Tolkien was, ostensibly, a christian. However the ‘Lord of The Rings’ is undeniably “pagan” in its worldview: especially in its embrace of fate. To say nothing of Tom Bombadil, whose very nature is an overt refutation of fundamental Christian teleology and ontology.
It’s interesting to consider ‘The Lord of The Rings’ in light of Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious and archetypes. Which is to say that what Tolkien may or may not have intended with the narrative is not necessarily what he ended up with.
An artist may, unintentionally, express thousands of years of the cultural and mythical struggles of his people, though his art…theoretically.
In fact the first time I saw a depiction of Aragorn leading his armies against Mordor, with Mt Doom in the background, the parallel narrative that came to mind was of Satan leading his armies of men to surround and attack Christ in Jerusalem.
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city (Jerusalem), and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
-Revelation 20: 7-9
So Satan is bound for a thousand years, after which he assembles an army and attacks Jerusalem.
Aragorn is the line of kings returned after a thousand years in exile; and leads his armies against Mordor.
There are actually several passages in LOTR’s that create a striking parallel between Yahweh and the Dark Lord.
And it’s an interesting coincidence that, as The Shire is representative of England: when you look at the Middle Earth map, Mordor is south/east of The Shire, and the “Holy Land” is south/east of England.
But, to get to the point here,
There are numerous interpretations of what the ‘One Ring’ represents. That can be debated. What can’t be debated is its purpose, which is to dominate, singularly.
And so it is hard not to notice a parallel to the concept of the ‘One God’, with it’s adherents in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (and their secular offspring, Marxists, Progressives and the SJWs) insisting that the one god (or ideology) is the only god and all life must, and will, acquiesce to it.
One god to rule them all, one god to find them,
One god to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
What then would that say about the inability to wield it and thus the need to destroy it? Or the quest to return it to the land from which it was forged?
Again, the parallel: where was the one god, Yahweh, forged? Yep, in the “Holy Land”, aka, Mordor.
Naturally this can all lead to speculation about who or what is Frodo? How would an Englishman come into possession of a concept? And how would he set about to destroy it? Debate? It’s a rather pointless discussion as the overall context is of archetypes.
Otherwise we could wonder who, or what then, is paralleled by Gollum? That ugly, murderous, mischievous and unwelcome fellow traveler, whose lust to once again attain that ultimate power leads to his own destruction and that of the one ring(god).
In fact therein lies the great reveal/mystery: it’s not the ordinary Englishman who causes the destruction of the ring(god), but rather a servant of the enemy.
And I don’t think that is meant to be ironic, but rather illustrative. Power seeks to devour all things. And thus, inevitably, that includes itself.