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Old 05-23-2003, 03:16 AM   #1
the real findorfin
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Sting Lords and Ladies of the Rings

This is in Books because I want some thoughtful answers more than opinions/

After Sauron had lost the Ring of Power, the thought that someone else might take it up must have always been in his mind. If say a Steward of Gondor were to take it up then he would probably laugh and swoop in to take it. Who do you think he would have been afraid off though.

I presume that people such as Saruman may have dominated him but could Sauron have regained the ring?

Also, do you think that any of the elves (ever) could have taken up the ring and defeated Sauron, or would he have gained the mastery of it once again? A powerful image that appears in my mind is of Feanor holding the One Ring.

I now open the floor to some more learned than myself.
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Old 05-23-2003, 06:22 AM   #2
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Even if Feanor himself had the One Ring in his possesion, Sauron would have wiped the floor with him. While Sauron still knew fear, had he thought about the situation rationally he would have realised that no-one could have challenged him, save the Lords of the West.
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Old 05-23-2003, 07:10 AM   #3
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There were few in the 3rd Age of ME that could have taken the ring and overthrown Sauron. I always thought them to be Gandalf, Aragorn, Elrond and Galadriel.
I never ever thought that Saruman had the strenght in him to better Sauron. While the others did.
Feanor i think could definately have beaten Sauron, if Fingolfin could battle Morgoth and still harm him, then surely Feanor with the One Ring could beat Sauron. I would think this because Sauron was lesser than Morgoth, plus Feanor was made greatest in mind and body of all the children of Illuvatar.
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Old 05-23-2003, 07:33 AM   #4
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I do not have the Letters, but I remember reading an excerpt on one of these threads which suggested that Gandalf was the only being in the Third Age who could have defeated Sauron. Galadriel was probably mistaken when she suggested that she would be able to do so.

I am sure that some kind soul will post the excerpt that I am thinking of ...
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Old 05-23-2003, 09:28 AM   #5
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As I understand it the main problem is that even if somebody like Gandalf or Galadriel or Aragorn did defeat Sauron using the Ring it would just mean setting up a new Dark Lord, (or Lady) in his place as none of them would have been able to resist the corruptive effects of the Ring.

Sauron is genuinely afraid of somebody using his Ring against him, suggesting that it could indeed be done succcessfuly - but talk about your Pyrrhic victories!
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:05 AM   #6
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Only Gandalf.

Letter No. 246:

Quote:
Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him Ė being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the same order, an immortal spirit taking a visible physical form. In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', 1381, 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.
'others' in this case means other than Aragorn and Frodo, whom Tolkien had discussed in previous paragraphs - he expected Frodo would be dominated instantly, and Aragorn wouldn't have done much better (he won the contest with the Palantir because it was at distance, and he was the rightful owner).

It might be that Tolkien meant 'of the others (that would oppose Sauron),' thus leaving out First Age figures, but Galadriel was said to be greatest of the Noldor (along with Feanor), and as her approximate equal, I can't see Feanor fairing much better. The only greater elf mentioned is Luthien, greatest of all the Eldar - who knows how she would have faired? Osse? Melian? Eonwe? Hard to speculate about these others, far-removed from the tales of the late Third Age.

(Just saw Saucepan Man's post above - here it is [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] )

[ May 23, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:35 AM   #7
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(Again this "Greatest of the Eldar".. While Lķthien is said to be the greatest, it's also said that no other like FŽanor has been born(don't know how it exactly went, haven't read the English version), hard to say who's the best then. But let's not talk about it, I doubt that Lķthien would have done much better)

I think that there were many that could have used the Ring against Sauron and even defeated him, but not truly, save maybe some greater maia(if there were any) and/or the Valar. Though there would've been no use of the Ring for the Powers, or probably to any greater maia. They were already greater than Sauron, and therefore the Ring wouldn't have raised their Power, I think.. Any other would have simply become the next Dark(or White?) Lord or Lady, and the Ring would've enslaved them. Then Sauron simply knocks on the door, says "GROAH" and the Lord gives the Ring to Sauron - Sauron rules again.

