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Old 07-06-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
JeffF.
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Two Dark Lords?

Elrond and Gandalf separately remark that to use the One Ring one would become a new Dark Lord. As long as the ring existed Sauron himself would still exist with the same power he had. If Saruman or the Balrog or Gandalf or Elrond had fallen to the Ring what would have happened? Unfinished Tales says that the Nazgul would have bowed to Saruman had he posessed the Ring. These Nazgul could have brought Sauron's armies with him. Would there be a battle of Dark Lords for supremacy?
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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I should say that if the Ring were claimed by one great enough in power and will to wield it, there would certainly be a confrontation between the claimant and Sauron. The winner would have taken Sauron's place as master of the Ring and all that had been wrought with it.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:28 PM   #3
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Inziladun's got it. In Tolkien's letter to Milton Waldman, he talks about the Ring and Sauron's power being in rapport:
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While he wore it, his power on earth was actually enhanced. But even if he did not wear it, that power existed and was in 'rapport' with himself: he was not 'diminished.'
So, this explains that even if Sauron lost the Ring (as he did in the Last Alliance), the power would still be bound to Sauron. The only way to break the bond would be to destroy it, or someone else to claim the Ring, and usurp Sauron's place. It was the latter which Sauron feared the most, because if someone became the new 'Ring-lord,' Sauron would be left powerless just as we was after the Ring was destroyed.

I won't quote Letter 246 in full, because it's a rather long chunk, but Tolkien does go through possible Ring-lord candidates. He says even when Frodo claimed the Ring in the Sammath Naur he had nowhere near enough power, he wouldn't even be able to control the Nazgul. The Nazgul would have taken Frodo out of the Sammath Naur and straight to Sauron. Aragorn (who was able to best Sauron through the Palantir) would not have the strength either - as no mortal would have. Aragorn barely beat Sauron through the palantir, because the palantir was rightfully Aragorn's, and the contest took place at a distance. Had Aragorn been closer, say as close as Denethor was in proximity to Sauron (Denethor who also by right could use the palantir, but did not have Aragorn's mental strength - and was geographically closer to Sauron) Aragorn would probably have lost his mind in a contest against Sauron, as Denethor did.

So, that pretty much leaves (in Middle-earth) the Elves and Maiar, like Gandalf and Saruman. Now Tolkien does say that Gandalf may be the only one capable of besting Sauron for mastery of the Ring, because they are of the same order, and a Ring-wielding Gandalf might beat a ringless-wielding Sauron...however this was all speculative. Elrond and Galadriel also thought they could use the Ring to best Sauron, however Tolkien states that they soon rejected this, knowing the Ring's essential deceit was to fill its bearer with delusions of supreme power.

