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The Hour of Wolves and Shattered Shields

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Everything with a beginning … has an ending. The Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the British Empire. Empires come and go. Nothing established by created beings lasts forever. The finite cannot beget infinity.

The Persian Empire, under Cyrus the Great was the world’s first superpower. The Persian Empire was the first to set up regular communication routes between the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. They built extensive new roads and created the world’s very first postal service. This empire lasted for about 220 years until being conquered by Alexander the Great in 550 BC.

The Greek Empire came to prominence in circa 507 BC and lasted until about 323 BC. The Greeks made some big advances in medicine, architecture, and military tactics. They are also famous for political advances such as demokratia or democracy. They were defeated by the Macedonians under Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Their lifespan was approximately 184 years.

The Roman Empire followed the Roman Republic with the rise of Augustus Caesar and continued for roughly 200 years until Marcus Aurelius in 180 AD. This was a period of relative stability and peace known as the Pax Romana. After that the Empire declined for several more centuries until finally being overrun by barbarian hordes.

The British Empire was the dominant superpower during most of the 18th and 19th centuries. Brittanica was the largest empire in earth’s history, and it was said that the sun never set on the British Empire. However, this empire too came into decline in the early 20th century, and lost much of its prominence and territory in the first and second world wars.

Enter the United States of America. Established near the end of the 18th century, America fought for and won its independence from the British Empire. American government was different than others in that it was a constitutional republic set up in three branches designed to keep each other in check. And, for the most part, it has worked for over 200 years.

But now America is in decline, severe decline, and it’s quite possible that she may never survive the present death spiral. America used to be a much better country, a better place to live, a kinder and gentler country, a place to raise one’s family and share in hard work and prosperity, to work, to live, to pray … in peace. You might call it the Pax Americana.

But something has gone terribly wrong.

And now let’s transition into something more personal. This past election has me a bit upset. I believe the election was stolen from the American people and that the criminals responsible are getting away with it. As such, I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps. Because when people get away with crime; that really bothers me. Most of us conservatives have a pretty clear sense of right and wrong. We believe in justice and law and order. But now we have to ask ourselves this question: “If they can do it once, what is to stop them from doing it again and again and again?”

Is the Pax Americana gone? Is America no longer a country, but simply an aging idea in the minds of those old enough to remember America at its zenith? Some of my friends have given into despair. I recall some democrats doing the same thing right after the 2016 election. But I think it’s important that we not give up, that we keep fighting now more than ever. And here is why.

The past two weeks my family and I have watched all three episodes of “The Hobbit” and also all three episodes of “The Lord of the Rings.” To read these books or to watch the movies is to be reminded of the important things in life, the things worth fighting for and the things worth dying for.

Tolkien was a master at coining a phrase. In fact, some of the greatest truths in 20th century literature came from his work. Do you remember the Lady Galadriel when she said this?

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, it ensnared another bearer.”

Humans have short memories. Certainly, we tend to make the same mistakes over and over again and are forced to relearn the basic truths of life. We have short life spans, so if basic truths are not passed on from father to son, from mother to daughter, then they are forgotten and have to be relearned at great cost, sometimes through great pain, hardship and even bloodshed.

Americans have forgotten the words of our Founders:

“A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.”
-Thomas Jefferson

There are many things in America that have been forgotten, and because of that, decline and immorality are predictable.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
-John Adams

“Some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.” Freedom cannot exist where morality does not. Liberty cannot flourish or even take a life’s breath inside the vacuum of ignorance.

The enemies of freedom have control of the media, big tech tyranny, and the education of our young. The only way to regain control is by taking these institutions back. It took decades to lose these things and it will take decades to regain them.

I’m writing this article primarily to encourage conservatives into fighting back. Now is a very dark time in our history, but I’m reminded of other dark times in America: Valley Forge, Fort Sumter, Pearl Harbor, and even today.

Some of my friends have given up, gone into hiding, burrowed deep down inside their bunkers, waiting for the next election cycle. They say all hope is lost. We cannot win. We should just surrender and try to make the best of a new reality. Buy more beans and bullets. I disagree. Here’s another quote from Tolkien’s “The Return of the King” where Aragorn makes his speech at the West Gate of Mordor.

“Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”

I know what some of you are saying right now. “Come on, Skip. Give me a break! This was fiction, a novel. A movie!”

Well, yes and no. Is it not the poets who give courage to the warriors? It has always been that way. And does not art imitate life?

Many of us put our faith in President Trump, to be our champion, the guardian of freedom, but that was wrong of us. Our hope never relies on one man. Men are impermanent. Like empires we come and we go. We ebb as the tide. But everything with a beginning has an ending.

We are facing multitudes of orcs and goblins right now; they are surging out of the black gate and pouring across the land. But here’s the thing. At the time when all hope is lost, when darkness is at its peak, when all of truth and justice seem fallen into shadow; that is the time when we fight bravely and fiercely. Because good times need no heroes; and prosperity eschews a champion.

America has gone soft and will burn on the ash heap of history unless people like you and I … mere little Hobbits … rise up and take our place in the fight. Because Sauron’s greatest strength is the might we willingly cede to him, the power we surrender of our own free will.

So take heart and remember this: It was a tiny Hobbit, a halfling, the smallest and least powerful who carried the defeat of Sauron to the fires of Mount Doom. It was a coalition of Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves and Men, all joining together and doing their part to defeat evil.

So, if you are feeling discouraged right now, then join the club. But don’t let it last. Because nothing lasts forever except all things ordained by God. Now. More than ever, even the lowest of the low is needed. There is no light too dim, no voice too shy, no person too common … we are all needed. So, arise men and women of the west! Fight for your freedom. And take back Middle Earth!

Skip Coryell

Skip Coryell lives with his wife and children in Michigan. Skip Coryell is the author of nine books including  Blood in the Streets: Concealed Carry and the OK Corral; RKBA: Defending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms; The God Virus, and We Hold These Truths. He is the founder of The Second Amendment March and the President of White Feather Press. He is an avid hunter and sportsman, a Marine Corps veteran, and co-host of the syndicated radio show Frontlines of Freedom. Skip also hosts the weekly podcast The Home Defense Show, which can be heard 24/7 at For more details on Skip Coryell, or to contact him personally, go to his website at