Monday, December 31, 2012

LOTR: The Two Towers and paradigm shifts

I write this as I watch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on HBO...

A few years back, I was taking a series of seminars on the Purpose-Driven Life. The lecturer, Uncle Sam, was talking about paradigm shifts. These, according to Uncle Sam, are changes in the way people think.

As an example, Uncle Sam made the class watch a snippet of "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (and this was when I wasn't an avid fan of the book or the novels yet): 
Frodo and Sam had employed Gollum and he was leading them to the Black Gate of Mordor.  While they were resting, Gollum was debating with his alter-ego, Smeagol, about whether "Master" Frodo should be killed to get the Ring or not.  
At the beginning of the trio's journey, Sam and Frodo saw Gollum as nothing more than a creature who they couldn't trust; but as the time went by, Frodo began to trust Gollum more and more. Frodo's turning point (his paradigm shift, as Uncle Sam pointed out) was when he saw what he could become if the Ring consumes his mind; he began to take pity of Gollum. Gollum was no longer just a guide to Mordor; he was also someone who could potentially be saved.
Since that day in the seminar, I always remember "paradigm shift" (a term introduced to me on that day) whenever the movie gets to the Frodo-and-Gollum scene. 

Yet another reason why this Lord of the Rings movie trilogy has a special place in my movie playlist.