Examines the role of the felix culpa, or ‘happy fault’, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium. The article argues that this motif, originating within the Christian theological tradition, was adapted by Tolkien into the guiding structure of Middle-earth’s grand narrative. It shows the importance of the felix culpa in Tolkien’s secondary world by analysing the trope’s role in the Ainulindale and The Silmarillion. It then moves to consider the ways in which the presence of happy faults in The Lord of the Rings has a transformative impact upon the morality and spirituality of its characters and readers.
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