In honor of Easter Sunday, I wanted to mention my favorite redemption stories in Fantasy Literature. Redemption is such a powerful theme. We all fall short of the glory of God, but Jesus volunteered to take our place and die on the cross. We see this same theme in several fantasy books and movies.
WARNING: All 3 listings contain plot spoilers, so don't read the details if you haven't seen or read these stories!
3. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein: In the third book of The Lord of the Rings series, we see Sam and Frodo struggling across barren wasteland, in order to destroy the One Ring in the lava of Mount Doom. However, the One Ring exudes a tremendous amount of power for evil and Frodo is starting to be influenced by it. Often, Sam has had to carry the ring for him. As Frodo slips the ring on his finer and claims it as his own, Gollum bites his finger off, and falls, with the ring, into the fire. This story is such a good reminder that we can't resist the power of Satan on our own. We need companions on our journey, to help bear the load, and sometimes, even our enemies have a part to play in God's plan.
2. The Shack by William P. Young: Caveat: This is only nominally fantasy, and I haven't seen the movie, because I am afraid I would cry too much. After a tragic crisis in his family, Mac encounters all three faces of the Trinity in a very personal way, in a shack, that Young describes as "a metaphor for the places you get stuck, you get hurt, you get damaged...the thing where shame or hurt is centered." Being able to see and experience God in all of the areas of his hurt and need is deeply healing for Mac and for readers, as well.
1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis:
Edmund betrays his brother and sisters for some Turkish Delight (candy,
not turkey stew, as I thought when I was little). In order to save him,
Aslan volunteers to die in his place. This is the saddest scene in the
movie. Lucy and Susan hide and watch as the White Witch and her evil
army put the majestic lion to death. When my children were young, we
always had to skip this scene, and it still makes me cry every time. I find such comfort in the fact that Aslan would choose to give his life as ransom for
Edmund, even when Edmund clearly didn't deserve mercy.