Through A Glass Darkly


Episode 15 of The Forge of Tolkien, THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, is now live on #UATV.

Tolkien insisted in his letter to Milton Waldman that there was no “Magic” as such in The Lord of the Rings, at least not “magic” associated with the Elves. Elvish “magic” was rather “Art” “delivered from many of its human limitations,” while the devices of the Enemy were better labeled “Machines,” especially in their use for dominating others’ wills. And yet, of the “magical” devices that appear in The Lord of the Rings, the most powerful—with the exception of the One Ring—were made by Elves, most particularly the Palantiri or Seeing Stones through which Sauron projected his Eye. 

In this episode, Professor Rachel Fulton Brown explores the tension between “Magic” and “Machines” as a problem for Christians in their use of similar devices from the Renaissance to the present day. Why did Galadriel invite Frodo and Sam to look into her Mirror if she knew what it showed could be dangerous if acted upon? What did Pippin see when he looked into the Palantir of Orthanc—and why did he scream?

New videos from Wranglerstar, The Legend Chuck Dixon, and RAZÖRFIST are also live.