Mudcat Café message #1073721 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65233   Message #1073721
Posted By: Grab
16-Dec-03 - 11:02 AM
Thread Name: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
Last guest: Aragorn is the most interesting character in terms of being big and butch and handy with a sword. The point of LotR is that it isn't necessarily the strongman who makes history - some little fella can be more influential, just by taking on a tough task and sticking with it. Frodo starts off a non-entity, single-handedly (well, 9-fingeredly ;-) wins the war, and returns to being a non-entity afterwards, shattered by what he's done.

I think Tolkein's time in WW1 is the major influence here. The generals like Haig got all the fame and went on to bigger and better things after the war. Meanwhile the ordinary soldiers were the real heroes, fighting in appalling conditions and left physically and emotionally shattered at the end. I think this very much reflects Tolkein's view of war. This isn't allegory (he's not saying that Aragorn is Haig, although Denethor may well reflect Tolkein's views on "killing officers") but it's reflecting his views on the matter.