1. The first thing I learned from LOTR is life is a battle. Everyday even though we can't see it we are in a battle. The battle is one for good or evil. We have the choice to either fight for good or the power to pick evil, but eventually no matter how hard we tried to ignore it or live in our shire the battle will find its way to us. And when it does we will have to make the choice. This is pretty much the premise of the whole movie and from what I can gather book series. Each person picks what side to fight on and even when they thought they were safe the battle still made it to them and the people they cared about.
2. Along that line sometimes we make the choice for good or to fight on the good side and yet evil won't let go of us. It seeps in slowly to corrupt so softly we don't even know it is happening until it is either too late or we've become so tired from fighting it that we are weak enough the choice is taken from us.
This can be seen in pretty much all the characters obiviously this is Frodo's whole path but you can also see it in Gollum and his continuous struggle over the precious. He knows that he wants the precious and he allows that want to consume it. Now one could argue that Smeagol was evil early on so the battle for evil wasn't too hard. After all he killed to get the ring. Frodo on the other hand agrees to the mission because he sees what the ring is doing to the others and wants to do good, but in the end the rings still gets to him corrupting the very good nature within him. Causing him to doubt motives of those who care, to deny the damage being done and to ultimately refuse to destroy the ring of power.
3. Along the lines even though we see Frodo deciding not to destroy the ring Sam still has hope. The fellowship of the ring still has hope that good will win in that last battle. They still have hope that even presented with Frodo's clothes that he is still alive trying to fight. We have to remember that there is always a battle going on. Sometimes it gets so dark and we start to loose our way forgetting where we were, where we stood, who we are, but we have to remember in the midst of all that darkness there is always hope. One thing these movies reminded me of and seem to drive home is the premise that there is always hope. Whether it was hope for a future, hope for a loved one, or hope for going back home, but no matter what the situation they reminded each other there is always hope. Even in the darkest of nights when all seemed lost there was still hope. Hope that Frodo would make it to Mordor and once there would be able to destroy the ring. Hope that Rohon wouldn't fall to evil, hope that Gandalf wasn't dead, hope that good would win, and hope that Arwen and Aragorn would indeed end up together. No matter what situation there was always someone there to remind all that that it is always darkest before the light can shine. Without darkness no one can truly appreciate the light. Don't ever forget that no matter how dark it might seem right now in your life that there is hope. Hope that it will get better, hope that the light will shine the brightest in the morning and hope that this too shall pass.
4. On that note the one thing that Gollum did not have that Frodo does have is Sam. A person who is so good down to his very core that he can't be corrupted. Tempted yes, but not corrupted. All Sam wants to do is help Mr. Frodo to make sure that he fulfills his promise to not leave Frodo. Sam is a dear friend and someone who is needed and continues to fight for what is right even when pushed away. He made a promise and he is going to see it through life or death. But, its more than that. I think Sam truly views Frodo as a dear friend someone who has had an impossible task placed on his shoulders, a burden that no one should have to bear and Sam intends for Frodo to not bear that task alone. Sam is loyal without fault, he takes the blows because we always strike out at those we love first. He continues to stand by Frodo's side even when he realizes there is no going home and when Frodo can't stand Sam carries him.
Sam is not the only good friend shown in this movie series. Legolas is also a good representative of a friend. He stands by Aragorn a human and Gimli the Dwarf. Even though it is rare to have these friendship Legolas considers both a friend. He fights side by side with them, he listens when Aragorn talks and even stands up to him when he doesn't think the decision made was right. He apologizes when he is wrong and he trust them with his life.
Needless to say what I take away from both of these examples and more (like Merry and Pippins) is that when you find a good friend one that you trust, one that is loyal, one that stands by your side through the good times and the scary you keep them. You are no good without a good friend beside you to help and take care of you.
5. Having a good friend lead me to think about the trees in the woods AKA Ents. When they finally get their revenge and the let the water flow through Isengard then all stand firm and plant down their roots so that the rushing water doesn't wash them away. The water is so powerful that the Ents had to lay down their roots to stand still. Sometimes it feels as if the world is calling us to do something or pressure us to look like someone and we have to remember our roots. To stand firm and tall to dig in and allow our roots to take hold making sure we arent' washed away with the rest. That in the end we stood firm and tall and planted our roots for good not allowing the world to wash us away with the latest fad or idea. Having strong roots means we can with stand tidal waves of evil.
Those were only 5 lessions learned I will post additional lessons tomorrow! What lessons have you learned about when watching Lord of the Rings?