So I think that only the Powers could have resisted the Ring and Sauron.
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:40 AM   #8
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Any other would have simply become the next Dark(or White?) Lord or Lady, and the Ring would've enslaved them. Then Sauron simply knocks on the door, says "GROAH" and the Lord gives the Ring to Sauron - Sauron rules again.
I don't think that would be true, i think if another dark lord did arise due to the ring, the first thing they would do would be to completely obliterate Sauron and his servants. If Aragorn or Galadriel had the power to use the ring then surely they would have the power to beat Sauron who is no longer as powerful as he wa with the ring
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:44 AM   #9
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I think what Afrodal was saying was that Aragorn, Galdriel or whatever would just become the next Sauron.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

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Old 05-23-2003, 10:54 AM   #10
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hard to say who's the best then. But let's not talk about it, I doubt that Lķthien would have done much better
Feanor is listed to be mightiest in a number of aspects, but it's not clarified how broad that assertion is, and it was also stated when Luthien was but a child. (Also note that I never said she would have done better, and really, none of us can concretely go one way or the other.)

I don't think she'd do much better (ultimately) than Feanor or Galadriel, nor any other great elf. Such combat surely called for one of the Ainur, or a great deal of luck. In the letter I cited above, Gandalf says that Elrond or Galadriel would not attempt one-on-one combat - they'd use the same strategy Sauron used: building a great army and win by sheer strength.

Indeed, anyone that bore the Ring after Sauron was destroyed otherwise would simply take his place in time:

Quote:
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).

[The draft ends here. In the margin Tolkien wrote: 'Thus while Sauron multiplied [illegible word] evil, he left "good" clearly distinguishable from it. Gandalf would have made good detestable and seem evil.']
We won't get fooled again [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ May 23, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:58 AM   #11
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Wasn't Luthien just fairest, but Feanor was greatest in mind, and subtlety of his works and also in body so that no other child of Illuvatar could compare to him.
Obviously they were all unique in their own way, but Feaor ws basicly perfect apart from his arrogance


Quote:
The draft ends here. In the margin Tolkien wrote: 'Thus while Sauron multiplied [illegible word] evil, he left "good" clearly distinguishable from it. Gandalf would have made good detestable and seem evil.'
I wonder what Tolkien meant when he said that, how could good be detestable. Anyone got any idea

[ May 23, 2003: Message edited by: Aule ]
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Old 05-23-2003, 11:00 AM   #12
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You can do a search and find the multiple threads on that subject - the quote is given in those also. Let's not stray too far from the topic at hand.
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Old 05-23-2003, 12:22 PM   #13
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Who do you think he [Sauron] would have been afraid off though.
For me this question is slightly different from asking who actually could control the Ring and defeat Sauron. It is true that only Gandalf could do the later (as it is said in the Letters), but, was Sauron aware of it?
I think he didn't. In fact, in LotR it is said that Sauron was afraid of Aragorn after seeing him through the Palantir; just because he thought that Aragorn, being Isildur's heir, had claimed the Ring and was going to use it. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-23-2003, 01:18 PM   #14
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I can't find the quote, and I've dug for it quite a bit, but there's a place in the Silmarillion that says that the Princes of the Noldor outstripped the Sindar by as far as the Sindar were ahead of the race of Man, and that only Thingol who had seen the light of the trees could match them.

I think we're underestimating our princes of the Noldor. While Feanor and Galadriel were both called the greatest of the Noldor, Feanor was called the "Mightiest of the Noldor", a title I don't think he shared with Galadriel. Much of her greatness resided in her wisdom (something Feanor didn't always show)- yet wisdom might not avail in a contest of sheer wills.

I think we may also be overestimating Sauron. Sauron wasn't even at the height of his powers in the Third Age, he was separated from his Ring, and much of his former power had gone into it. Yet while he was at his full power, an (Middle Earth born) elf and a man defeated him. Surely with the Ring (regardless of the Ring's effects on the victor) Sauron would have fallen.