In any case, a battle against Sauron would certainly have to occur, if someone like Gandalf wanted to claim mastery of the Ring. I don't know what contest it would be, I've always imagined something like a battle of 'wills' as was seen between Aragorn and Sauron, Denethor and Sauron, through the Palantir. But who knows?
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
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It's really just my opinion but I seem to get the impression that Galdriel (and possibly Elrond and a still ringed Celebrian) might form slightly special cases of what would happen if someone else took up the ring, that, in thier cases thier rule wouldn't be the same as Sauron's just equally bad, if not worse. as Galdriel said when Frodo offered her the ring "In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair! " It has aways sounded to me as if a Galdriel run ME would be the opposite of Sauron's; a land not smothered in darkenss but burning under the constant glare of a light too bright to endure. The difference is sorta' like some authors I have read have interpeted the Slavic concepts of Chernebog and Byelobog, twin forces, perfectly opposite yet equally terrifying in their extreme purity.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:14 PM   #5
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It has aways sounded to me as if a Galdriel run ME would be the opposite of Sauron's; a land not smothered in darkenss but burning under the constant glare of a light too bright to endure. The difference is sorta' like some authors I have read have interpeted the Slavic concepts of Chernebog and Byelobog, twin forces, perfectly opposite yet equally terrifying in their extreme purity.
If Galadriel as a Ring-lord would have been relatively benign (and who better than herself to guess its effect on her?), why should she not have claimed it and, as Sam put it, 'made some folks pay for their dirty work'? After all, at that point sending the Ring to the Fire still must have looked like a pretty hopeless errand. Perhaps an ME ordered to her specifications would not have been evil in the precise way that Sauron wanted it, but I believe (and she must have agreed) that it would have been equally loathsome.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #6
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If Galadriel as a Ring-lord would have been relatively benign (and who better than herself to guess its effect on her?), why should she not have claimed it and, as Sam put it, 'made some folks pay for their dirty work'? After all, at that point sending the Ring to the Fire still must have looked like a pretty hopeless errand. Perhaps an ME ordered to her specifications would not have been evil in the precise way that Sauron wanted it, but I believe (and she must have agreed) that it would have been equally loathsome.
I never claimed that Galadriel's Reign as ring lord would be beging, quite the contrary. I was simply claiming that it would not be a kingdom of "darkness" as Sauron's was but, rather one of blazing searing unendurable light. If anything such a kingdom would be WORSE than Sauron's not better. All I was trying to get at was that Unlike, say Boromir, or Aragorn, or Saruman or most of the others. Galadriel (as possibly the rest of the high elves, if they become ringlords, would be unlikely to step into Sauron's place driectly (i.e. more into Barad Dur, keep the Nazgul as thier own personal servants, send the Orcs out as thier own, and become a new Lord of Darkness) but would rather create a "new" terror on midde earth one of opposite quality, but equal evil (think about it this way, If you spend you whole life in total pitch black darkness, or if you stare directly at the sun for several hours you go equally blind)

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:21 PM   #7
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I see. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:35 PM   #8
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Indeed I always thought that rule under Galadriel would be like when Sauron was around in the guise of Annatar. Most would think her benevolent, looking out for the good of all, but eventually she would claim control of everything. We can't forget that (according to most versions of her stories) she came to Middle Earth looking for power and that she was counted the greatest of the Noldor alongside her Uncle. Look how much trouble Feanor managed to stir up.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:10 PM   #9
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The act of successfully claiming the Ring would be all the battle necessary. To make the Ring one's own would require overcoming Sauron himself whether he was present or distant; once accomplished, this would sever Sauron's link to the Ring and Sauron would be defeated by that sundering. The result would likely be the same as with the destruction of the Ring.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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Indeed I always thought that rule under Galadriel would be like when Sauron was around in the guise of Annatar. Most would think her benevolent, looking out for the good of all, but eventually she would claim control of everything. We can't forget that (according to most versions of her stories) she came to Middle Earth looking for power and that she was counted the greatest of the Noldor alongside her Uncle. Look how much trouble Feanor managed to stir up.
Tolkien's description of the new Ring Lord's (or Ring Lady's) slide into corruption was somewhat more subtle than simply veiled wickedness. Benevolent rulers can deprive subjects of freedoms in the name of protection, and force upon them "the wisest course." A perfectly structured society where all fill designated roles, all are protected, and none are deviant might be the most beneficial from the perspective of an all-powerful ruler, but this kind of structure requires the revocation of choice and freedom, and the decisive removal of any dissenting voices, thereby making slaves of all.
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:41 PM   #11
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The act of successfully claiming the Ring would be all the battle necessary. To make the Ring one's own would require overcoming Sauron himself whether he was present or distant; once accomplished, this would sever Sauron's link to the Ring and Sauron would be defeated by that sundering. The result would likely be the same as with the destruction of the Ring.
What would be the requirements for a 'successful' claim?
The letter mentioned by Boromir88 indicates that Sauron would physically confront the claimant, with the victor being the Ring-lord, and the effect if Sauron lost would be the same as if the Ring were destroyed: for him it would be gone forever, with no chance of his regaining it. Simply saying 'The Ring is mine!' as Frodo did, obviously isn't enough to vanquish Sauron.
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:53 PM   #12
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What would be the requirements for a 'successful' claim?
The letter mentioned by Boromir88 indicates that Sauron would physically confront the claimant, with the victor being the Ring-lord, and the effect if Sauron lost would be the same as if the Ring were destroyed: for him it would be gone forever, with no chance of his regaining it. Simply saying 'The Ring is mine!' as Frodo did, obviously isn't enough to vanquish Sauron.
Sauron would physically confront Frodo because Frodo did not have the power to overcome Sauron's hold on the Ring, and he was also in Sauron's back yard. Had Gandalf claimed the Ring while in Hobbiton, no confrontation would have been necessary or possible (assuming Gandalf's success). Success in establishing ownership of the Ring would depend on the bearer's innate power being great enough. What this might look like externally, I can't say; maybe similar to Aragorn's battle with Sauron through the Palantir.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:08 PM   #13
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What would be the requirements for a 'successful' claim?
A good question, and one leading me to suggest a conceptual differentiation here.

