Jungian Archetype Checklist for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings



In his masterpiece The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien created what he called a “new mythos”. There is undoubtedly much in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that invites us seeing it through the Jungian framework.  However, on a closer look, comparatively few archetypes are present, and the main protagonist’s (Frodo’s) individuation arguably fails. A Jungian view must offer more than “In a fairy land lived a halfling who, together with some helper-figures, became a wiser and individuated hobbit’.  On the first glance (and even on the second) Frodo listens more to his shadow than to his Anima – if he has an own Anima at all.

Now, how do we avoid  the “If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail“, problem?  By systematically testing elements in the Jungian framework on its applicability to the Lord of the Ring and comparing the results with similar elements  in Richards Wagner “Ring Cycle”…

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