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Old 02-25-2014, 09:01 PM   #1
Ivriniel
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How to Make a Ringwraith versus Extending the Elven Body--an Elven Ring

There's something both similar and different to and Elf and a Nazgul. The latter was the mortal, perverted by an Evil Maia, but also the gifting of the Mortal with access to, at least part of, the Spirit World that the Eldar straddled.

I remember reading that "...Elves do not fear them" (ringwraiths), though I can't for the life of me cite the quotation and place it to someone, though, I recall encountering the quote when looking up Annatar, the Ost-In-Edhil and history of Elves and Sauron. The nub of it was that Elves--already in two worlds at once--are either immune, or more resistant to the fear effects of the Nazgul--(and this bit we know from many precedents, including what was said about Glorfindel, for example, and what occurred when he assisted Frodo).

I've been trying to fathom what, exactly, it is then, that defines the core difference between Nagul in the wraith/spirit world and Elves when they are in that realm. Icy touch, death stares, life draining and so on don't come with the Eldar when they go into their 'fey' form. So, I don't believe the key difference is about 'good versus evil' Spirits, per se, though this is implicated, somehow.

I'm wondering whether there is some variation on the channelling of Spiritual Energy/Fire through the Spirit Realm, in the very metaphysical 'organisation' of the flesh of the two distinct kinds of Spirit beings. Recalling, here, that Morgoth and Sauron were pervertos who got all lustful and greedy about messing with Eru's and the Valar's Music of Creation, ergo Orcs from Elves, for example. Balrogs were beings of Shadow and Fire and what Gandalf said to the Balrog, in a metaphysically significant comment: "I am a wielder of the Secret Fire". Some kind of stepping up to the plate, to match Mr Balrog's 'shadowy' version of 'metaphysical fire'. Presumably, 'Secret Fire' meant something to do with, perhaps, Eru's 'flames in the void' sort of thing. Likewise, 'Shadow' did not mean the thing cast by the sun in a 3D universe. It somehow meant beings in the Shadow of life, or that exist in the very Shadows. Things that exist in The Invisible World, also remembering Gandalf's words about Nazgul and what they can and cast see, perceive, and hear. One of the hobbits asked Gandalf if Ringwraiths could see them. Gandalf said, not exactly, but that living beings "cast a shadow in their minds". I always found that a very significant moment when reading the books and it has stayed with me, some 30 years. What did Gandalf mean by 'shadow in their mind', and ***how*** did he know that? So, Ringwraiths could not 'see' the living, directly. It seems that in the invisible world of Shadow, they experienced life as 'a shadow in their mind's eye'. By contrast, mortals felt cold around them, could not see their bodies and the black breath caused a slow death that Aragorn could reverse with Athelas by 'calling the person back'. What does that mean? Calling what back from where, exactly? Something was stolen, removed or drained from the person by proximity to them, but 'what' is unclear. What was clear was that the sickness caused by being around the Nazgul had similarities with depression (giving up, feeling helpless, hopeless, will-less--and this last one, I wonder about. Something stolen from the will, I wonder. Very Sauronic). I've always seen Ringwraiths as life drainers, energy sinks, and as stealing living energy. Walking through the world, withering life in a radius around them.

If I had to think of 'metaphysical dimensions' to collapse into a Ring to make a ringwraith, I'd be placing a conduit/door in a Ring that was perversion of the Spirit Flame thing Eru goes on about. Each use of the Ring must exchange Life for Unlife and remove one's Will, piece by piece, and have that invaded by Sauron. One dimension door that drains Life from the (mortal) body and replaces the very energetic fortifications of the flesh with the replacement Shadow Fire/Spirit, or that fortifies the lifespan by being a big 'power sink' syphoning the energy of life into the Undead being.

I see it as a variation of the Elven Spirit world, but one that is life draining, c.f. life sustaining. I've often imagined that when one of the Nine used the Ring, before transmuting into Undead, some part of their Mortal essence was drained away into Sauron, while, instead, Sauron's mental and material presence grew in the man. I recall reading that the Nine, when they were not yet fully altered, grew increasingly unable to tell the difference between a thought that was theirs, and one of Sauron's--until their Wills were one and the same, basically. This event is very 'Sauronic' and very much how the literature implied how me operated. For example, when Sauron discorporated when the Ring was Unmade, all his Orc legions were basically free of his will. The Sauronic presence was about how he could permeate through Nature and Beings.

