The Lord of the Rings and Christian Symbolism

J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien's Faith and his Writings


The first installment of the epic Lord of the Rings Trilogy was first published in 1954.  Since that time, the world of Middle-Earth has fascinated readers and transformed lives.  Today, I desire to delve into this incredible story, and share with you how Tolkien’s enduring faith is expressed in his novels.  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic and believed firmly in the truths of Christianity.  Now before I begin, I want to state that The Lord of the Rings can be enjoyed without reading through Christ-colored glasses and I will never accept the idea that The Lord of the Rings is a Christian allegory.  On the contrary, Tolkien detested allegory and stated himself that his novels were never written with the intent of preaching religion; however, Tolkien was always quick to admit that all of his works were written in the Christian tradition and therefore were full of Christian symbols. In the entire canon of Tolkien’s primary work, three characters emerge in the story as symbols of Christ: Gandalf, Aragorn, and Samwise Gamgee.  Unlike Aslan, in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, no one character fully embodies the Christ figure of the story; rather, each of these three characters clearly symbolize a different aspect of Jesus Christ. 

Gandalf the Grey

1. Gandalf-The Wandering Pilgrim and Savior of Middle-Earth


The dominant symbol of Christ in The Lord of the Rings is Gandalf; evidence of this can be found by first looking at how Gandalf came to Middle-Earth and then considering his actions throughout the story.  Gandalf was sent by the Valar from the land of Valinor to rescue the people of Middle-Earth from evil and to protect them from Sauron.  For those who have not read The Silmarillion, the Valar are basically the gods and goddesses of Middle-Earth and Valinor is the land of bliss in which they dwell.  In The Silmarillion, Gandalf is introduced as a spirit named Olorin, and he only took on the flesh of men so that the people of Middle-Earth would trust him and have faith in his mission.  In a similar way, Christ left heaven to come to Earth and took on bodily form to rescue humanity from sin and Satan. 

When we first meet Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring, we encounter an old wizened man, with a long gray beard, bushy eyebrows, a flowing cloak, and a wooden staff worn from travel.  Like Jesus, everywhere Gandalf goes he seeks to help others, restore hope, and fight evil.  He travels so extensively that the elves and men of Gondor call him Mithrandir which means: the gray pilgrim.  Also like Jesus, Gandalf possesses several different names that each have a unique meaning: Incanus , Lathspell, Mithrandir, Olorin, Tharkun, ect.

Gandalf Battle the Balrog

Gandalf fights the Balrog to save his friends.
Gandalf fights the Balrog to save his friends.

Gandalf the White

Gandalf the White battles the forces of Mordor to save Middle-Earth!
Gandalf the White battles the forces of Mordor to save Middle-Earth!

The symbolism of Christ becomes most evident in Gandalf’s actions as leader of the Fellowship that was appointed by the Council of Elrond in Rivendell.  When things become tough on the road, Gandalf and the entire Fellowship are forced into the Mines of Moria in an attempt to pass under the Misty Mountains.  The slow journey through the mountains comes to a hand-wringing climax when the Fellowship is chased by a fiery demon of the ancient world called a Balrog.  In this heart pounding moment, surrounded by fire, darkness, whizzing arrows, and terrified screams, Gandalf realizes that no one will escape the Moria alive unless he puts his life at stake for his friends.  As Jesus once said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13).” As the Fellowship begins to cross the treacherous Bridge of Khazad-dum, the Balrog closes in from behind, but Gandalf takes the rear guard and turns to face the monstrous beast alone.  Standing on the bridge surrounded by darkness, Gandalf faces his enemy of flame and shadow, and willingly sacrifices his life to save his friends.  Tears are shed by the Hobbits, hope is lost by others, and Aragorn’s heart wavers at the loss of his mentor.  But Gandalf’s story does not end here.  After falling from the bridge, Gandalf chases the great demon through the deepest and darkest catacombs of the Earth, and slays the Balrog.  This last exertion of power causes Gandalf to die.  Without Gandalf the Fellowship feels lost, but the Valar decide that Gandalf’s mission is not complete and he rises from the dead more powerful and glorious than before.  He becomes Gandalf the White and is no longer hidden under the veil of Gandalf the Gray.  He reunites with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli in Fangorn Forest, and orchestrates the forces of good to defeat Saruman and Sauron, by uniting Rohan, inspiring Gondor, and giving Frodo a chance to destroy the Ring and therefore Sauron forever.  The direct symbolism in these actions, can be discerned by a fifth grader.  In the person of Gandalf, Tolkien attempts to show his readers the power of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, descent into darkness, resurrection, and glorification in his new body!

