“This emotional rollercoaster that Tolkien puts us on – puts Éomer on – this swinging us from one extreme of Éomer’s sense of despair and impending defeat to the thrill of discovering that what you thought was your enemy coming to kill you was in fact your friends and allies coming to rescue you: that’s what Tolkien calls “Eucatastrophe,” and that’s how Tolkien would have us read and to feel, and to experience, the Gospel.”
– Jonathan McIntosh, Old Western Culture, The Novels.
Christ’s death and resurrection was the ultimate eucatastrophe in the history of mankind. The darkest moment, greatest tragedy, greatest defeat was also our redemption, the hour before the dawn, and the ultimate victory of Christ over death itself.
Good stories help us grasp deeper realities that would otherwise more easily pass us by. Éomer’s despair and then thrill in the moment painted by Tolkien is a metaphor for us of Good Friday despair and Easter Resurrection. It pails in comparison, yet moves us closer to the greater reality of the great darkness that was Good Friday, and overwhelmingly greater light that is Easter.
Have a blessed Good Friday!
Daniel Foucachon, for all of us at Roman Roads Press