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Old 08-02-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
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Question Gandalf, Moria, and Arrest

The leadership of Gandalf was questioned by the Company when he decided to choose the dark and dangerous path into Moria. At this point, should Aragorn have placed Gandalf under arrest and taken over the leadership of the Company to help protect the Ring?
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:34 PM   #2
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Is this a serious question?

Gandalf was the accepted leader not only of the Fellowship, but as far as Aragorn was concerned, the struggle against Sauron. Aragorn had been a pupil and friend of Gandalf for many years. He questioned the decision to go to Moria both out of a personal bad memory of a prior journey, and a foreboding that Gandalf would meet some peril there. His reluctance was not based on any lack of faith in Gandalf as a leader or a guide.

And also, by what authority could an "arrest" have been made? That's lunacy. At most, any member of the company who wished was free to stop following Gandalf and go their own way. It's notable that none did so. Gandalf retained their trust even under the direst of circumstances.
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
Is this a serious question?

Gandalf was the accepted leader not only of the Fellowship, but as far as Aragorn was concerned, the struggle against Sauron. Aragorn had been a pupil and friend of Gandalf for many years. He questioned the decision to go to Moria both out of a personal bad memory of a prior journey, and a foreboding that Gandalf would meet some peril there. His reluctance was not based on any lack of faith in Gandalf as a leader or a guide.

And also, by what authority could an "arrest" have been made? That's lunacy. At most, any member of the company who wished was free to stop following Gandalf and go their own way. It's notable that none did so. Gandalf retained their trust even under the direst of circumstances.
I believe every member of the Company, including Frodo, were against taking the road into Moria. Even Celeborn thought this road was folly and needless. Aragorn, as future King of Gondor, had as much authority to arrest Gandalf as anyone. The only thing that mattered was the safety of the Ring. Your ''lunacy'' comment was offensive, but that is just you. The path into Moria was seen as lunacy by others. Aragorn even warned Gandalf that this choice could lead to his own doom, which it did. Had Gandalf known of the Balrog, he would not have chosen this road.

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Old 08-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Moonraker
Aragorn, as future King of Gondor, had as much authority to arrest Gandalf as anyone.
Which is to say, none.
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil View Post
Which is to say, none.
The fate of the Ring was the only thing that mattered. Aragorn could have declared that as of now he makes all the decisions and will lead the Company elsewhere, and not through Moria. He may have had no legal power to have Gandalf arrested at the gate of Moria, but that would have changed once he was sworn in as King of Gondor.

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Old 08-02-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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Even if they wanted to, none of them would be able to arrest Gandalf. None were forced to follow Gandalf.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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Let's imagine, for one absurdly out-of-character second, that Aragorn WOULD have considered "arresting Gandalf" and/or asserting himself as the mutinous new leader of the company. Even had he already become King of Gondor and Arnor, or had the quest somehow waited until he was, this would still, as Aiwendil so succinctly put it, none of the authority required to arrest Gandalf.

Authority, never mind the actual ability.

Gandalf was a subject of neither the Kingdom of Arnor nor Gondor, over which Aragorn's writ extended. He was, in point of fact, an emissary of the Valar, which, if we continue this line of thought, still leaves him a foreign national--and a foreign national rather in the diplomatic service.

Beyond this, when at the walls of Moria, the company was not in the realms of Gondor or Arnor. Depending on where one draws the exact line, they were either still in Hollin or they were across the threshold into Moria. If one takes the first position, which I incline towards, then they were in what was essentially noman's land.

I seem to recall it being suggested (I cannot recall the text--possibly the Epilogue?) that, by his marriage to Arwen, Aragorn's heirs would inherit the remaining tracts of land still belonging to the High Elves in Middle-earth, namely Lindon, Rivendell, and Eregion (all under the possession of the House of Finwë, which would be remain solely represented in her heirs after the passing of Elrond, Galadriel, and the eventually death/passing of Elladan and Elrohir).