I've read that quote before, Legolas, but I don't have a copy of the Letters on hand right now. Is Tolkien talking about Gandalf using the Ring against Sauron, or about Gandalf defeating him in his own right? I couldn't tell from the bit you posted.

Given all of the above I think that Feanor with the Ring would have been a good matchup against Sauron. At the very least Sauron would have been nervous about getting into such a contest. I would also venture to place Finwe (who attempted to withstand Melkor), Fingolfin (whose wounds to Morgoth never healed), Earendil, and Luthien in this category. Melian as well, though I don't know that she couldn't have defeated Sauron without the Ring, provided he didn't have it either.

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Old 05-23-2003, 04:08 PM   #15
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I like to think from the Third Age Gandalf, Galadriel and Aragorn having The Ring would have made Sauron nervous. I don't think he would worry about anyone else. If Tolkien said that Gandalf was the only one that could have used The Ring to dispose Sauron, then certainly I ain't one to argue, but would think the above three would at least have given him a run for his money.

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Old 05-23-2003, 04:37 PM   #16
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Sting

I think he meant Gandalf wielding it; at the least withholding it from Sauron. He would have to use it though, at some point if he were to become the Ring Lord as speculated.

About the Sindar vs. Noldor:

Quote:
They are called the Sindar, the Grey-elves of starlit Beleriand; and although they were Moriquendi, under the lordship of Thingol and the teaching of Melian they became the fairest and the most wise and skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth.
The quote you're speaking of actually says the Noldor were great, and more importantly, the Sindar were the only kindred to become almost great as they were:

Quote:
In those days Elves and Men were of like stature and strength of body, but the Elves had greater wisdom, and skill, and beauty; and those who had dwelt in Valinor and looked upon the Powers as much surpassed the Dark Elves in these things as they in turn surpassed the people of mortal race. Only to the realm of Doriath, whose queen Melian was of the kindred of Valar, did the Sindar come near to match the Calaquendi of the Blessed Realm.
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Old 05-23-2003, 06:02 PM   #17
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I've seen Galadriel's name a lot, but don't forget about Elrond.

Letter No. 246:
Quote:
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.
It says that if Galadriel could, the others could too (I assume it's refering to Cirdan, Elrond, Gil-galad, Celebrimbor, and Gandalf, all of which wore one of the three Elven rings on at least one occasion, at least I think Gil-galad did, I know the others did).

If I say "If team A can beat team B, then team C could beat team B", that indicates that team C is at least equal to team A. Following that reasoning, the others that bore the elven rings were at least as capable as Galadriel when it came to overthrowing Sauron, so don't put her in her own league.

As a matter of fact, perhaps Elrond should be put in his own league, since it says "especially Elrond" would be capable of taking down Sauron, if Galadriel really could.
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:38 PM   #18
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Tolkien does not seem so sure that they would be capable (to the point of implying that):

Quote:
In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', 1381, 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.
[ May 24, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 05-24-2003, 12:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Tolkien does not seem so sure that they would be capable
Yes, very true. That's why I made my last statement conditional on the last line- "if Galadriel really could".

And I, for one, don't think she could have. I don't think she could've come close to beating Sauron. Whenever he's been defeated, it's always been just physically. He always pops up again. Given enough time (maybe 200 years, maybe 2000 years) the ring would completely bend Galadriel (or most anyone) to its will (Sauron's will) and then Sauron would return and they would be subject to his command.

At least that's the way I always envisioned it.
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Old 05-24-2003, 10:16 AM   #20
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Sting

This is a great discussion, but we seem to be argueing multiple ideas at once.

Who would be capable of wielding the Ring against Sauron?: It seems clear from Tolien's letters (thanks for the quotes) that the only answer to this is maybe Gandalf and forget the rest.

But the original question was ...

