The best lesson to learn from Middle Earth

The moon represents Iraq and the boy fishing is America looking for oil... right?

The moon represents Iraq and the boy fishing is America looking for oil… right?


I’m the sort of guy that doesn’t think too academically about films. I don’t often scratch around for hidden meanings or things being a metaphor for other things.

I could quite happily watch The lion the witch and the wardrobe without realising that Aslan is like Jesus. And although they told me that Animal Farm was about communism… I couldn’t help but see it as a budget animation about a horse and some pigs – like disney movies but without the fun.

It can all get a bit too much like an essay when you start analysing your films. And I don’t think I want to pay £10 to go read an essay on a Friday night.

Though I do like little things like this when someone points them out…


Safe to say that I didn't pick up on either of these things...

Safe to say that I didn’t pick up on either of these things…


So symbolism is not really my bag… I sort of like it when it’s little but I don’t want my films to be actually about something entirely different to what they’re showing me on screen. That’s too sneaky for my liking – the sort of thing that posh people smirk at in theatres.

But I do like to learn lessons from my films. And when I was thinking about the ents in Tolkein’s Lord of the rings recently (as probably most of you do, right?) – I couldn’t help but learn a lesson from them.

Ents are like shepherds of the forest… they walk around both looking after trees and looking like them as well.


Here's one with some hobbits

Here’s an ent with some hobbits… this one is called Treebeard because his beard is a tree


Here’s what Treebeard says about the his fellow ents…

Some of us are still true Ents, and lively enough in our fashion, but many are growing sleepy, going tree-ish, as you might say.

And I can’t help feeling that these Ents are symbolic of the whole ageing process of humanity.

We get sleepy, we get a bit stuck in our ways, we wear the same clothes, go on the same holidays and use only one type of spoon for breakfast because the others don’t feel right… Suddenly we realise that we are very tree-ish indeed.

But Tolkein writes the ents out of their sleepy state. He makes them wake up to what’s going around on them and they end up fighting a really important battle.

Thinking about the ents made me want to make an effort to not become tree-ish as I get older. I want to be one of those old guys with all the new gadgets – even if I don’t know quite how they work.

I’ll be the one riding my hover board and wearing my hoody on my legs (future fashion prediction)

I want to not be too offended when all those rapscallion youngsters do weird stuff that I don’t understand… I want to stay up late sometimes even if I’m threatened with a migraine.

But I will never ever accept that Animal Farm was about anything other than angsty farmyard animals.

I’ll always be like a tree in that respect.