However, this had not happened at the time of the Fellowship. Hollin was still, at that time, a vacant kingdom under either the nominal lordship of the Heir of Celebrimbor (presumably Elrond, the next-of-kin as the nearest descendent of Fingolfin, who was Fëanor's heir after the exhaustion of his own line) or would have been kingdomless, but part of the greater domains of the High King of Eldar (depending on the tradition one accepts for Gil-galad's parentage, either Elrond or Galadriel). Either way, it is clear from the officially defined boundaries of Arnor--themselves not set until half an Age after the fall of Eregion, that Hollin was considered beyond-the-borders of Arnor, and thus outside the law of her king.

If, however, we stretch the borders of Khazad-dûm beyond the doors to include the doorstep, Aragorn is STILL not king of that land, and even less likely to rule it, since I don't think he was going to be a polygamous king with a second consort wedded to the only daughter of Thorin III (and that's assuming that Dwarves can inherit through the female line--people seem to assume this of Fíli and Kíli, but I don't recall it ever saying in any text that Thorin Oakenshield's sister-sons were the Heirs of the Durin after him).

Gimli, perhaps, as the ranking Dwarf (in all Moria, though they did not know it) could have done so, but we all know that he was on Gandalf's side for going IN to Moria.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Belegorn View Post
Even if they wanted to, none of them would be able to arrest Gandalf. None were forced to follow Gandalf.
To be frank, I always thought Tolkein wanted the journey through Moria for the excitement factor, much more than the endless trekking on land like in the Hobbit. He was prepared to put Gandalf's own reputation on the line to ensure that the Company did go though Moria, and not via other safer means.

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Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Let's imagine, for one absurdly out-of-character second, that Aragorn WOULD have considered "arresting Gandalf" and/or asserting himself as the mutinous new leader of the company. Even had he already become King of Gondor and Arnor, or had the quest somehow waited until he was, this would still, as Aiwendil so succinctly put it, none of the authority required to arrest Gandalf.

Authority, never mind the actual ability.
Had it got to a heated argument (which it almost did) between Aragorn and Gandalf on taking the road to Moria, Aragorn could have made the case that he was putting the fate of the quest in great peril, and that he would take over the leadership if Gandalf did not back down. Supposing Gandalf did not back down, then Aragorn may have stated that once sworn in as King of Gondor he would not forget this encounter and would press charges on Gandalf on grounds of placing the fate of Middle Earth at risk (i.e. treason).

This charge would be far fetched to execute, especially if the Company did just fine in Moria, but nevertheless that is what the Moonraker likes, to stretch the realms of possibility to the limits.

Last edited by Moonraker; 08-02-2014 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Moonraker View Post
I believe every member of the Company, including Frodo, were against taking the road into Moria. Even Celeborn thought this road was folly and needless.
Celeborn may have thought so, but Galadriel admonished him nevertheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FotR, Bk. 2, ch. 7
He would be rash indeed that said that thing <...> Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life.
Let us go back to what happened. Gandalf recalled that "Aragorn was against it, until the pass over the mountains had at least been tried." [ch. 4] They tried and they failed. Boromir suggested they go south by the Gap of Rohan but Gandalf told him that as long as the Ring was with them they could not because there was Saruman in waiting. Besides, when Boromir compared Moria to a stronghold of Sauron Gandalf admonished him in the following manner:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FotR, bk. 2, ch. 4, p. 354
I alone of you have ever been in the dungeons of the Dark Lord, and only in his older and lesser dwelling in Dol Guldur. Those who pass the gates of Barad-dûr do not return.
He would not lead them into Moria if there was no way out. Even though he did not make it, he got them out in the end. Gimli was not averse to going through Moria, though Aragorn and Boromir were. However, Gandalf said it best I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf to the Company
the question is: who will follow me, if I lead you there?
Aragorn pointedly replied, "You followed my lead almost to disaster in the snow, and have said no word of blame."

