By Matthew Dickerson
A professional at the Hobbit and The Lord of the earrings trilogy indicates how a Christian worldview and issues undergird Tolkien's vintage works
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Extra info for A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth
The narrator goes on to describe the scene: “[Gandalf] took a step towards the hobbit, and he seemed to grow tall and menacing; his shadow ﬁlled the little room” (I/i). This must have appeared very threatening to Bilbo. Was Gandalf, like the orcs we discussed earlier, implying that he would harm the hobbit if the hobbit did not comply with his command? If so, it would be entirely out of character for Gandalf, who—as we will explore in chapter 7—never tries to force others to act a certain way but rather tries to encourage and strengthen people to make their own choices.
Men cast from the saddle and lay groveling on the ground. “To me! ” cried Théoden. “Up Eorlingas! ” But Snowmane wild with terror stood up on high, ﬁghting with the air, and then with a great scream he crashed upon his side: a black dart had pierced him. The king fell beneath him. A great shadow descended like a falling cloud. And behold! It was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned ﬁngers; and it stank.
The Ring may not have been seeking information from Frodo in the sense that the torturers of the previous examples were seeking information from prisoners, but it was deﬁnitely breaking him. ” And then, as though to back up his own opinion, Tolkien appeals to the opinions of two of the wise characters within his tale: “That appears to have been the judgement of Gandalf and Aragorn and of all who learned the full story of his journey” (Letters, 327). Here, though the reference to “torment” may speciﬁcally point only to his treatment at Cirith Ungol, the “demonic pressure” almost certainly refers to the pressure that came from possessing the Ring.
A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth by Matthew Dickerson