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Old 08-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #1
Alfirin
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The Seven and the Nine

In the book Gandalf refers to Sauron in his mastery of the rings as "He who holds the Seven, and the Nine" (the seven dwarven rings, and the nine mortal). I get the "nine" part but, since three of the Dwarven rings were destroyed before Sauron could get his hands on them again, why is Gandalf still counting them? Gandalf presumably knows the rings were destroyed since he makes mention of Dragon fire as being one of the possible ways the One ring could have been destroyed (at least, could have if any dragons of sufficient caliber were still left, which there aren't) Yes Sauron WOULD be the master/holder of all seven rings if they were still extant, but they aren't. And since that statement occurs AFTER the council, Pippin would probably ALSO know about the destruction of the three (the history of the ring would likey have also contained mention of what had happened to the other rings, if for no other reason that someone else (Gimli, possibly since he would be the most versed in Dwarf History) making the same melting suggestion. and Gandalf can't be including the elven three in the count since 1. Sauron doesn't hold them and 2. Even if he did, Gandalf would not lump them together (He would say "the holder of the Three, and the Four, and the Nine")
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
In the book Gandalf refers to Sauron in his mastery of the rings as "He who holds the Seven, and the Nine" (the seven dwarven rings, and the nine mortal). I get the "nine" part but, since three of the Dwarven rings were destroyed before Sauron could get his hands on them again, why is Gandalf still counting them? Gandalf presumably knows the rings were destroyed since he makes mention of Dragon fire as being one of the possible ways the One ring could have been destroyed (at least, could have if any dragons of sufficient caliber were still left, which there aren't)
The quote to which you refer sounds familiar, but I haven't yet been able to place it. Gandalf does make it clear in other places though that he believes only some of the Seven still remained.

Quote:
'So it is now: the Nine he has gathered to himself; the Seven also, or else they are destroyed.'
FOTR The Shadow of the Past

Quote:
'The Nine the Nazgûl keep. The Seven are taken or destroyed.'
FOTR The Council of Elrond
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
In the book Gandalf refers to Sauron in his mastery of the rings as "He who holds the Seven, and the Nine" (the seven dwarven rings, and the nine mortal). I get the "nine" part but, since three of the Dwarven rings were destroyed before Sauron could get his hands on them again, why is Gandalf still counting them? Gandalf presumably knows the rings were destroyed since he makes mention of Dragon fire as being one of the possible ways the One ring could have been destroyed (at least, could have if any dragons of sufficient caliber were still left, which there aren't) Yes Sauron WOULD be the master/holder of all seven rings if they were still extant, but they aren't. And since that statement occurs AFTER the council, Pippin would probably ALSO know about the destruction of the three (the history of the ring would likey have also contained mention of what had happened to the other rings, if for no other reason that someone else (Gimli, possibly since he would be the most versed in Dwarf History) making the same melting suggestion. and Gandalf can't be including the elven three in the count since 1. Sauron doesn't hold them and 2. Even if he did, Gandalf would not lump them together (He would say "the holder of the Three, and the Four, and the Nine")
Thanks to the kindle search facility I think it ia actually Galadriel who says this. Gandalf seems to always qualify that the seven are not all extant. In context I think Galadriel means he has control of all available of the seven and the nine but not the three and one. To start talking of the four would beclumsy I think and since the focus of the sentence is Sauron not the rings I think it is fine.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
The quote to which you refer sounds familiar, but I haven't yet been able to place it. Gandalf does make it clear in other places though that he believes only some of the Seven still remained.

FOTR The Shadow of the Past

FOTR The Council of Elrond
The last quote in and of itself is odd, since the Nazgul don't keep their rings; it is made clear elsewhere that they have turned them back over to Sauron and he is wearing them (unless you interpret the sentence in the sense of "the nine rings keep the Nazgul enslaved/alive (which is true, but not exactly pertinent to the matters being discussed when Gandalf makes the statement.) Though it is possible Gandalf doesn't know this fact at the time and or never knew it. (It's not like he has intimate knowledge of the day to day minutae of Nazguldom, or has had much, if any opportunity to study them up close. The one time we know he went face to face with them, he was presumably too busy keeping alive to notice if they actually had rings on their fingers.)
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Alfirin View Post
The last quote in and of itself is odd, since the Nazgul don't keep their rings; it is made clear elsewhere that they have turned them back over to Sauron and he is wearing them (unless you interpret the sentence in the sense of "the nine rings keep the Nazgul enslaved/alive (which is true, but not exactly pertinent to the matters being discussed when Gandalf makes the statement.) Though it is possible Gandalf doesn't know this fact at the time and or never knew it. (It's not like he has intimate knowledge of the day to day minutae of Nazguldom, or has had much, if any opportunity to study them up close. The one time we know he went face to face with them, he was presumably too busy keeping alive to notice if they actually had rings on their fingers.)
Yes, that apparent contradiction has indeed been noted before. I favor your second scenario, in which Gandalf simply didn't know for certain where the Nine were then bestowed. After all, how could anyone know for sure, outside the Mordor higher-ups who might see the Nazgûl on a regular basis?
For that matter, would the rings be visible if the Nazgûl wore them? Like their clothing that "gave shape to their nothingness"?
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
Alfirin
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That's true, unless Gandalf's inner maia fea lets him see the unseeable (I was never clear if beingswith a huge presence on the "spirit side" (like Glorfindel) could see other beings over there. About the only really poor evidence I can give for Gandalf knowing (or guessing) that the Nazgul aren't wearing their rings is something he DOESN'T do (or at least we are not told he does) When the burial team come to pick up theodens body and bury the slain fell beast, he doesn't tell anyone to try and keep an eye out for the WK's ring ( whether or not it was invisible while he was wearing it, it would presumably return to visibility with his demise). In his place, if I though the WK was wearing it, once circumstances allowed it, I might make a point of making sure it was in MY keeping, lest either some Mordor agent retrieve it and bring it back to the enemy who might have other "worthy" men just waiting (G does not know of the Mouth of Sauron, of course, but he probably assumes Sauron has more loyal men of evil waiting in the wings as need arises.) or some ususpecting Gondorian or Rhohirrim finding it, taking it as plunder putting it on, and falling into shadow (with Sauron so strong now, ring corruption might occur rapidly; rapidly enough to turn a man wraith in a short enough time to be a threat)
Speaking of plunder (and getting off topic for a sec). in an earlier thread I made mention of wondering if some Mordorian might have swooped down and collected the WK's iron crown to present it to Khamul (i.e. the new WK and Lord of the Nazgul) but it just occurred to me that, if this didn't happen, it is also well within possibility that the crown would be collected by one of the burial team. I imagine the crown and or cloak of the Witch King would be a SERIOUS battle trophy, whether for themselves, or to present to Eowyn. Unlike everything else, both of those items could be found, THEY are visible and since the WK got off his beast for the last battle, they aren't under its body.
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