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Originally Posted by Moonraker
not via other safer means
But were the other, watched ways, really safer?
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:19 PM   #10
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But were the other, watched ways, really safer?
All roads were being watched, so Moria was never going to be the safest option in any case. Gimli was not against going to Moria, but he was biased as a dwarf to want to go there for personal reasons (Balin, Mithril, the legend of Moria etc), and not for reasons in context of the quest.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:23 PM   #11
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All roads were being watched, so Moria was never going to be the safest option in any case. Gimli was not against going to Moria, but he was biased as a dwarf to want to go there for personal reasons (Balin, Mithril, the legend of Moria etc), and not for reasons in context of the quest.
But there was the possibility of Dwarves from Erebor still being in Moria. What's better, the potential at least for some friendly faces, or a long trek through the wilderness that took one nearer and nearer to Isengard?

If there had been a better way to go, Aragorn would have suggested one. Boromir's alternatives were logically shot down, leaving Moria the best option.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:05 AM   #12
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The leadership of Gandalf was questioned by the Company when he decided to choose the dark and dangerous path into Moria. At this point, should Aragorn have placed Gandalf under arrest and taken over the leadership of the Company to help protect the Ring?
Wait... what?

You're asking if Aragorn should have (...ahem...) arrested his longtime friend of about 60 years because they disagreed about a route?

I was in the army, and I never thought of arresting someone I knew because they had a route or strategy different than mine; that kind of measure is saved for things like war crimes.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:22 AM   #13
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Wait... what?

You're asking if Aragorn should have (...ahem...) arrested his longtime friend of about 60 years because they disagreed about a route?

I was in the army, and I never thought of arresting someone I knew because they had a route or strategy different than mine; that kind of measure is saved for things like war crimes.
Did you read all the previous posts before posting the above? Aragorn had a duty to protect the Ring, with his future as King of Gondor at stake. Friendships were to be swept to one side, and the most important decision made as to how the Ring may be protected.

Granted, Aragorn was not Boromir, who almost certainly would have caused mutiny within the Company much earlier if he were held in the same regard as Aragorn. But Aragorn needed to see things in context of completing the quest, and saving Middle Earth, and if that mean't rejecting the road into Moria, then so be it. Had he then asked the Company to vote for who they would have followed, most likely it would have been Aragorn, not Gandalf, unless Gandalf repented.

In the end, Aragorn & Boromir backed down and went with the plan of going through Moria after the wolves made an appearance. That really saved Gandalf from being cast aside as being respected leader of the Company. Gandalf, being a powerful Maiar, may have had full confidence in confronting the horrors of Moria, but none of the others (save Gimli) did and would have not gone in but for the wolves.

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Old 08-03-2014, 07:44 AM   #14
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Did you read all the previous posts before posting the above? Aragorn had a duty to protect the Ring, with his future as King of Gondor at stake. Friendships were to be swept to one side, and the most important decision made as to how the Ring may be protected.

Granted, Aragorn was not Boromir, who almost certainly would have caused mutiny within the Company much earlier if he were held in the same regard as Aragorn. But Aragorn needed to see things in context of completing the quest, and saving Middle Earth, and if that mean't rejecting the road into Moria, then so be it. Had he then asked the Company to vote for who they would have followed, most likely it would have been Aragorn, not Gandalf, unless Gandalf repented.

In the end, Aragorn & Boromir backed down and went with the plan of going through Moria after the wolves made an appearance. That really saved Gandalf from being cast aside as being respected leader of the Company. Gandalf, being a powerful Maiar, may have had full confidence in confronting the horrors of Moria, but none of the others (save Gimli) did and would have not gone in but for the wolves.
You can attempt to explain this away as much as you want, but the fact remains that you began this thread by jumping (pole vaulting!) to the option of arrest (out in the wilderness, with no means of enforcement, no less)- as if that were the only option.
"Let's see... which way can we go?"
"Well, south toward Isengard, or through Moria. I say Moria."
"You're under arrest. Turn around and put your hands behind your back. Uh... Boromir- you and Legolas tie him up."

