Bilbo, Gandalf, Tauriel, Bard, Legolas, Thorin, which character would you aspire to be? If I were in Hobbit 2, I would probably be Tauriel or I’d like to be. She is courageous and does her part to dispel evil from the land, leaving the safety of her kingdom to help defeat the darkness she knows is coming.
I didn’t expect to learn anything from the Hobbit. I’ve read the book. I know the story. Nonetheless, I did learn a few things.
Comfortable isn’t so comfortable
“Tell me, when did we let evil become stronger than us? Will we just stay inside our walls while darkness descends?” she asks.
I ask myself the same questions. Staying inside my comfort zone when a world is dying doesn’t seem too comfortable all of a sudden.
Most of the time I feel very inadequate and incomplete to try to engage any kind of evil that exists in the world. I’d rather run back to my comfortable recliner and read about how others plan to eradicate hunger, bring world peace, resolve sexual confusion and bring the national debt to zero.
With my intellect I understand that God is the answer to evil and all its various shades. I know He is complete, lacking in nothing, but accessing that power and majesty feels distant and impossible.
On the other hand, I have utter confidence in my incompleteness. This belief goes back to Genesis 3 and that sticky little incident in the Garden. Because of Adam and Eve we no longer live forever without evil invading our life.
Our hobbit hole can become a tomb if we don’t venture out.
Light can defeat darkness
It is difficult to be a dragon slayer in a world of naysayers. We become like the orc who tells Gandalf, “There is no light, wizard, that can defeat this darkness.”
It feels impossible to get away from our inadequacies because we live in a world that screams of our powerless at every turn.
“The darkness is coming. It will spread to every corner of the land,” Tauriel says. It is her way of announcing that she must join the fight to defeat darkness or fall prey to it.
Like Irish Statesman Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
However, true it may seem that darkness is seeping into every corner of the earth, there is a Light that can defeat it. When you walk into a dark room and turn on the light, where does the darkness go?
Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46)
It is this process of allowing the Light of Christ into every nook, cranny, hidden door and secret passageway of our lives that dispels the darkness and brings us complete, lacking nothing before the Father in heaven.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes
Of course, the hero of the movie is the most unlikely of all those in the story, Bilbo, the lowly, small hobbit. His perilous trek into the dragon’s lair shows his mettle. I doubt that I’m courageous enough to be Bilbo. I think his job was one of the more difficult ones.
When others told him he did not have to risk his life to defeat the evil, he simply responded, “I promised I would do this, and I think I must try.”
It is the courage of those like Bilbo, who bring their giftings to work to defeat dragons or at least try, that lets us know even in our incomplete state we can make a difference.
In Hobbit 1 we see Bilbo leave the comforts of home and make bold sacrifices. His belief in the fact that Gandalf needs him to join the journey is what finally tips the scale for his decision.
Everyone needs a Gandalf
Gandalf, symbolized by the color white, is instigator of the journey and an ever present figure, but does not affect the total outcome of the journey. Those involved must do that.
He does, however, define the journey, give directions, lead the way, fight evil in the high places where men and hobbits cannot go and wield an awesome staff.
On second thought, maybe I want to be Gandalf. Wait, though, I cannot be Gandalf. He is the definition of completeness in the movie, a parallel to the Christ figure. The connection is more obvious in some of Tolkien’s later works, but I like the ideas presented here. If you think about his role, how he appears riding along side the tribe headed on their journey, leading and directing and then for all intents and purposes disappears, you can see the striking similarities.
Bilbo and the rest of those on the journey would not have made it to the mountain had they not followed Gandalf. And they wouldn’t have made it if Tauriel and Legolas hadn’t cleared the path of orcs. Everyone had to complete their role in order for victory to be won.
Gandalf is Light. The dragon is dark. Bilbo, Tauriel, Legolas and the band of dwarves are the fighters of darkness, being victorious only because of the presence of the Light.
It’s not over yet
This movie ends as part two of a three-part movie. Most of us know the ending. We know what will happen, but it doesn’t happen completely in this movie. Great strides are made towards that end. Many victories are won, but we are left knowing there is a final greater battle.
In the great scheme of things, we know darkness is defeated by the Light of Christ. Every day we come closer to the final act and we see evidence of darkness being turned back by the Light.
It’s not over yet, but we know the ending. Each of us participates in our daily battles looking forward to the final great battle.
It’s not a secret. We know who wins. And we continue to fight towards that final victory.