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View Poll Results: Who would have been the first of the Fellowship to succumb to the One Ring?
Sam 0 0%
Merry 1 1.89%
Pippin 17 32.08%
Gandalf 7 13.21%
Aragorn 13 24.53%
Legolas 6 11.32%
Gimli 3 5.66%
Frodo 6 11.32%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-08-2005, 02:25 PM   #81
Mister Underhill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
I think this is the point. The Ring is evil
Well, I've not said otherwise. Is this the point? I thought we were discussing the degree to which the Ring is sentient or not, capable of "submitting" to use or not, etc.

What I get from your argument is that you go all the way to the sentience side of the scale with the Ring, attributing to it mind, awareness, will, agenda. For my own part, I'd probably slide it down the scale a ways, not all the way to inanimate computer, but more like a blind, dumb, animalistic, radioactive sort of evil. If it were indeed as sentient as you posit, it could and would, I think, have devised a much more effective plan for returning to its master.
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Old 09-08-2005, 02:55 PM   #82
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Silmaril

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Underhill
What I get from your argument is that you go all the way to the sentience side of the scale with the Ring, attributing to it mind, awareness, will, agenda. For my own part, I'd probably slide it down the scale a ways, not all the way to inanimate computer, but more like a blind, dumb, animalistic, radioactive sort of evil. If it were indeed as sentient as you posit, it could and would, I think, have devised a much more effective plan for returning to its master.
No - it had to work with the 'raw materials' to hand. Not everyone would succumb to its call. In fact, it had to be subtle & work mostly on those who were ignorant of its true nature. The Ring was not a Shelob - who would fit your description:

Quote:
a blind, dumb, animalistic, radioactive sort of evil.
I think the Ring is much closer to Sauron: conscious, logical, purposeful, but rather limited in what it could do to get its way. I think the movies were correct in that at least.
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Old 09-08-2005, 04:53 PM   #83
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Ring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Underhill
Is this the point?
I suppose the point that davem is making is that something cannot be evil if it is not sentient. Not least because a non-sentient "being" has no will and cannot therefore make a choice for itself between good and evil.

The way I see it, the Ring is able to influence its surroundings and adapt itself to its environment in order to achieve its goal of returning to its master. But it does not do so in a logical, coherent, intelligent manner. It is acting out of instinct, if you like. And the "instinct" can be described as evil because the one who instilled it with such "instinct" was evil.
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:50 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPM
something cannot be evil if it is not sentient
Ah, very interesting idea, even though it seems to contradict--
Quote:
But it does not do so in a logical, coherent, intelligent manner. It is acting out of instinct, if you like.
--which I agree with very much. This is what I was trying to articulate in my last post.

Is the Ring "evil" because of the "choices it makes" or is it "evil" because of the intrinsic effect it has, aside from any sentience? A lump of plutonium carried around in my pocket would have a pretty evil effect on me after awhile, but not because of sentient intent, if you can see what I mean and not read my metaphor too literally.
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Old 09-08-2005, 06:35 PM   #85
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Well, I am not so sure that I agree with davem that the Ring itself is evil. It's "effect" or "influence", the product of its "instinct", is evil because it was made by someone who was evil and who intended it to behave in that way.

But I think that davem is correct in the sense that, unlike a lump of plutonium or a gun, it can, if used, only be used for evil. Or, to put it another way, only evil can come of using it.
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:12 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPM
But I think that davem is correct in the sense that, unlike a lump of plutonium or a gun, it can, if used, only be used for evil. Or, to put it another way, only evil can come of using it.
True enough, and I've never disputed that -- though I suppose I could by pulling out that well-thumbed Eru quote: "...no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:06 PM   #87
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Evil and Son of Evil

Quote:
True enough, and I've never disputed that -- though I suppose I could by pulling out that well-thumbed Eru quote: "...no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."
Well thumbed, indeed! I think I made reference to it earlier obliquely (the "better to have been" thought). The conclusion is, of course ambiguous and no conclusion at all: these evils that have wrought good unintentionally may have been part of Eru's plan, the theme unaltered in his despite, but still remain evil. A contradiction? Perhaps, perhaps not. "Evil will shall evil mar" also follows in this line of thought. And we come to the inevitable question of whether evil as such was part of Eru's original plan or not...and so on, ad infinitum.