Aragorn the Ranger

2. Aragorn- The Healer and Glorious King

     Aragorn is a ranger of the North, who lives in obscurity and never seeks glory for himself.  He is a character torn by his desire to do what’s right and his fear of fulfilling his destiny of becoming King of Gondor.  Tolkien describes Aragorn as someone that none of us would really be attracted to.  As Tolkien would put it, “All that is gold does not glitter(Fellowship of the Ring Ch.10).”  This sounds very familiar to a passage of scripture that describes Jesus.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him..-Isaiah 53:2

Furthermore, in The Return of the King, Aragorn dies a figurative death when he enters the Path of the Dead to summon the deceased traitors of the mountain to fulfill their ancient oath and fight for Gondor.  Though Aragorn himself did not die, he willingly entered into a world in which the line between life and death is very blurred.  Moreover, being surrounded by ghosts, darkness, evil, skulls, and other symbols of death emphasizes Aragorn’s metaphorical death.  Once Aragorn emerges from the dark Path of the Dead, he leads his newfound army of the dead to liberate Gondor from the forces of darkness.  Finally, by his courage and excellent leadership, Aragorn leads an army that distracts Sauron, so that Frodo has a chance to destroy the Ring.  Upon the fall of Sauron and the flight of Sauron’s armies, Aragorn is crowned King with much praise and exaltation.  Aragorn’s coronation signaled the restoration of the ancient Kingdom of Gondor, and began a time of unparalleled peace.

King Aragorn of Gondor

Aragorn is crowned King by Gandalf after the fall of Sauron.
Aragorn is crowned King by Gandalf after the fall of Sauron.


The Christ symbolism in Aragorn largely draws from the Jesus of Revelation.  In Christian theology,  Jesus Christ is going to return to the world and rescue all those who have faithfully served God.  When Jesus returns, the book of Revelation describes Jesus as a warrior much like Aragorn: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:11-13).”   In addition, Jesus will be restored to the throne and rule over the heavens and the earth.  Christian theology also teaches that Christ’s reign will be characterized by a great renewal of the Heavens and Earth and everlasting peace.  When Jesus comes, it will truly be The Return of the King.  Therefore, Aragorn is Christ the warrior and liberator, as well as, the coming king who will reign with glory!

Sam and Frodo

3. Sam Gamgee-The Suffering Servant and Faithful Companion


Many of you are probably thinking that I am crazy since I am asserting that Sam is a Christ-figure in the story.  Admittedly, the symbolism of Sam is a bit trickier to see.  Through Sam, readers catch a glimpse of the suffering Christ who loves his friends so passionately that he will never abandon us.

Sam is a rustic Hobbit who possesses incredible integrity and a unique simplistic wisdom.  When Frodo leaves the Fellowship to find Mordor on his own in chapter 10 of book 2 in The Fellowship of the Ring, it is Sam alone who goes with Frodo into the land of darkness.  Sam refuses to be parted from Frodo, and is always faithful to their friendship and the cause of good, even when Frodo becomes unlovable and begins to give his mind over to the sway of Gollum.   As the Ring and Gollum gain more power over Frodo, Gollum manages to deceive Frodo into believing that Sam is plotting to take the Ring from Frodo.  The irony is that Gollum is actually plotting to kill Frodo and take the Ring.  When Frodo tells Sam to leave because he has decided to place his trust in Gollum, Sam is shattered.  Sam obeys Frodo and painfully begins the journey home with tears pouring down his eyes.  But Sam realized that he could not abandon Frodo.  Sam loved Frodo so much, that even after Frodo has mistreated him and rejected him, he turned back around and decided to rescue Frodo from whatever terrors may lie before him.  The last section of Sam’s and Frodo’s quest sees Sam rescue Frodo from an orc-filled tower, Sam encouraging Frodo to never give up, and Sam carrying Frodo on his shoulder when Frodo no longer had the strength to press on. 

Sam Battles Shelob to save Frodo


Most people have heard the poem called “Footprints in the Sand.”  In this poem, a person realizes that no matter what happened in life God never abandoned him, and when life’s most tragic moments struck Jesus carried that person to safety.  Like Frodo, Satan and the world are constantly trying to deceive us, and sometimes we fall for these lies and tricks.  Nevertheless, Christ never leaves the sides of his followers.  As Paul writes in Romans 8:38-39

“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The faithfulness of Christ is seen in the faithfulness of Sam, and like Frodo all those who follow Christ should be thankful that we serve a God who loves us passionately.

