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Old 01-05-2017, 04:23 PM   #1
Mithadan
Spirit of Mist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 2,895
Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!
Ring Sauron's Great Miscalculation

Gandalf, at one point, refers to Sauron as a "wise fool." Wise because he is one of the Maiar and had achieved much and was steeped in lore and knowledge. A fool because he did not understand the motivations and minds of Men and Elves. Indeed, at times, Sauron may have been more foolish than wise.

We have discussed elsewhere that the making of "magical" things by Elves and the Ainur, to some extent, requires that the maker sacrifice some of his or her own individual "power" by placing it into the thing that is made. Perhaps, in some cases, the power derives, in part, from an outside source. The Silmarils had some of the essence of the light of the Two Trees in them. The Phial of Galadriel has the light of the Star of Earendil. The Three Elvish Rings may have derived some of their power from air, fire and water.

Tolkien states in Letter 131 that the chief power of all the Rings of Power was "the preservation or slowing of decay." He describes this as an "Elvish motive", namely the desire to preserve the beauty of their lands and avert the fading that they are doomed to. In the same letter, he suggests that the Elves remaining in Middle Earth wanted to create an image of Valinor in the mortal lands, and that this was an error, partly conceived by Sauron as an attack upon the Valar. The Rings of Power had other aspects resulting from Sauron's involvement. They caused invisibility (except for the Three he notes in the letter). And their tendency to slow decay made them a powerful temptation to Men, JRRT says in another letter; a way to avoid or delay death. I believe that even the lesser rings were never intended for Men or Dwarves. Sauron seized the Seven and the Nine, and possibly other lesser rings in the war upon Eregion.

So Sauron makes the One Ring and imbues it with a large part of his own native strength. JRRT says in Letter 131 that the One "contained the powers of all the others, and controlled them, so its wearer could see the thoughts of all those that used the lesser rings, could govern all that they did, and in the end could utterly enslave them." Note Tolkien's use of the word "could" rather than "would" in this quote.

Wise fool. Nice idea. Control and enslave the lords of the Elves that were "using" the Rings. Now I will quote a bit from earlier in this post. "A fool because he did not understand the motivations and minds of Men and Elves." Sauron puts on the One, the Elves perceive him, and what do they do? They take the Rings off and don't use them. Sauron apparently did not expect this.

I posit that Sauron was a fool in creating the One. It did not succeed in its purpose. The creation of the One placed a large portion of his strength in an OBJECT that could be lost or destroyed. If he had not created the One and invested time and effort into trying to fool the Elves, he could have retained all his strength in himself and would have been no worse off. And ultimately, what happens? He loses the Ring when it is cut off his finger by Isildur, and eventually it is destroyed, also destroying him. The creation of the One Ring was a colossal miscalculation.
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