Now it is clear Frodo could not just claim "the Ring is mine" and govern all the creatures in the ME just by that. Neither could Gollum, or Bilbo.

They would have to make the effect somehow leading armies and destroying Sauron or something they probably couldn't do.

So there is a question of being able to wield the Ring successfully. Galadriel sure betrays it that she had thought of it and so thinking that she could wield it - and Gandalf for sure sees himself able to wield that thing. And in the end also Boromir seems to think he could do it...

So wielding the Ring would require some things not everyone has. Gandalf as a Maia like Sauron could comfortably think he could use it. It is interesting Tolkien let's us think Galadriel thought she could do that as well. With Boromir we might go both ways, maybe he could, maybe he couldn't.

But then there is the other question as to what would become of the one using the Ring? It seems clear both Gandalf and Galadriel deny the offers they've made fearing it would turn them into tyrants, other dark lords... Boromir sure had no problem wishing to try it...

But if even Gandalf couldn't resist the spell in the Ring if he used it for dominance... then it seems clear the Ring is just the evil thing it is: the evil powermaker for anyone strong enough to claim it's service.

So Gandalf would have defeated Sauron with the Ring... Galadriel, Boromir? Maybe. But the results would have been just adding a new tyrant to the throne.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:57 PM   #14
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Had Gandalf claimed the Ring while in Hobbiton, no confrontation would have been necessary or possible (assuming Gandalf's success). Success in establishing ownership of the Ring would depend on the bearer's innate power being great enough.
'Success' in what respect? Again: how does one establish true ownership of the Ring without overthrowing its original master? Surely Sauron would have the opportunity to fight his rival to establish dominance. I simply don't see anything to convince me that someone, even of the stature of Gandalf , merely declaring the Ring to be his would cause Sauron to roll over and die.
And really, by claiming the Ring, haven't you actually been conquered by Sauron already, in a sense?

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So there is a question of being able to wield the Ring successfully. Galadriel sure betrays it that she had thought of it and so thinking that she could wield it - and Gandalf for sure sees himself able to wield that thing. And in the end also Boromir seems to think he could do it...
I think Boromir was the victim of deluisons of granduer. Isildur himself, at least, had wisdom in the end.

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I cannot use it. I dread the pain of touching it. And I have not yet found the strength to bend it to my will. It needs one greater than I now know myself to be. It should go to the Keepers of the Three.
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I believe Isildur was greater in all ways than Boromir: as a captain, a warrior, and in strength of will.