Who would Sauron be nervous about having the Ring?: Here speculation can run rampant (unless someone has a quote from another letter dealing with this). Sauron seems to be worried about this possibility so clearly there are some candidates out there. I would stick with my first three: Gandalf, Aragorn and Galadriel. Why not Elrond or Cirdan? I think this is one of personality. Can anyone see Elrond or Cirdan actually considering using the Ring against Sauron? I can't. As well, I still think Galadriel has to be considered the most powerful Elf at the end of the third age. The whole seeing the trees Noldor thing. So if Elrond or Cirdan had the Ring I'm not exactly sure Sauron would be "worried" about them using it. As for Saruman, I don't think Saruman really had the respect of Sauron. I suspect he was viewed as a puppet who, if he did managed to cut his own strings, would just fall to the ground under his own weight.

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Old 05-24-2003, 10:39 AM   #21
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I agree whole heartedly about Saruman, it always seemed to me that he was a stoog made to feel like a big man because he had the backing of some more powerful than himself. A bit like Lotho back in the Shire.

Just because Saurman was the head of the White Council did not make him the more powerful, as it was Gandalf that a few of the others wanted (Galadriel for certain) as the head. But i think he refused as he didn't want to be cooped up so that he couldn't go around the place meddling in the affairs of the Dark Lord
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Old 05-24-2003, 11:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Who would Sauron be nervous about having the Ring?: [...] I would stick with my first three: Gandalf, Aragorn and Galadriel. Why not Elrond or Cirdan?
I think you are right. Consider this: Frodo offered the One Ring to Gandalf, Galadriel and Aragorn; but he didn't offer it to Elrond (and, as far as I remember the books, I think that Frodo didn't offer it to anybody else). Why? Probably because Frodo couldn't see Elrond using it, either. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-24-2003, 11:43 AM   #23
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When did Frodo offer the ring to Aragorn, i can't remember that bit.
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Old 05-24-2003, 12:40 PM   #24
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In Rivendell [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] :

Quote:
'He is Aragorn son of Arathorn,' said Elrond; 'and he is descended through many fathers from Isildur Elendil's son of Minas Ithil. He is the Chief of the Dķnedain in the North, and few are now left of that folk.'
'Then it belongs to you, and not to me at all!' cried Frodo in amazement, springing to his feet, as if he expected the Ring to be demanded at once.

The Council of Elrond
[ May 24, 2003: Message edited by: Amarie of the Vanyar ]
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Old 05-24-2003, 12:50 PM   #25
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Ah yes that, forgot about that [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
But i thought he offered it to Aragorn because it was Aragorns Ring as it was a Heirloom. Not because Frodo was giving it to him because he felt that Aragorn was better able to handle the ring, as he barely knew Aragorn at this point.

I thought he offered it to Gandalf and Galadriel because he thought them more powerful so able to use the ring and control it, not becuase it was owned by them.

Hope i made sense
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Old 05-24-2003, 04:09 PM   #26
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I'm not so sure that Frodo was thinking much about it either way. He knew the ring was bad, that he wanted to go back home, that the ring needed to be dealt with, that he didn't want to deal with it, and that Aragorn seemed as good a candidate as any. And even if he was thinking about a reason why he would have deserved the ring over him, he didn't do so for long or with much discretion because of the above mentioned statements. To state it rathr poorly, Aragorn was next to him in the "hot potatoe game".
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Old 05-24-2003, 04:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
I agree whole heartedly about Saruman, it always seemed to me that he was a stoog made to feel like a big man because he had the backing of some more powerful than himself. A bit like Lotho back in the Shire.
I would agree with that, except for the words of Gandalf, who always seemed to take Saruman quite seriously.

I really do think that there is some kind of conflict here between the story the way it is told in LOTR and the quote that Legolas has given repeatedly about the only person who could successfully take out Sauron.

Gil-Galad and Elendil defeated Sauron. They defeated him physically, yes, and he did spring up again in another time, but not through any action of his own. Elendil and Gil-Galad had (or would have had had they lived) him entirely at their mercy. Had someone simply walked up the hill and chucked in the Ring it would have all been over. Sauron was well and truly down.

