Christian Symbolism in ‘The Lord of the Rings’

What many people don’t know about J.R.R. Tolkien is his great love and devotion to Roman Catholicism. It’s no wonder then that characters and stories used in his famous literary piece, “The Lord of the Rings” have such profound depth and meaning to them.

Christ and the Christian

At first, Frodo Baggins is shown to be a carefree hobbit with childlike qualities. Out of good faith, he sums up enough courage to take the One Ring to Mordor, resolving to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom. Throughout the journey, he encounters many obstacles along the way and falls into temptation. Without the help of his like-minded friends, he wouldn’t have reached his destination at all. And when he finally did, Frodo changed his mind about destroying the Ring and claimed it for himself.

Throughout the journey, Frodo greatly resembled Christ. Like the little hobbit, He is faced with much opposition and ridicule for taking a stand in his endeavors of putting a stop to evil. As Christ took up His cross to Calvary, He became a Victim to his friend’s betrayal and the people’s lack of faith.

On the other hand, Frodo best illustrates the Christian believer who struggles in his fights with good and evil. In my own observations, this is due to the fact that many believers’ feel good attitude about their religion will only get them so far and that eventually, they will turn their back on it when bad and immorality become too hard for them to resist. In other words, they want only to reap the good and positive benefits that their faith brings to them but they don’t want to follow through when hardship starts playing into things. This is exactly what happened with Frodo. I noticed that at first, he likes the idea of destroying the Ring and becoming the “hero” of Middle-Earth but once the temptation of the Ring becomes too strong for him, he gives in to its detrimental powers.


In the story, Boromir decides to seek out his own desires without any mindfulness of the consequences. Just like Judas, he is in disagreement with the rest of the “faithful” or the fellowship. All that matters to him is that he gets what he wants no matter how low he must stoop to get it. Just like Judas who traded Jesus in to His enemies for money, Boromir had chosen the Ring over his friendship with Frodo and the rest of the fellowship by tormenting them over its “usefulness.”

Because Tolkien wasn’t afraid to express his beliefs in Christianity, we can be thankful that by coming up with his own stories that reflected those found in the Bible, we can now have a new and fun outlook on Christian Scripture.

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