Or, we could apply set theory to the problem (without using symbols, since I can't remember them):

Sauron=Evil
One Ring=Subset of Sauron
One Ring=Evil

Of course, I am being reductionist and a little silly, but I had fun. I hope you had fun reading it! Just thought: you could substitute the characteristic "Sentient" for Evil and I guess you'd get the same relationship. The real question is "what characteristic parts of himself did Sauron transfer to the Ring, and how do these characteristics interact with the non-Sauron bearers?

Cheers!
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:31 PM   #88
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I think that pretty much all the of the Fellowship are as easily corrupted by the ring as the next person, with the exception of a few. The Hobbits would be the first to succome to the temptation that the Ring offers. Frodo has shown that he can withstand the Ring for quite some time, and Sam has shown us that he can do as equally well. That leaves Merry and Pippin. Out of those two I'd have to say Merry.
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Old 12-23-2007, 02:35 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyta_Underhill View Post
Or, we could apply set theory to the problem (without using symbols, since I can't remember them):

Sauron=Evil
One Ring=Subset of Sauron
One Ring=Evil

Of course, I am being reductionist and a little silly, but I had fun. I hope you had fun reading it! Just thought: you could substitute the characteristic "Sentient" for Evil and I guess you'd get the same relationship. The real question is "what characteristic parts of himself did Sauron transfer to the Ring, and how do these characteristics interact with the non-Sauron bearers?

Cheers!
Lyta
I don't see how this is silly reductionism. It's exactly accurate. We aren't talking about something that was once good that Sauron gave life to, but rather a piece of Sauron himself. It is evil as Sauron is evil, as it is a separate embodiment of Sauron himself: its will is his will, and its power is his power. Saucepan's generalization--that to define something as evil is to attribute to it sentience--may be sound in a very non-magical world. However, since the Ring is not inhabited by a distinct fea with its own conscious mind, but does "live" as an appendage of Sauron, I think it is a patent exception to the rule.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:17 AM   #90
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This question ain't easy, I'd say. The question is whom the Ring would pick to focus on, as he chose the "weakest link", the one who was easiest for it to corrupt. So the questions are in fact two: who is the other "weakest link" besides Boromir, i.e. whom the Ring would choose, and how would each member of the Fellowship end if he was chosen by the Ring and tempted.

Concerning the ways everyone could be tempted, I believe we can see a hint of "what ifs" in the meeting with Galadriel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FotR Chapter 7, The Mirror of Galadriel
And with that word she held them with her eyes, and in silence looked searchingly at each of them in turn. None save Legolas and Aragorn could long endure her glance. Sam quickly blushed and hung his head.
I consider it only a hint. But I mention it here so that you know on which I also base my thoughts. Soo...

SAM
is the easiest question and easiest answer. He was faithful and never wanted to use the Ring. I doubt the Ring would have chosen to tempt him of all the people. We can see how he reacts towards the Ring when he wields it in Mordor: there was no other subject to tempt, except for Sam, and look what the Ring did. It was a short time, on the other hand it was in Mordor itself, but the situation was very specific. And Frodo was out of the way when Sam took the Ring in the first place. Had Frodo still wielded the Ring, it will be very, very hard for Sam to choose to take it (or to threaten Frodo, imagine that!).
Chosen by the Ring: **
Fallen if chosen: *

MERRY/PIPPIN
I guess are very similar case. Maybe Pippin was a little bit more curious and everything, but as Gandalf said, he was a fool, but honest fool. There will be, I believe, a serious problem for the Ring to choose them. Also, as with Sam, Frodo would have to be out of the way for them to take the Ring. I can imagine only that after a serious pressure by the Ring, they would take the Ring from Frodo for his own good. Very unlikely.
Chosen by the Ring: *
Fallen if chosen: **