To support the idea of 'life draining' or 'Spirit Fire that syphons life--wraith', I cite their opposite in their 'Elviish' variant: The Three Elven Rings that, inspired by Celebrimbor seeking to manifest a 'minivalinor' in Middle Earth, basically, seemed to extend what happened in the Elven body, over a dominion or place, without violating life force or will of others (Lothlorien. Galadriel's capacity to stop 'fading' and to bear a variation of what occurs in Valinor to Middle Earth). The Silmarils, the Phial of Galadriel, the Two Trees, the Elessar, and so on, were all artefacts that were not just 'bright lights' but were, somehow, living lights radiating with 'life itself'--the eternal flame.

Cheers
Irviniel (Imrahil's older sister. She's not very happy with the 'boy prince' thing and decided to stomp her foot and make a realm for herself )

Last edited by Ivriniel; 02-25-2014 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ivriniel View Post
There's something both similar and different to and Elf and a Nazgul. The latter was the mortal, perverted by an Evil Maia, but also the gifting of the Mortal with access to, at least part of, the Spirit World that the Eldar straddled.
Similar, yes, but it only underscores the inherent difference between Elves and Men. Man the mortal was not meant for immortality. As Gandalf noted to Frodo, those sharing in Sauron's immortal fea by submission to his will through his rings only in the end received a "stretching" of the life they already possessed: they did not really gain anything.

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I remember reading that "...Elves do not fear them" (ringwraiths), though I can't for the life of me cite the quotation and place it to someone, though, I recall encountering the quote when looking up Annatar, the Ost-In-Edhil and history of Elves and Sauron. The nub of it was that Elves--already in two worlds at once--are either immune, or more resistant to the fear effects of the Nazgul--(and this bit we know from many precedents, including what was said about Glorfindel, for example, and what occurred when he assisted Frodo).
Gandalf said to Frodo in Rivendell that Elves who had been in the Blessed Realm did not fear the Ringwraiths, because they were part of both the Seen and the Unseen worlds simultaneously.That seemingly did not apply to all Elves, though I would think them less vulnerable to the terror projected by the Nazgûl all the same, as Legolas was not afraid of the Dead Men of Dunharrow.

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I've been trying to fathom what, exactly, it is then, that defines the core difference between Nagul in the wraith/spirit world and Elves when they are in that realm. Icy touch, death stares, life draining and so on don't come with the Eldar when they go into their 'fey' form. So, I don't believe the key difference is about 'good versus evil' Spirits, per se, though this is implicated, somehow.
Those Elves who were part of both worlds were in their natural element. The Nazgûl were not. That is why dwelling in the other side meant a "death" for the keepers of the Nine. It was unnatural, a place they were never meant to inhabit. They were there as part of Sauron's spirit, and had to as a consequence exude his coldness, his hate, and most of all his ultimate emptiness as a being spent in evil.

And welcome to the Downs! A great beginning.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:19 AM   #3
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Nice.

@Inziladun

I love the Avatar. A Numenorean Faithful, hey , who tried to stop the train wreck. He's as awesome as Silmarien always has been in my eye. What was his name in the Faithful's tradition as a 'Tar'? and have you read the stuff on the Caves of the Forgotten?

I think your post goes to the key differences in the metaphysical distinctions between Elves, mortals and Ringwraiths. I remember writing the post recalling that Gandalf did say, as you suggest, that it was Elves in the Blessed Realm who had that fearlessness towards Ringwraiths.

@Reader--thinking out loud

The exact 'how' the Elves in Valinor were able to change and access some kind of innate? capacity to enter the Fey/Spirit world is never explained. Was it the 'Light of Aman'? Is this about The Two Trees, or was this about proximity to the Valar? What on earth is the Light of Aman, anyway, I mean, what's it doing to Elven flesh? What happened to Frodo, Bilbo and Sam once they were immersed in the Light of Aman? Numenoreans were gifted with Life Extension by their proximity to Aman, weren't they? And did a Vala step on in and grant the Hobbits some kind of longevity? And how is an adaptation of the capacity to modify Mortal Men implied in the transition to Ringwraith, when a perverted Maia had modified this process?

The Elven Rings and what Galadriel did with Lothlorien (Frodo, for example, or was it Sam commented that the Seasons pass 'differently' in Lorien, not just an appreciation of 'time passing slowly', but some fundamental change in the effects of time on life's expression), imply that there are means of opening dimensions in Middle Earth to the same processes that modified the Elves when they became Eldar. I.e. rather than go to Aman, byo Aman-ising agent to Middle Earth, which is what Celebrimbor, Galadriel and co did to make life in Middle Earth more bearable for them, in their Banning or choice to remain.

