The Two Towers: The King of the Golden Hall
After Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli come to Théoden’s golden hall, the king has no welcome for the visitors at first. He still withers under the crippling domination of Wormtongue. But Gandalf defeats the wicked man by using the staff Háma had allowed the wizard to retain against strict orders. Théoden accepts healing from Gandalf and regains his freedom to act independently. The king is not another Mouth of Sauron, who has no will but that of his master. The man sees the world unfiltered again and realizes that he has a choice to return to the Light. He did not fall from it through his own will but from spiritual if not physical poison. The reclaiming of mastery over himself is also instrumental to the success of the war Sauron launches against Gondor. Things are still grave, but the king now vigorously defies despair rather than remaining bent under its weight.
Fear does not leave any of those who fight in the War of the Ring, but it does not keep them from acting. They move through their terror and so reach the point where they are meant to be. Let us examine our own cages and look for a way out, for there is one, if we but summon the courage to pick up the key and turn the lock. Like Rohan’s king, we, too, will breathe freely again, as we exhale the poisonous fumes of doubt and fear and take in wonderful, clean air. All is not as dark as we think it is. Let us face our fears squarely and examine them closely so as to gain or regain control over ourselves rather than allow worry to rule us.
What paralyzing anxieties do you need to free yourself from in order to embrace your vocation and live more fully?