Debate with other literary critics.

My analysis of Lord of the Rings

The eponymous Fellowship from left to right: (...

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“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring). 

Hey guys,

Today I thought I would analyze and post a quote from Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring.  For those of you who are not familiar with The Lord of the Rings series, this is the scene where Galadriel, the Elvin Queen, offers Frodo the light of Earendil. The light is given to Frodo in the form of a vial containing a liquid. This is very special gift because Earendil is the elf race’s most beloved and brightest star. In the next installment of the series, The Two Towers, Frodo uses this vial of light as a means of guiding himself through Shelob’s lair, after sending off his traveling companion Samwise due to the betrayal of Gollum. (This actually occurs in the 2nd book, contrary to this scene appearing in the 3rd movie).


Tolkien is a master of using metaphors as a way of portraying ideas to his readers. Here, Tolkien uses Galadriel’s gifting of Earendil to Frodo as a way of portraying the “giving of hope”. In all of Tolkien works, dealing with Middle Earth, the protagonists are forced to undertake a task that by themselves, are ill-equipped to handle. The quest in The Lord of the Rings series proves to be the most challenging. Frodo a mere hobbit, or Halfling, in the first book sets out from the Elvin city of Rivendell with the Fellowship of the Ring to destroy the ring. The fellowship consisted of 4 hobbits, 1 elf, 1 wizard, 1 dwarf and 2 men. By the end of the 2nd book Frodo sheds himself of every other member of the fellowship, due to his belief that he is the only one who can accomplish this task.

However in Frodo’s darkest hour, inside Shelob’s cave, the light of Earendil reminds Frodo that he is not alone in his quest. Furthermore it reminds him that his friends are depending on him and that the others have placed their hope in Frodo. Physically, the light provided Frodo with a means of fending off Shelob and escaping her cave. Metaphorically, the light instilled the belief in Frodo that he was not alone and others would continue to have that belief in him, even when he ran out of hope in the situation.


Thanks for reading, please post your comments below! 



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5 thoughts on “My analysis of Lord of the Rings

  1. It seems to me, that one of the underlying themes of the whole series is “we are not alone”.
    By continuing to show how the characters are inter-dependant on one another for their strength, Tolkien shows us the need for co-operation and trust in others, to insure our own future existence.

    • I agree, there cannot be only one person in power we must rely on each other to build a nation. In the case of Lord of the Rings, all races must unite to combat an evil power and being. If the people of Middle-Earth do not unite and fight Sauron, they will be taken over by him and loose their freedom.

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  3. Pingback: Tenth Anniversary: IGN’s Lord of the Rings Memories We pay tribute to Fellowship of the Ring on its anniversary. December 9, 2011 by IGN Staff « New Age

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