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Episode Info: Pull up a cozy chair and join us as we chat about the works and Catholic faith of J.R.R. Tolkien, and strive to carry a little piece of Middle-Earth into our own daily lives.Tolkien Reading Day is celebrated on the 25th of March every year, in honor of the day on which the One Ring was destroyed. Since 2003, the Tolkien Society has celebrated this day by encouraging fans to read and share their favorite Tolkien passages, so I wanted to share five of mine. Share yours on social media using the #TolkienReadingDay hashtag, and tag me so I can see, too!I chose all of these from The Lord of the Rings, perhaps because it's most familiar to me of all Tolkien’s works, but also because it has had the biggest influence on my life and has meant the most to me. The more I read the Silmarillion, the more I fall in love with its depth, but I’m still not as familiar with it to be able to choose my favorite specific passages or chapters. So all of these are from The Lord of the Rings, and I didn’t realize this until now, but all of them are from The Return of the King at that.This first one is from Book Six, Chapter One. After he believed Frodo to be dead, Sam took the Ring and determined to finish Frodo’s quest for him. However, he learned that Frodo was not actually dead, and he had been taken by orcs and carried away. So Sam is following them now in an attempt to rescue him, but already he is being tempted by the Ring.“In that hour of trial it was the love of his master that helped most to hold him firm; but also deep down in him lived still unconquered his plain hobbit-sense: he knew in the core of his heart that he was not large enough to bear such a burden, even if such visions were not a mere cheat to betray him. The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command.” - The Return of the King, The Tower of Cirith UngolSam is strengthened by his realized, and continues on. After climbing to the top of the stairs in the Tower of Cirith Ungol and being unable to find Frodo, Sam sinks down and bows his head. However, he then begins to sing:In western lands beneath the Sunthe flowers may rise in Spring,the trees may bud, the waters run,the merry finches sing.Or there maybe 'tis cloudless nightand swaying beeches bearthe Elven-stars as jewels whiteamid their branching hair.Though here at journey's end I liein darkness buried deep,beyond all towers strong and high,beyond all mountains steep,above all shadows rides the Sunand Stars for ever dwell:I will not say the Day is done,nor bid the Stars farewell.Sam’s song draws the attention of an orc, thinking he’s hearing Frodo. The orc uses a ladder to access the final chamber above, and with that Sam is able to follow the orc up and rescue Frodo.In the next chapter, The Land of Shadow, Frodo and Sam scramble through Mordor, trying desperately to finish their quest. At one point, they find a place to h...
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