There was a lovely full-page ad for LOTR in the New
York Times on New Year's Day, picturing Frodo and
Gandalf in Moria with this
dialogue in large letters:
Frodo: "I wish the ring had never come to me...I wish
none of this had happened."
Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times, but
that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide
is what to do with the time that is given us."
Happy New Year from the Cast and Crew of "The Lord of
Since I have knocked the film hard in my public
comments on it, let me
freely admit that this scene, brilliantly performed by
Wood and McKellen, really got to me. The lines are
straight out of Tolkien, of course, and the scene was
made long before September 11; yet it is quite
impossible for anyone watching the film not to feel
the intense relevance of this exchange to our own
situation. (Think also of Gildor's line to Frodo,
sadly not in the film: "The wide world is all about
you: you can fence
yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.")
Tolkien disliked allegory but
had nothing against *applicability*, and
unquestionably LOTR offers insights that are of
continuing use in both public and private life. That
is part of what elevates it to classic status.
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