bearyourcross asked: Two things: 1- Who in LotR is your favorite character? Or that you relate to the most
and 2- It's common knowledge that LotR is an allegory for scripture. Gandalf, Aragorn, and Frodo all symbolize Christ, Sam symbolizes Peter (or any sincere Christian) Gollum could be considered Judas, Lord Sauron of course is Satan, Elves represent Angels and so on, but what do the Ent represent?
Well this is not going to be an easy answer.
1: Gollum is one of my favorite characters, actually. Moreso Smeagol, I suppose. It’s just so beautifully tragic, his struggle against his bondage of will to the ring versus his freedom of will found in the community offered by Frodo. The fact that ultimately, his life was the most important in all of Eä is touching. In the end, it’s not Aragorn or Legolas, Gimli or Gandalf, it’s not even Frodo the ring-bearer who saves Middle Earth. It’s Gollum—A creature who is so bound to evil that he cannot see the good in himself. And the irony that as evil as the ring was, and as much as it tried to use Gollum for that evil, Eru orchestrated that Gollum be used for so much more good. It’s the most beautiful part of the story, in my opinion. Redemption of even the most vile, in its own way.
2: While I’ll agree that LotR has many allegorical elements, even Tolkien maintained that it was not an allegory. Much of the Trilogy is simply a beautiful work of literature. The story is the product of a mind steeped in Norse mythology, British literature, World Wars I and II, the post War era, Christian theology, and much more. To say that LotR is simply Christian allegory is to trivialize its immensity.
I’d doubt that Gollum would be considered Judas. If anything, I’d say the Smeagol/Gollum dichotomy would be more symbolic of the Christian than Sam. Smeagol, the redeemed, is constantly fighting against Gollum, the sin nature. Frodo is fighting the same battle. Frodo is successful, whereas Smeagol fails. However, as I said, the allegorical nature of Lord of the Rings is all to often played up.
As far as what the Ents represent, they’re a nod to Shakespeare. In Macbeth, there is a prophecy that says that no man born of woman could kill Macbeth, and Macbeth would reign as king until the nearby forest, Birnam Wood, marched against him. Shakespeare resolved this by having the opposing army cut branches to obscure their numbers—a type of camouflage. Tolkien preferred to bring the actual forest to life, and in the framework that his already extensive legendarium presented, he did so in the Ents. Shakespeare resolved the “no man born of a woman” bit by having Macbeth’s killer be born by Cesarean secton, Tolkien solved it by having a woman and a Hobbit kill the Witch King.
Two other points, quickly: Sauron is not Satan. Melkor, or, as the Elves call him, Morgoth, is the representative of Satan. He sang against Eru in the first Singing of the Vallar, and prided his melodies above all else, creating discord. It was Melkor who created the Balrogs and the Orcs, to name but a few. Additionally, the Elves are not angels. The Vallar are the angelic beings of Eä. All of this is found in the Silmarillion, and various other writings of Tolkien.
So, in a roundabout and disjointed way, there are the answers to your questions. If you haven’t read the Silmarillion yet, I suggest you do so. It’s quite lovely, and it demonstrates the actual depths of the theological bits of LotR. Tolkien was quite influenced by his Inklings tie to Lewis, and the Silmarillion demonstrates that wonderfully.