“It is mainly concerned with Death, and Immortality” (Tolkien commenting on The Lord of the Rings in a letter of 14th October, 1958).
The ways in which various characters encounter death, or consider the issue, offer instructive ways of understanding the problem. There are honorable and laudable deaths, as well as dishonorable. We will examine the approaches of several characters to their own mortality here, and see how Tolkien’s Christian faith shows itself in the various characters, as well as thematically throughout the epic story.
It’s a Good Day to Die
– or –
A Far Green Country under a Swift Sunrise
Tolkien and fellow Oxford Literature Faculty, such as C.S. Lewis, met regularly to read and discuss each other’s writings. Tolkien and Lewis are perhaps the most recognizable names among this group, and their pictures can be still be found on display in the Oxford Pub where they met, The Eagle and Child (aka Bird and Babe).
While Lewis’s fiction, particularly The Chronicles of Narnia, exhibited strong allegorical elements (the lion Aslan, King of Narnia and son of the Emperor over the Sea, being an explicit Christ figure, even to the point of sacrificing himself for the penalties of the PEvensie children’s actions), Tolkien was a severe critic of such straightforward efforts. Instead, Tolkien’s constructed his stories and worlds along the lines of the recovery – escape – consolation approach discussed in Tolkien 102. However, it has been argued that Tolkien in fact included several Christ figures in LOTR. Gandalf is a prophetic figure (as well as giving himself up in an act of sacrifice), Frodo is a priest figure (performing the sacrifice of the Ring), and Aragorn is a King – all these roles are assumed by Christ in Christian theology. We will examine these in more depth before moving on to other characters.
Frodo’s wound suffered while bearing the Ring to its ultimate demise is suggestive of Christ as the suffering Savior (but we will return to Frodo a little later). But it is perhaps just as instructive to consider Gandalf’s sacrificial death while guarding the Fellowship from the Balrog at the bridge of Khazad-Dum. This brings to mind at least Jesus’s declaration “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). And Gandalf’s “passing” (ultimately a passing over to a greater, resurrected life) further reminds one of Christ, as he battles the Balrog throughout. Christ’s descent into hell (while his body lie in the grave) is evoked with Gandalf’s being burnt by the Balrog’s fire, followed by being “plunged into the deep water (where) all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart.” Fire and ice – both are in this grave into which Gandalf descends, but the cold tide of death does further evoke Dante’s image of the lower levels of Hades, in which the lack of the love of God is accompanied by His withholding of the Sun, resulting in the lake of ice in which Satan and others at the bottom level find themselves frozen. The deep abyss, “beyond light and knowledge” and where the Balrog’s fire was quenched, leaving him but a “thing of slime, stronger than a strangling snake” all suggest significant theological connotations: Christ as the Light of the World is absent, as is the knowledge of God, while the Balrog is revealed for the Satan figure, whom Jesus took to task and defeated by his journey into Hades.
Similarly, Gandalf’s resurrection is equally suggestive of Christian theology. After ascending to the Silvertine pinnacle of Durin’s Tower, Gandalf once again engages in battle with the Balrog and casts it down to its ultimate ruin and defeat. Gandalf then lies, naked, “until (his) task was done.” And this task? Certainly the destruction of the Balrog would seem to be part of it – but Gandalf’s task also appears to have been enduring his own death – much like the task of Christ in performing His sacrificial role. But Gandalf’s resurrection and new abilities appear to also be part of that task: as he lay there, Gandalf begins to hear “gathered rumor of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.” Christ as the Divine who can empathize with humanity, and our “High Priest … tempted in all points as we are” is one parallel suggested by Gandalf here; further suggested here is how creation and saints alike groan inwardly while waiting for redemption.
By contrast, Denethor, Steward of Gondor, and his oldest son Boromir, offer less adulatory deaths. When Denethor appears ready to forfeit both his own and Faramir’s lives on the funeral pyre, Gandalf reminds him that “authority is not given … to order the hour of your death.” The desire for such control is evidence of the same “pride and despair” of heathen Kings under the domination of the Dark Power.” Tellingly, Denethor continues on to declare how he would not be a tool of Gandalf and his plan to supplant him with Strider, even if he were (as it turned out) the rightful heir of the throne over which Denethor was but Steward. If Denethor’s “will could have its way” (as Gandalf inquires), Denethor “would have things as they were … to be the Lord of this City in peace, and leave my chair to a son after me, who would be his own master and no wizard’s pupil.” Not only does this echo C.S. Lewis’s cogent summary of his own unbelief – “I had wanted (mad wish) to call my soul my own” – but it is clearly a lack of humility (what we had seen Tolkien declare as a simple substitute for all the imaginative suggestion of fairy-tale!) to yielding to Gandalf’s wise advice. Here we see the limits of the nobility of self-sufficient Man, as Denethor had just declared his desire for independence from the (rightful) line of the Kings of Gondor, which he deemed “a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity.”
