It's the Little Things, Not the Shiny Rings: Love and Friendship in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings




Richer, Joyana Nicole

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



While the name J.R.R. Tolkien is known worldwide, many do not know exactly what went into the making of such a name. The goal of this thesis is to reveal to the reader just how much thought Tolkien put into writing the story The Lord of the Rings by carefully combining aspects of reality with the imaginative fantasy. One of the many aspects of reality incorporated as a theme is love in its many forms. Just as love is such a widely and universally felt emotion, it is just as equally intricate and complicated to explain. By looking at the definitions of love by the famous theologian and author, C.S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, it becomes easier to understand and identify the realistic examples of love in Tolkien’s books, which are; apage, storge, eros and philia. Taking a look at Tolkien’s personal life and how these loves apply to him, further proves how the examples in the books demonstrates aspects of reality as well. By the end of this thesis, the reader should have a greater understanding of the role love plays as a powerful tool to overcome barriers of prejudice, external opposition, and corruption within The Lord of the Rings, and to understand that it is the little things not the shiny rings that mean the most.



Tolken, J. R. R., love, friendship, The Lord of the Rings, recovery, humility, Honors College


Richer, J. N. (2019). It's the little things, not the shiny rings: Love and friendship in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI