Another kind of courage was defined by Tolkien in the difference between humility and the arrogant desire for glory. While Sam follows Frodo out of loyalty and would die for him, characters like Boromir are driven by pride and would risk the lives of others for their personal glory. Likewise the rejecting of the ring by Sam, Faramir, and Galadriel can be seen as a courageous rejection of power and glory and of the personal renown that defeating Sauron would have brought about.  Tolkien has commented on this theme in an essay on The Battle of Maldon .
Another theme that appears several times in The Lord of the Rings is the conflict between nature and industry. Tolkien had been raised in the countryside and was very attached to nature, so you could understand his disappointment with his fellow humans when industry and machines began taking over. Because of his childhood home, he made a noticeable connection between evil and metal by making the Shire a rural place and filling Mordor and Isengard (the antagonists) with machines, forges, fire, wheels, and other objects associated with manufac... Read more →
Recently, writer and podcaster Matt Wallace took to Twitter to share a pretty devastating theory that may prove all those dorm room posters were right about . Tolkien’s masterpiece. In a series of 40+ tweets, Wallace’s mini-essay proposes that both The Hobbit and the Lord Of The Rings trilogy are simply cover stories for the seemingly harmless Hobbits’ nefarious drug trade that has been plaguing Middle Earth for centuries. Everything from Bilbo’s journey to the Lonely Mountain to Frodo’s final climb up Mount Doom were concocted by the Shire-dwellers to serve the almighty pipe weed.