Boromir’s death, and life, are a little more complicated that Denethor’s, but exhibit the same basic fault of self-possession. Boromir’s death does occur while nobly defending Merry and Pippin, though shortly after his attempt to lure the ring away from Frodo. “I tried to take the ring from Frodo, I am sorry. I have paid” are among Boromir’s final words. But it is in his comparison with Faramir that the cause of his demise is clarified, as Faramir explains how the ring might have been too strong a temptation for his brother: “I can well believe that Boromir, the proud and fearless, often rash, ever anxious for the victory of Minas Tirith (and his own glory therein), might desire and be allured by such a thing.” Contrast this, one might say ‘sheer Beowulfian naked bravado,’ with the courage tempered by wisdom found in Faramir:
Here was one with an air of high nobility such as Aragorn at times revealed … one of the Kings of Men born into a later time, but touched with the wisdom and sadness of the Elder Race. He knew now why Beregond spoke his name with love, he was a captain that men would follow 
Faramir thus does not make the mistake of his father Denethor, who would not heed the advice of a wizard, but instead heeds wisdom where it may be found (in the Elder Race). Faramir, of whom Beregond states
He is bold, more bold than many deem; for in these days men are slow to believe that a captain can be wise and learned in the scrolls of lore and song, as he is, and yet a man of hardihood and swift judgment in the field. But such is Faramir. Less reckless and eager than Boromir, but not less resolute. 
also possesses the sense of loss, the sadness, in realizing the measure of falling away of his time from its original intended state. This is due to to Faramir’s tempering of courage with a wisdom born of humility: Frodo “felt in his heart” how Faramir “was a man less self-regarding, both sterner and wiser” than his brother. And while Faramir claims that the acts of the Enemy “fill the heart with loathing … my heart is filled with grief and pity.” This pity is in fact a recurring theme throughout LOTR, as for instance it is the pity of Bilbo that spares Gollum, who ultimately completes the ring’s final mission. This pity reflects, ultimately, the passion of Christ for humanity, and His grace towards us; the characters who show such pity thus reflect this divine love.
Frodo’s approach to death, and life, is perhaps best summarized by simple but profound advice Gandalf gives him: “All we have to decide is what we do with the time that is given to us.” Gandalf’s response is given to Frodo’s wish that the growing Shadow of Mordor and the Dark Tower were not happening in his time. Gandalf had in fact prefaced his advice with “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide” – exactly the same humbling advice which he gave Denethor, and was rejected. But implicit in Frodo’s wish is his enjoyment of another deep and prevalent theme of the LOTR sage: the common blessings of natural theology with which Middle Earth is so plentifully crafted. The Shire itself, a pleasant, rural habitat free from the pungent whiff of industrial factories or crowded, teeming cities, is described aptly with thus:
Growing food and eating it occupied most of their time. In other matters, they were, as a rule, generous and not greedy, contented and moderate, so that estates, farms and workshops, and small trades tended to remain unchanged for generations.
But the simple, contented life, however admirable, is never quite as safe as it may seem, whether for the contented, even moderate, hedonist, or for the believer needing vision for reaching his world. The threat from evil does constantly lurk, as Gandalf says of the name of Sauron, the Dark Lord, “that name even you hobbits have heard of, like a shadow on the borders of old stories,” seeking to enslave, destroy, and reduce to a babble of lifeless, colorless confusion. Tom Bombadil’s quirky home of natural beauty and cheer even illustrates the grim task at hand, as it is “nestled under the very shoulder of very hills” where terrible battles had been fought, the stories of which hobbits did not like to listen to, “even by a comfortable fireside far away.” And after Haldir, the Elf guide through Lothlorien, eloquently describes Middle Earth with
The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater. 
he reinforces the point with
Some there are among us who sing that the Shadow will draw back, and peace shall come again. Yet I do not believe that the world about us will ever again be as it was of old, or the light of the Sun as it was a foretime … I fear it will prove at best a truce.
Nevertheless, there is a strength in the joy that fellowship and the simple enjoyments of a life in the Shire can bring, as Aragorn observes of Orc attacks, conducted “in darkness and loneliness (where) they are strongest; they will not openly attack where there are lights and many people.”