Considering that these two could bring him to that state while he was at full power and in posession of the ring, how is it possible that someone as great as Galadriel (or Elrond, or Saruman and so on...) wouldn't even have a chance aided by the Ring if he was without it?

Am I the only one who thinks this is an issue?

Sophia
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Old 05-24-2003, 06:16 PM   #28
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Sophia's musings, which make complete sense to me, make me wonder whether there is a distinction to be made here between having the power to destroy Sauron utterly and merely being able to destroy him physically.

Once Aragorn revealed himself to Sauron, Sauron's great fear would have been that Aragorn, wielding the Ring, would lead a force against him, defeat his forces and destroy his physical manifestation, in the same way that Gil-Galad, Elendil, Isildur and co had done. In this scenario, he would hope that Aragorn would then be unable to destroy the Ring, just as Isildur had been unable to do, leaving the way open for him to corrupt Aragorn or his successors through their possession of the Ring since they would not have been able to master it. That would have represented a set-back for Sauron, but by no means a complete defeat.

The quote from the Letters that Legolas has given talks of Gandalf being the only one who might have been expected to "master" Sauron by using the Ring against him, ie destroy him utterly and supplant him as a new Dark (or should I say irritatingly Good [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]) Lord.

This is not inconsistent with Sauron's fear of Aragorn using the Ring against him. First, as I said above, a physical defeat would have represented a set-back to him, although not a complete defeat. He would have been forced to wait longer for domination of ME. But an even greater fear for him would have been that a victorious Aragorn, under the influence of Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel, might actually have been able to achieve what Isildur could not and destroy the Ring, thus guaranteeing permament victory over him.

So, yes, Gandalf was the only one who could have "mastered" Sauron using the Ring against him. But there were other scenarios, involving others using the Ring against him, which might have resulted in at least temporary, and quite possibly permament, defeat.

And one final thought. I do think that Saruman gets rather short shrift on this thread. He was, after all, a Maia, albeit a fallen one. I would expect him to have had more chance of using the Ring against Sauron than anyone else in the Third Age, with the exception of Gandalf. He certainly thought that he could. I do not think that he ever had any intention, ultimately, of sharing power with Sauron. And, while it seems that he would in fact have been unable to "master" Sauron using the Ring, he might have been able to inflict a physical defeat on him had things gone differently.

Ultimately, of course, assuming that he wouldn't have been able to master the Ring, he would have become Sauron's pawn in any event, since it would have subjugated him to Sauron's will. But Sauron would not necessarily have known this. So, I think that he would have been quite fearful of Saruman gaining the Ring and trying to use it against him.

[ May 24, 2003: Message edited by: The Saucepan Man ]
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Old 05-24-2003, 06:43 PM   #29
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Well, this is quite an interesting discussion...

I hope I'm not getting off-topic with what I'd like to ask... Everyone has discussed who could have taken the Ring and used it against Sauron, but what I was wondering - who would have? It's been said that only Gandalf could have defeated Sauron utterly. But he wouldn't have done so, would he? I was under the impression (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that Gandalf refused to match Sauron in battle because the Valar had command the Istari not to do this. We all know that Saruman certainly didn't pay attention to this in the end, but wasn't Gandalf completely loyal to the Valar? If so, would Sauron have known this? Again, sorry if this is off-topic, it's just something I was wondering about. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 05-24-2003, 09:07 PM   #30
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Gil-Galad and Elendil defeated Sauron.
That's because they had the military capacity to do so. They had the troops to physically destroy Sauron's armies and then smack Sauron down too. In the Third Age the forces of Good could not do this.

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I do think that Saruman gets rather short shrift on this thread.
Ah well, remember that Saruman fell under Sauronís will without the Ring. I don't think that would have been much of a contest.

The one in this thread who seems to be getting short shift is Sauron. Nobody seems to be giving him the credit as Near-Master of Middle Earth that he deserves. He would have won except for an improbable bit of divine intervention.

[EDIT] And Gandalf would not have automatically won just by claiming the Ring.

