The Hero Is Us

It’s hard not to think of Joseph Campbell while watching the first film installment of The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s renowned fantasy trilogy, which has remained No. 1 at the box office since its opening in December. Underneath the movie’s sweeping spectacle and captivating characters, it’s your basic hero’s story.

After a short prologue establishing the peril Tolkien’s imaginary world, Middle Earth, faces as a result of the unearthing of the Dark Lord’s ring of power, the wizard Gandalf visits old friends at a village of hobbits, a diminutive home-loving race. Events take place quickly, and soon the young hobbit with hairy feet, Frodo Baggins, is charged with an overwhelming task: to journey to an evil land and cast the ring back into the fire of its origin.

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