Why Tolkien Says, JOSEPH PEARCE
The significance of this date will not escape the attention of Catholic scholars, though it is certainly overlooked all too often by Tolkien's non-Christian admirers. Tom Shippey, an Anglo-Saxon scholar and Tolkien expert, states in his book, The Road to Middle Earth, that in "Anglo-Saxon belief, and in European popular tradiion both before and after that, March 25 is the date of the Crucifixion." It is also, of course, the Feast of the Annunciation, the celebration of the absolute center of all history as the moment when God himself became incarnate as man.
A Catholic and an Oxford don, Tolkien was well aware of the significance of "the twenty-fifth of March." It signified the way in which God had "unmade" the Fall, which, like the Ring, had brought humanity under the sway of "the Shadow." If the ring that the hero wants "unmade" at the culmination of Tolkien's quest is the "one ring to rule them all â?¦ and in the darkness bind them," the Fall was the "one sin to rule them all â?¦ and in the darkness bind them." On March 25, the one sin, like the one ring, had been "unmade," destroying the power of the Dark Lord.