The curious thing about Tolkien’s elves, is that they accept that their age is passing. But they also see it as their duty to steward and sustain things as long as possible. The elves sustain things that they know are going to die; they do it anyway. Elves belong to nature and to the world and to growing things in a very strong way. And there’s a sense in which we human beings are sojourners, we’re pilgrims on the earth, we’re not really at home here. But we do need to look back on previous ages and see the elves. We need to see the ennoblement and the enchantment of our history, before we can look forward.

On the latest PloughCast, Matthew Scarince and Sebastian Milbank discuss what we can learn from the heroes of Middle-earth.