This weekend, Hall of Fire we’ll be exploring the hero, and the heroic, in the Lord of the Rings.
I think the simple ‘rustic’ love of Sam and his Rosie (nowhere elaborated) is absolutely essential to the study of his (the chief hero’s) character, and to the theme of the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) and quests, sacrifice, causes, and the ‘longing for Elves’, and sheer beauty. Letter #131, Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The hero and the heroic in The Lord of the Rings
We know from his letter to Milton Waldman that Tolkien regarded Sam as the chief hero of the tale. But why? What is it that makes him Tolkien’s hero? Do you even agree with Tolkien’s appraisal?
More generally, what actions or traits create a hero anyway?
The Greek and Latin etymology of the word suggest a hero is a protector, or a defender.
So is it all about sheer physical strength and courage in battle such as Boromir exhibited? Warrior brawn? But what of the inspirational guidance that Aragorn and Gandalf show? And how much of a role must adversity play? And are quieter, less flashy traits important ingredients? Traits such as steadfastness and loyalty to a seemingly impossible cause or task?
Join us in the href=”http://www.theonering.net/torwp/chat”>The Hall of FireHall of Fire on Saturday July 20 from 6pm EDT (New York time) for what promises to be another great discussion.
Some suggested reading:
TTT Bk III, Ch I: The Departure of Boromir
TTT Bk IV, Ch X: The Choices of Master Samwise
ROTK Bk V, Ch VI: The Battle of Pelennor Fields
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