[ May 24, 2003: Message edited by: Kuruharan ]
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Old 05-24-2003, 10:16 PM   #31
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Ah well, remember that Saruman fell under Sauron’s will without the Ring. I don't think that would have been much of a contest.
Ah, but I'm sure that's not the way that Saruman saw it. And quite possibly not the way it would have turned out (in the short term at least) had he got his grubby little hands on the Ring and not had his forces wiped out at Helm's Deep and his stronghold besieged by a load of walking trees. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-25-2003, 12:29 AM   #32
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That's because they had the military capacity to do so. They had the troops to physically destroy Sauron's armies and then smack Sauron down too. In the Third Age the forces of Good could not do this.
I'm sorry, but I don't see how this has anything to do with what we're talking about. They had military might, yes, but in the end it was Gil-Galad and Elendil challenging Sauron to "single" combat. It wasn't as though their army was standing around shooting arrows into him as they fought.

Granted, the opportunity for this kind of combat wouldn't have arisen in the Third Age because militarily the forces of Good couldn't have threatened Sauron's power and thus motivated him to come out for single combat, but in the realm of "what if" this doesn't apply. If Sauron was matched in single combat against someone weilding the ring would he fall (or rather the original question was would he be frightened)? This question has nothing to do with their respective military might.

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Old 05-25-2003, 12:51 AM   #33
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First, as I said above, a physical defeat would have represented a set-back to him, although not a complete defeat. He would have been forced to wait longer for domination of ME.
My thoughts exactly, Saucepan Man. I've always seen Sauron's "fear" like this- he's been trying to take over the world for thousands of years. He doesn't want another setback when he's so close to succeeding.
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But an even greater fear for him would have been that a victorious Aragorn, under the influence of Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel, might actually have been able to achieve what Isildur could not and destroy the Ring, thus guaranteeing permament victory over him.
I'm not sure I agree with that however. I thought I remembered from reading that the thought of someone destroying the ring never occurred to him in his wildest dreams.

I believe he never thought of that because he made the ring so perfectly. I honestly think that absolutely no one could WILLINGLY destroy the ring (remember, when it was destroyed it was complete luck, it was accidental, divine intervention basically). That was the entire purpose of the ring.

Sauron never wanted to die permanently, so he made an anchor so he could keep coming back. He did everything he could to make sure that it was fool-proof, and that no one could ever willingly destroy it, and I think he actually succeeded.
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The one in this thread who seems to be getting short shift is Sauron. Nobody seems to be giving him the credit as Near-Master of Middle Earth that he deserves.
Exactly right, Kuruharan. Sauron was a talented and powerful Ainu who fell into evil and was tutored for many years by Melkor. The Silmarillion said he learned great sorcery form him. Sauron has been in the game of empire building, power grabbing, and will dominating for thousands of years. That's a lot of practice, and a lot of time to become the BEST at some things, one of which would be the whole will and power thing.

I mean, talk about power, when the ring was claimed by Frodo in the Cracks of Doom and Sauron took his concentration off of his armies, the orcs, trolls, and such stopped in their tracks. He was actually imposing his will on thousands upon thousands of creatures from many leagues away.

I've always thought that destroying the ring was the ONLY way to COMPLETELY defeat Sauron. Other ways could set him back a few years or perhaps a few millenia, but he'd eventually win. I think Sauron's ring plan was PERFECT and FOOL-PROOF in the end no matter which course of action was taken.

And Tolkien never said Gandalf WOULD master Sauron. Maybe it's possible, but I don't think he would have succeeded (maybe he does temporary damage but then Sauron's armies take over everything, or maybe Gandalf causes good to win, but he doesn't destroy the ring and after 20,000 years of being with the ring he is finally subjected by it). Yes, Sauron was in his origin the same as Olorin and Curunir, but as I said earlier, Sauron has had forever to get better at the whole world domination thing. He was in the long run, unbeatable (if not for the luck of divine intervention).

