Saturday, October 6, 2012

What This World Needs Now Is More Middle-Earth!

"The world has changed. I feel it in the water, I feel it into the earth, I smell it in the air. Much of once was is lost. For none now live to remember it"

The Lord of the Rings couldn't of come at a better time. Nerds from all over the world joyously celebrated the release of the big screen adaptation to the all time greatest fantasy stories humanity has ever seen in celluloid form. While some, who were coping with the loss of loved one's, eagerly escaped, if not temporarily, the tragedy that changed the world forever.

Everyone remembers that time. Sadness, grief, anger. The future looked bleak, at best, and the only thing hitting the airwaves on both radio and television was the tragedy of the World Trade Center. The beacon for the world was at a loss. Where do we go from here?

Destination: Middle-Earth.

The lush, rich, detail J.R.R. Tolkien put into his stories literally had the reader living and breathing the descriptive world not forgotten with the taste of various foods, visions of high mountains, and the smell of pine needles in the changing season. This infectious inspiration was everywhere within his works. One can't help but to hand write, or type their own adventure stories, if not for the world, then for themselves.

The stories sent forth by Tolkien ignited a fire in the hearts of many ready to blaze new trails in life, much like Frodo did in The Fellowship of the Ring. Whether it be starting a new business, discovering the vast lands of our great country, or making life's tough decisions; one can't deny that The Lord of the Rings is universal.

What held fast in my heart was the message of hope that reinvigorates the human spirit to continue forth the great journey beset to us, and never give up. No matter the situation or conditions of the world, there is always a glimmer of hope.

Hope that we desperately need as the world transitions to another chapter.

Much like in Tolkien's world, our world is faced with another life changing event it has never known nor seen before. A new chapter in history is rising with the new day. Gathering nations are experiencing a global financial crisis, the middle-east is brewing with unspeakable wars, or rumors of wars; and, seemingly, there is nothing you nor I can do anything about it. What's worse is to see the people that we hold near and dear to our hearts are unplugged to this change.

Was this what Frodo and Sam saw of their people before setting out for Mordor?

Interestingly, when everything is falling apart, we see an adventure story popping up just in time, once again, to give a message of peace and hope, if not for a brief moment. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tells of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and his discovery of the One Ring thus proceeding the Third Age (Shire Reckoning July 2941).

People need fantasy stories to help guide or cope with unfortunate dealings. It is this hope that unites one another to a better day.

 "I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
- Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

What about you, dear reader? What does Tolkien's work mean to you? Sound off in the comments below. 

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