We do need to talk about Tolkien’s racism and classism, but we also need to talk about how, in the world of Tolkien, compassion is the most powerful force. It isn’t sword skill or stealth that saves the day. It’s just that Frodo took pity on a creature who he understood was a victim. He could never have predicated that was what happened, but his kindness was still the thing that resulted in the ring being destroyed.
In Tolkien’s extended works you can see how he started reevaluating his choice of certain tropes, and his adherence to his ethos of compassion even more. From references to how the Easterlings and Southrons were oppressed rather than evil, to actually considering redeeming the orcs.
Tolkein was very old fashioned, but I like to think that if he had lived longer, he would have lived up to his own core values of kindness.
with all due respect drunkenmistrel
Tolkien wasn’t racist; keep his name out of your damn mouth