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Firstly, I'll just say that without Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter probably wouldn't even be as good. Rowling borrows so much from LOTR, it's uncanny. Moral complexity: Where do I begin? We have Smeagol/Gollum, who struggles with the good and bad side of himself. Throughout the LOTR trilogy, one wonders where Frodo and Sam stand because one moment Gollum is helping them, and the next he is sabotaging them. We also have Frodo, who is affected by the ring several times. The climax where he finally reaches Mount Doom, only to succumb to evil and wear the ring shows as much. He may have been the "good guy", but he also struggled with evil. There's also Grima Wormtongue, a "bad guy" who was bought by Saruman to poison King Theoden. When he sees the army that Saruman has assembled to kill Men, he is visibly shocked and saddened. He sticks by Saruman regardless... and ends up killing him. Another person struggling with good and evil. Then there's Boromir, son of Denethor, who was a member of the Fellowship and had promised to protect Frodo. He ended up trying to take the ring from Frodo and was "the bad guy". However, he realised his mistakes and died trying to save Pippin and Merry. There's also Faramir, brother of Boromir, who captures Sam and Frodo and wants to kill Smeagol. After discovering that Frodo has the ring of power, he orders the ring to be taken to his father, Denethor. He has to struggle with trying to gain his father's favour, which could lead to the doom of men, or letting Frodo go and never be favourable in his father's eyes. I could go on and on about this, but my comment is already too long. Political relevance: How can you say LOTR has no political relevance in a time when there is so much war going on? Look at Frodo, for instance. Although the Shire has been saved, he says it's not saved for him. Some wounds just don't heal that easily. Can you not see how that could be a statement on the post-traumatic stress or shellshock that soldiers experience after war? Female characters: Hahaha! Tolkien's females are not an afterthought either. Arwen helps get Frodo to safety after he is stabbed by the Nazgul. Without her, he probably would've died... and who knows how the mission would've gone thereafter. Not to mention how she convinced her father to remake the sword that was broken, leading Aragorn to his destiny as a king. Lady Galadriel is in a position of power as well, not some woman just thrust in there. There's also Eowyn, a total badass who not only helps lead the people to Helm's Deep, but also takes on the Witch-King, whom no man can kill. Fortunately, she's not a man and brings him to his end. Seriously... if you're going to criticise something, at least make sure you know enough about it, and not from some distant memories.
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May 14, 2011