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TCG Letter #553 / Carpenter Letter #191

J.R.R. Tolkien
Miss J. Burn
26 July 1956
Tolkien urged Burns to re-read all passages dealing with Frodo and the Ring. She would see that it was quite impossible for him to surrender the Ring at its point of maximum power and that his failure had been adumbrated or hinted at far back.

Tolkien pointed to the last part of the Lord's Prayer: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." There is always the possibility of finding oneself in a situation beyond one's power, when salvation depends on something apparently unconnected: the general sanctity, humility, and mercy of the sacrificial person.

Tolkien stated that he had been forced to publish backwards, with the end of visibly incarnate Evil and the Dominion of Men established before all of the mythology and elvish legends were brought out.

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