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Old 03-13-2003, 12:18 AM   #1
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The Eye [J.R.R. Tolkien] Why Lord of the Rings?

Does anyone find it strange that Tolkien named the book after the dark lord Sauron? Or am I mistaken in him being the Lord of the Rings. If you had to come up with another name what would it be?

[ June 24, 2003: Message edited by: The Barrow-Wight ]
 
Old 03-13-2003, 12:32 AM   #2
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1420!

Well, for some reason, that title seems very epic and timeless. The title names the chief problem ('the Ring', and possibly 'The Lord'), the person responsible for the problem ('The Lord'), and the thing that creates many other problems ('the Ring'). It also sounds so great. I mean what would you rather have? The Quest of the Ring? I think the title is fine. However, if that title could absolutely not be chosen as the title, then maybe 'The Ring of Doom'....wow, this is a lot harder than I thought. Well, I'd like to hear other downer's suggestions. Anyways, I think this belongs in Novices and Newcomers.
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Old 03-13-2003, 03:10 AM   #3
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I always envision that title as referring to the One Ring as being the 'Lord'. You know - "One ring to rule them all..." So the One Ring is the boss. Since Sauron is the creator and master of it he is probably meant to be the Lord, but I consider it to be otherwise. He obviously wasn't the Lord of the other 19 rings without the One by his side. Comprende?

On another note, I always thought the Two Towers needed a better name.

[ March 13, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 03-13-2003, 06:42 AM   #4
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I guess that in the end, there is a reversal. Frodo wrests the title from Sauron because it is him who has conquered over the malice of the Ring (with some help from Gollum of course). He becomes the rightful Lord of the Rings, even over the "Three rings for the Elven-kings," because of his triumph. And that is why the trilogy is entitled thus. In the title of his memoirs though, "The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings..." we all know who he is referring to.
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Old 03-13-2003, 08:03 AM   #5
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Yes, I agree with Tar-Palantir. I have always thought of the Ring to be more of the 'Lord of the Rings'. If the Ring is destroyed, then so is Sauron, but if if Sauron is destroyed, the ring survives.
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Old 03-13-2003, 03:58 PM   #6
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i always thought sauron was the lotr. and jrrt does call him that, doesnt he?
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Old 03-13-2003, 08:58 PM   #7
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Hmmm... I believe strongly that Tolkien intended a double meaning; that LOTR could be either Sauron or the one ring, as a way to express there intimate relationship. In the movie Gandalf says "the're one, the ring and the dark lord", but I don't think he means that litterally.

In the swedish translation the series is called literally "the master ring", but I think that translation is missing something...
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Old 03-13-2003, 09:14 PM   #8
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Other titles...

"The Quest"

"Isildur's Legacy"

"Hope Unfailing"

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Old 03-14-2003, 03:20 AM   #9
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Why would JRRT have wanted to call the trilogy "Iarwain"?

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Old 03-14-2003, 02:42 PM   #10
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Come on, Saucepan! Everybody knows that Iarwain is the main character! What would Middle-Earth be without Tom Bombadil? Nothing. It would be a boring story with boring characters and no nonsense singing. Who would like that?
[img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ March 15, 2003: Message edited by: Iarwain ]
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Old 03-14-2003, 02:56 PM   #11
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i just found out something interesting in science. because the panet satrun has loads of rings it is sometimes called the lord of the rings. my friend suggested this might be the source of the name. he also pointed out that sauron sounds like saturn. but be4 he came up with sauron, jrrt used lots od other names, didnt he? like gorthu and thu. so basiccally i just disproved my own theory and theres no point posting this. oh well.
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Old 03-15-2003, 04:24 PM   #12
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When Tolkien first started writing LOTR, he was going to call it " The Return of the Shadow." I think that would have worked, but I still like The Lord of the Rings.

