Thursday, May 21, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club,
"Alien invasions we have known"


FWIW Tolkein was very clear that the power of the Ring was a greater danger to Gandalf because of his own power and his needs, which is to say the magnitude of his vulnerability to temptation, than it was to a lesser being. The hobbits were able to bear the burden because of their prosaic quality. They were tough, not just physically but morally and spiritually. They were literally sons of the soil and lived in holes. The only magic hobbits practiced was in getting out of the way. Ents also would have been less vulnerable. They did not practice magic, they merely accelerated the forces of nature when they were angry. The only creature seen as completely immune to the effects of the Ring was Tom Bombadil. What he was is never explained. He was sui generis, either a Greater Power that chose to stay apart from the Valar or a projection of the mind of the One true God Eru or the living personification of the natural world untouched by magic. All magic spells and manipulations, which are essentially deceits, fail before him.

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