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Old 03-03-2003, 06:20 PM   #30
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,468
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!

I'll stick with my view that a Hobbit would have had the greatest chance of getting the Ring to Mount Doom without succumbing to it. And that was the mission, to get the Ring to Mount Doom, for none could have thrown it in.

Gandalf himself refuses the Ring. Perhaps that is just because the consequences would have been terrible had he succumbed do it, but his refusal suggests doubt in his mind that he would have been able to resist it for long enough.

As strong in spirit and will as Aragorn and Legolas undoubtedly were, the fact that such powerful Elves as Galadriel and Elrond refuse the Ring (as well as a Maiar such as Gandalf) suggests that they would have been at risk of succumbing en route.

Which leaves Gimli. I still think that he would have had a chance. Yes, the Ring would have played upon his Dwarven predilection for gold and gems. But it played on the weaknesses of any who bore it. And the Dwarves' resistance to the Seven Rings suggests that Dwarves had a stronger resistance to this sort of power than most.

But, ultimately, it is the Hobbits who, to my mind, are best placed to resist the corrupting influence of the Ring. So, which Hobbit would have been the best to take over from Frodo? Well, if a substitute Ringbearer had been required early on, then I would go for Sam. I think that there is definately something in the idea that he would have carried through Frodo's task out of love for Frodo. Undoubtedly the Ring would have played on his weaknesses, as it did at Cirith Ungol, and quite possibly he would have been tempted to return to the Shire to put things right. But, being a Hobbit, he would have stood a good chance of resisting that temptation for long enough.

Having said that, if a new Ringbearer was not required until after Merry and Pippin had been through their character-forming experiences, then I think that either of them, at that stage, would have been as good a choice as Sam, possibly better given that they were not "followers" like Sam. Their experiences had toughened them up mentally (and physically) and they had developed a significantly increased appreciation of just what was at stake. And out of them, I would go for Merry, as having the greater common sense out of the two.

So my vote for substitute Ringbearer goes to a post-Isengard Meriadoc Brandybuck.
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
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