So, I'm intuiting that the immortality Gifted to the Eldar could be extended, in a 'radiance' kind of idea, or 'girdle' thing--deliberately drawing on the term 'Girdle of Melian' where Doriath was an analogous effect, but of a Maia--which was what the Three achieved. Something Celebrimbor did when he made the Three meant that the Elvish body or Light of Aman or something of the First Age before the world was bent could be made that affected the very life of Mallorn in a very big area effect. It was the Elvish variation on what Sauron's presence did at the Dol Guldor in Mirkwood. What are these folk puttin' out?

Adapting from the last two paragraphs--the Nine Rings--appeared able to extend mortal life. I am wondering what the Eldar's intention was for that, were Sauron not to have perverted the Rings. I seem to remember that Celebrimbor and co
had a hand in the making of the Rings of Power beyond the Three. (Poor guy, he was hot for Galadriel and made the Elessar to try to woo her, in one take on the history. Was it just that he was not that good looking for an Elf? He never married and had kids and no-one ever explains why an Elf doesn't do that). What was the actual nature of the peril the One had for the wearers of the Three. We know the Three could communicate telepathically. But, what actually was the Elves' (not Sauron's) intention for the mortal form, for The Nine--before the Elves twigged who Annatar was--then when Sauron was detected speaking the Ring Spell at the Sammath Naur at Day Zero of the One. I suspect the Gwaith-i-mirdain knew how to extend the life of Men, almost infinitely!

What was meant by implication of the word "Ruling Ring" to the Three though? I don't think it ever meant the Elves were going to turn into Ring Wraiths. What I believe it meant was that Sauron forced open a communication conduit and could invade the minds of the wielder of the Elves. Sort of like the Palantiri hierarchy and all of that. Perhaps, though, Sauron could conceal the scrying, and invade the mind of the Elf, piece meal, or unawares, or during sleep? It's never really explained what the Ruling Ring could do to the Three, but it is--clearly--stated that the initial presence of Sauron when he forged the One, never really perverted the actual rings. The War of Elves and Sauron went on for many decades, after Celebrimbor's head was severed by Sauron and sent back to the Ost-In-Edhil on a pole, to terrify and do Sauron-y things to the Elves. Sauron amassed a big horde of evil armies at Tharbad, while the Numenoreans were on their way. The Three were then wielded for millennia with perfect fidelity to their cause, without taint.

Whatever happened to the One while Sauron was in Numenor. He had it by then, I seem to remember (this part of the history always gets muddled in my head)?

In any case, these items all imply something else about the nature of metaphysical influences in Middle Earth artefacts: there is some kind of energetic flow between beings in linked artefacts--as well as--flow or presence of actual will. Mind Meld, though, is only one part of the effects. When it comes to all that stuff about 'Secret Fire' and 'Shadows' and 'the Unseen', there is something else at work. I'm also thinking of Ungoliant here, who had Unlight in her webbings. It actually absorbed, or redirected light. Light could not actually exist or flow in her Cloak. This seems, also to be implicated in what Tolkien meant by the Shadow....

Last edited by Ivriniel; 02-26-2014 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ivriniel View Post
Adapting from the last two paragraphs--the Nine Rings--appeared able to extend mortal life. I am wondering what the Eldar's intention was for that, were Sauron not to have perverted the Rings. I seem to remember that Celebrimbor and co had a hand in the making of the Rings of Power beyond the Three.

...what actually was the Elves' (not Sauron's) intention for the mortal form, for The Nine--before the Elves twigged who Annatar was--then when Sauron was detected speaking the Ring Spell at the Sammath Naur at Day Zero of the One. I suspect the Gwaith-i-mirdain knew how to extend the life of Men, almost infinitely!
As far as I can determine, the Elves had no plan for the mortal form. The Great Rings (the Nine and the Seven) were not intended for use by mortals, at least from the point of view of the Elves.
We must remember that there were three different 'types' of Ring:
Elven-Rings (three, forged by Celebrimbor alone)
Ruling Ring (one, forged by Sauron alone)
Great Rings (sixteen, forged by Celebrimbor and Sauron together. There was no difference, functional or otherwise, between the Seven and the Nine; their delineation is arbitrary based on how they were allocated by Sauron. Their different effects were only due to being used some by Men and some by Dwarves)
I would argue that the Gwaith-i-Mírdain intended to use all of the Great Rings themselves in the beautification and maintenance of their "separate, independent paradise" (Letter 131): a well-natured but ultimately hubristic act, and one which was the second 'Fall' of the Elves. The weakness and effects were built into them by Sauron, I believe, independently of any intention on the part of the Elves.

