On more than one occasion, I’ve been tempted to write a feature on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The trilogy along with The Silmarillion is dear to me, a master feat of world-building and myth-making that remains unrivalled in scope and grandeur. (I remain one of the unfashionable few who enjoys the irreverent songs and lengthy descriptions) Even a cursory glance at the text reveals a host of themes and motifs ripe for an Ekostory exploration: The pastoral Shire threatened by looming machinations; the fading of the Elves giving way to the coming age of Men; the propensity of power to corrupt all with noble and pure intentions; the quiet courage of ordinary folk. And yet, I hesitate. So much already exists in terms of Tolkien scholarship – I don’t feel like I have anything original to contribute. The work speaks for itself.
But while I may not be up for analyzing Tolkien’s magnum opus, I can at least express my appreciation for some small portion of it. It’s not quite autumn here yet, but I’m in the mood for a stroll and a bout of wandering. Come and walk in the woods with me. Come and note the maple highlights of chartreuse and emerald above our heads. You’ll stoop down to read the sunshot patterns of shadows fanned out across the forest floor, and I’ll point to the tree in the distance that resembles an Ent of old. Then together we’ll hum the tune of this melody as performed by The Tolkien Ensemble, as sung by the late and great Sir Christopher Lee, whom if I had the power to choose would be in the running for The Most Interesting Man in the World.
“…Ah! the gold and the red and the sighing of leaves in the
Autumn in Taur-na-neldor!
It was more than my desire…
…My voice went up and sang in the sky.
And now all those lands lie under the wave,
And I walk in Ambarona, in Tauremorna, in Aldalómë,
…In my own land, in the country of Fangorn,
Where the roots are long,
And the years lie thicker than the leaves…“
(The Two Towers, p. 78-79)
Tolkien, J.R.R. (1954). The Two Towers. HarperCollins Publishers. 1999 Paperback edition.
Treebeard’s Song. (2003) At Dawn in Rivendell. The Tolkien Ensemble ft. Christopher Lee.