Peace lovers and war addicts in The Lord of the Rings

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


War is throughout Tolkien’s fantasy world the main event, the one that dominates most of the action, that fosters change, sometimes cosmic ones, the only factor in which all races are involved at one time or another. Just as in the real world Tolkien lived in, war is a constant in Ilúvatar’s created world. This characteristic, which nears fantasy and real worlds, is embedded in the cosmologic myth, setting, somehow the tone to the vast majority of Tolkien writings regarding Middle-earth.
In this conference, I will not explore the broad path of war in depth. Instead, I choose to focus the attention on The Lord of the Rings, and more specifically on the races and characters I define as “peace lovers” and “war addicts” within the context of this specific narrative. I am referring to the hobbits and the elves, on the one hand, and to elves and human societies on the other. An obvious consequence of my choice is that much will be left unsaid, untouched, ignored. However, I am confident that my fellow companions in this journey will fulfil a substantial part of these dark pits with exciting and illuminating insights. What I intend to investigate is the difference of the concept of peace held by hobbits and elves and the specific perception elves, and humans have of war. In other words, what differentiates these races in what concerns the culture of peace and war experienced by these three societies, how their perceptions deal, disseminate and express the notions of war and peace, their consequences and intrinsic values.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018
EventIV Congreso Internacional sobre los Inklings: War and Peace in the works of the Inklings - Facultad de Letras de la Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Vitoria, Spain
Duration: 26 Mar 201827 Mar 2018


ConferenceIV Congreso Internacional sobre los Inklings
Internet address


  • Tolkien
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • War
  • Peace
  • Fantasy literature

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    Monteiro, M. D. R. (2018). Peace lovers and war addicts in The Lord of the Rings. Paper presented at IV Congreso Internacional sobre los Inklings, Vitoria, Spain.