But as long as we're talking about "what ifs", I thought I'd mention that not everyone thought that Elrond wouldn't take the ring. Boromir, addressing him at the council in Rivendell, said "Let the Ring be your weapon, if it has such power as you say. Take it and go forth to victory!"

Plus, Sauron wasn't always able to discern acts of a good heart. He seemed to assume that everybody would want his ring. I doubt he ever thought "Oh, Elrond is so wise and all, I doubt he'd want my ring". He probably thought "Elrond is powerful, he doesn't like me, therefore he might try to take my ring and use it on me". Sauron was not a good judge of character when it came to "good guys". He couldn't understand them.

And also remember, Elrond not only has the blood of the ruling houses of the Noldor and the Sindar in him, but also has some Maia blood. Don't sell him short. I think he'd be just as good a candidate (if not better) than Galadriel for challenging Sauron (and JRRT seemed to think so too judging from his letter).
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Old 05-25-2003, 01:19 AM   #34
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I've always thought that destroying the ring was the ONLY way to COMPLETELY defeat Sauron. Other ways could set him back a few years or perhaps a few millenia, but he'd eventually win. I think Sauron's ring plan was PERFECT and FOOL-PROOF in the end no matter which course of action was taken.
The best laid plans of mice, men, and maiar oft go awry. I don't think Tolkien ever intended Sauron's ring to make him invincible.

M-E is a world fighting the Long Defeat, but Tolkien's long defeat is not the long defeat of the northern mythology. Tolkien's God (speaking of Eru) is not temperamental and concerned overconcerned with deeds of valor. He is mindful of the plight of his Children and his theme prevails in the end. In Tolkien's version of the Long Defeat the evil is always going to be dominant until the very end. But charactersitic of this trend is that men (or elves etc.) always have a chance. The evil is everpresent and overwhelming, but not permanent or indestructible. Darkness always falls again, but the stars always shine through to give men reason to hope.

If you say that Sauron could never be permanently incapacitated except through destruction of the Ring and that the ring couldn't be destroyed by the will of any creature mortal or immortal or even of the people of the Gods, you've reduced the world to a single equation where Sauron wins. His strength continues to increase and his power continues to grow over time. How long is it before Eonwe falls to his will? And then will the lesser Valar be corrupted as well? Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration of what you were saying. But I don't think that Sauron was, or ever would have been unbeatable.

Sophia

[ May 25, 2003: Message edited by: Sophia the Thunder Mistress ]
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Old 05-25-2003, 03:18 AM   #35
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Sauron was unbeatable, at least nobody in Middle-Earth could beat him. Gandalf's plan failed, as Frodo couldn't destroy the Ring. Wouldn't Gollum have taken one step, Sauron would have won. The Good were simply pretty damn lucky.

Well, of course the Powers could have easily stept in and thrown the Ring to Mt. Doom, and they could probably have smashed it to pieces with a fist, but they are a completely different thing. And maybe even a maia greater than Sauron could have resisted it, as I've already said.

Sauron was unbeatable for so long as luck didn't come and ruin his plans.

By the way, have you thought, that if Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf or any of the candidates would have taken the Ring and beaten Sauron(well, at least defeated his armies and given him a good set-back), it would have been Sauron's own fault? After all, the Ring offered itself to numerous persons and filled their minds with images of supreme power - was that a mistake, or planned by Sauron?
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Old 05-25-2003, 05:47 AM   #36
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By the way, have you thought, that if Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf or any of the candidates would have taken the Ring and beaten Sauron(well, at least defeated his armies and given him a good set-back), it would have been Sauron's own fault? After all, the Ring offered itself to numerous persons and filled their minds with images of supreme power - was that a mistake, or planned by Sauron?
I think it was planned by Sauron: this was the safest way of defending the integrity of the Ring. Whithout this feature, anybody could destroy the Ring too easily, and that would have meant Sauron's immediate death.

Even though, this self-defense feature of the Ring has as an unwilling consequence the fact that also anybody could feel compelled to claim the Ring against Sauron.

