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The Visions of Tolkien and Jackson

Terry Mattingly

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If J.R.R. Tolkien didn't know the perfect word to describe something he often created his own word or even a completely new language.

The climax of "The Lord of the Rings," he decided, was a "eucatastrophe" -- blending Eucharist and catastrophe. The scholar of ancient languages defined this as a moment of piercing joy, an unexpected happy ending offering a taste of God's Easter triumph over sin and death. Tolkien thought this sacramental element was at the heart of his new myth.

Thus, Greg Wright of HollywoodJesus.com asked Peter Jackson how members of his team handled this in their movie trilogy. When they wrote the scene in which the one ring of power is destroyed, did they discuss Tolkien's theory of "eucatastrophe"?

"No," replied Jackson. "What's it mean?"

It wasn't a normal Hollywood question, but Wright wasn't involved in normal press-tour interviews. In 2002 and 2003, Jackson and other artists behind the films sat down for roundtable discussions with religion-news specialists and critics from religious media. The questions ranged from the nature of evil to computer-generated monsters, from salvation to elvish poetry.

Read the entire article on the Terry Mattingly website (new window will open).

Posted: 25-Jan-05



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Copyright 2001-2014 OrthodoxyToday.org. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article is subject to the policy of the individual copyright holder. See OrthodoxyToday.org for details.


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