Lessons from Éowyn

Éowyn is a courageous warrior, and one of the key figures in the battle of Minas Tirith. Her triumph lies in slaying the king of the Nazgûl and his fell beast. Despite harboring an unrequited love for Aragorn, she finds happiness with another man, Faramir of Gondor. She has a relentless determination for glory and hopes to end her life in battle. Éowyn is a woman equal to the title “daughter of kings.”

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Lessons from Éomer

Despite his lack of screen time, Éomer has a weighty presence. He feels proud to come from the kingdom of Rohan and challenges Wormtongue’s authority. He trusts Gandalf with his life in returning to Rohan after his banishment and protects his sister’s honor. Because of his cousin’s death, Éomer will inherit Rohan after his uncle’s passing. He will make a fine king, just and wise.

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Lessons from Elrond

There’s no greater impediment in the relationship between Aragorn and Arwen than Elrond, Lord of Imladris and one of the finest warriors in Middle-earth. His severity in attempting to drive them apart paints a bleak picture in the minds of those who cannot acknowledge his greater virtues and accept him as a father attempting to protect his daughter.

Elrond plays a pivotal role in The Lord of the Rings. His forces were among those who forced the dark lord into Mordor. He’s saves Frodo’s life after the hobbit’s near-fatal encounter at Weathertop. He heads the Counsel that appoints the Fellowship to destroy the Ring. His forces help define the War of the Rings in the fight against Sauron.

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Lessons from Denethor

Our first glimpse of this nobleman from Gondor is far from pleasant. He appears briefly in The Two Towers to compliment one son on his recovery of Osgiliath and berate the other for its loss. Denethor is the acting Steward of Gondor. His family undertook its protection after the apparent death of the line of true kings. Denethor’s cruel treatment of Faramir, and his high praise of his elder, favored son Boromir, is a foreshadowing of the events in the final dramatic conclusion. Only when it is too late does he discover the true nature of his heart.

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Lessons from Celeborn

Celeborn is an important figure in Middle-earth. He is the husband of Galadriel, Lady of Light and High Queen of the Elven-race. He is a former warrior wise beyond measure and keen in insight. Devoted to his wife, Celeborn is the ideal of a husband as much as he is a commander.  There is much to learn from this soft-spoken figure who dwells in the background, often dissolving into the shadow of his wife. His importance is not pivotal to destroying the Ring, but of a significant power in a changing world.

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Lessons from Boromir

Boromir is a mortal from the kingdom of Gondor. He is the eldest son of Denethor, the Steward entrusted to keep the realm safe until the rightful king returns (Aragorn). Because of this, a natural rivalry exists between them within the Fellowship. Other than a sweet and compassionate nature, Boromir is best known for his inability to resist temptation. He gives in to the Ring’s lure and tries to take it from Frodo, resulting in his eventual death. He redeems himself on the battlefield in a valiant attempt to rescue Merry and Pippin. Boromir may represent the good and evils of our own human nature.

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Lessons from Bilbo

Readers familiar with Tolkien’s adventures in Middle-earth know Bilbo from The Hobbit, which that takes place prior to the adventures of Frodo and the Fellowship. It introduces us to Gandalf and Bilbo, two exceptional friends who encourage one another in a grand adventure. The hobbit journeys forth and encounters dragons, trolls, dwarves, mountains of treasure, battles, wolves from the west, and the creature Gollum, from whom he takes the Ring that becomes pivotal in The Lord of the Rings.

Little-assuming the golden band is of any more worth than as a trinket with the power to make the wearer invisible, Bilbo takes it home to Bag End.

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Lessons from Arwen

One of the most controversial characters in the film adaptation, Arwen’s tale comes from Tolkien’s epilogue. Peter Jackson fleshed out her role in the trilogy to create more depth for her character. The audience needed a reason to support her relationship with Aragorn. Through her, we witness the undying quality of sacrificial love to remind us of Christ’s love for us. She is a complex character whose attachment to Aragorn is so strong, she would forsake her father’s wishes and her immortality to remain in Middle-earth in the hope he will return triumphant from battle.

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Lessons from Aragorn

Our introduction to Aragorn is a dark figure hunched in the shadows of Bree Inn. The story ends with him triumphant, wearing a king’s crown and holding the re-forged sword of his ancestors. He is Aragorn, the king of Gondor and heir to the throne of Isildur. A courageous mortal who risks everything to become a member of the Fellowship and learns through trial and error that he must take his place among the nobility of Middle-earth if they are to survive.
Aragorn is a central figure in The Lord of the Rings. He is a mortal. A warrior. The king. A servant. And one of the three primary Christ-figures of Middle-earth. His actions change the fate of the world. Above all, he reminds us of hope.

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