OGB Podcast

#36- The Lord of the Rings Part 2

In the second installment of the series, Scott Hambrick and Karl Schudt continue their discussion of Tolkien’s magic in The Lord of the Rings. The two talk about the problem of evil in this Homeric story, what the good life actually looks like, models of hope we see in many of the characters, the unyielding power of friendship, language’s captivating ability to transmit culture, and so much more.

In the second installment of the series, Scott Hambrick and Karl Schudt continue their discussion of Tolkien’s magic in The Lord of the Rings. The two talk about the problem of evil in this Homeric story, what the good life actually looks like, models of hope we see in many of the characters, the unyielding power of friendship, language’s captivating ability to transmit culture, and so much more.

Not only is The Lord of the Rings a monumental work of a single intellect, but it’s also so expertly integrated with foreshadowing, world-building, new language creation, and anthropology, you’ll feel the pages fly by. Even if you’re not the sort to read fantasy literature, you ought to give LOTR a try.

Karl thinks, 300 years from now, if people are still reading Great Books, LOTR will probably be on that list. Do you agree? Tune in to this week’s episode and let us know your thoughts!

If you are interested in starting your journey with the Great Books, use the discount OGBPODCAST to save 25% on enrollment at Online Great Books!

  • Join the VIP List

    Don’t miss the next opportunity to enroll! When you join the VIP Waiting List you will get priority registration access, a portion of our reading list, and a summary of Moritmer J. Adler’s How to Read a Book.

Comments

  1. Brian O'Connor

    Hi Scott and Karl,

    First off, I absolutely love the podcast and how passionately everyone talks about the great books, it’s very inspiring. It’s also great to see The Lord of the Rings discussed on a podcast like this, amongst the great books. You may have gotten a bunch of emails already on this subject from fellow LoTR nerds, but I wanted to comment on Karl’s theory about Frodo and Gollum’s final confrontation in Mt. Doom.

    In this story, unlike many other epics, the hero fails – Frodo cannot overcome the power if the ring by his will alone.
    In his letters, Tolkien expounds on this in #191: “[Frodo] (and the Cause) were saved – by Mercy: by the supreme value and efficacy of Pity and forgiveness of injury.”

    It seems to me in Karl’s theory, Frodo willing Gollum to bite his finger and jump into the fire would have been a final act of evil to destroy Evil – domination of another. I think of the Lord’s Prayer: “…forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”.

    Frodo undertook a task that could not be completed through will alone (stoicism won’t help you here). It was by his mercy shown to Gollum previously that Frodo was ultimately “forgiven” and the task was completed. As a practicing Catholic, Tolkien would subscribe to the idea that heaven cannot be won by our efforts alone. While not a direct allegory, these themes are present.

    Hope my ramblings make some sense. And as an aside, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Tolkien’s letters – has great little insights about the stories throughout.

    Love what you guys do.
    Your faithful listener,
    Brian

Your email address will not be published.