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But if even Gandalf couldn't resist the spell in the Ring if he used it for dominance... then it seems clear the Ring is just the evil thing it is: the evil powermaker for anyone strong enough to claim it's service.
That's it. It isn't only mindless, directionless power that the Ring contains. It is also filled with Sauron's evil will, and ultimately would have corrupted anyone who tried to keep it for any purpose, even merely to keep it safe.
Having written that, the only possible exception might be Everyone's Favourite Enigma, Tom Bombadil. But Tom, as we know, is a special case.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #15
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'Success' in what respect? Again: how does one establish true ownership of the Ring without overthrowing its original master? Surely Sauron would have the opportunity to fight his rival to establish dominance. I simply don't see anything to convince me that someone, even of the stature of Gandalf , merely declaring the Ring to be his would cause Sauron to roll over and die.
And really, by claiming the Ring, haven't you actually been conquered by Sauron already, in a sense?
This is an invisible struggle that is exactly like the Ring's exertion of its will over its bearer, but in reverse. Gandalf or Galadriel would have perceived much more of Sauron than even Frodo did when wearing the Ring, and the will of the Ring/Sauron would be plain to them, either to be submitted to or overcome. A successful claimant would overcome the Ring's will and enslave its power to his own. This invisible struggle never took place with Frodo, Isildur, Bilbo, and Gollum, as all of these were easily and perhaps imperceptibly bent to its will.

These spiritual duels are not uncommon: Aragorn v. Sauron via Palantir; Gandalf's words of binding and command to the Balrog; Gandalf's overthrowing of Saruman; Melian's Girdle. To resist and assert oneself in the face of, say, Melian's Girdle, would be to prove one's power greater than hers--or, at least, greater than that which she put into the spell. Similarly, the Ring has a will that exerts power and to claim it one must overcome that power. (Melian, of course, would not be overthrown by someone who breached her protective spell, but the nature of Melian's Girdle is different from that of the Ring in that the Girdle was not a repository for a great portion of Melian's sustenance.)
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:14 PM   #16
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I think Boromir was the victim of deluisons of granduer. Isildur himself, at least, had wisdom in the end.~Inziladun
But this wasn't something just seen in Boromir, the delusions of grand power was the trademark of the Ring. That was how it deceived:
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In the “Mirror of Galadriel”, I 381, it appears that Galadriel conceived of herself as capable of wielding the Ring and supplanting the Dark Lord. If so, so also were the other guardians of the Three, especially Elrond. But this is another matter. It was part of the essential deceit of the Ring to fill minds with imaginations of supreme power. But this the Great had well considered and had rejected, as is seen in Elrond’s words at the Council. Galadriel’s rejection of the temptation was founded upon previous thought and resolve.~Letter 246
All the Bearers were tempted with the idea of using the Ring to overthrow Sauron (so where do they get off scolding Boromir! ) The difference is of course, they rejected this path, Boromir never did and I doubt he ever wanted to.

With someone like Boromir's character, this makes him more susceptible to the Ring, than say Hobbits, or even of other men. In a way you could say his personality pre-disposed him to the Ring's temptation. However, the Ring plays the same old trick with everyone, tempt them with delusions of supreme power. It may have been less noticeable in other characters like Sam and Gollum, but the same deceipts were there. Gollum even has visions of using the Ring to exact revenge on everyone of the nasty people who did him wrong and he could be the great lord, feasting on all the fish he wants. Sam has his vision of leading an army against Sauron and restoring the Gorgorth into a garden.

This is the trick of the Ring, Boromir may have been more susceptible, but his visions of granduer are not unique.

Bombadil seems to be an exception, but as noted he's a completely different character. This is simply my opinion, there's no way to 'prove' it, but for what it's worth. Bombadil says he is his own master, and Gandalf suggests in the Council that Bombadil would most likely lose the Ring for he would not care. Bombadil has a laissez faire attitude to all of Middle-earth, the only thing he cares about is what he is in control over. Simply put, the Ring has nothing to work with, Bombadil is his own master and doesn't care about Sauron or what he does. He is present in Middle-earth, but at the same time not completely in it (he's just not all there ).

