The Gospel According to The Lord of the Rings: Week 10, The Power of Sin

An event happens in Bree that revisits one of the theological themes of the book.

Frodo is persuaded to visit the common room of The Prancing Pony. At one point, the loquacious Pippen starts to share a little too much information with the curious townspeople. To draw attention away from Pippen Frodo hops up on a table and the people call for a song.

With all eyes on him, Frodo begins to feel foolish, and he starts to finger the things in his pocket:
He felt the Ring on its chain, and quite unaccountably the desire came over him to slip it on and vanish out of the silly situation. It seemed to him, somehow, as if the suggestion came to him from outside, from someone or something in the room. He resisted the temptation firmly...
But things don't end there. The Ring persists. In the middle of Frodo's song he tumbles and the Ring finds a way to slip onto his finger. Frodo disappears and scrambles off.
Frodo leaned back against the wall and took of the Ring. How it came to be on his finger he could not tell...For a moment he wondered if the Ring itself had not played him a trick; perhaps it had tried to reveal itself in response to some wish or command that was felt in the room.
Frodo feels temptation coming "from the outside." The Ring has agency and responds to "some wish or command."

We're revisiting, here, the Pauline themes in the book. For both Paul and Tolkien, Sin isn't a moralistic issue. Though we tend to see it that way. Sin is making a moral mistake. But for Paul and Tolkien, Sin is a power, a power with will and agency. As we've discussed, there are three powers in the drama. God, us, and the power of Sin.

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