The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – 2001 – dir. Peter Jackson
In a story about a wizard, four Hobbits, two men, an elf, a dwarf, and a golden ring that refuses to stay lost, where do we fit in? More specifically, what do we like about The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring?
Frodo’s journey and sacrifice is our own voyage to be rid of the part of ourselves that we dislike (and sometimes love) the most. Attachments? Desires? Restraints? What is holding you back? What don’t you like about others? What do you have in common with their shortcomings?
“He hates and loves the ring, as he hates and loves himself.”
What’s your journey? Or, to put it another way, what’s your sacrifice?
Where’s your Shire? Where is your comfort, your nest? For me, it was a girl in December 2005 who made the best omelet I’ve ever had after an unexpected and hurried move out of New York. It was exactly what I needed, and everything that I wanted. It was comfort, which is precisely how Tolkien described a Hobbit’s home.
Who’s your Gandalf? Or your Elrond? Who are those you admire? Who is the wisest? Who would sacrifice everything so that you could continue on? Who would put a hand on your shoulder and say, “This is your hour”? Who would yell, “Fly, you fool! Fly!” allowing you to escape the very danger that overwhelms them?
Who is in your fellowship? Who would have to be sent home tied up in a sack to prevent them from being parted from you? You can you trust? Who will betray you? Who do you love?
If bliss is being united with that which you love the most, and emptiness is the opposite, then what can we make of Frodo’s courage? Make no mistake, Frodo’s journey, and our own, is about learning to do without that which we most desire. But it’s more than that. It’s about gaining life by losing it, saving others by sacrificing oneself, giving up pleasures so that others may enjoy them. It’s death, to be sure, and it tempers us.
The lesson of Frodo, and the lesson of the Fellowship, is to know what to do when that time comes.
“All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”
Amen, Gandalf. Amen.