Quote:
(Poor guy, he was hot for Galadriel and made the Elessar to try to woo her, in one take on the history. Was it just that he was not that good looking for an Elf? He never married and had kids and no-one ever explains why an Elf doesn't do that).
To quote from "Laws and Customs among the Eldar in Morgoth's Ring:
"among the Eldar, even in Aman, the desire for marriage was not always fulfilled. Love was not always returned; and more than one might desire another for spouse. Concerning this, the only cause by which sorrow entered the bliss of Aman, the Valar were in doubt. Some held that it came from the marring of Arda, and from the Shadow under which the Eldar awoke; for thence only (they said) comes grief or disorder. Some held that it came of love itself, and of the freedom of each fëa, and was a mystery of the nature of the Children of Eru."

Quote:
What was the actual nature of the peril the One had for the wearers of the Three. We know the Three could communicate telepathically.
I think the greatest danger was to what was achieved by the Three, not for their wearers specifically. As Gandalf told Frodo: "If he recovers it, then he will command them all again, wherever they be, even the Three, and all that has been wrought with them will be laid bare, and he will be stronger than ever."
Sauron would learn everything the Elves had discovered or devised in the Third Age. He would also be able to dismantle the defences the Rings provided for Lórien and Rivendell, making their destruction a simple matter. He might, perhaps, have been able to enslave the minds of the bearers, as he had done with the Nine, but it's unclear to me how that would affect the Three.

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Whatever happened to the One while Sauron was in Numenor. He had it by then, I seem to remember (this part of the history always gets muddled in my head)?
He had it with him. It was one of the weapons that let him corrupt and control the hearts and minds of the Númenóreans so easily. Letter 211: "Sauron's personal 'surrender' was voluntary and cunning: he got free transport to Númenor! He naturally had the One Ring, and so very soon dominated the minds and wills of most of the Númenóreans."
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:54 AM   #5
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I love the Avatar. A Numenorean Faithful, hey , who tried to stop the train wreck. He's as awesome as Silmarien always has been in my eye. What was his name in the Faithful's tradition as a 'Tar'? and have you read the stuff on the Caves of the Forgotten?
Thanks! Inziladûn/Tar-Palantir is one of my favorite non-LOTR characters. I always liked the fact that he tried so hard to turn his people aside from their path of destruction, and never wavered til his end. I like to think he was laughing at his nephew's eons-long stay in the underground waiting room.

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The exact 'how' the Elves in Valinor were able to change and access some kind of innate? capacity to enter the Fey/Spirit world is never explained. Was it the 'Light of Aman'? Is this about The Two Trees, or was this about proximity to the Valar?
I think Aman was set apart because it was the one physical place on Arda where nothing died, and as such was in a different state from the lands outside. As the emissaries from the Valar noted to Númenor's Tar-Atanamir, it was the presence of the Valar there that "hallowed" the land and made it the Deathless, and dwelling there apparently had an effect on Elves that was permanent even after they left.

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What happened to Frodo, Bilbo and Sam once they were immersed in the Light of Aman? Numenoreans were gifted with Life Extension by their proximity to Aman, weren't they? And did a Vala step on in and grant the Hobbits some kind of longevity? And how is an adaptation of the capacity to modify Mortal Men implied in the transition to Ringwraith, when a perverted Maia had modified this process?
Going back to the Elves who spoke with Tar-Atanamir, who told him that in Valinor mortals would be something like a moth exposed to a flame too bright, I think the hobbits (and Gimli too) would likely have seen their physical deaths accelerated in the Undying Lands (or Tol Eressëa) , but those deaths would have been peaceful and untroubled by sickness or pain. The Valar would not have given the hobbits immortality, as that was beyond their power and authority.
As for the Ringwraiths, like I said, I think their bogus immortality could only come through their complete immersion in Sauron's will and spirit, which was why they also could share in his power to do "sorcery", and the reason they finally died when his power was irrevocably weakened upon the One Ring's destruction.

