“This gift of freedom”: The gift of Ilúvatar, from mythological solution to theological problem

— Magne Bergland

5 October 2021 | Tolkien Studies, XVIII, 131

Among the many themes present in his writings, J.R.R. Tolkien himself on several occasions emphasized death and deathlessness as being particularly important to him. Thus in his reply to one reader’s attempt at interpreting The Lord of the Rings:

I do not think that even Power or Domination is the real centre of [The Lord of the Rings].… The real theme for me is about something much more permanent and difficult: Death and Immortality: the mystery of the love of the world in the hearts of a race doomed’ to leave and seemingly lose it; the anguish in the hearts of a race doomed’ not to leave it, until its whole evil-aroused story is complete. (Letters 246) …

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date recorded 📅2022-01-02
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