A Few Final Comments


Gandalf the White, Aragorn the King, and Sam the brave.  These three characters are Tolkien’s symbols for Christ in his epic trilogy.  I hope that this article blesses your day, opens your eyes, or, if you disagree with me, sparks your mind for debate.  Please leave your thoughts as a comment below.  In the words of Gandalf, “Farewell my friend, until our next meeting.”



Comments 63 comments

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 6 years ago from NJ, USA

This is a very interesting interpretation of some of the major characters of LOTR. I understood that Gandalf could be viewed like Jesus, but never really thought of Sam or Aragorn. If anything I'd say that Sam was more like John the Baptist - and in a way Frodo is Jesus, as with the fight of Shelob, Sam is preparing the way for Frodo's ultimate sacrifice. Excellent article - really made me rethink LOTR!

Ashley 6 years ago

Great article! I thought it was very interesting and well written!

Teresa 6 years ago

Very good Jarrod. Love your interpretation.

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I enjoyed reading your review of The Lord of the Rings and Christian Symbolism. It makes me think of David and Goliath, we all have our Goliaths... Peace :)

jambo87 profile image

jambo87 6 years ago from Outer Space / Inner Space

I really enjoyed your interpretation. Your analysis of Sam parallels Christ title "Son of Man". I also appreciate that you faithfully represented Tolkien's positions on allegory and anti-evangelizing.

Jarrod1240 profile image

Jarrod1240 6 years ago Author

SimeyC-Thank you for your encouraging words. I must say that I spend a long time pondering the symbolic importance of Frodo, and for a time struggled with whether or not he or Sam was intended to be a Christ-figure. Here's the conclusion I reached and would like to have your feedback: Frodo represent the everyman of the Christian world. Frodo represents each of us struggling to destroy our sinful nature or tempation which is represented by the Ring.

Jarrod1240 profile image

Jarrod1240 6 years ago Author

Thank you Teresa and Ashley for your kind words.

Katiem2-Your comment actually triggered a bit of inspiration to write an article on David and Goliath! Thank you for your interest!

Jambo87-Thank you for realizing the importance of being true to Tolkien's sincere intentions when he wrote the novels. Too many people have either tried to de-Christianize his novels or over-evangelize them.

Emily E. 6 years ago

Amazing article Jarrod! You have been blessed with the gift to write!

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Good information from you. I really enjoy read this hub. Lord of the rings was my favorite movie. Thanks for share about this. Good topic selection. Two thumbs up for you.


Jarrod1240 profile image

Jarrod1240 6 years ago Author

Hello Prasetio30. The Lord of the Rings was my favorite movie and book as well! I hope to write more about the Lord of the Rings in the future.

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 6 years ago from NJ, USA

Jarrod: interesting theory about Frodo - I guess you could go both ways. Frodo's temptation could also match the temptation of Christ and the 40 days in the wilderness.

rdlang05 profile image

rdlang05 5 years ago from Minnesota

Very good. I'm going to link to this through my hub on the same topic.

GodChaser profile image

GodChaser 5 years ago from State of Illinois

Great piece, Jarrod. I'm a huge LOR fan and have been delving deeper into the Christian implications of these movies. I've read several interpretations, but, I must say, yours is the best by far. I completely agree with your take on all three characters. In fact, I posted a link to your article on my website. You're welcome to check it out at; go to The Latest page. I just joined Hub Pages and I will definitely follow your work. Feel free to go to my pages, however, I'm just getting started and have only one posted. Keep up the good work!

Honiawa profile image

Honiawa 5 years ago

Interesting interpretation and symbolism... I have read all the books and seen all the movies and there are some significant differences between those two. If your interpretation is based only on the movie, then the books might surprise you

AlyzaLewis profile image

AlyzaLewis 5 years ago from The Land of Narnia

I'm a big fan of high fantasy, and even more so a fan of Christian Fantasy (I'm a Narnia Geek until I die. lol) but I've always argued against Lord of the Rings falling under that category because of Tolkien's insistence that it wasn't meant to be any kind of allegory. However, I really did enjoy your article and it pointed out quite a few things that I hadn't thought about. Great stuff here!

The Morning Star 5 years ago

Yes Gandalf fought lucifer on the bridge. He layed down his life - also because nobody else could do it. Christ like not the Christ. So Gandalf the white when He gets reunited with Farther through Christ, as it WAS an awefull battle, is actualy Gabriel - works just like Him.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Yes lots of symbolism in thisserioes. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. Up one and beautiful. I'm now your fan! I am working a series of 5 novels, “Seeds from Heaven” that touches on a lot of the things you mention. One might ask, “What would the Messiah’s message be today if he traveled the Earth during our time?” “Lean against the Wind” is reviewed in a HUB.