GANDALF
This is another cup of tea. We all know what Gandalf was and all his traits, so not necessary to repeat this here. Only let me say that Gandalf would surely be a very, very good bait for the Ring to focus on. He was aware of the danger, but that also means the threat to him was real.
Chosen by the Ring: ****
Fallen if chosen: ****

ARAGORN
is a controversial character. I believe we know the arguments: one of the "weak" Men, son of Isildur, all this stuff. I don't doubt for a second that the Ring would choose him as its next target. However, I doubt it would succeed. Hereby I would like to refer to Aragorn's long labour and his journey in the past days, in resisting all temptations till the end. He could manage well even with the Palantr of Orthanc. He was not specifically tempted by the Ring as Boromir was, so maybe his reactions to Frodo are not as much of an argument. Also, all the way from Bree to Rivendell, among all the hobbits he would be the target for the Ring - yet it was not the goal of the Ring at that time to turn them against each other, rather to give them away to the Riders. So in fact, I believe Aragorn was never under the continuous temptation. Nevertheless, we have his reaction to Galadriel's gaze. That shows his devotion to his quest and that he was not willing to abandon it. It will be hard to imagine him threatening Frodo and taking the Ring from him by force.
Chosen by the Ring: *****
Fallen if chosen: ***

FRODO
Frodo is a special case as he was the Ringbearer. The only question is, would he fall to the Ring before his quest was completed? The answer is easy: no. I believe the scenario we know, with Mount Doom in the end, would have remained the same. No failure until the very end, where it was inevitable and the fate of the Ring was no longer in Frodo's hands.

GIMLI
is partially an enigma, though not necessarily. He never desired for gold nor power. There were, I believe, far better subjects for the Ring to choose. The places where the Ring could focus on Gimli would have been scarce: Moria, so that Gimli could become a Lord of Khazad-Dum; and Aglarond (the same reason). A funny idea I got is also after Lrien, if there were problems inside the Fellowship, Gimli could choose to give the Ring to Galadriel (or so the Ring would have persuaded him to think). However, I don't think any of the above scenarios are possible. Gimli always remained very calm. And in Moria, when the Orcs attacked, he didn't furiously respond "Moria is ours you filthy creatures! Now you will pay for Balin and Durin and all!" but when the immediate threat was removed, we read that "in spite of the peril he lingered by Balin's tomb with his head bowed". No, I believe Gimli was a very strong person, and if you take a closer look at Tolkien's dwarves they are all very strong and good in heart. Even Thorin, technically, was holding only what was rightfully his, and even then he wasn't completely consumed by that. I doubt the Ring could have lead Gimli to fall, even if it chose to tempt specifically him of all the company.
Chosen by the Ring: **
Fallen if chosen: **

LEGOLAS
is the second enigma. For me maybe more than Gimli. But like Gimli, he seems very little concerned by things that do not belong to him. No: I wouldn't say the Ring could choose him and succeed to tempt him. Thranduil's folk was always reserved and even Thranduil himself, despite his desire for beautiful things and gems and everything, in The Hobbit shows as a very reasonable person in the end. What else could the Ring give to the Elves of Mirkwood? Something like in Gimli's case, regaining the Southern Mirkwood and reestablishing their settlements they used to have on Dol Guldur? (personal joke ) Middle-Earth lingering under the dominion of Elves, stopping the upcoming age of Men? Legolas would have been tempted no more than, let's say, Treebeard. And as we know, Treebeard "has not plotted to cover all the world with his trees and choke all other living things". No, not Legolas.
Chosen by the Ring: **
Fallen if chosen: **


So, that leaves me with Gandalf. Very strange, very stupid, and it would take a lot of effort, but if you look at the rest, there is no one better. In other words: If anyone were to fall, it would be him.

And that is, I am not taking any "good luck" and divine influences from the outside into account here. Simply based on the characters themselves and what we know about them.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:34 AM   #91
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I'm not sure I go with the idea of the Ring 'choosing' targets, especially not having some sort of directional 'seduction ray' capability. To the extent it was 'sentient' at all it was pretty insectoid, and it never displayed any autonomous abilities other than "slip off finger".

