When the recent article popped up online accusing Prof. Tolkien of being racist, the subject was discussed within a group on Facebook. Some of the insights were wonderful, and one in particular caught my attention.
I gained permission from that poster to share his thoughts:
One of the core themes of The Lord of the Rings is the co-operation of diverse races to defeat evil & lay the groundwork for a new future. Dwarves & Elves, in particular, must overcome a bitter history. Gimli’s adoration of Galadriel & his related friendship with Legolas symbolizes a rich new fellowship based on racial forgiveness.
Other key relationships include Merry’s vassalage to Theoden & then Eomer; Pippin’s homage to Denethor & then Faramir, culminating in Aragorn’s lordship over Pippin; Merry & Pippin’s friendship with Treebeard & Quickbeam; Aragorn’s fosterage under Elrond; his friendship with Elladan & Elrohir; his love for & marriage to Arwen; and Bilbo’s many friendships with Elves & Dwarves & Men. All of these relationships involve love, friendship & loyalty between people of different Races.
Another obvious aspect of Tolkien’s world is the way he celebrates the unique gifts & accomplishments of the different cultures of Middle-earth. The hard work & superb craftsmanship of the Dwarves, the horsemanship of the Rohirrim, the swordsmiths of Rivendell, the cloaks of Lorien, the beer & cooking of Hobbits, the Citadel of Gondor: All represent the distinct achievements of unique cultures capable of existing harmoniously.
The Lord of the Rings is anti-racist in a way few on the modern Left know how to be.
– Brad Watson
Thank you, Brad, for allowing me to share your post.