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Old 03-15-2003, 05:08 PM   #13
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despite the evilness, sauron may be in the end the most important character. without him, there would be no quest at all, would there? he set everything up. (well melkor did really, but this is in lotr terms.)
i like the Return of the Shadow, it sounds good!
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Old 03-15-2003, 05:30 PM   #14
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I would liked the title "The Ring". It's easier to say and we don't need to use abbreviation.(you know, the whole LOTR thing)
It would sound kinda menacing and evil and all that. But it maybe mistaken with old Wagner's opera, and the whole new Japaness scary movie.
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Old 03-15-2003, 06:37 PM   #15
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"The Ring" sounds a bit to simplistic for me. Sort of like calling Jaws "The Shark." Any book or movie whose title is a direct reference to the main character/theme seems to be weakened in my opinion. A reference is nice, but tactfully.

"Lord of the Rings" seems to have a mystic element to it as well which I think Tolkien wanted.
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Old 03-16-2003, 08:30 PM   #16
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Iarwain, if Tolkien were of a mind to title the trilogy after your namesake, maybe a more descriptive title would be in order. After all, he didn't just name it Sauron. My suggestion is from Gandalf: The Moss Gatherer

There remains the tiny issue of convincing the publisher that a thusly titled book would generate any sales. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

When Frodo arrives at the Counsel of Elrond, doesn't Sam call him "lord of the ring" (I recall it's "ring" not "rings", somebody correct me if I'm remembering this wrong). In any event this draws a swift rebuke from Gandalf, who says that the lord of the ring is not Frodo, but he who sits in the Dark Tower. I believe this is the only point in the entire trilogy where anything close to the title appears in the text.
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Old 03-16-2003, 10:01 PM   #17
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Ah, but Iarwain is just so much more mysterious. If you had a book titled "The Moss Gatherer" it wouldn't sound all that appealing to readers would it?


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Old 03-16-2003, 10:04 PM   #18
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Come on Iarwain, don't be too greedy. Tom already has a book named after him. doesn't he? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 03-17-2003, 03:43 PM   #19
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I always believed that "The Lord of the Rings" was up to a personal interpretation as to whom it referred to, for there are many ways it could be read into.

For example, the "Lord" would first appear to be Sauron as he was the creator of the ring. But then you read a little deeper. Sauron needed the ring, for his power was contained within it, so does that therefore make the One Ring the "Lord" of the others?

Another interpretation could be that the "Lord" of the rings were any of those who showed a resiliance to its power (for the best part). Any of the Ring-bearers could qualify to be the "Lord" this way opening other 'doors' as such. Far-fetched? Perhaps, but still a possibilty.

That uncertainty comes from the title being so mysterious, as someone has previously mentioned. Even the early title "Return of the Shadow" could be interpreted in more than one way, so is it possible that Tolkien meant for this uncertainty when he chose "The Lord of the Rings"? That his "fairy story written for adults" leading readers to other worlds should not keep its readers wondering that after they put the book down, what was actually meant by the first words they read of that story?
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Old 03-17-2003, 03:51 PM   #20
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Oh, and about that quote in Rivendell, it's Pippin who calls frodo "Lord of the Ring" (all the more reason to draw Gandalf's rebuke [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] )
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Old 03-17-2003, 04:47 PM   #21
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So the One Ring is the boss. Since Sauron is the creator and master of it he is probably meant to be the Lord, but I consider it to be otherwise. He obviously wasn't the Lord of the other 19 rings without the One by his side.
That logic might hold true if the Ring was just a magic tool Sauron had crafted.

In (this fictional) reality, though, that's not it. The Ring IS Sauron; Sauron IS the Ring. If the One Ring is the boss, then Sauron too is the boss. The One Ring has the power to control the other rings - only Sauron can use that power though. The Ring is the boss of the Rings of Power, but Sauron is the boss of the Ring since it is just an extension of his spirit.