The factor that matters, consistent throughout the book, lies in the individual: lust for power. This in a sense was strongest in Gnadalf, but tempered in his case by wisdom. It would have been weakest I think in the hobbits. Legolas was a Nandorized Sinda, not a Noldo- those techno-elves were alien to his mind. Gimli? maybe closer, but Dwarves are mentally tough, and have an overriding sense of duty and obligation. Which leaves Aragorn. Aragorn appears to have wisdom on a par with Gandalf and Elrond. Were he actually in the Smath Naur, though.....
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:42 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli View Post
I'm not sure I go with the idea of the Ring 'choosing' targets, especially not having some sort of directional 'seduction ray' capability. To the extent it was 'sentient' at all it was pretty insectoid, and it never displayed any autonomous abilities other than "slip off finger".
Well, not exactly. I believe there was some reason why Smagol murdered Dagol and why it didn't simply stay with Deal and be happy for the moment. The Ring made people see things, made people think of it still, and that was not merely their own attachment to the Ring that would make them do it, that much is clear. And I am convinced it could aim its will on other people who were around (at least we know about a similar way it could "call" to the Nazgul).
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:12 AM   #93
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Call the Nazgul? I would say rather that it was a sort of omnidirectional 'evil minion' beacon, to which the Nazgul naturally were especially sensitive. The Ring exercised a pull on the Orcs who destroyed Isildur's army, even though they had no idea of it.

I don't think the Ring 'ordered' or 'directed' or 'persuaded' Smeagol to kill Deagol at all: Smeagol was an odious and greedy little swine who was especially susceptible to the Ring's broadcast temptation. I see no suggestion it 'chose' him over Deagol.

You're attributing to the Ring a calculating intelligence which far, far overstates its 'sentience'
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Old 12-25-2007, 06:30 PM   #94
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Narya Evil Minion Beacon

Quote:
Call the Nazgul? I would say rather that it was a sort of omnidirectional 'evil minion' beacon, to which the Nazgul naturally were especially sensitive. The Ring exercised a pull on the Orcs who destroyed Isildur's army, even though they had no idea of it.
The omnidirection evil minion beacon is an apt turn of phrase. After all, the Watcher in the Water seems to have singled Frodo out...the influence of the Ring perhaps vibrates on the frequency inhabited by the dark creatures of Middle Earth, a call they are specially attuned to. In a way, the Ring's sentience vs. simple nature begs a comparison to Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, but perhaps that is a road best left untrodden. It is easy to see intent in things that seem to 'act' in a certain way, however, and maybe the appearance of the Ring "choosing" a possible victim is merely the victim's susceptibility to the ever-present call it exerts on that subterranean frequency, which might even be likened to an ancient effect of Morgoth on those who followed him--Sauron, for one.
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Old 12-25-2007, 07:47 PM   #95
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I've heard all the arguments. I chose Legolas simply because he is an elf. While man is always shown to be weak overall, Elves are the ones who seem to succomb to temptation most easily, and fail the most miserably as a result. much of the first age is about elves succumbing to one kind of temptation or another. Why not the Ring?

Indeed, this would have been a totally different story if SOMEONE had succombed to the lure of the Ring. It would not have been a bad story, as stories go, but it would not have been the story Tolkien presented to us.

The whole story of the first age (and indeed, some of the second age) is about the tragedy of the weakness of the elves. The slaying at Alqualonde (sp.?) is probably Feanor's weakest moment, surrendering to his own passion. Legolas was probably no stronger in this than Feanor, he simply had less passion to work from. He had so much less at stake at that time.

I will elaborate more. Gotta go now. Sweeny Todd starts in twenty minutes, and I still have to buy popcorn and soda-pop.

Must finish later.
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Old 12-25-2007, 11:07 PM   #96
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Pippin, no doubt - if he went for the Palantir held by GANDALF, he would definitely have succumbed to the Ring quickest out of the 8 mentioned.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:50 AM   #97
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Old Gandalf comes nearest to Sauron's "innate" powers. Being a Maia and all. I suppose he was more relieved than he revealed when he met Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli without the Ring, but this: his wisdom shields him from the lure of the Ring. Also, his humility. And the task that the Valar, notably Manwe and Varda. He got a special mention, didn't he? And he said he was afraid of Sauron. This could be one of his most potent shields: the fear of Sauron, not just for the fear of Sauron dominating and lording ME but also maybe the fear of becoming Sauron.

