By Uzair Belgami:
“The English speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, and those who are going to read them” — The Sunday Times
This excerpt rightly describes, in my opinion, the status and grandeur of The Lord of the Rings as one of the all-time great works of literature produced by the human mind.
It is common of late, that famous books get turned into movies by Hollywood producers. It is also common that these movies either are complete deviations from the actual book storyline and disastrous representations. Yet it is safe to say that in the case of this particular series — the movies were as epic as the books. For all you Lord of the Rings fans out there, and even those who haven’t yet heard of the series (if such people actually exist: welcome back to earth) — I thought it proper that we treat ourselves to a reliving of some of the most powerful scenes of the series, encapsulating wisdom, courage, love and friendship.
(Frodo has just noticed that something is following them through the mines of Moria. Gandalf tells him it is Gollum, the former owner of the ring)
Gandalf: He hates and loves the Ring just as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it.
Frodo: It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance!
Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.
(A dialogue between Aragorn and Arwen, one of the most romantic and evocative of the series, wherein Arwen prefers to live a mortal life with the one she loves, to immortality)
Aragorn: You said you’d bind yourself to me, forsaking the immortal life of your people.
Arwen: And to that I hold. I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.
(Frodo tries to leave the company alone and is rowing his boat away from the shore when Sam realizes what he is planning and runs towards him)
Frodo: Go back, Sam! I’m going to Mordor alone.
Sam: Of course you are. And I’m coming with you!
[Sam wades in the water]
Frodo: You can’t swim! Sam! [Sam sinks below the surface] SAM!
[Sam nearly drowns, but Frodo pulls him up into the raft]
Sam: I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise! “Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee.”And I don’t mean to! I don’t mean to.
(Frodo and Sam are about to enter Mordor, tired and afraid, having just narrowly escaped from being killed by the Orc attack)
Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. [watching the NazgÃ»l flying away] It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo; the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was, when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.
(On the verge of engaging the entire army of Mordor with a small force against overwhelming odds and in the face of certain death, the legendary friendship of Gimli, the dwarf and Legolas, the elf — both from races which are historically at war with each other – still shines strong)
(As Aragron is crowned the King and the whole gathering bows down at his coronation, he approaches the four hobbits, who look small and insignificant. The hobbits then proceed to bow before the King, but Aragorn stops them)
No wonder this book is one which will be read, and re-read for a long time still; and the movies have won awards, accolades and amazement. I don’t know about you, but just writing this has put me into nostalgia and got me thinking that perhaps another viewing of the films or a reading of the book (for the umpteenth time now!) is not a bad idea. May this epic series live with you!