> So, what does it mean when an immortal being not only seeks to alter
> the natural order, but so fears death that he seeks to cheat it? A
> lot of good ink could certainly be thrown on paper over that
> question. It's a pity, I think, that so little thought has been
> given to the primary theme in LoTR.
Of course to Tolkien, the 'natural order' that you refer to would be the
will of the Creator (Eru) and altering would not be wrong except when it
went against the Creator's will. So the problem is pride and rebellion
against the One, the rejection of humility and meekness in favor of
self-glorification. This can be seen from the Ainulindalie through to
the destruction of the Ring. And that is indeed the over-arching theme:
the creature's choice to obey or rebel against the Creator, and the
consequences that follow.
"It is true that if you tell me what you read, I can tell
you who you are. But I will know you better if you tell
me what you re-read." -- Francois Mauriac