As I work on an essay for my grad program on some of the mythological elements in The Lord of the Rings, Hugh Hewitt is running a contest asking “which American blogger is which LOTR character.” I’ve had fun playing with this for the past few days and here are my answers:
Roger Simon is King Théoden of Rohan, a wise elder, whom reality (9/11 for Roger as Saruman’s attacks for the King) knocked out of his stupor. (Roger voted for Gore in 2000.)
Instapundit as Elrond, wise about so many things.
Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarter’s as Gimli, the dwarf of the book, not the movie. Full of common sense and eager to fight for what is right.
Victor Davis Hanson as Gandalf, possessing the wisdom of the ages.
Such mibloggers as Austin Bay, Belmont Club, Black Five and Mudville Gazette embody the qualities of Eomer, Erkenbrand and Prince Imrahil, warriors of Rohan and Gondor, who boldly lead their troops against the forces of the enemy. And Uncle Jimbo of Military Matters as Faramir.
Powerline as the Dúnedain, great scholars and the leaders of the Men of the West.
While other bloggers suggested Andrew Sullivan as Denethor, I believe the more appropriate comparison would be to Saruman. Coming to Middle-Earth in the early centuries of the Third Age, this wise wizard was head of once head of his order, the Istari, dispatched form the Undying Lands to endure, as Tolkien wrote in Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth, “of free will the pangs of exile and the deceits of Sauron they might redress the evils of that time.”
For much of the time (many centuries) after his arrival in Middle-Earth, Saruman waged the good fight against the Dark Lord just as Andrew once stood strongly against the evils of our time. It was only the decades immediately preceding the narrative (i.e., the time in which the Lord of the Rings took place) that Saruman began to turn.
Saruman’s Elvish name Curunír means “Man of Skill.” Andrew has great skill as a writer and debater. And just as Saruman fell because he became obsessed with the Ring, so Andrew fell because of a similar obsession.
UPDATE: The Anchoress, who, I believe, embodies Galadriel’s feminine wisdom, weighs in with her own selectons and links to the Lord of the Rings Character Test. I ended up as Celeborn, spouse to Galadriel who, the movie notwithstanding, remains behind in Middle-Earth into the Fourth Age. He would be the Last of the Eldar to depart for the Undying Lands.
UP-UP-UPDATE: In the comments, some have criticized my choice of Andrew as Saruman. As I acknowledge in Comment #14, they raise some valuable points. While both are wise and suffer from an obsession, Andrew certainly has not gone as far over to the dark side as had Saruman. It seems those who compare Sullivan to Denethor may be closer to the mark.