J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, amid the horrors of fascism, communism, the Second World War and genocide perpetrated on an industrial scale. Set within the mythical realm of Middle-earth, Tolkien’s novel portrays the perennial struggle between good and evil. The Dark Lord Sauron has openly returned to Middle-earth. Humans, dwarves, elves and hobbits must choose whether to unite and oppose the forces of tyranny, which seek to conquer, enslave and/or annihilate every living creature in Middle-earth.
Those who join “the Fellowship of the Ring” — and the communities they represent — differ immensely from a cultural, linguistic and even genetic (i.e., species) perspective. What unites them is a set of shared values, for which they are prepared to risk their lives in order to re-establish and guard the boundaries between civilization and barbarism.