The good death, the reward of a warrior who faithfully served through battle, is perhaps best illustrated by the death of Theoden. Leading the Rohirrim into battle with his stirring call
Arise, arise, Riders of Theoden! Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter! Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered, a sword day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
After Theoden falls to the Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgul, the minstrel’s song of Theoden (the last song he wrote), sung by the “slow voices of the Riders (which) stirred even those who did not know the speech of the people” pays homage to Theodon’s struggle and his hope of glory:
Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day’s rising
he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.
Tolkien completes Theoden’s journey with a picturesque conquering of the Shadow of Mordor, in short the Shadow of Death, with his journey to Paradise, as are heard thundering hooves and battle cries from the timely and aptly named “Field of Celebrant,” until Darkness came and King Theoden arose and rode through the Shadow to the fire, and died in splendor, even as the Sun, returning beyond hope, gleamed upon Mindolluin in the morning.
Specifics of Paradise and “the West” into which Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf and the Elves journey are of course supplied only by the imagination of the reader. Frodo’s dream of the journey into the West is finally fulfilled, as when their ship leaves the Grey Havens and sails out onto the High Sea, and into the West,
then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
But Aragorn and Arwen’s encounter with the end of their days is perhaps just as enlightening. Aragorn’s own mortality is decried by Arwen when she grieves his fate with “the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive.” But Aragorn declares that it is “in sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.” The hope of Aragorn is foreshadowed in the Elven name given him by Elrond who raises him from a child of age two after his father Isildur is slain, Estel meaning hope in Elvish. The hope Aragorn offers is that of the heir of the Kingly line of Isildur, the last of the Kings of Numenor given to rule the race of Men, the possessor of Anduil, the sword whose name is interpreted The Flame of the West, born into the end of the Third Age whose passing into the Fourth Age, the Dominion of Men, depends on the War of the Ring. In Aragorn’s success is bound the fate of Men, as Elrond advises “a great doom awaits you, either to rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your kin.” But the hope of Aragorn is bound up in many things.
Aragorn is perhaps the pre-eminent Christ-figure in LOTR, though Tolkien may whirl in his grave to hear such nearly allegorical talk. Not only does he hail from the Kingly line of Isildur and of Numenor, and his service in exile, from age nineteen to forty nine matches that of Christ’s tenure on Earth before beginning his ministry, but Aragorn also possesses the power of healing. “The hands of the King are the hands of healing” Gandalf declares, and indeed Aragorn administers healing medicines to both Faramir and Eowyn, as well as Frodo and Sam. Aragorn himself declares “I am Elessar, the Elfstone, and Envinyatar, the Renewer.” Such talk goes beyond “merely” the power to heal (and one is reminded of Christ’s many cases of miraculous healing), and suggests what C.S. Lewis suggested as the Grand Miracle – not just the Resurrection, but the Incarnation of God into humanity, God become man. “Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this,” Lewis declares, continuing “every particular Christian miracle manifests at a particular time and place and moment the character and significance of the Incarnation.” The fairy-tale suggestion of the binding of the magical and nature only begins to comprehend the situation:
There is no question in Christianity of arbitrary interferences scattered about. It relates not a series of disconnected raids on Nature but the various steps of a strategically coherent invasion – an invasion which intends complete conquest and “occupation.” The fitness, and therefore credibility, of the particular miracles depends on their relation to the Grand Miracle; all discussion of them in isolation from it is futile.
This view of Christ as the renewer of life (let alone the giver of life, consider Colossians 1:16, “For by Him were all things created, both in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him.”) hearkens also to the declaration of C.S. Lewis regarding Christ as embodying so many dying and resurrected god myths of ancient religions – “now as myth transcends thought, Incarnation transcends myth. The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.”
Aragorn ‘s final laying down of his life at the end of his reign is also rich in insight. As a King in the Numenorian line, Aragorn was granted three times the lifespan of other men, though that paled to his Elvish Queen Arwen’s life span, to which his was, as her father Elrond described, “but a yearling shoot beside a birch of many summers.” But upon his death, all the virtues of his humanity, suggestive perhaps beyond that, are revealed in a virtuous and glorious conclusion:
Then a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who came after there looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace of his youth, and the valor of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the splendor of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world.
This finale, his laying in “splendor of … glory undimmed before the breaking of the world” reads quite similarly to that of Jesus’s request to the God the Father in John 17:5, “Now Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began” when explaining to his disciples that His work on Earth was near completion. But looking even closer at the three ages of Aragorn that “blend together,” the Christian Trinity is suggested. The wisdom and majesty of age would seem to suggest God the Father; the “grace of his youth” that of God the Son, Jesus, whose earthly life ended at the youthful age of 33 and whose life-sacrifice for the sin of humanity is the very act of grace and pardon; and finally, “the valor of his manhood” suggests the Holy Spirit which is God’s presence on earth, engaging in continual battle on our behalf.
