In my opinion, some of the most overlooked portions of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy are the chapters right after the final battle in The Return of the King. In these chapters, Tolkien expresses a vision for cosmic renewal that closely mimics the one laid down in the biblical accounts themselves.
In Rev 21:5 we read, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” God has declared that one day he will set all things right. Likewise, at the end of The Return of the King, Tolkien describes how evil has been vanquished and all things set right.
After all, in these final chapters there is a gathering of the “saints,” a great feast, new songs of praise, and even a final wedding. Frodo and Sam even receive crowns on their heads.
This sentiment is best captured by one of Sam’s statements, which is one of my favorite in the entire story. After the ring is destroyed at Mount Doom, Sam wakes up from his sleep surprised he is alive and surprised to see Gandalf. Then he says, “Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?” [Read more…]