Based upon this HUB, you might enjoy

Kirk 5 years ago

Just a small complaint - Frodo and Sam never had a big disagreement on the stairs to Shelob's Lair. Thats was all Peter Jackson, not Tolkien. So I think Sam the Brave being symbolism for Christ is weak. In fact, in some video biography of Tolkien I watched, it was argued that the relationship between officers and their men in World War I was the inspiration for Sam and Frodo's partnership.

Laura 4 years ago

I also liked your article. Every time I watch LOTR I count myself lucky to see the symbolism that can be found to Christ. I love all the parts you talk about, but I also love the part on the mountains when they light the fires to call for aid. I get really emotional that the people respond to the call and are willing to stand up for what's right, even if it isn't deserved. (the steward of minis tirith didn't come to Rohans aid, yet when asked for help, they came anyway.) So you can look at it as if people are helping others, or to add another christ/God reference, even if we don't deserve it, he will help us if we ask. It's not that its not a great movie without the symbolism, but it is faith deepening for those who would like to see the symbolism and apply it to their own life. I'm going to share you comments with my kids. By the way, I am a Christian and a mormon.

amber 4 years ago

I am so happy that i found this! Ive been looking for an article where they compare The Lord of the rings to Christianity. What i dont like at all is that J.R.R tolkein, if his intension was to represent Jesus through Gandalf, why did he use a wizard who does witchcraft? I mean really??? Witchcraft is so evil! All i am saying is that i disagree alot, with J.R.R tolkein trying to represent Jesus through a Wizard that does witchcraft. Jesus doesn't agree at all with witchcraft. To me Gandalf was a great leader, like Jesus. But i think , other than that Gandalf and Jesus are opposites! :]

mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

There's been a lot of discussion on that point among Christian LOTR fans. I adore the book but I have to admit some frustration, too. I think Tolkien allowed his admiration for mythology to go too far; but to your point, Amber, Tolkien said that Gandalf, and the other wizards, were an order of angels who served Eru, the One God of his mythical world. In Tolkien's Middle Earth, the "magic" of good characters was just another word for their God-given gifts. Remember the scene when Sam asks to see elven magic, and Galadriel responds that she doesn't know what he means -- meaning, she just does what she does. To her it's completely natural and therefore not "magical."

Nick 4 years ago

I love the idea of Aragorn as Christ, i've never really thought of it that way. Even the picture when he is being crowned looks like Jesus. I always thought the part when Gandalf returns at the battle of helms deep is the most similar to Revelation 19:11-13, the white rider on a hill. I love LOTR but even more Jesus. Tolkien is the man.

Katharine 4 years ago

Great great article! You hit it right on the nose for each! Tolkein's plan was to put a little bit of Christ in several of his characters, unlike narnia where there is one character portraying God. I loved this! Thank you!

Tony nyangi 4 years ago

Great intepretation but who's Nazgul

Hagion 4 years ago

I would suggest that several interpretations are possible:

Gandalf - certainly Christ - who ascended save he who also descended. Sown in humility but raised in power.

Aragorn - the king who went to far land but was prophecied to return. A king whose only concern was his people and not his own glory. One who laid aside his glory while giving his life for his friends and thus earning glory

Sam - I actually see more as the Holy Spirit - the paraclete or one called alongside to help. The one who though offended never abandons, never thinks evil of his charge.

Logos831 profile image

Logos831 4 years ago from somewhere, ca

Great article, you drew some great parallels between the texts!

ksinll 4 years ago

I always saw Frodo as a sort of Christ figure because the humblest of creatures -- the hobbit -- was entrusted with the ring which held the fate of the earth in the hand. He was the only one that couldn't be swayed by the lure of power that the ring had. It reminds me of the baby Jesus being born in a manger, salvation through the humblest of beginnings.

Kyle 4 years ago

The reason I don't like Frodo as a Christ analogy is because he's easily corrupted and ultimately gives into evil in the end.

Lee Kong Hian 4 years ago

This is a very interesting article.

Read my interpretation below for comparison.

JRR Tolkien was a devout Catholic and he spent 40 years writing the Lord of the Rings.

He was also a member of the Inklings and a close friend of CS Lewis (who portrays Jesus Christ as the lion Aslan in his books).

When you look at it, the map of Middle Earth is like similar to that of Western Europe.

