The Harrowing of the Barrow Downs

Melanie has some great insights into the scene in The Lord of the Rings where Tom Bombadil rescues the hobbits from the barrow-wight:

It struck me as I read that the whole scene is a type of the harrowing of hell, the moment that according to ancient tradition we recall on Holy Saturday when Jesus goes to the realm of the dead and smashes open the gates to release Adam and Eve and the patriarchs and prophets, all the holy men and women who have died since the beginning of time. He leads them out of the realm of the dead and into the kingdom of paradise. Not only that, but it’s also full of baptismal imagery, appropriate because baptism is also a type of resurrection.

Domenico Bettinelli, Jr., is a father of five and husband, a Roman Catholic, born in Boston, educated at Franciscan University of Steubenville, who has worked in Catholic media--print, broadcast, and online--since the mid-90s. Find out all about Dom on his About Me page. He is also the CEO of the StarQuest Production Network at All opinions on this site are solely those of Domenico Bettinelli and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. See the disclaimer for further details.