lost by others and Aragorn s heart wavers at the loss of his mentor But Gandalf s story does not end here After falling from the bridge Gandalf chases the great demon through the deepest and darkest catacombs of the Earth and slays the Balrog 



This last exertion of power causes Gandalf to die Without Gandalf the Fellowship feels lost but the Valar decide that Gandalf s mission is not complete and he rises from the dead more powerful and glorious than before He becomes Gandalf the White and is no longer hidden under the veil of Gandalf the Gray He reunites with Aragorn Legolas and Gimli in Fangorn Forest and orchestrates the forces of good to defeat Saruman and Sauron by uniting Rohan inspiring Gondor and giving Frodo a chance to destroy the Ring and therefore Sauron forever In the person of Gandalf Tolkien attempts to show his readers the power of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross descent into darkness resurrection and glorification in his new body Aragorn is a ranger of the North who lives in obscurity and never looks glory for himself He is a character torn by his desire to do what's right and his fear of fulfilling his destiny of becoming King of Gondor Tolkien describes Aragorn as someone that none of us would really be attracted to As Tolkien would put it All that is gold does not glitter This is scripture that describes Jesus He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him nothing in his appearance that we should desire him Furthermore in The Return of the King Aragorn dies a fake death when he enters the Path of the Dead to summon the deceased traitors of the mountain to fulfill their ancient oath and fight for Gondor Though Aragorn himself did not die he entered into a world in which the line between life and death is very blurred Moreover being surrounded by ghosts darkness evil skulls and other symbols of death emphasizes Aragorn s fake death Once Aragorn emerges from the dark Path of the Dead he leads his newfound army of the dead to liberate Gondor from the forces of darkness Finally by his courage and excellent leadership Aragorn leads an army that distracts Sauron so that Frodo has a chance to destroy the Ring Upon the fall of Sauron and the flight of Sauron's armies Aragorn is now King with much praise and exaltation Aragorn's coronation signaled the restoration of the ancient Kingdom of Gondor and began a time of unparalleled peace


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