The others, the hobbits, Gimli, Aragorn and Legolas, I think the latter three are the next-in-line.

Aragorn, because the Ring knows that it has a particular hold on the hearts of Men. But I think that the guys who said that Arwen's love shields him has a major point--love is a power greater than the Ring in Arda isn't it? Also, the knowledge that his ancestor fell for the Ring, you know, sorta like learning from the mistakes of others. Maybe he would've fallen for the Ring in the same manner Frodo does at the very end only.

Legolas, the same reason why the Three Rings appealed to the Elves, but not so much because I didn't get the impression that he was a Feanorian-proud Elf. (a thought: Feanor would've been loved by the Ring, maybe? And he would have loved the Ring too!).

Gimli, maybe, but it is in his Dwarvish nature that he's tough and all, and besides, if the Ring falls on the hands of a Dwarf it won't do as much "damage" as, say, a proud Elf or a high Man or a Wizard. And apart from his innate toughness I think his humility also is a virtue against the Ring. Remember that he is not Thorin-proud, and the only hint that he shows his pride is when Legolas entered the Paths of the Dead first; and maybe this was just a joke on his part, only half-true.

Merry, Pippin: what "use" would they have been to the Ring? So one can argue that they may become Smeagol-turned-Gollum numbers two and three, but I doubt it: Pippin especially, since the Ring may render him curious but not greedy. And I suppose that if a Hobbit had the Ring, it would just produce another Smeagol.

Sam? I doubt it, unless Sam is dwelling ever more in the Ring's forte because Sam has his duty to Frodo and the Fellowship. (Note: I don't think Sam values Frodo more than the Quest, because he left Frodo to continue. So maybe the Ring can use this "obligation" thingy of Sam for its own end, had Sam continued to wield the Ring longer in Mordor? Arrgh, then again, maybe not, because Hobbits have an extraordinary resilience to the Ring, them hobbits being too simple relative to the other races. And Sam loves Frodo and his Shire and that may be shield enough.)

Frodo? I think the fact that he was seduced only at the very end is makes him toughest with regard to the Ring. Sure he put on the Ring to escape the madness of Boromir, but during the time of Faramir he does not, knowing that by doing so the Ring will drive him madder. Wisdom shields him, much like Gandalf.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #98
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Four out of Nine, in the Fellowship, have already rejected the ring. That makes: Aragorn, Gandalf, Frodo, and Sam the only people in the Fellowship who have rejected the ring. Which leaves Legolas, Gimli, Pippin, and Merry the only ones who haven't.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:02 PM   #99
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Ring

Seeing what Legate has said, I would have to vote Gandalf, the ring would not want to take most of the Fellowship except for maybe Aragorn.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:23 PM   #100
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Oh dear. An unfortunate juxtaposition of subjects has been triggered in my mind by this statement:
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However, since the Ring is not inhabited by a distinct fea with its own conscious mind, but does "live" as an appendage of Sauron, I think it is a patent exception to the rule.
I am forced to conclude that the Ring is indeed...a horcrux!! (insert brief revelatory orchestral bit here) Sauron is indeed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:23 PM   #101
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Tolkien's world seems to be fatalistic by nature. What happens, happens under the guidance of providence of Eru - or whatever term you wish to apply here.

That means that things went as they did because they were meant to go that way. That's why Gollum was left alive or Faramir let Frodo go etc. So a divine plan of sorts.

Keeping this in mind no one else but Boromir could have fallen because everything was prescribed. Aragorn fought against the weakness of his humanity but was meant to overcome it as well as Gandalf was meant to die and overcome the seduction of the Ring and Frodo was not to fail even if it required the help of his mate Sam in the end. But that was all preordained. Nice and tidy in a universe whose creator meant it to be nice and tidy under this divine guidance the author created himself to work under that presupposition.

~*~

But if we go for the "what if?" scenarios and forget the providence Tolkien weawed into his world I'd say that Gandalf, Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli could be the ones the Ring could have lured.

