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Old 12-10-2003, 05:34 PM   #1
Lord of Angmar
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Sting A Potentially Meaningful 'What if'

I have a few pure-conjecture questions to put forth in the hopes that it will (perhaps) give us some new insight into the power of the Ring, the power of friendship and the characters in the books. If this is a duplicate thread please correct me.

My questions to you are simple:

1) Would Sam willingly harm his master to ensure that the Ring was destroyed?

2) Would Sam have been able to destroy the Ring himself? Since it did not have any noticeable effect on him (as evidenced by his readily returning it to his master, and also by the fact that he dreamt of his possible grandeur while wielding the Ring but came to the conclusion that it was not for him), would he have been able to cast it into the Fire?

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Old 12-10-2003, 05:51 PM   #2
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Hmm... those are interesting questions.

I think that no, Sam would not have hurt Frodo, even to destroy the Ring. He loved Frodo very much and trusted in him too. He would have trusted that Frodo would be able to take care of it, and would never even consider taking matters into his own hands.

As to the other question, I think that there were actually a number of hobbits who were guileless and honest enough to have been entrusted with the Ring. However, neither Sam nor any other hobbit could have gone through the entire quest like Frodo did. You may recall Gandalf and Bilbo saying that Frodo was the "best hobbit in the Shire", and I think this is because he had a certain force of character which most hobbits, Sam included, lacked. Of course, this simplicity, if you will, did help Sam because it is what made him so humble, trusting, and aware of his own deficiencies. But it also ensured him to be a follower, not a leader. Frodo was a leader. Sam could not have lead the quest in the way that Frodo did. However, he was able to help Frodo greatly, so all in all we can say that although Sam was not capable of leading the quest and bearing the Ring himself, he was still vitally helpful to those who did.

Does that answer the question at all?
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Old 12-10-2003, 07:33 PM   #3
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Interesting questions.

I personnally think that Sam could have hurt Frodo. During the quest, he has grown from a relatively simple hobbit into almost a leader at the end of RotK. He was mainly the driving force of the quest. He also left Frodo for dead at Shelob and took the Ring. So, yes, I think that Sam would have had enough strength and perception (remember when he resisted the temptation of the Ring to become Samwise the Strong) to hurt Frodo to destroy the Ring.

I also think he would have been able to destroy the Ring for the same reasons.
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:02 PM   #4
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I think that if Gollum hadn't been there at the Sammath Naur, Sam would have tried to wrestle the Ring from Frodo. If worst came to worst, and he was thrown off the cliff, he would have probably tried to grab onto Frodo, and destroy them both, along with the Ring, in a last desperate bid to defeat Sauron. That seems to be the kind of self-sacrifice that Sam would have done.
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:02 PM   #5
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It is my firm belief that no one would be able to throw the Ring into the Cracks of Doom upon actually arriving there.

Tolkien writes that the Phial of Galadriel gave no light here, because all it was the heart of Sauron's realm, and all other powers were subdued.

There is no other place where the Ring would be so powerful as at the place where it was created. In that place, its will would supersede even the will of iron.

So neither Sam, nor anyone else, would've actually been able to perform the act of will, and cast the Ring into the Cracks.
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Old 12-11-2003, 12:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Would Sam willingly harm his master to ensure that the Ring was destroyed?
Yes, but with tears in his eyes (and only if he did not think that there was an alternative).
Quote:
Since it did not have any noticeable effect on him
Yes it did. He had only had it on for a few seconds when it started to work on him. Yes, he did resist the urge but that was only the beginning. What about the next time it tempted him, and the next? How much longer could his resolve hold?

I'm sure not as long as Frodo's did (Frodo was meant for the job after all). But how Sam would fare on the way to Mt Doom makes little difference because his will would've been subdued upon reaching it. Elladan and Elrohir said it all in the post above mine.
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:25 AM   #7
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Ring

Quote:
He also left Frodo for dead at Shelob and took the Ring. So, yes, I think that Sam would have had enough strength and perception (remember when he resisted the temptation of the Ring to become Samwise the Strong) to hurt Frodo to destroy the Ring.
I don't think so...