The only other appropriate title I can think of is The Fellowship of the Ring. The first book is focused on the concept of the Fellowship of the Ring and their journeys as one group, but as the story unfolds, it still follows the actions of at least one or more of the members of the Fellowship, who still strive to accomplish their original task, broken up or not.

"The Quest" isn't a good description. The book's story is much more than just a quest; it's a war. "War of the Ring" is okay in some respects, but I think it belittles the role of character.

[ March 17, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 03-17-2003, 06:58 PM   #22
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I love the name Lord of the Rings. It's kind of timeless. Before I even had the faintest clue of what Lord of the Rings was (how I survived, I do not know) my uncle told me 'You would like Lord of the Rings.' Usually, when someone tells me I'll like something, it doesnt' regester, but when I heard that title, Lord of the Rings, I was enthralled. I wanted to read it! It was captivating, it sounded like adventure. Maybe I'm over exaggerating a bit, but if the Lord of the Rings were titled anything else, it just wouldn't be the same. And I have to agree that the title has a double meaning, 'The Lord' being both Sauron and the Ring, and maybe even Frodo too.
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Old 03-17-2003, 07:01 PM   #23
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That logic might hold true if the Ring was just a magic tool Sauron had crafted.
First of all, I don't need logic to interpret things my own way (sad but true [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]), which is what I said was the case in my post above.

Quote:
In (this fictional) reality, though, that's not it. The Ring IS Sauron; Sauron IS the Ring. If the One Ring is the boss, then Sauron too is the boss.
The title is Lord of the Rings - any being possessing adequate strength (Gandalf, Saruman the White - and possibly Aragorn, Galadriel, Elrond and maybe even Cķrdan) of will to wield the One Ring would be able to access the remaining Rings - corruption aside - would BE the Lord of the Rings. If Sauron possessed the Ring he would BE the Lord of the Rings. If nobody possesses the Ring there is no Lord of the Rings - I don't care who forged it or what evil power and taint drives it. In my mind the One Ring is the lord of the other Rings regardless of it's present master or lack thereof.

Logic others might find full of holes no doubt, but I enjoy the imagery of it; it works for me.
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Old 03-17-2003, 07:48 PM   #24
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No. While those you listed would have more success in using the Ring than Frodo, Sam, Bilbo, or Isildur, the Ring's will would not be bent by anyone. The idea that Galadriel, et. al could use the Ring is an illusion created by the Ring itself:

Quote:
It was part of the essential deceit of the Ring to fill minds with imaginations of supreme power.
They would only be able to use it for a short time for their own devices, but the Ring would conquer even Gandalf.

Tolkien said so.

Quote:
If Gandalf proved the victor, the result would have been for Sauron the same as the destruction of the Ring; for him it would have been destroyed, taken from him for ever. But the Ring and all its works would have endured. It would have been the master in the end.
Gandalf as Ring-Lord would have been far worse than Sauron. He would have remained 'righteous', but self-righteous. He would have continued to rule and order things for 'good', and the benefit of his subjects according to his wisdom (which was and would have remained great). Thus while Sauron multiplied [illegible word] evil, he left "good" clearly distinguishable from it. Gandalf would have made good detestable and seem evil.
Note the bold text (that I highlighted). The Ring would yield to no one but Sauron, period. With any other person wielding the Ring, it would be master. Sauron was the only person who could possibly be Lord of the Ring, and subsequently the only Lord of the Rings. Therefore, he is only person the title could be referring to.

You could argue with my thoughts on such matters, but to argue with the creator of the subject would be quite silly.

[ March 17, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 03-17-2003, 09:45 PM   #25
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No. You are arguing with MY image, as such - you are arguing with the master, quite silly indeed.
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But the Ring and all its works would have endured. It would have been the master in the end.
You make my own case Legolas - the Ring would have been the master in the end. Hmmm.. dare I even call it "Lord"? In case you failed to notice, I said "corruption aside". Perhaps I should not have called those others possible Lords of the Ring - but they possessed the capacity to wield it - not necessarily for good. The Ring is evil certainly, but that is not at debate.