All the other characters in the story have something at risk, and Sauron threatens to take it, so the Ring uses its tricks to offer them the power to defeat the Dark Lord they want to see destroyed.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:43 PM   #17
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ll the Bearers were tempted with the idea of using the Ring to overthrow Sauron (so where do they get off scolding Boromir! ) The difference is of course, they rejected this path, Boromir never did and I doubt he ever wanted to.

This is the trick of the Ring, Boromir may have been more susceptible, but his visions of granduer are not unique.
I wasn't chiding Boromir for being tempted by the Ring and giving in to the urge. That was more a response to Nogrod, who was wondering if B would have been strong enough to wield it. My point was that if Isildur, as great as he was, did not think himself capable of bending the Ring to his will, I certainly couldn't see Boromir being able to do it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:27 AM   #18
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This is an invisible struggle that is exactly like the Ring's exertion of its will over its bearer, but in reverse. Gandalf or Galadriel would have perceived much more of Sauron than even Frodo did when wearing the Ring, and the will of the Ring/Sauron would be plain to them, either to be submitted to or overcome. A successful claimant would overcome the Ring's will and enslave its power to his own. This invisible struggle never took place with Frodo, Isildur, Bilbo, and Gollum, as all of these were easily and perhaps imperceptibly bent to its will.
I think I read a quote from one of Tolkien's letters where he states clearly that someone who took the Ring with the power to wield it would in fact need to gather an army and overthrow and defeat Sauron in a physical sense. Sauron has power without being in possession of the Ring, and from what I can tell if someone were to claim it Sauron would NOT be destroyed in the same way he is when the Ring is physically destroyed.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:57 PM   #19
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But the results would have been just adding a new tyrant to the throne.
In the same way that Gandalf says in the Two Towers to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli:

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Indeed I am Saruman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been
And I think it would be the same but the opposite in the case of Sauron. Whoever mastered the ring would just fill in the place of "Dark Lord", no matter who they were (other than Tom Bombadil).

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I believe Isildur was greater in all ways than Boromir: as a captain, a warrior, and in strength of will.
I would say that Boromir and Faramir are sort of like the two halves of Isildur in a way.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:15 PM   #20
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I think I read a quote from one of Tolkien's letters where he states clearly that someone who took the Ring with the power to wield it would in fact need to gather an army and overthrow and defeat Sauron in a physical sense. Sauron has power without being in possession of the Ring, and from what I can tell if someone were to claim it Sauron would NOT be destroyed in the same way he is when the Ring is physically destroyed.
If the Ring were claimed, and Sauron unsuccessfully faced the claimant in a one-on-one contest, the result for him would have been the same as its destruction. Letter 246 suggests that probably only Gandalf would have had the strength to keep it from him, however.
A lesser claimant such as Elrond or Galadriel would likely do as you say, using the Ring's powers of command and domination to amass an army great enough to defeat Sauron militarily.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:29 PM   #21
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I think I read a quote from one of Tolkien's letters where he states clearly that someone who took the Ring with the power to wield it would in fact need to gather an army and overthrow and defeat Sauron in a physical sense. Sauron has power without being in possession of the Ring, and from what I can tell if someone were to claim it Sauron would NOT be destroyed in the same way he is when the Ring is physically destroyed.
This makes sense, since as others have discussed above, simply claiming the Ring is not sufficient. Both Frodo and Gollum did that and it was obviously not enough.

