Friday, January 3, 2014
The Pity of Bilbo
Tolkien, your Catholicism is showing.
I always find it so incredibly moving that it's not killing an army of aliens or slaughtering oliphaunts that saves Middle-earth. What saves Middle-earth is Bilbo choosing not to kill Gollum, not striking without need, and then later Frodo keeping Gollum alive despite his many opportunities (handing him over to Faramir, for instance).
They saved a life. Not just any life, either - no. They saved the life of someone who had murdered, lied, stolen. They saved the life of someone who intended to kill them and eat them. They saved the life of someone who had (not entirely willingly) alerted Sauron to their presence. They saved the life of someone who could have ratted them out to the orcs, drowned them in the Dead Marshes, and revealed them at the Black Gates. They saved the life of someone who tried to feed them to a giant demigoddess spider.
And yet Bilbo did not kill Gollum. Frodo did not kill Gollum. On the slopes of Mount Doom, even Sam did not kill Gollum.
They saved Middle-earth.
How's that for Catholic?
That's part of the reason why I think The Avengers is so good - they defeat the Chitauri because Tony Stark is willing to sacrifice his life to stop the aliens. It's that sacrifice play that does the job.
In Pace Christi,