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December 14, 2003

One Wonders Why Sauron Bothered To Go To War In The First Place

Frank Rich on The Return of The King.

Though the triumph of the coalition against Sauron is a given, that coalition must gain new adherents to achieve it. Nonetheless, Tolkien's intrinsic opposition to absolute power, no matter who holds it, is applied to his hero as well as the villains. Frodo (Elijah Wood) clings so tightly to the epic's supernatural source of all power, the Ring, that it starts to warp him and his values. Only if he relinquishes his hold on unilateral force can he save civilization and achieve a lasting peace.

"Though the triumph of the coalition against Sauron is a given?" That's either complete ignorance of the movie's context, unforgivable in a critic, or a wilful misreading of the text in a lame attempt to smear American foreign policy. The maladroit attempt to make absolute power=unilateral force in the lines following would argue for the second hypothesis, but I'm not totally convinced. It would seem to me that a person with even the barest knowledge of the story would hesitate to make either claim. It's like saying Jim Kirk isn't a ladies man.

So just to be clear, Frank Rich, the premier critic of the NYT, is either thouroughly inept when it comes to The Return of The King, or is willing to appear so as long has he can take a clumsy swipe at George Bush.

Of course, given the themes in the rest of his logorrheic column, it could be both.

Posted by Bigwig at December 14, 2003 02:17 AM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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Comments

Gandalf lied... Hobbits died.

Aragorn stole the election!

Sauron/Saruman in 5004!

Martin Sheen is my necromancer!

Don't blame me... I voted for the Orc guys.

Posted by: Blackavar at December 14, 2003 08:02 AM
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