Why not the hobbits? Well, what would they have done with it? I think they were too much afraid of it - and seeing Frodo's transformation they were even more sure that was none of their bussiness (remember Pip played with the Palantír because he didn't know what it was... of the ring he knew it was something too big for him). Sam surely is a questionmark. Had Frodo died in the hands of the orcs he might have tried to fulfill the mission but what would have followed?

And we should remeber that fex. Gandalf (and possibly even Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli together) would have been able to deal with a "Ring-master Merry gone wrong" anytime.


Now Gimli could have taken the ring to protect the dwarf-kingdom and that might have proven a real challenge for Sauron. The same goes with Legolas. He could have raised a formidable fight against the dark forces, not in front of Minas Tirith but around Lorien or something... gathering all the forces of good under the same banner (Cirdan with his borrowed ring included). But the corruption argument bites here as well. In the end it would have turned evil and looking at this one would say Gimli would be less knowledgeable than Legolas to that effect.

So Legolas with his knowledge of the world and it's history probably would not have taken it but Gimli then? Without Tolkien-scripted providence Gimli might have taken it?

But Gandalf is there too. He stood against the seduction in Hobbitton but what if he had lived later and things had looked grim enough? He knew the dangers but in the situation where there seemed to be no hope anymore, would he have been lured to try the ring? Who knows? He was dead and out of game at the moments when the real decisions were made...

I'd say Gimli would not be as aware of the dangers and might have used the ring and Gandalf might have been persuaded by the graveness of the situation to use it even if he knew the hazards.

So Gimli or Gandalf?

Or Aragorn?

Without the providence of Eru Aragorn is the number one aim of the Ring and the one who should indeed use it. He should be the human hero trying to save his people with the help of the ring! Looking at Boromir's death he should be awaken to the debt he owns to the humankind and he should have taken to the tracks of Frodo bringing the ring to Minas Tirith. Why follow some "insignificant hobbits" when the fate of the whole world was at stake?

He should take it if he was to be a king.

But Tolkien wished it otherwise. There was the providence of Eru to twist his mind from the good of his kin (the human kind) to sidetrack him to help the hobbit-friends he had made and that decision later led to the final victory. That's the providence Tolkien wrote denying believability of the characters.

So Aragorn it is.

Without the pre-decided fate (by the author) he would have taken the ring as it was the only decent possibility back there at the shores of Anduin.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:35 PM   #102
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Welll, if Gandalf took the ring, I'm sure there would be trouble in Valinor. Manw chose him because he knew that he would not succumb.

And if I remember correctly, didn't Manw say something like "And he shall be the last". Maybe it disn't mean the last one, as in what Varda said when she answeres "Not the last" (maybe she was making reference to his self control and will in fact, we will never know, or maybe that fact that he thonks a lot?). Anyway, maybe Manw meant that he would be the last one to remain true his mission (though we don't know about the blue wizards, but Tolkien says somewhere that he thinks they failed, and started cults themselves).

I'm sure if Gandlf (obviously now back to being Olrin) came back to Valinor having succumbed to the ring (maybe even bringing it with him but most probably he would have stayed and ruled the Great Lands) Manw would have given him a serious talking to (because he chose him), and Enw too (Lets not forget he played a similar part to Gandalf, though it was against a mightier foe).
And when I say a serious talking to, I mean it might end up him being chained up like Melkor (or maybe you would calll him Morgoth, even though he no longer had any power by then).

Just thinking, what happened to Curumo (Saruman in middle earth) after Grma kills him in the scouring of the shire (I won't even start mentioning the bad things that he did)???
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:36 PM   #103
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woops, double post
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:04 PM   #104
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Good arguments, but I choose Aragorn, for reasons already given. Primarily: 1) he is the only man on the list, 2) son of Isildur, 3) has a will to power.
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:33 PM   #105
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And if I remember correctly, didn't Manw say something like "And he shall be the last". Maybe it disn't mean the last one, as in what Varda said when she answeres "Not the last" (maybe she was making reference to his self control and will in fact, we will never know, or maybe that fact that he thonks a lot?). Anyway, maybe Manw meant that he would be the last one to remain true his mission (though we don't know about the blue wizards, but Tolkien says somewhere that he thinks they failed, and started cults themselves).
Actually, it is not known what Manw said. He said "something something [undecipherable words, no one knows what Tolkien exactly wrote there] last". Then Varda: "Not the last." And Saruman remembered these words and did not like Gandalf because obviously, he considered himself the First and now it seemed like there was something special on Gandalf.

