I can see many events and persons in LOTR that can be linked to events and persons in the Second World War.

For example:

  1. Saruman and his allies you can associate with Hitler and his allies.
  2. Saruman, just like Hitler, wants absolute power.
  3. Enormous amounts of weapons (or soldiers) are created and soldiers trained in LOTR before the war starts, just like happened in Germany before the war started.
  4. A super race (the Uruk-hai) is created, just like Hitler wanted to.
  5. The superweapon (the explosive destroying the wall at Helm's deep) compares to the V1 and V2.
  6. Hitler, as well as Saruman, want certain groups exterminated.
  7. Gandalf represents the leaders of the allied forces against Hitler.
  8. Gandalf, like the allied leaders, show respect for different cultures (though not for tyrants).
  9. Initally, the war was likely to be won by Saruman and allies.
  10. Hitler, like Saruman, shows no respect for Nature (apart from his dog).
  11. The war is ended if Frodo drops the ring in Mount Doom, Which destroys the tower with the all seeing eye completely, the like the dropping of the atomic bombs.
  12. The all seeing eye on top of the tower in Mordor can be compared to Hitlers SS.
  13. The "good" guys win.
  14. The true heroes are not the leaders, but the ones who execute the orders. American and Russian soldiers (I certainly omit a lot of them) can be compared to Sam and Frodo (in fact I think Sam is the biggest hero of both).

I'm sure I didn't mention a lot of other similarities, but I think 14 will suffice.

  • 6
    The bases of LotR were written before WWII, so that would be a no.
    – isanae
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:34
  • 2
    Related (not duplicate): How much did Tolkien write about the connection between WWI and his work? Some parts of the answer to that question are also applicable to this one.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:36
  • 1
    This is directly addressed in the duplicate, specifically letter #226 "The Lord of the Rings was actually begun, as a separate thing, about 1937, and had reached the inn at Bree, before the shadow of the second war. Personally I do not think that either war (and of course not the atomic bomb) had any influence upon either the plot or the manner of its unfolding. Perhaps in landscape. The Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to Northern France after the Battle of the Somme. They owe more to William Morris and his Huns and Romans"
    – Valorum
    Feb 11, 2017 at 17:00
  • 1
    Saruman had a dog?
    – TGnat
    Feb 11, 2017 at 17:08
  • 2
    Do you mean Sauron in most of these cases?
    – Edlothiad
    Feb 11, 2017 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


In the foreword to The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien says this:

As for any inner meaning or ‘message’, it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical. As the story grew it put down roots (into the past) and threw out unexpected branches: but its main theme was settled from the outset by the inevitable choice of the Ring as the link between it and The Hobbit. The crucial chapter, ‘The Shadow of the Past’, is one of the oldest parts of the tale. It was written long before the foreshadow of 1939 had yet become a threat of inevitable disaster, and from that point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster had been averted. Its sources are things long before in mind, or in some cases already written, and little or nothing in it was modified by the war that began in 1939 or its sequels.

The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusion. If it had inspired or directed the development of the legend, then certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annihilated but enslaved, and Barad-dûr would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth. In that conflict both sides would have held hobbits in hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves.

Other arrangements could be devised according to the tastes or views of those who like allegory or topical reference. But I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.

Many of your points are also rather dubious. I won't comment on all of them, but suffice to say that comparing the SS with "the all-seeing eye", which represents Sauron, makes no sense to me, and that the allied leaders showing "respect for different cultures" tells me you ought to open a history book or two.

I also fail to see the relation between destroying the Ring and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.

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