The Lord of the Rings

Q. In a detail in one of the appendices of his Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien notes that the destruction of the One Ring and the defeat of Sauron took place on March 25. Did he intend any religious significance in assigning it this particular date?

A. J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) was a devout Catholic, and his writings were deeply influenced by his religious convictions. Scholars who have studied his works speculate that March 25 was chosen as the date of the destruction of the One Ring and the defeat of the evil Sauron to serve as an allusion to the Son of God’s breaking of the ancient curse incurred by humankind in the Fall of Adam and Eve, and His consequent defeat of Satan. This work was accomplished by his Incarnation (which ancient tradition assigns to March 25, now the Solemnity of the Annunciation) and His crucifixion (which an ancient tradition also assigns to March 25). Interestingly, according to this tradition, March 25 was also the date of the creation of the world, the fall of Adam and Eve, Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac, and the deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.