The following countries are thus represented:

Gondor = Italy

Minas Tirith = Rome

Isengard = Constantinople

Minas Ithil = Jerusalem

Mordor = Palestine

Shire = England

The characters may be portrayed as such:

Gandalf = Pope

Aragorn = Christian Roman Emperor (eg Charlemagne or Constantine)

Sauron = Muslim leader (eg Saladin or Suleiman the Magnificent) or Satan

Saruman = Patriach of Constantinople

Sharkey's men at the Shire = Protestants

Denethor = Other Roman Emperor(s)

Frodo = Jesus Christ

Samwise Gamgee = St Peter the Apostle

Gollum = Judas Iscariot

Orcs = Muslims/Turks

The story may represent the history of the Crusades as well as the history of the Catholic Church.

Among the areas covered are:

Treason of Isengard = Scism between the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox Churches.

Destruction of Isengard by treants = Plundering of Constantinople by crusaders.

Plundering of the Shire = Iconoclasm and plundering of Church property by Protestants.

The war with Mordor represents the Crusades, which are ongoing and will result in stalemate or defeat if not for the actions of Frodo in bringing the ring to Mount Doom (Jesus bringing the burden of sin on the cross at Golgotha/Calvary.)

Frodo is accompanied by his servant, the faithful Samwise Gamgee (portraying St Peter) and the treacherous Gollum (portraying Judas Iscariot). Thanks to Gollum's (and Judas') greed, the mission of Frodo (and Jesus) was successful.

jessshepp 4 years ago

Here's how I look at it. Gandalf represents God. Frodo represents humanity. Sam represents Jesus. Gollum represents Satan, and the Ring represents sin. But I guess Gandalf could be Jesus since he sacrificed himself. The reason I say Gandalf is supposed to symbolize God is because he's the leader, he's the one with power, he seems to always know what to do. He told Sam(Jesus) to stay with Frodo(humanity) just like Jesus did. And Gollum is Satan because he was consumed by sin (the Ring) and was banished, and forced to live in the dark and the Ring consumed him until it was all he cared about. That's just my interpretation of it.

Mitch0716 4 years ago

Interesting. A better interpretation is that the One Ring is a symbol of original sin. Frodo, a Christ-figure (the lamb) must destroy the ring where it came from...hell. The ring is one with Sardon (Satan) whose bodiless spirit must unite with the ring to control middle earth and destroy humanity. Gollum was once a man, who became something of a monster by giving in to sin. Aragon the ranger, the second Christ-figure (the Lion), comes from obscurity to claim the throne as the warrior-king after sin had been destroyed. Gandalf, represents the prophets of the Old Testament, working miracles and pointing to the work of the sacrificial Christ...Frodo. The track to Mount Doom, Calvary. The Elves side with mankind to fight against the evil army created by Sardon, symbolizing Angels and Demons. In the story, Sardon's army used to be Elves. The hobbits work along side of Frodo, representing God's people...the "little Christs" or Christians. Lots and lots of symbolism, but not sure Gandalf is a Christ-figure unless that of a in Prophet, Priest and King, the three offices Jesus fulfilled. Sardon, the bodiless spirit hovering over hell and one with the ring (sin) that controls all other powers and demonic army makes much more sense than Gollum, a double-minded powerless schizophrenic.

dreamseeker2 3 years ago

I have watched everyone of this series so far with my sons. I like the saga of the story, the walking trees and the wizard. Some of the characters like Gulam (not sure of the spelling) are quite precious. lol! I have also heard it said it touches on good and evil, like an analogy to Christianity. No matter what its real meaning is behind the story, I like it. It's fantasy in one of its greatest forms and full of imagination. : ) Voted up and interesting. You have done an excellent job with this.

Bob 3 years ago

"Thank you."

X_Abraxas 3 years ago

Well I think that to some degree you are right. Tolkien used Christian themes in The Lord of the Rings. But what everyone is doing as far as trying to relate each character from this myth, to another character from another myth creates convoluted and confusing ideas. These are archetypal themes that JRR Tolkien was working with. Gandalf is not the reiteration of Christ, but instead he is a personification of similar archetypal motifs. The same is true for every character. By attempting to only relate them to another character from the Christian tradition only diminishes their true nature. Its far more effective to analyze what one character represents from Christianity, and then analyze what one character represents from The Lord of the Rings. Then see when they differ, and when they coincide with one another. Also, these are not just Christian motifs represented in The Lord of the Rings. Many of them are universal motifs, or archetypal motifs found in most mythologies.

Tatum Rask 3 years ago

I really like your views on this!