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I'm sure if Gandlf (obviously now back to being Olrin) came back to Valinor having succumbed to the ring (maybe even bringing it with him but most probably he would have stayed and ruled the Great Lands) Manw would have given him a serious talking to (because he chose him), and Enw too (Lets not forget he played a similar part to Gandalf, though it was against a mightier foe).
First and foremost, Gandalf having succumbed to the ring would not have come back to Valinor at all. Even if he wanted, they won't let him. And yes, maybe if he caused trouble in M-E, they would send someone after him - not necessarily Enw, as he was more for these "military actions", but some other, well, really, "Gandalf the White", or "Gandalf the Gray as he should be". Maybe even some Radagast could raise opposition, suddenly returning to his real mission ("awakened", so to say, by Valar/Eru)? Who knows.
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:49 AM   #106
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Not so Gandalf: he is entirely sexless and wholly devoted to the combative overthrow of Sauron. In this regard he is like Boromir – can you imagine Boro ever settling down with a nice girl from Rohan in the greenwoods of Ithilien? Nuh-uh.
How do you know? How could you even compare Boromir's mission to Gandalf's? A nationalistic mission to a worldly mission? I have no doubts that if Sauron was overthrown in Boromir's time he would readily have taken a wife. Not to mention, it is not far-fetched to think that Boromir had plently of fair maidens in Gondor and Rohan. Just because Tolkien stated that Boromir delighted "chiefly in arms" does not mean Boromir was "sexless".

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So while I agree that the Ring would have corrupted Aragorn in time (terrible thought) I still don’t think he would have succumbed before Gandalf. The Wizard was thinking at every point, “How can I defeat Sauron?” and to that the Ring gives a ready answer; Aragorn was thinking at every point, “How can I save Gondor and thus marry Arwen?”
Again, how do you know? Pray tell how you read through the pages and could actually tell what Tolkien's characters were thinking?
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:39 AM   #107
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Gandalf is not sexless. He is fully incarnate and has a fully formed and functional hroa.
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:23 PM   #108
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Seeing what Legate has said, I would have to vote Gandalf, the ring would not want to take most of the Fellowship except for maybe Aragorn.
I think Gandalf knew about the situation far too well. He wouldn't be fooled by the Ring so easily. The Ring might go after him, but that dose not mean that it would succeed.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:12 PM   #109
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But, Oblo, the Istari were subject to the cares and *weariness* of the flesh, and were in the bodies of *old* men. So unless the Loremasters of the Noldor were aware of some herb Viagrasse....
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:04 PM   #110
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But, Oblo, the Istari were subject to the cares and *weariness* of the flesh, and were in the bodies of *old* men.
That doesnt mean that he would succumb to those temptations. Just because he was subject to the Ring dose not mean he would fall for it.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:17 PM   #111
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That doesnt mean that he would succumb to those temptations. Just because he was subject to the Ring dose not mean he would fall for it.
Wickli was making a joke, implying that Gandalf's spirit might not have been all that potent after all.

The question of whether Gandalf was succeptible to sexual temptation seems easily answered (cf. Wickli's own references), but it's entirely beside my initial point, which was merely that Gandalf is most assuredly not sexless: he is male, in temperament and in body.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:06 PM   #112
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Wickli was making a joke, implying that Gandalf's spirit might not have been all that potent after all.
Oh, sorry. *bangs head on keyboard*
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:23 PM   #113
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Pippin. He was the most irresponsible and lacking in self-control. He would also have been relatively harmless with it, at least at first; probably the greatest harm he would have done with it would be to have tripped his way right into Mordor and handed the thing over to Sauron.
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