"He had no helm, and about his head was a linen band stained with blood; but his
voice was loud and strong. 'Forty-two, Master Legolas!' he cried. 'Alas! My axe is
notched: the forty-second had an iron collar on his neck. How is it with you?' 'You
passed my score by one,' answered Legolas. 'But I do not grudge you the game, so glad
am I to see you on your legs!'”
(The Two Towers, page 148)
Gimli: Short in Height, Tall in Stature
There is an order that I’m following here, but it is of my own design and does not
follow natural logic, or the way the characters are introduced in The Lord of the Rings.
Gimli is next on my list. Having touched on the four hobbits of the Fellowship, I have
chosen Gimli the dwarf, because, like the hobbits, his virtues are not immediately seen. I
have chosen him because the virtues that are seen are not what make him special.
Gimli, son of Gloin, is a proud and prejudiced dwarf. Dwarves and elves were, at
that time, at odds with one another. Although strong and valiant in battle, Gimli begins
the quest as somewhat of a snob, not to mention a bigot. Yet, he is dedicated to the quest,
for the sake of his people if not for any other reason. As time passes we see in him a
loyalty grow towards the others of the Fellowship. This loyalty rivals the loyalty he has
for his own people.
Gimli mourns the death of Balin in the Mines of Moria, although it was his
suggestion that they take that path. He really wanted to show off the glory of his people
to the Fellowship. Instead he found death, destruction and danger. Forced to leave the
Mines of Moria, and do so without their leader, he must enter Lothlorien, which to him is
a place of imminent peril. Yet it is here that Gimli finds that elves aren’t as bad as he
believed. He meets the Lady Galadriel, whom he finds fairer than all things. When asked
what gift he would ask of her, Gimli boldly asks for a lock of her hair.
The relationship between Legolas the elf and Gimli the dwarf shifts to a
friendship that exceeds that of the Fellowship. They are rivals, but friendly ones. This we
see at Helms Deep, where they count the number among the enemy each slays. It is a
contest to see which of the two can better the other, but it is also a challenge to the other
to do better.
Gimli’s valor is in neither his mighty arms and legs nor his steadfastness. His
valor is in that loyalty and love that has grown because of his devotion to the quest. One
of the important things here is to realize this change came about at Lothlorien, and the
meeting of Galadriel.
In the life we can all identify with prejudice, whether being prejudiced against, or
having prejudice rule our thoughts. Many of us have seen God work a miracle in us in
overcoming some, if not most of these prejudices. It is our contact with the “fellowship”,
the people of God that helps do this for us, but more it is our dedication to the task, the
quest that God puts before us. The change that takes place is actually described in Acts
chapter 2. For it was there that 120 followers of Christ gathered together in prayer, and in
one accord, when God poured out His Holy Spirit upon them. It is coming into contact
with the Holy Spirit that changes our lives, gives us strength, and helps us see what others
cannot. Like Gimli, we all seem to think we have reason to be proud, but when we come
to God we find that only He has the right to be proud. Our own good deeds are done only
by His strength in us.
Even Christians struggle with pride and prejudice. When we come to our
Lothlorien, that place where we meet the Holy Spirit, the changes that began when we
met Christ begin to really take shape. Galadriel stands before us as a type, as a figure of
the Holy Spirit of God. The Father is Judge, Creator, Provider and so much more. He is
head of His house. Jesus is the Son. The One to whom we must go to understand and
have a relationship with the Father. The Holy Spirit is that gentleness of God that allows
us to feel His presence, to utilize His power in His way to His glory. Like parents, many
times it is the father who lays down the rules, but it is the love of the mother who draws
the child into keeping them. As it is with God so also it was with Gimli. May we, like
Gimli, ask of God boldly for that which God places upon our heart. In so doing we may
then receive the power to better show the love of God in our lives.
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater
love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:12-14)
by David Brollier