No where in the quote you provided does it say that the Ring would have found it's way back to Sauron, that only he could wield it's power. It only says corruption would take place even through the desire to do good.

I can see the other side of the coin most assuredly, while you are obviously 100% certain. Bully for you, but let me reiterate - this is MY view only, I was not trying to sway anybody one way or the other. You are trying to stifle my apparently illogical view of something that is very open for interpretation. Very open.

I feel like saying it again - so I will: I enjoy thinking of it this way, it increases my pleasure.

[ March 17, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 03-17-2003, 10:17 PM   #26
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but they possessed the capacity to wield it - not necessarily for good.
Wielding it would be doing as they wished with it. Is The Ring taking over and doing its own will really 'wielding'?

Quote:
No where in the quote you provided does it say that the Ring would have found it's way back to Sauron, that only he could wield it's power.
It doesn't have to find its way back to Sauron. It IS Sauron and would use whoever had it to do it/his will, aside from coming to him. However, if anyone were to hold the Ring and try to use it, it is obvious that Sauron would find them and take them. The quote says that only Gandalf would be able to defeat him in a such a confrontation.

Quote:
No. You are arguing with MY image, as such - you are arguing with the master, quite silly indeed.
No, you're arguing about the description - the laws - of Tolkien's created world with Tolkien. I'm just quoting him and pointing out what he means without asserting my own presumptions.

I'll be done with this, though. It's going nowhere.

[ March 17, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 03-18-2003, 01:33 AM   #27
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Hey one more post to 1000 legolas! Please do not waste it in this thread, seriously. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Just to get it straight with you, if you care, I am not arguing anything just defending a feeling. Like all other parts of the books many people view things differently - like all elves with blonde hair for instance, or pipe weed as marijuana. If their enjoyment of the novels is bolstered by this then I say good on ya' mate. Some issues just don't require an absolute verdict that we must all adhere to. I hope you'll agree that is a fair assertion. If so, then you'll see where I'm coming from with this - If not, so be it.

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Old 03-19-2003, 01:25 PM   #28
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Like all other parts of the books many people view things differently - like all elves with blonde hair for instance, or pipe weed as marijuana. [...] Some issues just don't require an absolute verdict that we must all adhere to.
Yes, some issues don't require an absolute verdict. This is an entirely different situation where an absolute definition is given. The "all elves had blonde hair" idea is totally wrong. In that situation, there is a factual example given in the books that makes the "personal interpretation" wrong. Opinions can be wrong. You can think that the pine trees outside my window aren't real trees, but they are, whether or not you believe they are.

In the same sense, whether or not someone pictures all elves with blonde hair, every elf does not have blonde hair. Some do, but Eol, for instance, has dark hair.

Also in the same sense, whether or not someone thinks Sauron is the Lord of the Rings, he is. It's a title given to him.

Quote:
If nobody possesses the Ring there is no Lord of the Rings - I don't care who forged it or what evil power and taint drives it.
Whether or not you care, Tolkien said he was the Lord of the Rings and called him such even when he did not have the Ring in his possession.

Upon further thought, I deemed it only logical that in your thinking, you must've totally skipped over these parts of the book, and that these might bring new light to the subject:

