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

u comment i follow 38 Comments

  1. Couri-Michele
    Posted January 4, 2007 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I was told to view this by my bca coach and i cant believe you diss Harry & you tell ppl to smoke pot…….

    but i do ♥ the lord of the rings

  2. Posted January 4, 2007 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Well, i totally understand how lord of the rings teaches you evrything. I love the movie as well. all the charcters are very wise, and give out great advice. even if i dont understand it i try though. that’s what counts wright? anyways i loved your site.

    –Rachel they call me. giggle you’ll understnad that if you watch star wars. oops i gave it away. ok bye now. (rachel smiles on the side and ex’s out of webpage.)

  3. Posted March 1, 2007 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Interesting chords. I’d like to hear what you’re doing with them. I’ve been listening to ‘This Sterile Room’ and caught your last gig at Grace in Latham. One of the things that caught my ear – not your average chord voicings and progressions.

  4. Posted March 1, 2007 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Lance :: Thanks for coming out to see us. Yes, much of went into the songwriting involved using voicings that stepped out of the cliché and really articulated a more complex progression. Scott Womer (the acoustic player) is the man to thank for that. :-)

  5. Lance
    Posted March 1, 2007 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    My pleasure. I’m going to make it a point to try to catch y’all again. I got a chance to say hi to Dennis – he and I have a friend in common – maybe I’ll catch you next time. I’d like to have a look at your rig. I remember some sweet tone coming out of your corner. Props to Scott and Patty for the quality material and to you all for the articulation.

  6. Christie
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I find your opinions on Lord of the Rings interesting, however your comments on Harry Potter are ridiculous, Harry Potter doesn’t at any point encourage pre-marital sex, have any mention of demon possession, nor does it EVER encourage witchcraft. It is a series of books in the Genre of FANTASY (as in “not fact”. maybe if you actually read Harry Potter you’d know that.
    Anyway who the hell are you to claim that witchcraft is bad, even evil?
    Satan is a purely Christian belief
    you should do some unbiased research before you go ditching other religions that you don’t understand.

  7. Posted December 27, 2007 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    @ Christie :: “maybe if you actually read Harry Potter you’d know that.”

    Ummm… I’m not sure how to break this to you, but I was being sarcastic. As in, everything you thought I was saying about Harry Potter I wasn’t, and in fact I was poking fun at OTHERS for saying those things about the Harry Potter series. Maybe if you actually read my post you’d know that. :P

  8. Posted November 10, 2008 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    The Lord of The Rings is cool and all, but I can’t wait til The Hobbit comes out to the theaters. That is the only Tokien book I ever read, but it was really good.

  9. Nadia
    Posted April 28, 2009 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    One thing I learned from Lord of the Rings: Never piss off an Ent, Or tree.

  10. Rich
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Haha Bilbo’s quote reminds be of another saying, believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you read…

  11. Michael
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite lessons is that “the hands of the king are the hands of a healer.” I think it is one of the best statements on leadership, that a true leader helps other people instead of just commanding them.

  12. Milan
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Also never piss off an Elf in Lord of the Rings! :P

  13. Sell Books Blogger
    Posted November 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    It’s always funny how many people fail to pick up on sarcasm online. As for LOTR, you could hardly have used a better book to base your life on. ;)

  14. Posted November 28, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    yeah thats true, the hands of the king are the hands of a healer

    great statement

  15. Ani
    Posted December 6, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    i have been looking everywhere for some chords similar to this.

  16. edwardp32
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I love Lord of the rings. There is no dull moments every scene is beautiful. Characters are great. I did not missed any of the episode.

  17. Seasons Change
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Great post. I grew up on LOTR and was so happy to see it handled relatively well when it hit theaters. By the way, I just cracked out my guitar and tried your chords. I asked my buddy what it reminded him of and he said without hesitation, “Lord of the Rings”. Ha ha, nice work!

  18. Posted February 10, 2011 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Very nice story, I watched it about 5ve times and will do.

  19. pyramidias
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Liked some of your commentary about LOTR, but I take issue with characterizing Galadriel as evil or likening her to the White Witch in Narnia(the incarnation of evil in that series). Yes she was tempted, as was everyone who came into contact with the ring (that was the evil) and motivated by power. But you missed the very essence and point of that scene, she was tempted and could have taken the ring & its power for her own, but she did not, unlike so many.

    Therefore, Tolkien was making a point that like all of us (though flawed) she’s the very opposite of evil or purely power-hungry at the end. By refusing the ring, she redeems her earlier mistakes & is made pure enough to return to the West.

  20. Jillian
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    So, should I go and see the films, or not?

    The book was indeed one of those that shaped my younger self, and I’ve always resisted the movies because I don’t want my personal imagery “spoilt”.

    Now a friend is having a LoTR night, so… do I finally do it? ;¬

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