Gandalf on living in a fallen world

Here’s an amazing piece of dialogue between Gandalf and Frodo (from the movie, LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring) about Gollum’s presence with them in the Mines of Moria. To me, it illustrates several things: our love/hate relationship with sin and self; our inability to rid ourselves of sinful desire; God’s pity and reclaiming us (notice how in Gen. 3 God stakes his claim with us when he sets us on one side and Satan on the other. There are only two sides, God and everyone else); and finally, our place in this world and encouragement that there is another Force besides evil at work in us and the world.

(Frodo has just noticed that something is following them through the mines of Moria. Gandalf tells him it is Gollum, the former owner of the ring)

Gandalf: He hates and loves the Ring just as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it.
Frodo: Its a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance!
Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.


Filed under Meditations, The Lord of the Rings

2 responses to “Gandalf on living in a fallen world

  1. That is a very powerful piece of dialogue.
    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us”

  2. Richard Fason

    I think about this often, especially when feeling down.

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