10 things I learned from The Lord of the Rings


Big Bang Theory

"Leonard" from The Big Bang Theory holds The Ring

This week, I watched the four brainiac characters of the TV comedy, The Big Bang Theory, fight over ownership of The One Ring, a prop from The Lord of the Rings movies that they had found at a garage sale. My favorite movies featured in my favorite comedy! Could a Monday night get any better?

The rich fantasy world of Middle Earth enchanted me when I first read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in junior high school, and now my middle-school-aged daughter is reading and loving the trilogy as well.  A few snowy weekends ago, we had our own LOTR DVD marathon and watched all three movies (the extended versions!) back to back. They made me reflect on some important lessons I’ve learned from The Lord of the Rings:

  1. We can’t always do things alone. It’s okay to need others and to let them help us.  Frodo thought the burden of destroying the Ring was his alone, but it wasn’t until he recognized and accepted his need for Sam’s help that he succeeded in getting to Mordor.
  2. Know when to let go.  At the end of the first book/film, Aragorn realizes he can no longer directly help Frodo and Sam, and he lets them continue their perilous journey to Mordor on their own. Letting go is something I try to learn as my children have entered their teen years. I don’t quite have that lesson mastered yet.
  3. Be loyal to your friends and value those loyal to you.  The salvation of Middle Earth was truly a team effort accomplished only by the steadfast faith and love the members of the fellowship had for each other.
  4. Celebrate differences. Everyone has something to contribute no matter how different they may be:  elves with their athletic grace, humans — flawed but courageous, dwarves with stubborn strength, tiny hobbits with big, furry feet and giant hearts.  Elven Queen Galadriel reminds us that “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
  5. Never give up; never surrender. (Wait, that’s Galaxy Quest — another favorite movie of mine.  But it still applies here.) Frodo’s unwavering perseverance pays off, and in the end, he saves the world. Maybe you won’t save the world, but if you quit, you’ll never achieve your dreams.  According to Sam, “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish, as my old gaffer used to say.”
  6. Sometimes we need to move toward what scares us the most to accomplish the greatest good.  Frodo knows that Mount Doom in Mordor means certain death, yet he marches straight into the heart of the evil land because he must go there to destroy the One Ring.  And despite his misgivings, Aragorn visits the creepy King of the Dead and the army of freaky ghosties (as my daughter fondly calls them) to enlist their aid to defeat the wicked legions of Sauron.
  7. Great things sometimes come at a high cost. Many lives were lost and civilizations nearly destroyed in battle, but ultimately Sauron was destroyed and peace restored. 
  8. There’s no place like home – appreciate it.  What better way to realize your love for home than to be torn away from it.
  9. Elf ears are cool.  They were one of the reasons why Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett wanted to play the role of Galadriel. 
  10. I’m a nerd… and proud of it.

“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun.”

~~ The Lord of the Rings


  1. Barbara says:

    Loving this blog, Donna – hard to find someone with insight AND heart. Thanks again for time not wasted

  2. dkillo says:

    Thank you for your continued support!

  3. Penny is really pretty on the series Big Bang Theory, she is quite perky too.`.*

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