On a side note, as I replied to this thread again, I realized that the forum may not have a sufficient variety of emoticons to further reflect a writer's feelings.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beregorn
But were the other, watched ways, really safer?
Seems like perhaps the safest, fastest route would be to quickly go back from
Rivendell to the Grey Havens (while the nazgul are in disarray and horseless).
Then take a ship (hugging the coast---it's a medieval world traveling wise, so
traveling by sea near the coast tends to be the fastest and safest way to travel.
Go past the Isen (no further because of the threat from Corsairs) and then either travel across south Rohan (hugging the White Mountains) or cross Andrast and thru south Gondor. Cross the Anduin and then perhaps go around south Mordor or through another pass. Biggest immediate problems are crossing the Great River and dealing with Rohan or Gondor authorities---but they'd have Gandalf, Aragorn, and Boromir.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:50 AM   #16
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Seems like perhaps the safest, fastest route would be to quickly go back from
Rivendell to the Grey Havens (while the nazgul are in disarray and horseless).
Then take a ship (hugging the coast---it's a medieval world traveling wise, so
traveling by sea near the coast tends to be the fastest and safest way to travel.
Go past the Isen (no further because of the threat from Corsairs) and then either travel across south Rohan (hugging the White Mountains) or cross Andrast and thru south Gondor. Cross the Anduin and then perhaps go around south Mordor or through another pass. Biggest immediate problems are crossing the Great River and dealing with Rohan or Gondor authorities---but they'd have Gandalf, Aragorn, and Boromir.

Whichever road they took, was there any realistic possibility of this being kept hidden from Sauron & Saruman? Both would have had spies covering all routes, and both would have assumed Gandalf was taking the Ring to Minas Tirith. They may as well have been escorted by a large army to Lorien if there was no hope of secrecy. The events in Moria would have certainly rang alarm bells in the Dark Tower as to the whereabouts of the Ring pretty quick.

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Originally Posted by Andsigil View Post
You can attempt to explain this away as much as you want, but the fact remains that you began this thread by jumping (pole vaulting!) to the option of arrest (out in the wilderness, with no means of enforcement, no less)- as if that were the only option.
I have dealt with this in other posts earlier, so I do not wish to repeat myself.

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Old 08-03-2014, 07:57 AM   #17
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I have dealt with this in other posts earlier, so I do not wish to repeat myself.
"Dealing with" it in your original post would have been much better. As carpenters say: measure twice and cut once.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Moonraker View Post
The leadership of Gandalf was questioned by the Company when he decided to choose the dark and dangerous path into Moria. At this point, should Aragorn have placed Gandalf under arrest and taken over the leadership of the Company to help protect the Ring?
This question of 'arrest', Moonraker, ignores the nature of the Fellowship of the Ring as a group. From what was clear from Elrond in Rivendell, pointed out by Belegorn, the only person in the group on whom any formal obligation was laid was Frodo. For the others, no such obligation was laid on them in terms of any staying or going. The moral obligations on each was another matter, Gimli pointing out that 'Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens'. While Gandalf was accepted as leader, with Aragorn as his lieutenant, who would (and did) take over if anything happened to the former, neither of the two were appointed by Elrond, or elected by the Fellowship themselves.

Such a lack of formality would mean, in my opinion, that if the others of the Fellowship (including Frodo) rejected Gandalf's plan to go to Moria, all that would be needed would be to tell the latter that they didn't agree, and that if he insisted, they would accept Aragorn as the new leader. In this case, 'arrest' would not come into it. As long as Gandalf didn't interfere with the Fellowship, they would leave him alone, letting him decide if he wanted to leave or stay with them.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:34 AM   #19
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This question of 'arrest', Moonraker, ignores the nature of the Fellowship of the Ring as a group. From what was clear from Elrond in Rivendell, pointed out by Belegorn, the only person in the group on whom any formal obligation was laid was Frodo. For the others, no such obligation was laid on them in terms of any staying or going. The moral obligations on each was another matter, Gimli pointing out that 'Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens'. While Gandalf was accepted as leader, with Aragorn as his lieutenant, who would (and did) take over if anything happened to the former, neither of the two were appointed by Elrond, or elected by the Fellowship themselves.

