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Old 12-22-2015, 12:57 PM   #6
Mithadan
Spirit of Mist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 2,897
Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!
Galadriel55, I'd like to hear your Ring as a femme fatal analysis...

What prompted me to start this thread was an incomplete germ of an idea. Only during the end of the Third Age were there multiple Ringbearers that interacted, so my question, perhaps poorly expressed, began as whether there was any significance to this?

Having had a chance to think about this, it seems to me that there was, intentionally or not, some import to this circumstance. The interactions between the Ringbearers moved the tale to its conclusion, the destruction of the Ring.

Bilbo finds the Ring and shows sympathy and mercy towards Gollum. Bilbo keeps the Ring safe until it is voluntarily turned over to its next Bearer, Frodo. Gollum finds his way into Mordor and is captured. Sauron sets Gollum free (I've wondered if he in fact sent Gollum to Cirith Ungol and Shelob with an unexpected result that Shelob sets Gollum free) and Gollum succeeds in intercepting the path of the Fellowship and, ultimately, joins up with Frodo and Sam. Without Sméagol/Gollum, it is unlikely that Frodo and Sam could have secretly entered Mordor. Sam bears the Ring for a time, glimpsing its effect upon Frodo, and freely gives it back. Then whenever Sam mentions "bearing the burden" Frodo is able to carry himself further along the path to the Cracks of Doom. And, of course, we have the final interactions between Gollum and Frodo leading up to the struggle that sends the Ring into the fire.

Without the interactions between the Ringbearers, the tale would have a very different course. I wonder if Tolkien consciously considered this or if the interactions between the Ringbearers was simply a side-plot?

Regarding Bombadil, I do not think he qualified as a Ringbearer. The Ring has no effect upon Tom. It does not render him invisible or inspire lust or greed in him. Rather than bearing the Ring, more accurately, he merely touches it.
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