Fellowship of the War

Tolkien on Homeland Defense by Chris Mooney : An interesting article that draws parallels between Tolkien's classic Lord of the Rings trilogy and the 9/11 tragedy. Mooney cites two passages from Fellowship of the Ring that are particularly poignant and resonate with our current situation. The first is an exchange between Frodo and the elf leader Gildor, when they meet just as Frodo and his companions embark on their journey from the Shire:
"I cannot imagine what information could be more terrifying than your hints and warnings," exclaimed Frodo. "I knew that danger lay ahead, of course; but I did not expect to meet it in our own Shire. Can't a hobbit walk from the Water to the River in peace?"

"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out."

"I know -- and yet it has always seemed so safe and familiar."
Sound familiar? We were all aware of the threat of terrorism, but our daily lives just seemed so safe. The second passage Mooney quotes is delivered by the character Aragorn, in which he makes the Rangers sound kind of like the FBI or the CIA. Mooney then goes on to compare LotR with the Harry Potter series of books, taking care to comment on the various religious nuts who are denouncing Harry Potter as satanic. Its a good read, check it out. [thanks Widgett]

By the by, the first reviews of Fellowship of the Ring (the movie) are in, and they all seem to be positive! Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, and Rolling Stone's Peter Travers lists it at the very top of his list of films for 2001. Regular guy, "Rob", was slightly less impressed (scroll down to bottom), but still gave the movie an 8/10 and said "It lived up to my expectations." Score. I am encouraged by this...