But I always thought that the ring was a symbol for sin. Because it seems great at first, but in the end, it drags you nearer and nearer to evil.

O.J.R.G 3 years ago

Guys, Didn't you read the Prologue? *Im Quoting from the 50th Anniversary version here*

"I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence."

It seems that some people are confusing applicability with allegory here, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.

So sorry to burst your bubble, but it seems that Tolkien didn't relate Christianity into his books.

TrevorGagne 3 years ago

Add Your CoHere it is. Let me know if this makes sense.

• Gandalf the Grey represents Jesus Christ. He goes from "tribe" to "tribe" gathering followers. Some people blow him off, some choose to follow. (In LOTR, by "tribes", I mean Elves, Hobbits, Man and other Humanoid races. Similar to biblical times, where the tribes were Canaanites, Galileans etc...)

• Gandalf the Grey fights Balrog. Balrog is made of Brimstone and fire (Revelations describes Hell being made of the same thing). They fight on a bridge over a Bottomless Pit. In Revelations, the Beasts and Satan come from and are returned to the Bottomless Pit.

• Gandalf the Grey “dies” goes to what appears to be a Heaven, than is resurrected as Gandalf the White. He’s now dressed in clean white garments. EXACTLY how Jesus is described in Revelations during Armageddon. Even on a white horse. So that comparison is too spot on to be a fluke.

• In the Battle of Helms Deep, Gandalf the White is on top of the mountain before they all charge down and tear shit up. In Revelations, Jesus is seen in white on top of a mountain with his army of 144,000 behind him.

• The third movie is called Return of the King. Enough said..

• Basically the Final Battle is Armageddon. Good vs. Evil. Good obviously wins. Once again, as stated in Revelations.

• Gandalf crowns Aragorn as king. This makes me believe Aragorn is not Jesus, but Peter. In the Gospels, Jesus calls Peter “the rock on which I will build on” and puts Peter in charge of the Church (and of Christianity in general). Just watched a YouTube video of it, HE EVEN SAYS “May thou be blessed” as he crowns Aragorn. Aragorn then says “May we share in the days of peace” and sings a song. Many songs were sung to glorify God/ Jesus. WHICH, leads me to my next and final point for this evening;

• Minas Tirith represents the New Jerusalem. The kingdom of Heaven on Earth. People from every nation are gathered in both the movie and Revelations. Around the entire walls surrounding Minas Tirith, there are gates.. I bet there are exactly 12. In Revelations, the New Jerusalem has 12 gates surrounding it, along its walls.

If I wanted to get EVEN MORE serious about this. I could cite everything I said, linking it all to the Bible. Like I was so close to doing that, but it would have made this a 4 page event.

I’m sure if I watched the movies over again, I could find so much more.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed my novel dude. Sorry about it. I just got so into it and couldn’t stop. When I thought of 80% high, I was freaking out.mment...

kane 3 years ago

I agree. Much of Lord of the Rings is christianity. Frodo had to bear the ring (sin of people) on him and his quest was to destroy evil. Gandalf died and ressurection (jesus) and was a comfort

able 3 years ago

I'm going to use these ideas for my research paper. This article's spot on*.

Elijahtheprophet 3 years ago

Much of the symbolism has already been revealed here. However, in Scripture, Elijah come to prepare the way of the King of Kings. His burden, like Frodo's is very heavy. Scripturally, the prophets carried the "burden of the Lord." Thus Frodo represents Elijah during the Apocalypse. Samwise is Moses. Together, they are the two witnesses. Elijah, prefigured by Zerrubabel, is prophesied to destroy the "burning mountain" of Babylon. As for the great temptation of the ring, Scripture explains that the whole world will be tempted to put the "mark of the beast" on their hands, to be united under the Antichrist- the all-seeing eye of growing governmental powers. Gandalf, helps Frodo interpret the ancient words on the ring...the fire of the Holy Spirit reveals the Scriptures about the unifying mark of the beast. Thus Satan wants to destroy Elijah and keep the message (ring) to himself. Elijah must stay hidden from Satan's view until he reaches the end of his destination...witnessing against the mark.

elijahtheprophet 3 years ago

Let him who has wisdom understand the mark of the beast, Scripture instructs. Frodo means "wise," and Samwise reveals itself. Once people get this mark in their hands (ring), they are able to be seen or located by the seeing-eye of the Antichrist system. Christians will stand visible to the world...when they refuse the great temptation, but those who receive it will be virtually invisible- though seen and locatable to the Antichrist.

