Thesis Theater: Jennifer Ewing, “The Promises to the Overcomer: The Gifts and Rewards Given to the Fellowship in The Lord of the Rings

Date & Time

Start: April 3, 2023, 9:00 pm

End: April 3, 2023, 10:00 pm



Signum MA student Jennifer Ewing will present her thesis “The Promises to the Overcomer: The Gifts and Rewards Given to the Fellowship in The Lord of the Rings” and respond to questions from the audience in an interactive Thesis Theater. The discussion will be facilitated by Jennifer’s thesis supervisor, Dr. Michael Corso.


J. R. R. Tolkien’s devout Catholicism and Biblical knowledge, through personal study and professional translation and commentary on medieval works, is well known. This Catholic and biblical ‘leaf-mould’ finds its way into the gifts and rewards which were given to the Fellowship in completion of their quest in The Lord of the Rings (Letters 409). This thesis presents evidence that the gifts or rewards articulated as promises to the overcomer in the book of Revelation seem to correspond in theme and value to a gift or a reward in The Lord of the Rings and include: the tree of life (Rev. 2.7), no second death (Rev. 2.11), manna, a white stone, and a new name (Rev. 2.17), rule of the nations, the morning star (Rev. 2.26, 28), white raiment (Rev. 3.5), to be a secure as a pillar in the temple of My God (Rev. 3.12), and to sit with Jesus on his throne (Rev. 3.21). In addition to the religious symbolism, there is a cursory exploration of the stewardship aspects of the gifts and rewards. Without prudent use of these gifts (or rewards), the War of the Ring would have been lost and quest would have surely failed.

About the Presenter

Jennifer Ewing read the Bass & Rankin illustrated edition of The Hobbit when she was ten years old. Despite this auspicious start, fourteen years passed before she read The Lord of the Rings. Some say that entering a course of study with an aim in mind brings a certain depth to that subject. Jennifer has known for the past twenty years that she wanted to write a thesis on Tolkien and Revelation 2-3. She attended seminary (where she is the library director), taking courses with that object in mind, and after graduation she waited two whole months before enrolling at Signum.

About Signum Thesis Theaters

Each of our master’s students writes a thesis at the end of their degree program, exploring a topic of their choice. The Thesis Theater is their opportunity to present their research to a general audience, and answer questions. All are welcome to attend!

Join us on April 3rd at 9pm ET for a Thesis Theater that explores the gifts and rewards in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.