The key would be control the Ring itself through sheer force of will and then to use the power conveyed by it to assemble an army. In contrast to statements above, I think that Aragorn in fact might have done this--this is stated by Legolas:
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In that hour I looked on Aragorn and thought how great and terrible a Lord he might have become in the strenth of his will, had he taken the Ring to himself. Not for naught does Mordor fear him.
I don't think that Sauron's merely losing the Ring to somebody else would have changed the equation by itself. That person would have to wrest control of the Ring and then put it to use. Of course, in putting it to use, that person would become corrupted him or herself.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:15 AM   #22
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Inziladun is correct. A successful seizure of ownership would result in Sauron's utter overthrow, as if the Ring had been destroyed. Confrontation is only necessary if the claimant is not powerful enough to sever Sauron's bond with--and thus control over--the Ring.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:23 AM   #23
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Controlling the one ring is just a delusion. It is a one way relationship. The only way to maintain control of it is to keep it without using it. And anyone "bonded" to the ring will be able to do its will in the meantime because they cannot be severed from it even if they are completely destroyed. Those with great substance will take longer but each time the ring is used it comes a little closer to dominating its bearer. So once they become wraiths they also become Sauron. It matters little in the end who wields it and how.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:31 AM   #24
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1420!

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Controlling the one ring is just a delusion. It is a one way relationship. The only way to maintain control of it is to keep it without using it. And anyone "bonded" to the ring will be able to do its will in the meantime because they cannot be severed from it even if they are completely destroyed. Those with great substance will take longer but each time the ring is used it comes a little closer to dominating its bearer. So once they become wraiths they also become Sauron. It matters little in the end who wields it and how.
I like this answer a lot. It could be argued that the entire quest played entirely into Sauron's hands, delivering the Ring right to his doorstep, though he knew it not. It is only the use of the Ring that reveals its whereabouts and the idea that it confers power -- even so mundane a power as invisibility (which, let us not forget, also reveals the bearer in another sense) is ultimately an illusion. I've always felt that the Ring had a malicious will of its own, or was in any case, designed to always seek its true master. It makes for a wonderful epic, but a cynic might suggest that Frodo's ability to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in his path was mightily convenient, both in terms of a ripping good yarn and the will of the Dark Lord. It seems to me that all the while the Ring (the influence of Sauron) was going exactly where it wanted to go, and all the designs of the Council and heroics of the Fellowship (the best laid plans, you might say) could all be seen as mere extensions of the Ring's (Sauron's) will to click its heels three times and recite "There's no place like home." There was no worry that the silly little hobbit would actually cast the Ring away. As far as Sauron knew, no one ever had. But for the interference of the redoubtable Smeagol -- another of those pesky, unpredictable creatures, things worked out as wonderfully as Sauron might have hoped.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:27 AM   #25
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great posts, SoW and deagol.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:17 PM   #26
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It could be argued that the entire quest played entirely into Sauron's hands, delivering the Ring right to his doorstep, though he knew it.
And ultimately, he proved Théoden's (or was it Eómer's?) remark, "Oft evil will doth evil mar." Because Sauron was himself enamored of power, he could conceive of no greater desire, no higher purpose. And like many, he projected his own motives and intents onto others. Sometimes, I wonder if in making the Ring, Sauron went farther than even he knew, and put too much of his own will into it, along with his power. If so, that would explain much about the Ring's danger to even powerful beings with good intent. In letter 246, Tolkien makes it plain that only Gandalf really had a chance of claiming the Ring and overthrowing Sauron, but even he would be overthrown by the Ring:

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If Gandalf proved the victor, the result would have been the same for Sauron 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....
No mortal, even Aragorn, had the power or the right to wield the Ring (according to the letter), and even the powerful Elves, like Galadriel, were deluded into thinking they could wield it (again per the same letter). That the Ring feeds delusions to lesser beings and would ultimately corrupt even those powerful enough to claim it indicates a high level of will residing in the Ring itself, I think. It would continue even with Sauron destroyed. Was this the only way of making the Ring effective, or did Sauron make a mistake and go too far, in his hubris? I wonder....i
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:37 PM   #27
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It makes for a wonderful epic, but a cynic might suggest that Frodo's ability to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in his path was mightily convenient, both in terms of a ripping good yarn and the will of the Dark Lord.
Convenient? It took every ounce of Frodo's will and Hobbit-born humility to make it to Mt. Doom. And at the end, he failed, as would anyone with less strength than Sauron's. If he seems to have received more 'luck' in his quest than he should have, the same could be said for Beren, or Eärendil couldn't it?

