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Old 12-11-2015, 02:39 PM   #1
Spirit of Mist
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 2,899
Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!
Ring The Interactions of the Ring-Bearers

This thread is inspired by recent posts in the Bilbo's Treachery Thread (and my desire to separate some of the many issues touched upon into separate threads). Typically, I like to spend time thinking about a topic before creating a thread, but something struck me that I never considered before and I'd like to present my realization for discussion.

In the long history of the One Ring, it is only the very end of the Third Age where we have the circumstance where multiple bearers of the Ring interact. From the time of its creation through the time Isildur cut it from the hand of Sauron, the Ring was borne by Sauron (ignoring the debate about whether he took it to Numenor or left it behind in Mordor). Isildur possessed it until the Gladden Fields when he was slain. The Ring remained in the Anduin until it was found by Deagol and taken by Sméagol. Sméagol/Gollum held it until it was found by Bilbo. Through that time, Ring-bearers had never interacted.

From that moment forward, Ring-bearers interacted a number of times. Bilbo and Gollum during the Riddle Game and Bilbo's escape from Goblin Town. Frodo and Bilbo in Rivendell. Frodo and Gollum and then Frodo and Sméagol (the distinction is deliberate) from the Emyn Muil through Shelob's lair. Frodo and Sam in the Guard Tower through the journey to Sammath Naur. Then Frodo and Gollum one last time in the Cracks of Doom.

All of the above have two common denominators. The Ring and the fact that the bearers were all Hobbits. Yet all of the interactions differed in character. One could argue that the interactions between the Ring-bearers in some way drove the story to its conclusion. And of course the Ring exerted its own effect upon events.

There is one other meeting between Ring-bearers that was very different. This was the "meeting" between Sauron and Gollum.

Each of these interactions were integral to the story and the resolution of the Quest. It is easy enough to create a chain of "but fors" out of these interactions. But is there some deeper significance or are they a succession of random events? Does the character of the interactions make any difference?
That which once was shall be again!
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