In that forward, Professor T. (as the authors of its parody Bored of the Rings style him) advises the reader that there is no "allegory", though there is definitely some degree of "applicability" in the novel. Whatever he means by that, allegory describes of course a "hidden meaning", typically moral or political; applicability is "the quality of being relevant or appropriate". Certainly I'd call it "thematic", however, if one wants to go that far. The theme of how bad war is, the cost of losing one, the value of friendship, and even perhaps the rape of nature by the modern world. And of course, the themes that run through the book include those present in the "epic tales" of ancient to medieval English (or Anglo-Saxon) literature. In fact, there is part of The Hobbit that's straight out of Beowulf. But read the spoiler alert below, I won't mention what it is yet.
By the way, if anyone feels like reading the books and/or seeing the movies, as I have read up to the beginning of Chapter II, Book 5 (as books 5 and 6 are published as The Return of the King), you may not want to participate in this discussion as there would be some sort of inevitable spoilers. But I have seen all three movies, in fact, we have the extended versions on Blu-Ray; even though I haven't finished the novel and likely won't for some time. But I have seen none of The Hobbit movies yet; I have however, read the book some years ago. (A pretty easy read if I remember correctly.)
So, spoiler alert on that note.
As I said, there may or may not have been a discussion of LOTR on Redscape before. But why not have another, as fascinating and important as it is? One could discuss this astonishingly epic work of literature for pages I'm sure. (I dropped Clavell for now, in fact, because I remembered I still have LOTR to finish....take note however that i do know some of the differences between The Return of the King movie, and books 5 and 6 of the print novel, and I'm less than likely to watch the three Hobbit films. So no worries on any spoilers to me.)