Probably, Sauron thought that in this case the advantages of adding this feature to the Ring where so high that it was worth running the risk. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

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Everyone has discussed who could have taken the Ring and used it against Sauron, but what I was wondering - who would have?
I think that at least three people would: Boromir, Denethor and Saruman. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 05-25-2003, 08:32 AM   #37
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If you say that Sauron could never be permanently incapacitated except through destruction of the Ring and that the ring couldn't be destroyed by the will of any creature mortal or immortal or even of the people of the Gods, you've reduced the world to a single equation where Sauron wins.
I meant no one in ME could destroy it. If we want to bring the Valar into it, perhaps Manwe, Ulmo, or a couple others would be capable of destroying it. But, the Valar were not involved. As far as ME goes, I believe exactly what you stated, that the world had been reduced to a single equation where Sauron wins.

Firstly, I believe his origin as an Ainu coupled with the lessons he learned from Melkor and the thousands of years he spent in a quest for power made him the most powerful and dominating force in ME. Secondly, I believe his whole ring plot was one of the most ingenious plans ever in history. I thought Afrodal Fenyar said it well.
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Sauron was unbeatable, at least nobody in Middle-Earth could beat him. Gandalf's plan failed, as Frodo couldn't destroy the Ring. Wouldn't Gollum have taken one step, Sauron would have won. The Good were simply pretty damn lucky.
The odds for beating Sauron weren't a million to one, they were a million to none. They had 0 chance of winning, and yet, they won. I think this illustrates what you said about Eru better than anything.
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Old 05-25-2003, 01:48 PM   #38
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I meant no one in ME could destroy it. If we want to bring the Valar into it, perhaps Manwe, Ulmo, or a couple others would be capable of destroying it. But, the Valar were not involved. As far as ME goes, I believe exactly what you stated, that the world had been reduced to a single equation where Sauron wins.
Tolkien makes very little distinction between the Valar and the Maiar actually. The lesser Valar and the greater Maiar hardly had any distance in relative "greatness". And as Olorin was the wisest of the Maiar, if you say he couldn't destroy it, there's very little distance between him and say, Nessa. Gandalf had the willpower to toss the ring into Frodo's fire, which granted, he knew wouldn't hurt it, but it was more than Frodo could do.

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When there is no way, Eru finds a way.
Ach! Don't you hate it when you argue ferociously for something, and then come to find out both parties are saying the same thing all along. How embarrassing. I really hate the way you phrased it though. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

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Old 05-25-2003, 06:24 PM   #39
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Tolkien makes very little distinction between the Valar and the Maiar actually. The lesser Valar and the greater Maiar hardly had any distance in relative "greatness".
Yes, you're correct. There's a great thread authored by Obloquy that mentions that point (try searching in the books for the word incarnation to find it).

Once again, that may mean that we're underestimating Sauron. Maybe he had become more powerful than some of the Valar even (note I said more powerful, not greater). Maybe Manwe himself couldn't have willingly destroyed the ring. I had never even considered the Valar in this debate (because they're so far removed) but it would be really interesting if Sauron had indeed made the ring so well that even if the Valar wanted to destroy him they couldn't.
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Ach! Don't you hate it when you argue ferociously for something, and then come to find out both parties are saying the same thing all along. How embarrassing. I really hate the way you phrased it though.
Well, not everyone can have the same style. That would make for a boring world. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-26-2003, 02:13 PM   #40
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Legolas, that is one of my favorite letters.

"In his actual presence none but a very few of equal stature could have hoped withhold it from him. Of 'Mortals" no one, not even Aragorn." ... "Sauron should be thought of as very terrible." (246)

In his presence, any but a few of the Maia would have crumbled and given it over to him.

Also, Sauron's power was not diminished in the creation of the ring. Only if someone claimed and took complete control of the ring. Please see the link below:
http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm#1-Rapport

I have posted this link before, but i think it is relevent to this discussion.

Also, this link mirrors many opinions about beating Sauron militarily with the ring:
http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm#1-BeatSauron
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