One of my favourite movies is the Lord of the Rings (the trilogy). Superbly played and written with in depth plots and of course magical wonder aplenty, it was definitely thumbs up all four (plus my feet’s). One couldn’t ask more with its epic soundtracks which will beg to play yet again the whole trilogy. No of course, there is nothing romantically connected to LOTR when I lament about this epic. But there is much discussion abound surrounding the entire plot which actually do touch our reality then and now.
I must confess that whilst I try to profess myself as a fan of LOTR, I really am not that much of an expert nor authority for LOTR trivia and facts. I don’t even read the literature since I am told that as would any cinematic adaptations, the original workings are in stark contrast with the movie. Gandalf himself is potrayed in Tolkien’s original works as being a literally colourful figure instead of the dull and bland grey (or whitish after his reincarnation). Since I’m in love with LOTR the movie, I felt it was better off not to spoil my personal version and view of LOTR that constantly is played in my head as I tumble here and there in life.
Tok Ijal and I once discussed about LOTR – The Fellowship of the Rings way back when we were still in UIA. Now before I forget, waiting for LOTR to unveil its next installment year after year is actually part of the fun. Hollywood don’t make such movie often enough nowadays. According to Tok Ijal, Tolkien wrote LOTR during World War II if I’m not mistaken. Of course, such facts are easily authenticated by browsing to the already numerous fan sites on the net which are choking with information galore. But I would be drown and at lost by the voluminous discussions there with heavy reference to the literature.
Simply put, what we discussed was that apart from the fancy silk screen adaptations and original literature, LOTR somehow or rather portray the human struggle in this life. When I mean human, I refer to you and me, the everyday Joe on the street and the humble people who walked the earth; and not larger than life people such as politicians, orators, the rich and famous as well as air heads. You see, in LOTR races with special abilities and powers were gathered and banded together to face the threat of Mordor and Sauron.
Yet, as poised as these characters make out on the surface to actually save the day, they find themselves not only useless in working together but essentially failed to endure the temptations of the power of the ring. As shallow of a chance as throwing out a seed to the drain and hoping it will grow and bear fruit, the humble Hobbits are the true heroes of the day, however hopeless they may seem. As mentioned earlier, during the WWII, the Axis threaten the world with domination and Hitler being the transgressor, to Tok and I, was Sauron. It took the bombing of Pearl Harbour for the US to realise the threat of Hitler and began to take arms.
Before that, plentiful of treaties were signed between the Nazis and various nations as brokered by the UK which in the end were left in tatters. It took the nations of the world long enough before realising that the threat of the Nazis would consume all of them a whole if they don’t stood against it as a solid front, a fellowship of sorts. Although not really manifested clearly, the Hobbit character in WWII was actually the unification of efforts by various nations against the Axis. As opposed to fear mongering weapons and mighty tanks and warships, a humble and less-to-succeed-looking cooperation actually was the hero of the day,bringing the juggernaut of the Axis to its knees.
Similarly in our daily life today, we may see people with colourful and larger than life personalities always in someway at the fore front of challenges. Yet, like a Ferrari, the roar of the engine or the beauty of its exterior is worthless without the ordinary, centuries old decomposed remains of dinosaurs from a previous era manufactured into the humble petrol (RON95 or 97 and the likes of it). There are many a character in our life that remain in the background and form the brackish wheels that ensure our daily lives today remain as much as possible a smooth one if not perfect. These unsung heroes not only shun credits for work done but chose to fade out as their usefulness withers away.
LOTR also goes to show that, as the character Gollum has been played out, the notorious ones in our life how so despicable they may be, have in one way or the other, their own roles to play in the lengthy plot of life. For better or worse, what have became of our life as we see today, have been shaped more or less by the despicables in our life whether we care to admit or not. Gandalf reminded so to Frodo as he cursed the Gollum for his part in informing Sauron’s forces of the ring’s whereabouts. In fact, the word despicable is quite universal in its application and perhaps that is the exact term of reference of the law by the underworld.
As I see it, the struggles of various characters as portrayed in LOTR are in constant play in our daily lives. The larger than life Gandalfs, the selfish dwarves, the most poised but yet couldn’t-care-less elves, the despicable gollums, greedy and shallow thinking humans as well as the humble hobbits can be seen any way you throw your glance at in life. All of them are struggling in different directions but mostly concentrated on something that neither of us can wield nor make use like the ring. The ring symbolises the temptations in life that manifest in many a shape and continue to lure its victims with promises how so unlikely, of eternal wealth, power and glory.
And which character you and I play depends necessarily on our choosing and perhaps of course with the twist of fate. As Mr. Frodo hopelessly realised, his destiny was already entwined with the fate of Middle Earth and the ring much to his despair. Such a burden to bear for such a less than ordinary being. That’s where you and I now stand in life, whether we like it or not, our roles may be of our choosing if we’re lucky enough but to a majority of us, are already entwined to something. Only time will tell as the epic drama unfolds according to its ordinary preordained course. Who knows, you and I may one day save the day or even caused it to fall into despair?
As I wrote this piece of entry, LOTR – The Return of the Kings soundtrack is playing in the background providing the necessary inspirations and much needed strength to ‘conjure’ these insights in an unsightly hour of the day. Indeed, the LOTR Trilogy never ceased to play in my mind and if there is time, I would spent a few hours watching the DVD. As Frodo Baggins put his final touches to his Uncle Bilbo’s book, he aptly added the title of the book to “THERE AND BACK AGAIN – A HOBBIT’S TALE”. It seems for every mini drama played in life, you will be back there again whether to finish up some loose ends or perhaps play again the drama in another character in a different setting. Yes, we all have been there and until life ends, we always be back again. As for now, the journey continues for me and you…
p/s – Ok, I confess, the soundtracks have some sentimental ring (no pun intended) to it for yours truly. I used it in one of our events organised by my group during a not-so-long-ago 6 months and 10 days journey (course actually). Hard work was sweet enough when it was all a success! Click to listen!