But not only does Aragorn embody much of the glory and many roles of Christ, but Arwen’s sacrificial giving of her life to Aragorn and the race of Men is also powerful. From the day that Aragorn saw “the elven-light in her eyes, and wisdom of many days” he fell in love with Arwen.
Jesus is God’s wisdom to us, “the Rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley,” and self-proclaimed “light of the world.” As she gave up her Elven immortality, and so “tasted the bitterness of the mortality that she had taken upon her,” and left her father whom she loved dearly, Arwen similarly embodies much of the grace and sacrifice of Christ, the central tenet of the Christian faith.
The battle of Middle Earth – that ultimate battle for the survival of the race of Men against the evil and malice of Mordor (itself a name derived from the word “mortal,” meaning subject to death) – fits perfectly into Tolkien’s notion of escape, the Great Escape, a tale which fairy-tale is so well suited to tell.
Of the language of the heroes and villains of Middle Earth entire further essays could be written, but a survey of the words common in this tale could nearly make the point on their own: Shadow, malice that freezes the heart, terror and cruel hate on the one hand, valor, courage, will and pity on the other, to take just a very small sample. The graceful, playful and beautiful language of the various (non-Orc) races are on display, against which are the confused, hateful babblings of the Orcs.
Gandalf’s own linguistic transformation is a fitting final image to consider, as his prophetic role as guide through the early Ages – “it is given to me to see many things far off” he states in response to Aragorn’s explanation of his own role as Renewer – comes to its fulfillment and end, and as Pippin observed, Gandalf “laughs now more than he talks,” and even happy Hobbits Merry and Pippin become “more jovial and full of merriment than ever before.” All of Middle Earth falls back under the innocence and glory of the ancients which had earlier brought such sorrow in its remembrance, just as the Shire flourishes when Sam remembers to plant the Elven dust in his garden and finds “a gleam of a beauty beyond that of mortal summers that flicker and pass upon Middle-earth.” The battle ended, the hateful and enslaving threat of Death defeated and Life for Men thus saved, the joy in Middle earth shares the taste of Victory Christ offers over death – “O Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” – as Sam “laughed aloud for sheer delight” at the song of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom:
And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.
Samwise Gamgee of course gets far less credit than he deserves, as Frodo’s faithful friend throughout. The theme of ‘Fellowship’ – embedded in the opening book’s title in fact – is a key one, though others such as the pity of Frodo for Gollum, or even the grace of various races (Elves, Valar), and the glory resident in the struggles of the Race of Men. Human fellowship, however, derives from Divine Fellowship: it is not just fellowship of God with man, but Fellowship within the Divine Trinity can be claimed to be behind it all. In the 11th century Anselm described the Trinity as an outflowing of love – the love of the Father for the Son, reciprocated, then flowing forth to humanity in the form of the Holy Spirit. 
The climate of the early 20th century in which Tolkien wrote had experienced a loss of confidence in, basically, history, given the shock that World War I administered after a century of relative peace and progress. This loss was accompanied by a literature with a great deal of philosophical self-examination and absorption, such as Thomas Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and James Joyce’s Ulysses. Tolkien felt a rollicking, epic Romance was in order, hence The Fellowship.
But Tolkien’s writing drew as much upon his Christian faith (some have made note of the more formal Catholic elements in LOTR, communion and the like) as upon the times. Hence, the more deep theological elements of the story and characters were intentional, though Tolkien is famous for disliking straight allegory. That Aragorn at least is a Christ figure – not so far from Lewis’s Aslan one could argue – seems fairly obvious. The Elvish name Estel given him as an infant, meaning ‘hope’ is one clue, that the hands of the King are the hands of healing another, or that he spent 30 years as Strider before assuming his kingly role (as did Jesus before beginning his active ministry at age 30). But I find a couple passages concerning Aragorn to be particularly rich in meaning vis a vis Tolkien’s Christian faith.
First, the description of Aragorn in Appendix A of Return of the King I find to be extremely suggestive of Christ:
Thus Aragorn became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elvenwise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, from which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.
