Stephen Colbert invokes Lord of the Rings ‘little fleeting shadow’ for today’s elections

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A few nights ago, Stephen Colbert was joined on A late show by Jon Stewart to recall the 10th anniversary of their Rally to Restore Sanity (and / or Fear) and to talk about the election.

At one point (at 7:32 a.m.) Jon asks Stephen to quote something from Tolkien that will give him hope and calm ahead of today’s election. Stephen accesses his “Tolkien Occipital Rolodex” for an appropriate ray of hope and offers a magnificent moment of The king’s return with Sam and Frodo trying to get some sleep as they cross the terrible plain of Gorgoroth on their way to Mount Doom.

Here is the full passage:

“Now go to bed first, Mr. Frodo,” he said. “It’s dark again. …

Frodo… was almost asleep before the words were spoken. Sam fought against his own weariness, and he took Frodo’s hand; and there he remained silent until a deep night fell. Then finally, to stay awake, he crawled out of the hiding place…. The earth seemed full of… noises, but there was no sound of voices or feet. Far above the Ephel Dúath to the west, the night sky was still dark…. There, gazing out among the clouds above a dark tor high in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a moment. The beauty of it struck his heart, as he looked up from the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a tree, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and fleeting thing: there was a light and a lofty beauty forever beyond his reach.

May the Star of Eärendil shine again in the West tonight.



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