Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


On Crowing and Creation

It's been observed elsewhere that my favorite character from The Lord of the Rings is Samwise Gamgee. This is true, for Sam is my favorite character. But what of my favorite LotR moment? It hails from The Return of the King, Book V, Chapter 4, The Siege of Gondor:

In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no ememy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.

All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen.

"You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your master. Go!"

The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.

"Old fool!" he said. "Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.

Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.

And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.

Some chapters later, it is told that Merry cannot later hear horns blowing wildly in the distance without a tear coming to his eyes. So it is with me each time I read those words. I jump up out of my seat if seated; if standing, I do a little dance; in either case, I grin from ear to ear and wipe away a tear. In fact, the grin and the tear is precisely what happened yesterday.

I read that aloud to Scott and Emily some months ago. I do believe I also read to them the creation account from The Silmarillion, Chapter 1, Ainulindalë. Amazing stuff, really, but of a different genre entirely. The cock crowing and horns blowing seem tangible, presenting us with a hope very real and present, if nevertheless beyond our ability to generate on our own. The creation account, however, seems to be far off and removed from our present reality, about as theoretical as my imagination. But, at least in Tolkien lore, both are as real and relevant as you or I, or the circumstances we find ourselves in. Can the same not be said of what we find in Scripture, from God's existence to the new creation?

posted by Bolo | 2:30 PM
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