We all followed along with Frodo and the Fellowship as they climbed, fell, ran, clawed, scratched and fought their way to the final demise of the One Ring. At every twist and turn we were cheering for the unlikely group to succeed despite having all odds stacked against them. But did you pick up on the valuable life lessons along the way? If not, no worries. This post has got you covered. Sit back and relax as we dive into the important, yet fun lessons brought to us from the legendary folklore of Middle-Earth.
Never underestimate the underdog, they just might surprise you
In what world would a pack of Hobbits stand a chance against blood-thirsty Orcs and flesh-hungry Ring-Wraiths? Not many, except for J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, of course. There isn't a more worthy team of underdogs out there.
Underdogs can often have unforeseen strengths that are overshadowed by others. But don't be presumptuous. Sometimes the greatest heroes come in the most unassuming packages. Just remember: If the Fellowship can defeat Sauron, anything is possible.
So what if you plummet into a fiery pit while fighting for your life against the ancient, fearsome beast known as Balrog? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? So stand up, dust yourself off, kill that big ol’ Balrog, throw on a new white coat and get back in the fight. Like Gandalf, you’ll become stronger, wiser, and with any luck, majestic AF.
The Fellowship crew all had their fair share of slip-ups, like when Pippin knocked the dwarf skeleton into the well, summoning thousands of angry Orcs. Or when a Hobbit supper campfire nearly got Frodo killed at Weathertop. Mistakes are inevitable but that’s how you learn. So instead of quitting, make like a Hobbit and keep putting one big hairy foot in front of the other.
Be cautious of factory-made products
What do Orcs and and processed package foods have in common? They are both unnatural and come with horrible skin issues. Take a page out of the Elven cookbooks and eat your vegetables! Seriously, have you seen that Elvish hair? Organic nutrients = GOOD. Artificial processing = BAD. Sure, at times Doritos may taste better, but remember…. it didn’t work out so well for the Orcs.
In most aspects of life, the organic choice is likely the better option. We know man-made, processed products aren’t good for anything other than a short-lived burst of mild satisfaction. But what happens next? A guilt-ridden sugar low that makes you feel like garbage. Just like Orcs, these products will only cause more harm than good. Ditch the Doritos—Keep calm and Kale on!
P.S. Doctors agree that one to two glasses of red wine a day is beneficial for healthy blood flow. Living a processed-free life doesn't have to be boring! Balance, people!
Size doesn’t matter. Oh come on, you had to have seen this one coming…
Hobbits are at every disadvantage when it comes to size and proportions. Their pint-sized bodies paired with their extra-large feet doesn't exactly scream masculine warrior, but hey, they still won the battle for Middle-Earth!
Hobbits aren’t ashamed of what they don’t have. They may not be fast, but they are a kind, happy people. They might not be athletic, but they can befriend anyone, and that turned out to be a better asset for them (uh, Bilbo + Smaug = BFFs). Also, who doesn't love a friendly Hobbit drinking buddy? Don’t stress about what you don’t have and take advantage of your strengths!
Moral of this lesson: It’s not about what you lack, but how you use what you’ve got.
Never skip leg day
What if Sam didn’t have the strength to carry Frodo to the gates of Mount Doom? Frodo would probably have died and the whole Fellowship would have been for nought. Gollum would have recovered the Ring and evil darkness of Mordor would’ve engulfed all of Middle-Earth. Plot twist! So yeah, leg days can literally save the world.
Whether you have to carry your friend up a mountain for emergency or for sport, exercise is important. Not only will it boost your confidence, it will increase your energy, improve your mood and jack up that appetite (Lembas bread not included).
Keep your hands to yourself
Even the best and bravest ones have trouble with temptation. Boromir is a prime example. He died with dignity and courage, albeit before he was stricken with the guilt from trying to snatch the One Ring from Frodo. Temptation got the best of him and the One Ring tends to bring out the worst in people. Even Gollum was a decent Hobbit before he killed his friend for the One Ring, and look how that turned out for him: he ended up spending the rest of his life in a miserable, dank cave.
