Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I love my new LOTR Extended Mega Mix Directors Cut Extravaganza Gift DVD far I have not even watched the movies themselves - just the docos...

This week I had cause to reflect on the character of one of the least-celebrated members of the Fellowship of the Ring: Boromir. Here is a man who is passionate and intense - driven even - fueled by the very best motives but prone to the inevitability of human self-deception and pride. His encounter with Frodo in FOTR, just before the Uruk Hai arrive, may be the most overt act of betrayal in the entire trilogy (perhaps only Saruman is worse?) He convinces himself that Frodo's quest is pointless, that his very journey to Mordor will in fact deliver the ring to Sauron, rather than see its destruction. Actually, he had a point: it was a very near thing! And yet Boromir, stricken by his betrayal, spends his life in defence of the fellowship - there is a restoration and reconciliation implicit to his act of self sacrificing love.

Boromir reminds me of 2 of the disciples who demonstrated a similar kind of passion and intensity: Peter and Judas. Peter who betrays Jesus by denying his association with him, not once but 3 times; Judas who betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Although in Judas' case some would say maybe he had a point - Judas may have been affiliated with the Zealots, who looked to the the Messiah for a military and political solution for Roman oppression. Might Judas have hoped for an insurrection in the wake of Jesus' arrest? Peter for his part is frequently portrayed as impetuous and even arrogant - sometimes the impetuous actions of great faith, others the impetuous actions of great pride.

The thing that grabs me about these 2 is that they both betray Jesus and yet their reactions are so different. One capitulates to despair and ends his own life, utterly alone. The other is restored to relationship with Jesus and the other disciples - he goes on to become a great leader in the early church. Its a choice that is often ours: where we will turn in times of failure and disappointment - inwards in the worst sense as Judas did, or outwards, to be reconciled to God and to the community in which we are placed? The irony is that its often the same deep-seated pride that leads us to failure that holds us back from the surrender of ego that is implicit in being reconciled, whether it is to God or others.

I'm just waiting for the right opportunity to massively indulge a first viewing of the extended FOTR - maybe this weekend?



Rhett said...

I have the ROTK extended edition and the others on dvd. I'm so jealous of you now.

Now that they've come down in price it is cheaper to buy all three than the first two to complete my collection. Maybe someone will give the set to me for my birthday in April? (Hoping Sarah reads this...)

Happy viewing... and great blogging. That was a good read.

Rhett said...

Ooops, I meant to say I have the first two on video, not dvd.

I'm old-school.

BJ said...

Hmmm...old school? I think not...