Such a lack of formality would mean, in my opinion, that if the others of the Fellowship (including Frodo) rejected Gandalf's plan to go to Moria, all that would be needed would be to tell the latter that they didn't agree, and that if he insisted, they would accept Aragorn as the new leader. In this case, 'arrest' would not come into it. As long as Gandalf didn't interfere with the Fellowship, they would leave him alone, letting him decide if he wanted to leave or stay with them.
After what Boromir did to try and wrestle the Ring off Frodo by force, it is conceivable that any member of the Company who was no longer working in the interest of the quest would be cast aside, and possibly even held captive should the opportunity arise, with the agreement of a suitor, such as in Lorien. Gandalf had many friends in Middle Earth in high places, as did Aragorn. But no so much Boromir, and the evils he committed he later tried to atone for when trying to rescue Merry and Pippin. But by the letter of the law, he should have been arrested further down the line in Rohan if he had survived the orc attack,
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:10 PM   #20
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But by the letter of the law, he should have been arrested further down the line in Rohan if he had survived the orc attack,
You're overlooking the fact that there was no law. In kingdoms such as Gondor and Rohan, laws were in effect to address various circumstances.
All that governed the Fellowship though were individual oaths and loyalties. It was an organization outside any official government (which is probably why it ultimately was successful ).
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:22 PM   #21
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You're overlooking the fact that there was no law. In kingdoms such as Gondor and Rohan, laws were in effect to address various circumstances.
All that governed the Fellowship though were individual oaths and loyalties. It was an organization outside any official government (which is probably why it ultimately was successful ).
Figure of speech is the name of the game here. I am not saying Middle Earth has lawyers and a robust legal system.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:22 PM   #22
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But no so much Boromir, and the evils he committed he later tried to atone for when trying to rescue Merry and Pippin. But by the letter of the law, he should have been arrested further down the line in Rohan if he had survived the orc attack,
Why would he be arrested in Rohan? He tried to attack Frodo but he never laid a finger on him. Arrest for attempted assault? He is a lord of Gondor, the heir to the Stewardship. The Stewards themselves were more noble than any other kings of men. You've got Gandalf and Boromir positioned for possible arrests, a Maia who was the prime mover of the defense against Sauron and a Lord of Gondor who was huge in the wars in the East. It appears that Boromir was looked kindly upon in Rohan, at least according to the account of Éomer.

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Originally Posted by TTT, Bk. 3, ch. 2
That was a worthy man! All spoke his praise. He came seldom to the Mark, for he was ever in the wars on the East-borders;
As an aside, would you have Isildur arrested as well since he did not destroy the Ring? Have Elrond and Celeborn jail him somewhere?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Belegorn View Post
Why would he be arrested in Rohan? He tried to attack Frodo but he never laid a finger on him. Arrest for attempted assault? He is a lord of Gondor, the heir to the Stewardship. The Stewards themselves were more noble than any other kings of men. You've got Gandalf and Boromir positioned for possible arrests, a Maia who was the prime mover of the defense against Sauron and a Lord of Gondor who was huge in the wars in the East. It appears that Boromir was looked kindly upon in Rohan, at least according to the account of Éomer.



As an aside, would you have Isildur arrested as well since he did not destroy the Ring? Have Elrond and Celeborn jail him somewhere?
Gandalf could have been in line for arrest in the event of stirring mutiny and trying to send the Ring into the lion's den through Moria against the will of the Company. But the wolves attacking their camp changed things, and all the company backed down and agreed to enter Moria.

Boromir was another matter, he tried to steal the Ring from Frodo, and theft of this magnitude does carry the penalty of jail in a civilised world.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:52 PM   #24
Alfirin
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Originally Posted by Moonraker View Post
Boromir was another matter, he tried to steal the Ring from Frodo, and theft of this magnitude does carry the penalty of jail in a civilised world.
Again, under whose laws? The attempt is made in an area without any local
people so not them.