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It seems to me that all the while the Ring (the influence of Sauron) was going exactly where it wanted to go, and all the designs of the Council and heroics of the Fellowship (the best laid plans, you might say) could all be seen as mere extensions of the Ring's (Sauron's) will to click its heels three times and recite "There's no place like home."
The Ring, containing Sauron's power and spirit, indeed wanted to get back to its master in Mordor. But Mt. Doom was not what it had in mind. Depsite the fact that its power increased so exponentially as it neared the forge of its making that any bearer would not have been willing at that point to harm it, the very idea of it being so close to total destruction alarmed Sauron.

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Then [Sauron's] wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a black smoke to choke him. For he knew his deadly peril, and the thread upon which his doom now hung.
ROTK Mt Doom

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There was no worry that the silly little hobbit would actually cast the Ring away. As far as Sauron knew, no one ever had. But for the interference of the redoubtable Smeagol -- another of those pesky, unpredictable creatures, things worked out as wonderfully as Sauron might have hoped.
Are you suggesting that the Ring knew what Frodo was trying to do? I really don't see that. Surely if it had known, it would have 'left' Frodo at some opportune moment, as it had Isildur and Gollum long before.

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:31 PM   #28
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Are you suggesting that the Ring knew what Frodo was trying to do? I really don't see that. Surely if it had known, it would have 'left' Frodo at some opportune moment, as it had Isildur and Gollum long before.
I see your point, but it seems to me that the Ring didn't 'know' Frodo's full purpose. Correct me if I'm wrong in the following surmises.

Frodo was somewhat tied to the Ring, but he fought it every step of the way. That kept the Ring from really getting inside his head, so to speak. It could tell Frodo was going to Mordor, but not WHERE in Modor. That kept it from leaving the Ringbearer.
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:03 PM   #29
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Frodo was somewhat tied to the Ring, but he fought it every step of the way. That kept the Ring from really getting inside his head, so to speak. It could tell Frodo was going to Mordor, but not WHERE in Modor. That kept it from leaving the Ringbearer.
One might speculate that the Ring, "aware" of Frodo's resistance was also "aware" that Frodo was no match for it, so to speak. Sauron almost surely would have disdained Frodo as a real threat, and thus so would the Ring, the repository of his might and malice. He would have known that halflings were tough nuts to break -- having had Gollum in his dungeons -- but ultimately, he, as a Maia, would prevail. So long as Frodo kept moving in the right direction, toward Mordor, there was no need for the Ring to abandon him. It could keep trying to undermine his will so as to reveal himself to Sauron and his minions, a situation that would be made easier once Frodo was within Mordor itself. We see evidence of this in the way Frodo's condition deteriorated rapidly, after they passed into Mordor.

But the Ring was still Sauron's, and if it had "thoughts," they would have been Sauron's. And as he could not conceive of anyone wanting to destroy it, the Ring would not have "thought" it possible until it was about to happen. At which point, it put everything it had into breaking Frodo's will so that he would make the mistake of claiming it, thus revealing himself to Sauron. It seems clear to me that the Ring needed a bearer to act as a sort of "antenna" through which its presence could be broadcast to Sauron, and that bearer needed to claim it to activate that potential. If mere proximity were enough, Sauron should have known the Ring was in Mordor once Frodo carried it past the Watchers. But he didn't.

Whoa, it feels like that train of thought went wandering off the track...
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:43 PM   #30
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It could have been a situation similar to something brought up a bit earlier in this thread - Sauron anticipated Frodo's activities and let him come through Mordor, but underestimated the Hobbit and expected him to claim the Ring before reaching the Cracks of Doom. Then Sauron would know exactly where the Ringbearer was, send a Nazgul, and get the ring back. He knew Frodo's will wasn't strong enough to master the Ring. Frodo's resitance and Gollum's unexpected role messed up Sauron's plans.
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