An Evaluation of Religious Themes in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship by Tolkien


The fellowship of the ring talks about past ancient activities that took part in middle-earth, a fictional name used in the book. The activities involved various ancient activities that can rarely be found in the modern world. It shows how people believed in different faiths, and how magic also took its course at the time. During such a time, such things as various religions, faiths, and beliefs could not be ignored. Individuals enhanced all of them, and they were significant in various ways. The fellowship of the ring is interesting since it integrates several themes that were used to drive impact in the societies then. Such themes also make the book easy to understand, without making it complicated. Characters used in the book also play various roles, with some of them acting as leaders.

The book can in some way be viewed as religious, whereas it concentrates more on magic. All the themes and ideas have been integrated together to come up with specific ideas. In this, it means that the book aims at conveying some necessary information that is important. Themes such as the theme of unity and the theme of wisdom and hard work show how the modern society leads its day to day life. The theme of magic used in it also shows how some people in the society also live according to the dark world. However, the book aims at the concept of survival. With characters facing difficult times and difficult decisions to make, they have to make sure they survive by encountering all obstacles that come their way.

Some obstacles discussed include enemies and tough roads and paths that the fellowship’ has to go through. With the main set objective, there is what the characters in the book have to achieve. They have to do everything possible to achieve that. Some myths have also been used in the book, in that some of the characters believe in some superstitions. This also makes the book interesting, and one becomes eager to read the rest of it (Jackson 2002).

The fellowship of the ring

The book starts on an interesting note. There is a ring that contains some powers, which got lost. The ring belongs to Sauron, a leader, or a lord. However, he lost it, and his men had been in search of it. However, one person belonging to the fictional world, which is named middle earth, happens to have visited one cave, which was deep enough. While wondering there, the man, by the name Bilbo, comes across the ring. It appears to surprise him. However, later, he realizes that the ring has some powers. He realizes that by wearing the ring, it makes him invisible. This beginning of the book already makes it interesting. It shows how the book is fictional, and how magic is portrayed in middle earth. Bilbo, therefore, takes the ring to the Hobbits, where he resides, together with the other Hobbits. Their place of residence as portrayed by the book is named The Shire.

However, Bilbo does not know that that ring is very important to one lord. He does not know that a powerful figure has been in search of the ring. The powerful figure, in this case, is the lord, Sauron. There is a celebration among the Hobbits, which happens to be Bilbo’s birthday party. It is there when Bilbo gives a ring to his cousin. He had been reluctant to do so before, but he did it by being convinced by one of his friends, who happens to be a wizard. The wizard friend suspects that the ring might indeed be the one that belonged to Sauron. Bilbo’s cousin, Frodo, is also made aware that the ring might lead them into trouble. He, therefore, has to find a way to ensure that the ring is taken away from The Shire. It is there that they begin their mission, to take the ring away from The Shire.

Along the way, they encounter many problems, some of them being exposure to attacks by those in search of the ring. At one point, a meeting is held to discuss the ring, and it is there that Frodo learns more about the ring. Frodo then becomes determined to return the ring where it belongs. A group of people is suggested, that will help Frodo in his mission. It is there that the fellowship of the ring is formed. Religion has always been portrayed in most ancient stories and books. Christianity comes along with a saviour, who devotes and even makes sacrifices, to save his people. In the fellowship of the ring, some people can be seen as heroes. One person that we can conclude that he is a hero is Samwise. He is devoted and intelligent. He is even able to resist evil spirits.

However, this does not make him a Christ-like figure. Although he helps a lot, his roles cannot be matched with that of a Christian leader. Also, the wizard, Gandalf, has some powers. He can warn Frodo about the ring after he learns about it. After his death, he conquers the death and comes back to life. Although Christians believe in life after death, taking the example of Jesus Christ, Gandalf at no point relates to such Christianity. It is because he even did not die to become a saviour to others. He is just a helper, and he is also surprised by his resurrection, just like the other people are surprised. However, the fellowship of the ring enhances Christianity in several ways.