Okay, all together now: don’t take something that doesn't belong to you! Didn’t we learn this in kindergarten? Just in case you missed that day, here it is again: thieves are bad m’kay? Greed is a greatly unbecoming quality to have. Class dismissed!
It’s a shame we don’t all have someone like Sam to save our butts every time we get ourselves into trouble, but it never hurts to have a friend nearby. Every—single—time Frodo set out on a solo journey, he was nearly killed. Remember Shelob the spider? Yea, that big, hairy beast almost inhaled him for lunch. Shortly after, the Orcs were ready to devour him in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. He couldn't even hike up Mount Doom on his own! Luckily, everyone’s favorite sidekick had super-Hobbit stamina and the heroic Sam saved Frodo time and time again.
The point is, the buddy system isn’t just about holding hands, it’s about having each other’s backs. (queue fist bump)
Go on an adventure
Sam was lucky to have been caught eavesdropping and sent to accompany Frodo to Rivendell as punishment, because he would have never discovered his true bravery. He also may have never got the guts to approach his future wife, Rosie. Fighting Orcs by yourself is sure to put a few hairs on your chest.
Leaving home doesn’t mean you have to leave it all behind. Merry and Pippin prove that you don’t need to sacrifice your old life (or appetite) in order to change your perspective on the world. You can travel as far and as long as you desire; home will still be there and (mostly) unchanged when you return.
Even if your home town is as lush as the Shire or as magical as Rivendell, there is still so much to learn outside of it. If flying isn’t your thing, maybe try taking a road trip to a new city. If leaving the city isn’t your thing, try a new experience in your hometown. The thing is, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you don’t like it, at least you tried! But most likely, new experiences will light up your world like the star-glass in a dark cave! (For non-nerds, that’s the magic crystal thing that Queen Galadriel gifted to Frodo - duh)
You never know when you'll need a good doctor
Sooo… Morgul-blades are dangerous! Even with a Ring that made him invisible, Frodo was not invincible. Like most people do, he tried to shake off the stab wound and let it heal all on it’s own—typical. As the injury got worse and his life was depleting, it was clear the “if it still hurts tomorrow, then I'll go see a doctor” attitude wasn’t gonna cut it. With his life expectancy tank running on low, Arwen sweeps in and takes him to Rivendell to properly nurse him back to health.
Morgul-blades don’t exist (thank the lawd), but there are a plethora of other hazards out there. The long waits and co-pays can be a hassle, but so is letting your condition worsen. Next time you have a serious injury, close down WebMD and go see a professional.
Be wary of hitchhikers who say they know the way
Picking Up a Hitchhiker 101: make sure your new passenger doesn’t want to kill you before you agree to travel with them. This may sound obvious, but apparently Frodo and Sam could have used a refresher before adding a +1 on their adventure. In their defense, they were about as lost as two dudes in a Dwarf mine. Even though Gollum attacks Sam and Frodo, they still give him another chance. But then Frodo allows Gollum to lead him into a huge spider cave. WTF, Frodo? Learn from your mistakes, man.
You should always be cautious of all strangers no matter how helpful they may seem.
If they fool you once, ditch them before they lead you into a dark cave of sticky webs. If they fool you twice, seek professional help.
Grab some candles and go forth
Life is unpredictable, and as we’ve learned from the tales of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, it’s important to be ready for anything. You may not encounter dragons or Orcs on your journey through life, and even if you find yourself down on your luck facing unbeatable odds, just remember: “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” We hope you have been reminded of a few important lessons from Middle-Earth, and maybe we have even inspired you to read or re-read Tolkien's works. Grab one (or two or three) of our natural soy candles for nerds. Our three newest scents for March, Fireside Fellowship, Epic Adventures, and Old Smoke Pipe are great to accompany you during your time with Tolkien. Not sure which one to choose? Our Tolkien Inspired Scents Set lets you choose all three scents in any of our available sizes.