The comparisons between Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and John Twelve Hawks’ ‘The Traveller’ trilogy are striking. The Panopticon Tower is the inspiration behind a new and more insidious form of control of peoples, where we will assume and become adjusted to the idea of being under constant surveillance. This then compares with that other Tower – The Barad dur/Black Tower wherein dwelt the The Eye of ceaseless surveillance of the world. We learn that this Panopticon Tower is set within a ‘ring’ of buildings. Ah yes, rings, but today they are closed circuit TV. Then there is the ultimate Control Room that can tap into any closed circuit system. It contains just a single armchair – no room for anything or anyone else, just the One who has the ultimate power to observe whatever he wishes – just like the Eye of Sauron.
When Michael says to his brother Gabriel ‘There can only be One Traveller’ which casts you back to the scene where, having lured Gandalf to Isengard under false pretences, Saruman is attempting to persuade him to join forces saying they can share the Ring of Power once they have captured it. But Gandalf reminds him that only ‘One’ can wield the Ring as he well knows. Again and again, just as Saruman tells Gandalf and Michael his brother Gabriel, we are told the same mantra – of how there is going to be a new order that is about to sweep the world and that there is no stopping it.
The Cult of the Sacred King also raises its ugly head. Michael turns on Maya the Harlequin and asks her to chose between himself and Gabriel but Gabriel reminds his brother that she is there to protect them both. The pagan queen of this cult is the ruthlessly efficient PR lady advising Michael.
So it seems that the instruments of power and control are the same but just in a new guise.
29 November 2014
P.S. Note too how the mercenaries used in the attack on the desert community founded by the Traveller, who is Gabriel and Michael’s father, are made to become ringwraiths. They are given pills to deaden their human feelings about killing innocent men, women and children and they use heat seeking equipment to find their targets. Ringwraiths had lost their humanity. Viewing the world through heat seeking googles is how the Wraiths saw the world, their hold on the physical world being only tenuous. They sought out living creatures through their warmth like the heat seeking equipment.
Copies of Ring Quest can be obtained from the online publishers New Generation Publishing. Here is the link: