One thing that has always struck me as strange in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was that we had this vast evil that was threatening to take over everything, yet almost all races were just blithely going about their normal business without a care in the world. Gondor had no choice but to get involved. Rohan didn't seem interested until Saruman took that choice away from them. The hobbits would have done nothing at all if it weren't for Bilbo and his ring. No other humans did anything (except for the ones who joined in with Sauron!). The great hero races of past ages, the elves and dwarves, seemed content to send off a single representative apiece while the rest of them went on with their lives as if nothing much was happening.
I wonder if this was Tolkien's perception of the rest of the world while World War I was raging? Did it bother him that this horrific conflict was tearing up much of Europe while the rest of the world's citizens went about their daily lives? I still think the blasé approach to the end of the world by all the races in Middle Earth is simply incredible. There should have been alliences, leading to armies of dwarves, elves, and men marching toward Mordor, but we all know that this would have undercut the strength of the story that Tolkien wished to tell.
I can kind of understand the elves, as they were in their twilight years in Middle Earth and were basically marking time until they all hit the Gray Havens and departed. But, on the other hand, this Sauron fellow had been far more than a mere thorn in their side for thousands of years. You would think that they would have some final settling to do with him.
Were the Middle Earth dwarves really so dense as to think Sauron would leave them in peace once he had conquered Gondor and Rohan? I guess all I can imagine is how the US must have looked to the European countries during both WWI and WWII when we sat back and tried not to get involved while much of the civilized world was drenched in blood. Any thoughts?