The Ring is a symbol of pride and power. It represents everything that draws us into the kingdom of the Dark Lord by tempting us to become like him. Its circular shape is that of the will closed upon itself.Its empty centre suggests the void into which we thrust ourselves by using the Ring…We all have such a Ring: it forms the formation of our own Dark Tower, namely the Ego, the false self. Our Quest, like Frodo’s and Sam’s, is to renounce the Ring and be rid of the hold it has over us, ultimately on the path that only Christ has travelled to the end: by sacrificing himself for his friends.

If this is what the Ring means, its renunciation is impossible, as Tolkien saw, without help from ‘outside’, from beyond ourselves…The self cannot unmake the self.

Stratford Caldecott, “Over the Chasm of Fire: Christian Heroism in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings”


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