elijahtheprophet 3 years ago

One last thing: There is no character in Christian theology who is constantly searched for by Satan for destruction...except Christ. Yet, Elijah had to hide also (see 1 Kin. 17:3), and: "There is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you [Elijah]; and when they said, 'He is not here,' he took and oath from the nation or kingdom that they could not find you." Now consider that John, having the spirit of Elijah, was called less than least in the Kingdom of Heaven. So often the two witnesses in the Apocalypse are overlooked...or even spiritualized to be the churches, but they play the greatest part for good until the King returns. Messiah said, "Surely Elijah does come and retores all things..." but he is given little or no place in Christian eschatology. The Jews, however, honor the prophet, and they teach that he will restore all truth and prepare the way for the Great King. It may be because Christians seek the glory of their churches, and Elijah and Moses bringing strong rebuke is not something which is desired.

Maria Sanchez 3 years ago

This is Awesome!! You can't imagine how much thought I've given to this movie trying to decipher which of the LOTR characters could be a faithful representation or symbol of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I thought of Gandalf of course, but also Aragorn, and it turns out that I wasn't so far!! Thank you for this article, don't mind if I share it. God bless you for taking out the time to enlighten us with your interpretation. It's very valuable to me!!

Gil Kim 3 years ago

What an interesting interpretation of the characters in LOTR, i always thought there was more to this story than meets the eye. when watching Then Hobbit, i couldn't help but notice the similarity of the Dwarves and the Semites. The close relationships of the Dwarves, and looking out for each other after their home was invaded by the dragon. they pretty much stuck together and helped each other out kinda like how Semites operate as one more effectively as compared to the other communities in this world. So i was happy to read a comment here where someone else said they had noticed some similarities as well. However, i think the character that has not been discussed thoughfully IMO is Smeagol/Gollum. In Return of The King we get to see the story of Gollum and how he was once a human/hobbit, and how he came to be in possession of the ring. We see him with his friend/brother and his brother/friend finds the ring. Smeagol instead of being happy for him to have came across such good fortune, becomes overwhelmed by jealousy and decides to kill his brother for the ring. when i was reading your article this thought came to my mind that maybe Smeagol is Cain who slay his brother Abel out of jealousy and the wage for his sin was to wander the world for eternity without love or peace. Smeagol carried his burden of sin with him as he wandered the world for years and eventually turned into more of a beast than a man..Gollum.

Mitchell 3 years ago

I saw the symbolism right away and was really surprised to see Sam's name in the list. See... and correct me if you see it differently, at the very end when Gandalf, Frodo, and the elves leave on the ship, they are preparing a place for the others as Jesus Christ did. Therefore, it confirmed my guess that Frodo was symbolic for Jesus Christ along with the others that got in the boat. Let me know what you think. Oh, also if you like movies that are symbolic to the bible then watch I Am Legend.

Quentin 3 years ago

While the Narnia series was a very straightforward allegory of Christianity, Lord of the Rings is somewhat more obscure but nonetheless present. Jarrod sees Gandalf, Aragorn, and Samwise as Christ-like images. I would like to suggest that it is more like Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, respectively. And Boromir would be Peter, for sure. Full of zeal but lacking in wisdom and tact. Like when Peter cut the soldier's ear off in the garden of Gethsemane. Peter and Andrew were brothers, just as Boromir had a brother, Faramir. I believe Legolas and the elves would symbolize the angels, while the orcs would symbolize demons. Remember how Saruman told the chief orc that the orcs were once elves? (hence orcs represent fallen angels). Froto represents Christ as the sacrificial lamb, and the ring symbolizes the cross, the burden he must carry in order to destroy sin. Smeagol would represent those who do not know Christ, and become consumed by the darkness. Any thoughts on Gimli the dwarf?

Therese 3 years ago

The Elves, of course, were the First-Born. They were unaware of anyone else's presence. Morgoth (or Melkor, who Sauron served before he became the Dark Lord) the terrible would kidnap the Elves, who went out by themselves from their camps. He would torture them and he eventually turned them into Orcs. Although they served him against their wills, the Orcs hated Morgoth. This was called the greatest act of hatred that Morgoth did against Eru (who is compared to God in the Simarillion). Morgoth knew that the Valar and Eru loved the Elves the most.

DaniHenders 2 years ago

In the novel Gollum does not convince Frodo that Sam is plotting against him, and Frodo never tells Sam to leave.

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NancySnyder 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

Fascinating hub! Your article offers a great look into Tolkien's work and the relationship to religion. The "Lord of the Rings" characters, as well as those in "The Hobbit" are so compelling. Thank you for offering your religious perspective. I will consider these aspects next time I read the stories or enjoy the movies.

