Lothlorien Lost: The Wireless World Interpreted through Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy
By Diana Kordas
We are creating Mordor, a dead world where there are no trees, no birds, no light, no beauty and no innocence. Tolkien’s Mordor, the kingdom of the evil wizard Sauron, is a vision of hell, black and terrifying. It is a world without a single blade of grass, peopled by evil orcs, dominated by the restless, eternally-roving Eye of Sauron that seeks, seeks, seeks the ring.
When we read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, there is no question of whose side we are on. We are on the side of Frodo, of Gandalf the good wizard, of the elves who represent the light just as Sauron represents the dark. We want Frodo to succeed in destroying the ring so that Sauron will be vanquished and Middle Earth will be saved from the creeping darkness that has already claimed Mordor. Sauron’s creature Gollum, who originally discovered the ring and became its slave, gives us the creeps. He is pitiable, but he inspires revulsion. He stands for innocence lost, for humanity perverted; he is Cain. We last see Gollum falling into the fires of the volcano, symbolically the fires of hell, clutching the ring he calls “Precious”.
In a wireless world, Sauron is represented by the military-industrial complex that does not care if the earth is barren as long as it is dominated by them. The same thinking that developed nuclear weapons now seeks dominance through a wireless world to power other weapons of mass destruction. Wireless technologies are needed for drones, for satellites and for powerful EMP weapons. Wireless technologies are needed for autonomous robots to do the killing and man the factories of a world with little need of human beings or of nature itself. The telecoms companies are the chief orcs that do Sauron’s bidding, and the robots are the orc armies.
The power of Sauron is electromagnetic radiation, which uses the non-ionizing spectrum to reach out and communicate with wireless devices. Now the Eye of Sauron sits on virtually every hill, seeking, seeking, seeking the devices—the rings—that the telecoms companies have managed to place into the hands of virtually every man, woman and child on the planet. Invisible, these frequencies fill the airwaves, passing through everyone and everything as they seek, seek, seek you out and seek, seek, seek to connect.
In the wireless world, Frodo and the hobbits represent humanity. They live in a beautiful land called the Shire, and nature is bountiful. But the hobbits are vulnerable to the power of the ring, and they feel its pull. Bilbo feels it when he steals the ring from Gollum. Frodo feels it, even though he knows it is evil and must be destroyed. Both Bilbo and Frodo are worn thin and frail by their possession of the ring. Smeagol, who becomes Gollum, feels its attraction so strongly he murders his own brother to possess it.
The dwarves do not feel the power of the ring. They are the only ones who don’t. They dwell underground, and mine for gold, and the power of the ring cannot reach them. In this they are like certain bees that nest underground and which are not affected by the electromagnetic radiation; it does not penetrate into the earth. It is the creatures who inhabit the surface of the earth which are vulnerable, the hobbits and the elves.
If the hobbits represent humanity, the elves stand for nature. Light and airy themselves, they stand for the birds, the butterflies, the fireflies, the bees and other pollinators. They stand for the light, for beauty and for innocence. They are the ones most aware of the presence of Sauron, and the most affected by it. They seek to avoid the Eye by hiding in the forest, in the beautiful and enchanted city of Lothlorien. They know that if the Eye finds them they will die. In the wireless world, the Eye penetrates even the forests. It constantly finds the birds and insects, the creatures who inhabit the rivers and the animals who live above the ground. And the Eye, in the form of electromagnetic waves, is killing them. Plants, insects, birds, amphibians and mammals are all being affected in one way or another.
In the wireless world, virtually everyone is Gollum. Everyone who owns a cell phone, a smart phone, a tablet or any other wireless device feels the pull. Deliberately manufactured to be addictive, these devices have all become the “Precious” without which no Gollum feels he can live. Precious lives in every Gollum’s pocket, and he checks it every few minutes to make sure it is there, constantly stroking its surface as Gollum strokes the Ring. Precious has become every Gollum’s lifeline, an extension of himself, keeping him awake nights as it bathes his face in its unearthly blue light. The cell towers and Wi-Fi routers constantly seek Precious out, pulsing, pulsing, pulsing, sending out the waves of electromagnetic energy that are killing Gollum and the world he lives in. But he doesn’t care, because Precious is everything to him. Let the earth be barren, as long as Gollum has Precious in his possession.
The elves are departing from Middle Earth—our earth. Lothlorien, which surely stands for paradise, is being lost. Even in Lord of the Rings, Lothlorien is ultimately lost because Sauron, though defeated, has come too close to destroying the elves and all they stand for. The elves leave Middle Earth, never to return. In the book, the elvish queen Galadriel gives Sam a box of magical dust which restores nature in the Shire. There is no elvish queen to give us a box of magical dust which will restore our earth, once we have allowed Sauron to destroy it. What is dead and extinct will be forever lost, including species we have never seen and now may never discover. When the elves leave, they will never return.
If you have a wireless device, you are Gollum. The Eye of Sauron will find you, learn everything about you, and ultimately destroy both you and the world you live in. Do you really want to live in Mordor? Do you think you will survive to live in Mordor? Can we still save Lothlorien? Frodo had the courage to toss Precious into the fire. Gollum followed Precious into the fire.