Tecnically, Parth Galen is part of Gondor's Territory, and as such under Gondors law. And at the time of the attack, the ultimate arbiter of that law is Denethor, NOT Aragorn.If any question of crime arose, it would have to be Denethor, not Aragorn who would have to hear the case and pass judgement. Aragorn isn't king yet. Even once he became king, even if he did decide it was worth trying (which he probably wouldn't) he can't; few, if any, civilized legal systems allow for punishment for retroactive crimes (even if something is declared illegal now, you can't punish someone for doing it in the past, before it was illegal.) I will reiterate what the others have said, any decision by the rest of the fellowship to let Gandalf, Aragorn or anyone else be the leader, and to abide by thier decisions, was purely VOLUNTARY. Aragorn had NO legal authority to enforce any decision he made as law, heir to the throne or not.
Under the law as Denethor would interpret it, Boromir trying to take the ring would not have probably been considered a crime. Quite the opposite in fact, Denethor makes it pretty clear that in his book, NOT trying to take the ring and taking it back to Minas Tirith would have been the criminal act. Faramir makes it pretty clear in his words to Frodo in Ithilien that, by deciding to let Frodo and Co. go on thier way as opposed to taking them all back to Minas Tirith to see what Denthor thinks, he is techically comitting treason, and he damn well knows it.
As for trying to have him arrested in Rohan, how, the crime was not on Rohan soil, nor are any of the parties involved citizens of Rohan. Rohan literally would have no jurisdiction. And even if it did, it would not be much of a case. Remember the crime is only of great magnitude if you KNOW what the ring is, which no one in Rohan would. Short of someone in the party letting Theoden or Eomer in on the secret would would be dumb, especially Theoden (since, at that point Theoden would still be under Grima's ministrations so anything Theoden knew Grima would know and pass on to Saruman) it's just attemped theft of one gold ring. That's a minor crime at best, and given how well Boromir is thought of in Rohan, likely to be pardoned almost without thought.
To be honest, at this point, I think you are trying to cast Aragorn as some sort of absolute tyrant, doing whatever he thinks is best without council, and arresting or punishing anyone who disagrees with him. If he really WAS that kind of a person, there is no way he would have been allowed to join the Fellowship; it would be like letting Sauron himself join! From the beginning we are meant to see Aragon as a "good" and "wise" king to be, and a good and wise ruler does NOT just do whatever he wants. He may be the ultimate arbiter of the law, but he is NOT above it. To borrow a line from Tolkien's Friend C.S. Lewis's work "The King is under the law, for it's the law that makes him a king."
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonraker View Post
Boromir was another matter, he tried to steal the Ring from Frodo, and theft of this magnitude does carry the penalty of jail in a civilised world.
Yes, but even if this is so, what has this to do with Rohan?
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:38 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonraker View Post
The leadership of Gandalf was questioned by the Company when he decided to choose the dark and dangerous path into Moria. At this point, should Aragorn have placed Gandalf under arrest and taken over the leadership of the Company to help protect the Ring?
No, Aragorn neither had the authority nor the inclination to arrest Gandalf. Aragorn, alone of the Fellowship, was quite aware of where the Istari were from and what Gandalf's mission was.

Again, I will repeat, for absurdity's sake, Aragorn neither had the authority nor the inclination to arrest Gandalf. To say otherwise is merely circumlocutious arguing to no point whatever.

Aragorn would not arrest him in a box
He would not arrest him with a fox
He would not arrest him here or there
He would not arrest him anywhere

He would not arrest him with some troops
He would not arrest him in a chicken coop
He would not arrest him in Moria dire
He would not arrest him in the Shire

He would not arrest him as the king
He would not arrest him for anything
Aragorn would not arrest Gandalf because
Of who and what and where he was.
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Last edited by Morthoron; 08-15-2014 at 06:45 AM.
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