Quote:
They must understand that--Elrond and the council, and the great Lords and Ladies with all their wisdom. Their plans have gone wrong. I can't be their Rong-bearer. Not without Mr. Frodo.

(LotR, Book IV, Chapter 10)
He was at first prepared to leave Mr. Frodo...errr...Frodo because he thought he was dead. Gone. Never to return. Even then, he had hesitations. He tarried for a long time with Frodo before he made his mind up. He knew he had to fulfill the mission(with hopes of dying, perhaps, and joining Frodo beyond E.) But once he found out Frodo was alive, he forgot all about the quest. His Master needed rescuing.

Quote:
There is no other place where the Ring would be so powerful as at the place where it was created. In that place, its will would supersede even the will of iron.
I agree. Had Sam succumbed to the Ring's superior will, he would have joined Gollum and Frodo in the mle.

Now, a silly twist to the question(if I may do so...): Would Bombadil, had he been there, destroy the Ring?

->Elenrod

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 3:23 AM December 12, 2003: Message edited by: Nilpaurion Felagund ]
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:49 AM   #8
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So neither Sam, nor anyone else, would've actually been able to perform the act of will, and cast the Ring into the Cracks.
true, but...

Quote:
Would Bombadil, had he been there, destroy the Ring?
...if there is one who could have been able to destroy it, I think it would be Tom, since he seems to be the only one who didn't feel any influence when holding the ring.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 5:50 AM December 11, 2003: Message edited by: Mariska Greenleaf ]
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
quote: Would Bombadil, had he been there, destroy the Ring?

...if there is one who could have been able to destroy it, I think it would be Tom, since he seems to be the only one who didn't feel any influence when holding the ring.
true, but isn't tom's power limited to his own borders that he had set out?
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Old 12-11-2003, 06:01 AM   #10
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Sting

Quote:
true, but isn't tom's power limited to his own borders that he had set out?
Sure, but hence the title of this topic: What if? It is of course a purely hypothetical thought...If Bombadil had the same immense power outside the borders he set for his own, then he would be able to cast the ring into the cracks.
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Old 12-11-2003, 06:36 AM   #11
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Sting

Quote:
Sure, but hence the title of this topic: What if? It is of course a purely hypothetical thought...If Bombadil had the same immense power outside the borders he set for his own, then he would be able to cast the ring into the cracks.
Don't think so. He wouldn't see any need to and he may end u tossin' something else inside the cracks as Gandalf said
Quote:
He might do so, if all the free peoples of the world begged him, but he would not understand the need. And if he wrer given the ring , he would soon forget it, or most likely throw it away. Such things have no hold on his mind. He would be the most unsafe gaurdian; that alone is answer enough
so he wouldn't throw it in.
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Old 12-11-2003, 12:09 PM   #12
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Sting

Btw, I still hold to everything I've said previously.

Anyway, about Bombadil, I think that he was basically CAPABLE of throwing the Ring into the Cracks of Doom, but he probably not even have bothered. If you recall what Gandalf said when someone suggested that Bombadil take the Ring, that Bombadil would probably just lose it or forget it or some such thing, I think that answers the question. He COULD throw the Ring in, but he wouldn't.

Ka-peesh!

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Old 12-11-2003, 12:39 PM   #13
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In the extremely unlikely event that Tom Bombadil made the journey from his tiny realm to the lands of Mordor, there is a slight chance that he could have tossed the Ring into the Fire. Who knows, however, whether the Ring would exert some sort of power over him so close to the place of its birth, and who knows how Bombadil's journey to Mordor would have affected his psyche? In any event it is a nearly impossible scenario.
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Old 12-12-2003, 02:18 AM   #14
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Ring

I forgot about this...

Quote:
Sam would have tried to wrestle the Ring from Frodo.
But...

Quote:
[Gandalf: ]And I cannot make you--except by force, which would break your mind.

(LotR, Book I, Chapter 2)
...and we wouldn't want that to happen. Remember what happened to Denethor. His mind was overthrown by grief, and killed himself. Frodo, had his mind been broken, would have jumped after the Ring.

And now...

Quote:
...whether the Ring would exert some sort of power over him so close to the place of its birth, and who knows how Bombadil's journey to Mordor would have affected his psyche?
Exactly why I put up the question...

