Hi folks. I’m cheating a bit today, after a busy weekend. So putting Saturday’s post and today’s together .
Taking a look at Mordor and Narnia together. Could they be Hell and Heaven?
Mordor certainly sounds like hell with its fire and ash, poisonous gases, and sleepless evil. It’s thought to be based geographically in Italy; inspired by Tolkien’s view of a volcano spitting fire as he passed it on a cruise, but he is also quoted as, when asked where it was, referring to the Balkans.
I remember being out one night and a mega fan of Tolkien was raving about people insisting there was religious imagery in LOTR. This guy was adamant (with great volume) there was none. Tolkien was indeed a great fan of mythology (and we’ll be focusing on him when we get to ‘T’), but he was a devout Catholic and it’s a stretch to say he did not bring faith themes in to his work. I read an (IMO) interesting article on Christianity.com on this subject, which notes that Tolkien writes evil as not just badness in and of itself, but “evil is seen as perverted or fallen good. Perhaps the best expression of this characteristically Judeo-Christian viewpoint comes when Elrond, the high elf, says, “Nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so.””
In my search for info on this, I read another article, this time in the online version of The Guardian. I suspect the writer preferred Tolkien saying, “Where the Narnia books are a thinly veiled retelling of the New Testament story, Sunday school in drag, Tolkien’s Ring cycle is suffused with deep mythological themes and characters.” Cheeky! 😀 The Chronicles of Narnia may not be as gritty, but they are still compelling reading (again IMO).
Another article for you on the subject. This really resonated with me. The writer talks about the ‘longing’ of the characters for Narnia. As Christians don’t we all long for heaven? The girls’ desire to sink their hands in to Aslan’s mane – how we long to have a tangible closeness with Jesus. The article also talks about the New Narnia, “larger and more vivid, more like the real thing.” It’s a great read. Click here for it.