Quote:
'Yes, I knew of them. Indeed I spoke of them once to you; for the Black Riders are the Ringwraiths, the Nine Servants of the Lord of the Rings. But I did not know that they had arisen again or I should have fled with you at once. I heard news of them only after I left you in June; but that story must wait. For the moment we have been saved from disaster, by Aragorn.'
Quote:
`Hurray!' cried Pippin, springing up. `Here is our noble cousin! Make way for Frodo, Lord of the Ring!'
'Hush!' said Gandalf from the shadows at the back of the porch. `Evil things do not come into this valley; but all the same we should not name them. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor, whose power is again stretching out over the world! We are sitting in a fortress. Outside it is getting dark.'
Quote:
`But in any case,' said Glorfindel, `to send the Ring to him would only postpone the day of evil. He is far away. We could not now take it back to him, unguessed, unmarked by any spy. And even if we could, soon or late the Lord of the Rings would learn of its hiding place and would bend all his power towards it. Could that power be defied by Bombadil alone? I think not. I think that in the end, if all else is conquered, Bombadil will fall, Last as he was First; and then Night will come.'
There is Tolkien saying literally "Sauron is the Lord of the Rings." How does that leave it open for interpretation? How could it possibly be interepretted differently? "The Lord of the Rings" is one of Sauron's titles; not just something made up for the title of the book: it has a use inside of the book. Sauron is the Lord of the Rings, whether or not he has 20 or 0 in his possession. It is his title, and his title alone. Pippin wrongfully calls Frodo the Lord of the Ring, and is quickly corrected. Frodo is not the Lord of the Ring or Rings, whether or not he had it in his possession and whether or not he had the capacity to use it.

[ March 24, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 03-24-2003, 01:32 PM   #29
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No response?
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Old 03-24-2003, 02:21 PM   #30
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I think that the Lord of the Rings being title was meant by Tolkien to have more than one meaning; Sauron, the One, possibly even Frodo. I think that (for lack of a better comparison) it was in the same way as in Star Trek: Nemesis (which my friend dragged me to see- a great pair we are- a Tolkienist and a Trekkie [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ) the general meaning for the name was because of the thing between Picard and the other dude, but the "sub-reason" was the thing between Data and B4. Sorry- that was only an example [img]smilies/redface.gif[/img] . I like this thread... [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-24-2003, 02:52 PM   #31
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Tar-Palantir has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

I typed a response but deleted it and decided to drop the matter - because you are completely ignoring my main point, and the discussion wasn't going anywhere. Funny because my VERY FIRST POST of the woefully wasted many to follow in this thread stated that I believed Sauron was probably meant to be Lord of the Rings.

How many times do I have to say it to you! This is how I think about it, that is the sum total here Legolas - and I'm not trying to convince anyone. Thanks for the lead in sarcasm there, or not.

Another reason I did not respond is because your previous post was as insulting as this more more recent one was sarcastic. Ever thought of trying to soften up a bit and becoming more friendly? You certainly don't come off very chummy.

In any other circumstance I would have said "thanks for digging out the references", but this appears to be an insult:
Quote:
Upon further thought, I deemed it only logical that in your thinking, you must've totally skipped over these parts of the book
I don't skip "parts". On the other hand I don't memorize them either, I am so proud that you are such an excellent fountain of Tolkien knowledge, but I will not to be baited into apologizing for my choice of imagery or apparent lack of Tolkien expertise. I "skipped" versus "forgot"?? Intentional choice of words Legolas? Bad choice.

I am upset now that I bit my tongue and tried to let it go (like you said you were going to do long ago?)
Quote:
I'll be done with this, though. It's going nowhere.
How astute. If it were only easy to follow our own advice.

Want to hear a very short story? - about 20 years ago I began the Hobbit and it till this day holds the fondest memories for me. The RING, yes the Ring was mysterious and powerful and the cause of victory for the company of Dwarves and the good of just about everybody. About 17-18 years ago I began the LotR and continued with the same vision and awe concerning the Ring. For me LotR was an extension of The Hobbit, as it became clear that the pertinent details present from one to the other were Hobbits, Gandalf, The Ring and Gollum. So I still enjoyed holding the Ring as the main power - I liked it that way, it held to the key to the survival of all. I was thirteen-ish and those are memories of good days for me. Who are you to tell me that my thinking is illogical or that I didn't read the entirety of the books?

One last tip for you Legolas, don't "skip over parts" of other people's posts as you have quite obviously done with mine, at the same time accusing me of that with my reading. It's called hypocrisy.

[ March 24, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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