LOTR: Illness in Rosgobel is a sign that history repeats itself

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One of the most important parts of human nature is the ability to learn from your mistakes and make sure that they don’t happen again. This is a huge theme in Tolkien’s works. This is especially noticeable in the fears of sons who do not want to repeat the bad deeds of their fathers, like Boromir, who succumbs to the same pride and arrogance as Denethor, or like Aragorn, who fears that he will be tightened by the ring, like his forefather Isildur.

The story may be painful to look at, but it exists as a reminder for the characters to do better than what came before them, to make better choices and build a better world. And this is something that can only be achieved through love, peace and harmony, similar to what communication demonstrates. They succeed in their mission to destroy the ring only because they are loyal to each other and never waver in the bonds that bind them together on their journey.

However, there is one character in The Lord of the Rings whose sole purpose is to try to repeat the great evil in history and bring it to an end before it can be stopped: Sauron, who seeks to fulfill the will of his former master Melkor. He even pushed his evil ambitions one step further and turned them into some of the most dangerous creatures of Middle-earth. Sauron wants to achieve what Melkor could not, and claim the world in order to rebuild it in his own cruel image. Melkor first tried to do this when Middle-earth was still being formed, when the Ainur were just learning to enliven things with their beautiful music. In the Silmarillion, the origin story of Arda, it is recorded that:

The evil of Melkor and the destruction of his hatred flowed out from there, and the Source of Arda was darkened. Greenery became diseased and rotted, rivers were choked with weeds and silt, swamps became fetid and poisonous, breeding grounds for flies; and forests became dark and dangerous, havens of fear, and animals turned into monsters of horn and ivory and stained the earth with blood. Then the Valar really found out that Melkor was at work again, and sought his refuge.

From this passage it becomes clear that Melkor takes great pleasure in spoiling beautiful things. This is a trait shared by all evil creatures in Middle-earth. This is manifested in Sauron’s destruction of the lands of Mordor, turning them into a dirty and barren wasteland; this is seen in Saruman’s cutting and burning of trees around Isengard, which he turns into his army of orcs. In the world of the Lord of the Rings, it’s easy to spot a villain when he gets pleasure and enjoyment from destroying innocent beautiful things.

But this particular description of the disease that Melkor pours out on the forests can be surprisingly familiar. This is because this is exactly what viewers see on the screen when Radagast first appears, scurrying through the forests in Rosgobel, collecting rotting mushrooms from the ground and mourning animals lying dead on the grass. It is clear that the forest is sick. This disease has spread to the Forest, once green and beautiful, but not teeming with deadly creatures, but poisoned from the roots in the soil to the water flowing through its lands. Sap oozes from tree trunks, leaves covered with mucus and general signs of the plague, indicating the action of evil forces.

The sickness in Rosgobel is the first sign that the evil lord has returned to power in Middle—earth, just as the sickness brought by Melkor warned the Valar of his nefarious plans. Thus, it is quite logical that these two scenes, which take place in very different times and epochs of the world, look so similar. After all, Sauron was Melkor’s right-hand man and learned a lot of his cruel and dark magic from him. Thus, he imitates the disease that his master has caused to everything green and beautiful, as a warning against the confrontation of his strength and his might.

This is the beginning of how Gandalf realizes that the famous Necromancer, as he is called in the lands of Angmar, is actually Sauron. The Grey Wizard realizes that he is rising again to regain his ring of power and complete Melkor’s mission to achieve complete domination over the world. This is later confirmed when the White Council confronts the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and he summons the Nine Ring Ghosts who were once great kings of men. Galadriel can summon all his power to expel him, but the devastation he has already caused lasts for many years. Those who know the Lord of the Rings know this story: he is finally defeated in the War of the Ring when Gollum falls into the flames of Mount Doom, destroying the rings forever. It will take a long time before this happens, but long before that, the warning signs have already taken effect.