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The Elven Rings and what Galadriel did with Lothlorien (Frodo, for example, or was it Sam commented that the Seasons pass 'differently' in Lorien, not just an appreciation of 'time passing slowly', but some fundamental change in the effects of time on life's expression), imply that there are means of opening dimensions in Middle Earth to the same processes that modified the Elves when they became Eldar. I.e. rather than go to Aman, byo Aman-ising agent to Middle Earth, which is what Celebrimbor, Galadriel and co did to make life in Middle Earth more bearable for them, in their Banning or choice to remain.
In effect, Galadriel created a "little Aman" in Middle-earth, where the time flow was seemingly similar to that in Valinor. If the Fellowship had stayed there for a longer period of time, I wonder if they would have seen any effects of faster aging or "burning out' like mortals in Valinor. Also, I think Galadriel's ability to make that pocket of immortality in mortal lands might have been tied to her own birth in the Blessed Realm. Could anyone else in Middle-earth have made something like what Lórien became under her? Elrond obviously did not; Rivendell was a different animal.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:21 PM   #6
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I remember reading that "...Elves do not fear them" (ringwraiths), though I can't for the life of me cite the quotation and place it to someone, though,
The quote is in The Fellowship of the Ring. "Here in Rivendell there live still some of his chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the Ringwraiths, for those who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds, and against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power." [Bk. 2, ch. 1, p. 269]
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
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I agree with Zigûr. The Rings were really all Elven Rings of Power, not necessarily meant to be shared among the different peoples. However, Sauron had a hand in their design and guidance. His purpose was to make use of these instruments as a means of enslaving the free peoples, Elves, Men, and Dwarves, which is why when he took the Rings he distributed them among the different people. It would seem that this would be a very good plan if it had worked out. Having Elven lords, Kings of Men, and Dwarf lords under his command. But it did not. The Elves caught onto him when he put on his Ring and took theirs off until he no longer had the One in his possession. What he would have did with the 3 had he captured those as well I'm not sure. Getting his hands on those was what he really wanted and was why he invaded Eriador. So the Elves wanted to make these Rings for themselves, to bring Aman to Middle-earth, that is, to stay decay, which Sauron played on when his purpose was to use these Rings to control the free peoples.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:33 PM   #8
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These are great materials. I really enjoyed reading them. The Elvish intention for their Rings of Power does seem to be clear from Tolkien's Letters, which are materials I respect.

I still have a difficulty with whether or not this meant that Annatar worked with the Elves for a separate group of Rings, that the Gwaith-i-Mirdain worked on with Annatar, and that were meant for other races. That is, I'm still processing the materials about the intention of the Rings of Power, and who the Rings were to be Gifted to. Nine for the Mortal Men Doomed to Die, Seven for the Dwarf Lords in their Halls of Stone, and all that. The famous poem implies a lot about Ring Lore.

The materials from Tolkien and Letters has to be taken as compelling though, stating that the Rings of Power, as intentioned by the Elves, was to develop seclusionist realms, governed by a Ring of Power, for Elvish purposes. What I'm struggling with is that there really are and were not 19 eligible Elf Lords really that were considered worthy of a Ring of Power at the time Celebrimbor lived. We had Cirdan, Elrond, and Galadriel. I don't see any other Elven eligibles in TA, respecting that it is often stated in the mythology that the Noldorin High Kingship and all the Eldar of the royal line in Middle Earth copped it over the years, with most of the losses incurred in the First Age. The Gwaith-i-Mirdain knew that, and also knew there were 'many' Rings of Power, and so, I'm looking to understand (even still) what the Elvish intention was, in any assistance they rendered to Annatar in the forging of the Nine and the Seven. Who were those Rings made *for* and *by whom*, exactly, were they made?

I wonder whether Annatar made the Nine and the Seven, but in tutelage of Celebrimbor and the Gwaith i Mirdain, or alteratively, 19 Rings of Power were, indeed, made to accommodate Elven imperialist ideas.

But, my emphasis, this thread is also about metaphysical concepts. When I say 'how to make a Ringwraith versus an Elven Ring', I'm tyring to codify the flow of metaphysical energies in the distinct Elven versus Evil artefacts. What I'm seeking to develop, is ideas about the 'what exactly' occurs to influence flesh, mind, spirit and blood, in the competing influences of different Rings of Power.

Where--exactly--are the core differences in 'metaphysical flow' of an Evil versus Elvish Ring of Power?

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