Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Four Loves

So today is St. Valentine's Day, the feast day of three different saints who were all brutally killed because they were unwilling to stop preaching the faith.  It has often been associated with love because the people killed obviously had so much love they were willing to die for it.

C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves all about the different ways love is present and how it expressed.  He describes the four different kinds of love:
  • storge (affection)
  • philia (friendship)
  • eros (erotic)
  • agape (charity)
So in honor of this day devoted to love and based off C.S. Lewis, I'm going to pick my favorite Lord of the Rings characters who fit into the above categories.

I think the relationship between Theoden and Merry is just so precious.  Merry's remarks after Theoden dies are what really brings the tears up...

"As a father you shall be to me."
It's no surprise Sam and Frodo are my favorite friends!  Does it really need explanation?
“His love for Frodo rose above all other thoughts, and forgetting his peril he cried aloud: 'I'm coming Mr. Frodo!”
“Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo's face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful, as if the chiseling of the shaping years was now revealed in many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the face was not changed. Not that Sam Gamgee put it that way to himself. He shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: "I love him. He's like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.”
“Well, you have now, Sam, dear Sam,’ said Frodo, and he lay back in Sam’s gentle arms, closing his eyes, like a child at rest when night-fears are driven away by some loved voice or hand. Sam felt that he could sit like that in endless happiness...”
Aragorn and Arwen for the win, folks.  Sorry to be basic, but really they are the model couple!  Arwen waited decades for Aragorn and I just love that mention in The Return of the King when he sets guards around the clock on the walls of the city watching anxiously for Arwen to come to Minas Tirith.  I think I may like them even more than Beren and Luthien, though I can't quite figure out why.  I think it may be that their storyline was fleshed out a bit more and their characters seem a bit more multi-demensional.  I also love how they are able to look back on Beren and Luthien's story, such as when Aragorn calls out "Tinuviel!" in Rivendell and Arwen turns around and says, "Why do you call me by that name?"
“For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him when he departs to the Havens: for mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter.”
Oh no...Sam and Frodo?  I can't do them twice...but Sam is just the very emblem of self-sacrifice and charity towards everyone but specifically towards Frodo.
"I can't carry It but I can carry you!"

Honorary Mentions:
Elrond and Arwen (storge)
"Theirs was a parting beyond the ends of the world."
Turin and Nellas (eros)
"I was thinking of Beren the man..."
If you've ever read The Children of Hurin, you may remember Nellas, the elf of Doriath who keeps an eye on Turin.  That chapter where she testifies before Thingol is the saddest part of the entire book.  If Turin hadn't had "his heart and half his head elsewhere" as Beleg puts it, think of how history would have been changed.

Faramir and Eowyn (eros)
“And again she looked at Faramir. 'No longer do I desire to be a queen,' she said.  Then Faramir laughed merrily. 'That is well,' he said; 'for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. And if she will, then let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.”
Eowyn and Eomer (storge)

Sam and Rosie (eros)
"But I would dearly like to see Bywater again, and Rosie Cotton, and her brothers."


  1. *screams of joy* you are so right! All of these examples are greatly fitting to their categories!
    I want to watch the movies now *sobs* :'(
    The last one was the perfect ending <3
    Happy Valentine's Day! :D

    1. I want to watch them too--but then again I always do ;)
      Thank you, and happy Valentine's Day to you too!

  2. Aw, I love it! Good post, mellonin. So many great relationships in the LOTR universe to explore. One of my favorites is Turn and Beleg from the Children of Hurin. I loved their friendship.... :')
    I appreciate how you got into the four loves. You don't often hear people our age talking about them, but I've always liked the subject.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    1. Thanks so much! It's true--oh Turin and Beleg; I'm going to cry!
      I'm so thankful for this blog because I get to talk to people my age who have the same interests--my real life friends are great but they could care less about this ;)
      Happy V Day to you too!