Mary and Lord of the Rings
I finished watching the LOTR trilogy, again. It seems once a year I end up watching it all over again and it is a fine story and worthy to watch many times. With the speed I read books, it would have taken me five years to finish it so I'm grateful for the film.
Tolkien is quoted many times as saying he eschews analogy but does so with a wink.
In the third movie, a woman slays the creature that no man can kill. in the spirit of Mary, by crushing the head of the serpent. Has there been any quotes from Tolkien that hinted that this was a nod to Mary?
"Look on the bright side, if this is the best they've got around here, in six months we'll be running this planet." (Planet of the Apes)
not that i know of. i know that galadriel is also seen as a mary figure, as well as arwen by fans. (catholic fans of course) for myself i know it's hard not to try and see something behind tolkiens' characters... but i think he did a good job of confounding the reader enough so they couldn't. the minute you begin to draw a conclusion the character breaks the connection. frodo seems to be a christ figure but then only accidentally succeeds, he refuses to destroy the ring and gollum who is a villain actually accomplishes the goal. gandalf rises again from the grave, aragorn is the returning king, bit's and pieces of christ but certainly not complete, for gandalf doesn't destroy the ring, aragorn doens't die and rise. though to be honest tom bombadil is the closest to christ.. but they left him out of the movie.
J.R.R. Tolkien, having lost his own mother at the age of twelve, had a profound devotion to The Virgin Mary. Just as those of us who love our mothers, love to refer to her often, Tolkein made frequent mention of Her in conversations and in correspondence to friends.
In his notes on ‘Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth,’ he claimed that his notions, based on ‘beauty, majesty and simplicity’ sprang from his understanding of Mary. Writing in an unpublished letter to Clyde Kilby, Tolkien refers to those who fail to accept fully ‘all’ the consequences of the Incarnation story as told in Scripture. ‘There is something missing from any kind of Christian thought that could make such an omission.'
While one can find several Marian figures in his writings, Tolkien argued for Christian art in fairy stories, as opposed to his legendarium as being mere Christian propaganda. Art or sub-creation, he said, should glorify God, creation and the human person.