Everything I needed to know I learned from Lord of the Rings.

dark queenSome say it of kindergarten or nursery school or whatever (you’ve seen the posters)… I say it of Tolkien. Yes, everything I ever needed to know I learned from The Lord of the Rings. [well, almost]

I learned that bands of elves, half-lings, dwarves, wizards, rangers, and warriors aren’t just for Dungeons & Dragons (a role-playing game despised by Christians). Rather, my fellow faith-lings are quite fond of Mr. Tolkien’s mystical epic of magical creatures and mystical characters… and of Mr. Lewis, who wrote quite a fantasy tale of his own filled with much of the same. Of course, the magic and wizardry in their tales are very acceptable to my dear and righteous faith-lings. BUT… don’t you dare go see Harry Potter and his band of demonic Satan-worshiping ne’er-do-wells. For some reason a good dose of Rings or Narnia will deftly craft an allegory in a child’s mind to help shape their moral compass rightly… but a brush with Harry Potter will plunge them deep into the dark downward spiral of witchcraft, demon-possession, and premarital sex.

I also learned that it’s not a bad thing to enjoy some good pipe-weed or ale. Just about every good guy in Rings was either smoking or drinking (or both) at some point during the story. I already knew about the ale, but pipe-weed was always something I rather more enjoyed smelling than partaking of myself. But hey, if I ever get a hold of some Old Toby I just may see what all the fuss is about. You know you gotta love Tolkien… and Lewis… for they are master craftsmen true… and, should there be any chance of a kingdom to come, I’ll bet they’re tilting back ales right now laughing at all of us.

In place of a Dark Lord you shall have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn, treacherous as the sea, stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!

I also learned that evil witch sorceresses are peculiarly enchanting! ;-) Check the wallpaper… it’s Galadriel when she was being tempted and freaking out. There’s something about a Dark Queen. Hmm… like the Ice Queen from Narnia…. icy, yet hot. It’s a paradox… the powerful and evil woman figure, who maintains an aura of femininity and grace.

Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.
- Gandolf

I also learned that Gandolf knows more than anybody else. If anything… I should listen to him. When it was time to give an encouraging word he was right there. When it was time to mourn he was there. When it was time to lead he was there. When it was time to dress somebody down for their stupidity (even an ally) he was right there, and his rebukes had a wonderful sting. And most important… when it was time to kick a little arse… he always brought his own whoopin’ stick!

And I learned that the elves have some enchantingly spellbinding songs… filled with rich Celtic melodies and ethereal drones. I was inspired by the Fellowship extended version scene where Sam and Frodo lament the elves’ departure to the ships leaving Middle Earth. The elves in the scene had a simple, yet haunting song that I sought to imitate on the guitar… so I wrote an extended sequence of Celtic song with chords that layer over one another in a very elvish style. I have included a few of the cool chords I use below. Note the open A string throughout acting as the drone.

x o       x       x o       x       x o       x
-----------       -----------       -----------
| | | | | | <9    | | | | | | <9    | | 1 | | | <5
-----------       -----------       -----------
| | 1 1 1 |       | | | | 1 |       | | | | | | 
-----------       -----------       -----------
| | | | | |       | | | | | |       | | | 3 | | 
-----------       -----------       -----------
| | | | | |       | | 2 3 | |       | | | | 4 | 
-----------       -----------       -----------

   F/A               Dsus/A            G5/A

And, the last thing I learned... was how to properly bid people farewell.

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
- Bilbo Baggins

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