First, we see how Frodo is determined to risk his life to save that of others. This sacrifice and selflessness show some of the Christian virtues used in the book. Although not blessed with any superpowers, he still appears to be the chosen one. His faith guides him. People in the middle earth also appear to have lost significant leaders, such as Aragorn. They are therefore eagerly waiting for their king to return. They want their kingdoms to be relevant again. Just as Christianity talks about the return of Jesus, people in middle earth also hope and have faith in the return of their king. This can be related to Christianity in some way. Through the ring, we also see how evil can easily spread. The ring can cause destruction.

Through that, we can relate it to evil in today’s society, whereby something small can cause destruction, and can also cause evil to prevail. Gandalf also appears to be a leader, more like a spiritual leader. He leads those who are faithful. He even goes ahead to bless the king. Christianity has been portrayed there in that even during ancient times, religious leaders, such as popes, led fellow Christians and blessed leaders. In the book, we see how two leaders, Gandalf, representing his faithful people, and Saruman, representing the evil. In that, we can relate them to Satan and God. The people in The Shire also live peacefully. They work hard to survive, rather than to compete. They enjoy living equally since it promotes peace. Through that, the people of Shire represent God’s people.

They represent what God expects from His people. We can, therefore, conclude that several Christianity themes have been integrated into the book. It somehow relates to Christianity, even though not directly (Largen 2005) Several themes have also been used in the book, which relates to the daily activities of people. Such themes, however, do not relate to religion. They show how some characters in the book have used ideas and knowledge to perform several tasks. Such themes make the book interesting since it does not only speak about religion. For example, there is the theme of wisdom. Wisdom has been used for survival by many characters in the book.

For example, through wisdom, Frodo can make some critical decisions that help him and other people in The Shire. It is through wisdom that Frodo decides to take the ring from The Shire. He knows very well that keeping the ring in The Shire exposes very many people to danger. That is why he devotes himself to take the ring from The Shire (O’neill 1979) The theme of responsibility has also been used in the book. Through responsibility, Bilbo was able to take care of the ring. He did not expose it to danger. Although he knew that the ring could make him invisible, he did not go ahead and misuse it. In short, he did not play with it. It is also due to personal responsibility that Frodo was also able to take great care of the ring for long.

Through that, we can see that the book was not a religious book. Although it has a lot of Christian teachings, it is not a Christianity book. It also uses other themes that are not religious themes. For example, the theme of wisdom and responsibility have been used in the book. Such themes have been used to bring out other necessary information that does not relate to Christianity. Considering that the book contains some leaders referring to those of the Christianity teachings, it does not make such leaders real Christian leaders. The events and characters in the book about Christianity also relate to Christianity indirectly, but not directly. The book, therefore, has Christianity teachings and virtues, but they were not used in the book to make it a Christian book.

It passes a lot of other information rather than Christianity. It contains useful moral teachings that can help people in their day to day activities. For example, critical thinking has been enhanced. Through critical thinking, Frodo and his group were able to overcome difficulties that they faced on their way. They were able to make decisions that could help them not to get into trouble. Critical thinking enabled Frodo to decide between taking the ring away from The Shire. Wisdom used in the book is also related to critical thinking. Wisdom enabled Frodo and his team to come up with some good ideas, enhanced by critical thinking. With critical thinking, individuals come up with decisions that help in their day to day activities, especially when working.

Critical thinking improves performance. The concept of unity has also been enhanced in the book. Through unity, decisions were made effectively, and were also put into action well by characters in the book. Unity enabled members of Shire to come up with a council that could travel with Frodo. Unity is a strength, and therefore through it, people can perform effectively (Bratman 241-265). Through that, we see how the book helps people to come up with decisions that can help in their survival. It is significant in many other ways, other than its Christianity concept. Through that, we can conclude that the book has other moral teachings, and it is not a Christian book.

Works cited

O’Neill, Timothy R. The individuated hobbit: Jung, Tolkien, and the archetypes of Middle-Earth. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), 1979.

Largen, Kristin J. “”Christian theology as depicted in The lord of the rings and the Harry Potter books.”” (2005).

Bratman, David. “”The Year’s Work in Tolkien Studies 2003.”” Tolkien Studies 3.1 (2006): 241-265.

Jackson, Peter, et al. The Lord of the Rings: The fellowship of the Ring. New Line Home Entertainment, 2002.”