After seeing The Hobbit (2012) this weekend (an 11:30p escapade to the local theatre after my family went to bed; latest I’ve ever been to the movies!), I cannot not write about it. The story, which functions more of a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy than Tolkien, writing the book many years prior, probably intended, bursts with rich moral and theological themes. Since I started blogging some 7 years after the last LOTR film was released, I have not had an appropriate occasion for sharing my ideas on this story. The Hobbit opens the door wide open! Thus, while these posts will focus primarily on the new film, they will inevitably spill over into LOTR.
I saw the movie on opening night, also the day that will remain forever etched in our minds in infamy as the day of the Newtown CT massacre. I had only heard a quick summary of what happened from my pastor that afternoon and had not yet taken in the horrifying details when I left to see the movie. When I returned home, at close to 3a, I read numerous reports on NPR and NY times, and just wept in my living room, the depth of sympathy made stronger having children that age myself. In my sorrow, and even despair over the cultural decline into darkness such events epitomize, I have thought about the meaning of hope and what can truly supply our hearts need for it.
In many ways the story of Middle Earth, begun in The Hobbit, is a story about how to live with hope in the face of overwhelming darkness and impending doom. As one who is too often tempted to despair, I need to imbibe deeply the true lessons of hope this story teaches. I hope these reflections will help my readers both live more hopefully, embodying living hope in a world that feels increasingly hopeless.