Quote:
He COULD throw the Ring in, but he wouldn't.
Exactly...

Bombadil, that enigma of a creature, is almost unaffected by the cares of the world. I mean, Sauron was on his mission to cover the world in a second darkness(and, considering the state of the opposition, one with no hope of undoing) and Bombadil doesn't give a willow's leaf!

Now, had he been in the Fellowship(a big IF) he would have asked, "Why am I here?" "Why am I here?" "Why am I here?" on and on and on...he'll never understand why he's on a journey in the first place! And if the fellowship is broken, let's just put it mildly and say: it'll be a disaster...

->Elenrod

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 3:27 AM December 12, 2003: Message edited by: Nilpaurion Felagund ]
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Old 12-12-2003, 07:21 AM   #15
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Interesting questions. I would say that sam would never harm Frodo. Sam likes Frodo too much, even to destroy the ring. And If Sam were to destroy it, I'd say he has about the same amount of strength in him, too. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-16-2003, 03:22 AM   #16
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I loved this thread. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

What about Dwarves? They ill-endure the domination of others, but what if something as powerful as the One Ring was set against their rock-solid wills?

Later days! [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 12-16-2003, 02:57 PM   #17
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Sting

At the risk of being deleted for having nothing to add, I will just say that I agree that Sam could not have destroyed the ring, as he would not have been able to overcome its power any more than Frodo was.

In fact, I think the ring destroys itself; and I think this is the final dramatic restatement of a dominant recurring theme in the books: that evil eventually turns upon itself and brings failure to evil intentions. "Oft evil deed will evil mar".

This is foreshadowed in the wasted lands, when Frodo requires Gollum to swear upon the ring to be faithful in leading them to Mordor. He says "The ring is treacherous. It will hold you to your promise".

So, when Gollum wrests the ring at last from Frodo's maimed hand, thus betraying his promise, the ring exacts its revenge on him to its own final destruction.

A very neat fulfillment of the oft-repeated theme; and fitted exquisitely into the story.
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Old 12-16-2003, 03:12 PM   #18
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Sting

i think Sam would have harmed Frodo for the ring, especially in Mordor.

no, i don't think Sam would have been able to destroy the ring. i agree with finwe, i think he would have probably wrestled Frodo for it as well. then if he lost he would realise his madness in a Boromir-ish fashion.

if Bombadil had the same effect all over Middle- Earth then there would have been no point in the fellowship.

you know, if this was a hypothetical film situation, ARWEN could destroy the ring. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:43 PM   #19
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Good God NO!!!! Having XenArwen ride in with that husky she-elf voice of hers, usurping Glorfindel's place, was bad enough. We DON'T need her riding into the Sammath Naur (on her incidentally stolen horse) and taking a wild swing at Frodo's hand, miraculously lopping off the right finger, with said finger falling into the lava. We DO NOT need that. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 12-16-2003, 08:47 PM   #20
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"The ring is treacherous, it will hold you to your promise."
What is the logic behind that? Why do you have someone swear on something that deceives people? That just dosen't make any sense to me.
Back to the topic, I think any fight between Frodo and Sam would have been pretty one-sided, owing to Frodo's use of the ring.
Anyways just a question and a thought.
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Old 12-16-2003, 11:54 PM   #21
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Well, squire, you make a person swear by that which they hold most dear. Gollum had only one thing in his life that he held dear, and that was the One Ring.

Ergo, that is what you have him swear by.

The fact that what held most 'preciousss' was also treacherous did not factor into the equation... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:05 AM   #22
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Sting

I think Wisdom of Wiz has a good point. The idea of a recurring theme of "Evil deed will evil mar" is quite an intriguing one.

Also, his/her/its idea of why Frodo had Gollum swear on the Ring in very valid. I agree.
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:29 AM   #23
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The whole idea of having Gollum swear on the One Ring was to keep the thought in his mind that if he was false to his word, then the Precious would not be his. I'm sure the Gollum part of him realized that if he stayed with the Hobbits and led them into Mordor like they asked, he had a much better chance of being able to take the One Ring. If he had merely been following them, they would have been on their guard against him more. As their guide, Gollum would have had many more opportunities to steal his Precious, which is what he was after from the beginning.
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