Steve wrote with a worry about the BBC report that appeared today, which said that two members of the Fellowship die in ‘TheTwo Towers.’ He wondered if they were misinformed regarding Gandalf’s death. I reckoned that was open to interpretation, but there are more glaring errors in the report. Here’s my reply to him:

“Though there are those who argue that Gandalf does truly die and is ‘resurrected’ – that would be in tune with Tolkien’s Catholic beliefs. However he was wary of proclaiming his personal beliefs to anyone and everyone, so the implication of ‘resurrection’ is just left as a possibility.

However I notice the BBC article misspells Tolkien’s name and has the lunatic assertion that Middle-earth is based on the countryside round Sarehole, Birmingham. Sarehole’s not particularly notable for snow-capped mountain-ranges, volcanic ash-cones etc. Sarehole surely served as Tolkien’s inspiration for the Shire, but Middle-earth is a great deal more than just the Shire.

That said, the article is interesting because they’ve tracked down two Tolkien relatives I’ve never heard of before, and it was great to see that they’ve carried on the tradition of creativity in the family!