Recently, a friend of mine tried to convince me
that The Lord of the Rings is a story of good versus evil,
a simplistic fable of light triumphing over dark,
and that Tolkien liked to write in black and white morality.
This is a deep misunderstanding of morality
and the nature of conflict in Tolkien’s storytelling:
in fact, the pull toward loss and catastrophe
is far stronger than the certainty of victory,
and the world of Middle-earth
is always on the edge of a fall into darkness.