I find a curious parallel between the latter part of this description – hope and mirth – and the final lines of GK Chesterton’s epic theological Romance, as it were, Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith. The entire final paragraph, though lengthy, is worth giving here:
Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
I confess to also finding something like an allegory of the entire Trinity, not just of various roles of Christ, in tee description of Aragorn’s funeral, though Tolkien is said to have disliked analogy so much it is difficult to conceive of him intentionally designing anything more than mere tricolon here:
Also in Appendix A.I of Return of the King, we see the following:
“Estel! Estel!” she cried, and with that even as he took her hand and kissed it, he fell into sleep. Then a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who came after looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace of his youth, and the valour of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the splendour of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world.
“The grace of his youth” seems to me very much like Christ, the son/youth, and grace of the Father for humankind; “the valour of manhood” like the Holy SPirit, the earthly workhorse of the Trinity; and “the wisdom and majesty of his age” very much like God the Father. And all three are perfectly “blended together” here.
I find some support for this from Dorothy Sayers’s 1941 The Mind of the Maker in which she casts the Trinity as an incarnational principle – very much like the arts – in that God the Father is the Idea (of a work of art, for instance), Jesus or God the Son gives the Power to the idea (his words of life and atoning work on the cross), while the Holy Spirit provides the Energy for the work to be implemented. An excellent explication of this, s well as other works by Lewis and TOlkien, among others, can be found in the book of Prof,. Louis Markos, whom I find myself privileged to call my friend, Apologetics for the 21st Century (2010).
“Glory undimmed from before the breaking of the world” – also equally theologically suggestive, not to mention a pleasure to the imagination!
Rublev’s Trinity (Russian, 1411 or 1425-1427)
 J.R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers, III.5 “The White Rider,” 110.
 Dante, Inferno, 1321, Canto 34.
 Ibid., III.5 “The White Rider,” 111.
 Hebrews 4:15.
 Romans 8:22-24.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King (New York: Ballantine, 1994), V.7 “The Ride of the Rohirrim,” 129.
 Ibid., V.7, 131.
 C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy (Glasgow: William Collins, 1955), 182.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, V.7, 130.
 Tolkien, The Two Towers, III.1v”The Departure of Boromir,” 4.
 Ibid., IV.5 “The Window on the West,” 314.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, V.4 “The Siege of Gondor,” 77.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, V.1 “Minas Tirith,” 26.
 Tolkien, The Two Towers, IV.5 “The Window on the West,” 307.
 Ibid., IV.5, 309.
 It is also less than coincidental that in his essay On Fairy Stories, Tolkien includes as “faces of fairy-tale ” not just a sense of the magical towards nature (its primary one) and the mystical towards the supernatural, but also that of “the Mirror of scorn and pity towards Man” (p.340). Examples abound in LOTR of how men behave worthy of scorn, but so too do those in which he acts with pity.
 Tolkien, Fellowship, I.2 “The Shadow of the Past,” 82.
 Ibid., Prologue.2, 30.
 Ibid., I.2, “The Shadow of the Past,” 81.
 Ibid., I.7 “In the House of Tom Bombadil,” 182.
 Ibid., I.7, 181.
 Ibid., II.6 “Lothlorien”, 452.
 Ibid., I.10 “Strider,” 236.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, V.5 “The Ride of the Rohirrim, 110.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, VI.6 “Many Partings,” 275.”
 Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, I.8 “Fog on the Down Barrows,” 187.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, VI.9, 339.
 Ibid., Appendix A.I.v “Tale of Aragorn and Arwen,” 378.
 Ibid., Appendix A.I.v, 373.
 Ibid., VI.4 “The Field of Cormallen,” 252.
 Ibid., V.8 “The Houses of Healing,” 141.
 C.S. Lewis, “The Grand Miracle” in Miracles (New York: Collier Books, 1978), 108.
 C.S. Lewis, “Myth Became Fact” in God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), 66. The notion of a “Fisher King” whose wounds are reflected in the decay of the world, which awaits his healing, ultimately death and resurrection, a Spring as it were, is common in literature, the imagery of which is used in modern poetry such as T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, Appendix A.I.v, 373.
 Ibid., 378.
 1 Corinthians 1:30 reads “Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God”
 Song of Solomon 2:1.
 John 8:12.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, Appendix A.I.v, , 377.
 Ibid., 375.
 Ibid., V.8 “The Houses of Healing,” 141.
 Ibid., VI.5 “The Steward and the King,” 251.
 Ibid., VI.9 “The Grey Havens,” 333.
 Ibid., VI.9, 331.
 1 Corinthians 15:55.
 Tolkien, Return of the King, VI.4 “The Field of Cormallen,” 249-250.
 Anselm, Monoslogion 49-52 esp., 1059 A.D.