HC 2 years ago

So glad that I stumbled upon this article... four years later! Thank you for this insightful and encouraging piece.

EngTech 2 years ago

Fascinating indeed. I really found this just I'm one of TLOTR's fans, and mainly my interest lies in depicting the code of such symbolism. I congratulate you sir for such analysis ... I would really like to contact you if you don't mind of course! I'm willing to conduct a research about such theme, and I would be grateful if you help guiding me & instructing as well.

My due respect, sincerely.

CobyM 2 years ago

This was a great article. I would have never thought that it has biblical terms to it. I always thought it was The Chronicles of Narnia was the more bible like books/movies. I can honestly see where LOTR has more bible terms. Thank you for it. I do agree with some of the comments above me as far as the characters. I knew Gandalf was a form of Jesus Christ. But I never thought Sam or Aragon. Again, great article. Looking forward to see another one soon. Peace!!

Jack 2 years ago

I wish people would stop relating Frodo to Christ because Frodo chose the ring at the end, but luckily Golum's greed helped Frodo make the right decision.

Brandon 2 years ago

I am currently working on a project for english on banned books and I am using this as the banned book I'm reading. Part of the reason this book was banned is because of satanic themes and I was wondering if you could point out any of these themes that may be misunderstood as satanic.

yassin 2 years ago

nice analyse from a wise man to the watchers of this film

Dave 2 years ago

From what I recall, Tolkien specifically intended that Gandalf, Frodo and Aragorn represent typologies of the threefold office of prophet, priest and king respectively ( It's important to remember that these are not allegories. So, Frodo giving in to evil by putting on the ring shows his human weakness and the need for deliverance. It does not take away from the priest role he plays in the story.

As a mater of fact, Tolkein used the Lord's Prayer (Our Father) as a template for this part of the book ('deliver us from evil'). Another interesting thing to look at is the timeline he follows. Many events in the book follow the old liturgical calendar. We read these books as a family every year and I always see a host of new things, though many of them are very Catholic/Orthodox in nature and are probably easily missed.

CrusadersAmerica 22 months ago

Good article. Always new about Narnia but not middle-earth, pretty cool. Even though Tolkien did not mean it to be allegorical, your imagination often reflects your worldview.

DD 21 months ago

Lee Kong Hian

"This is a very interesting article.

Read my interpretation below for comparison.

Sauron = Muslim leader (eg Saladin or Suleiman the Magnificent) or Satan

Denethor = Other Roman Emperor(s)

Frodo = Jesus Christ

Samwise Gamgee = St Peter the Apostle

Gollum = Judas Iscariot

Orcs = Muslims/Turks

The story may represent the history of the Crusades as well as the history of the Catholic Church."

-You are really mixing things together, you say Frodo is Jesus and then you say sauron is saladin, both of them were in different ages!!

so you must be specific is it jesus time, or medieval times!

I don't know why you want to mix up things like that. is it just for the sack of saying that muslims are Orcs!! and saladin in an evil guy (sauron.) Although he didn't ride the seas to invade other places and kill innocents like what crusaders did, and then when he took back journalism he didn't hurt anyone and he let Europeans go back to "their countries" in peace.

Why is all of that hate?

Aravis Ariel 21 months ago

Wow I have always wondered about whether the lord of the rings is good or evil and being somewhat of a fanatic I hoped that it would be good and this article has made me think that for the most part it is good.

Maria Sulmonte 18 months ago

I agree with most of this though you did leave some things out. However i do not agree with the fact that you said Sam was the third Christ figure in The Lord of the Rings. Frodo is the third Christ figure in the movie/book. He carrys his cross (the ring) to Mount Doom (Mount Calvery), while Sam symbolizes Simon of Cyrene helping him carry the ring (the cross) to the mountain. Or you could look at San as Frodo's gardian angel who never leaves his side because everyone has their gardian angel that never leaves their side and never will. I hope you consider all of this and help teach this to others in the future. Thanks

Jasmine E. 17 months ago

Yup i completely agree with Frodo being the another Christ in LOTR. He carried the sins of the world. I believe many of the characters represented a portion of Christ in themselves. I love Gandalf as being the resurrected Christ coming with His army for armaggedon.

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Brandon Bledsoe 15 months ago from Houston, Texas


David Montrose 2 months ago

What an inspiring and revelatory article! Thanks so much for the religious symbolism. It will make reading LOTR so much more meaningful for me.

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