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Old 08-15-2021, 11:42 PM   #1
Marileangorifurnimaluim
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Pipe Galadriel: with what was each member tempted?

What do you think Galadriel tempted each member of the company with? How did they answer that temptation? We know she offered Sam his heart's desire: a return home, and a bit of garden of his own. We can guess at Boromir's temptation, as he voiced it to Frodo on Amon Hen: using the ring to defend Gondor himself, becoming a hero who tears down Barad-dur.

What about the others?

In Frodo's conversation with Gandalf in Hobbiton in the chapter "The Shadow of the Past," Frodo wishes "it need not have happened in my time." I believe that Galadriel would have offered him that: a postponement. He would be able to live out his life in Bag End, wearing the ring no more often than Bilbo had--or not at all--visit Bilbo in Rivendell on holiday, and the ring could be left for another age, another heir to decide. It would be everything he wanted... but then he would be faced with the ethics of giving such a heavy burden to the next generation. How could he, knowing what he knows? The temptation would lift the sense of unfairness for him, but leave him just a little resentful as the image passes and he becomes aware of just how impossible that option is.

What about the others? What do you think? What were they tempted with, and how did they address that temptation?
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Old 08-16-2021, 01:30 PM   #2
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Well, I'll start with a softball: Aragorn, if tempted (since he doesn't seem fazed by anything that I recall and he DOES have a history in Lórien) is tempted as they all are with abandoning the quest in favour of something more appealing to him. In his case, that seems most likely to be Arwen and Rivendell: eloping and running away.

Although I'm not sure how tempting that'd be. The advantage Aragorn has after decades of wandering is that he knows nowhere is safe. The temptation to run and let someone else deal with it might not be much of a temptation when you know how little time that'd leave you. So perhaps the temptation has to go the other way: domineering kingship--perhaps even the Ring or some alliance with Sauron. Given Aragorn's arc in the later chapters of exercising Right Kingship, that might fit, though it's hard for me to say that it's quite right.
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Old 08-16-2021, 05:31 PM   #3
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An interesting topic!

I agree that Aragorn's weakness might be Arwen, along with the recovered kingship of Arnor and Gondor, with the Ring's power giving certainty of easy victory.

With Gimli, might it be using the One as a foundation for enormous wealth and prestige among his people, as the Dwarves once used the Seven?

Merry and Pippin are a bit tricky.

Merry might want to use the Ring to show he isn't just mere "baggage", as at the time of the Lórien stay, he hadn't yet had the chance to show his mettle.

Pippin may have been similar, with the added push of being the youngest of the Company, not wanting to be seen as the child.
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Old 08-16-2021, 06:47 PM   #4
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With Gimli, might it be using the One as a foundation for enormous wealth and prestige among his people, as the Dwarves once used the Seven?
Or perhaps use it to recover the captured Dwarven Rings?

I wonder if Frodo's was to hand over the responsibility for the quest to someone else. It's what he does a couple times - with Aragorn, and later in Lorien with Galadriel. But if that is so, I find it curious that he should "fall" to the temptation in truth so quickly after Galadriel's test, and with the test-maker too.

The one I am absolutely baffled about is Legolas. Like Aragorn, he doesn't seem to fazed. But what could possibly tempt this happy-go-lucky guy who just cheerfully goes along with whatever insanity his companions get up to? It's like he has nothing he'd rather do than chase orcs with Gimli anyways. Not until he gets the "Sea-sickness".
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Old 08-16-2021, 11:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Formendacil;738jEsghcA3552
Although I'm not sure how tempting that'd be. The advantage Aragorn has after decades of wandering is that he knows nowhere is safe. The temptation to run and let someone else deal with it might not be much of a temptation when you know how little time that'd leave you.
I agree that he'd not find running away very tempting.

Maybe if Galadriel offered the Havens and Arwen would then not have to choose a mortal life? He might find that tempting--it's one thing to sacrifice his own life. He's been doing that for decades with no thanks or rewards. But asking her to sacrifice elven immortality for him... that's difficult. So Galadriel could place that unexpected option before him.

Quote:
So perhaps the temptation has to go the other way: domineering kingship--perhaps even the Ring or some alliance with Sauron. Given Aragorn's arc in the later chapters of exercising Right Kingship, that might fit, though it's hard for me to say that it's quite right.
Another possibility in a similar vein of going towards conflict instead of away: what if she offered someone among the elves to guide Frodo to Mordor, so Aragorn could go to Minas Tirith as planned. That's tearing him apart and one reason they take the river instead of deciding.
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Old 08-17-2021, 12:15 AM   #6
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With Gimli, might it be using the One as a foundation for enormous wealth and prestige among his people, as the Dwarves once used the Seven?
Oh, I like that! Gimli is fresh from Moria. His kinsman, Balin, has died there.

What if she tells him that the glory of Moria was built with the dwarven rings? No doubt that's true, and she lived through that age. She would know. She could suggest to him that with the One ring he could do what his forefathers did, and more. He could build caverns in the Lonely Mountain and the Iron Mountains equal to Moria. Or, better yet--use the ring to beat back the Balrog, avenge Gandalf's death, and drive the darkness out of Moria itself.

All for the low low price of claiming the ring.

And that's when he'd come back to his senses, because the dwarves didn't even want the dwarven rings now. That's why Dain had sent him to Rivendell in the first place.

The desire for Moria, for Durin's ancient home, would still linger. Galadriel's kind words of understanding would be understanding of why he was tempted, and salve the sting.
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Old 08-17-2021, 04:01 AM   #7
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I disagree about Aragorn. He was a man of authority and power, and all of his aim was to fulfill his destiny. I would imagine that he, like Boromir, was tempted to take the Ring and to use it for good, much like Gandalf had described early on; but unlike Boromir, passed the test.

Gimli would have been tempted to become a mountain king, fingers running with gold; perhaps not just a mountain king, but ruler of the Dwarves; his ambition would match his ability.

Legolas could have been tempted to become a very dangerous being, I think. Maybe he was an Elf of the "darkness," that is, his forbears never having gone inot the West, but that does not mean that he was not capable of mighty things. I can imagine him having been tempted to use the Ring to bring the Elves back into their former glory.

I would expect that the Hobbits had lesser ambitions. Pippin to be the next Great Took, for example.
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:07 PM   #8
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There's an assumption--not stated as such--running through some of the posts that I think is worth teasing out: namely, that the temptations must have involved the Ring. Is that certain? Obviously, Galadriel is testing everyone's resolve and thus implicitly in relationship to the Quest, but it's not at all clear to me that the temptation doing the testing would necessarily have involved the Ring. I think because Boromir's test is the most prominent, especially in light of what comes later, we sometimes fall into thinking that they were all tempted alike.

I have my doubts that the junior Hobbits were tempted by the thought of possessing the Ring and what they might achieve with it. I think their temptation would more likely have been along the lines of Sam's: return to the comfort and security of home. That's a very provisional reading, because I don't think that either Merry or Pippin--yet--have that desire the way Sam does, but it fits better than "wealth and power" anyway.

Legolas, I think, might also be tempted with the "running away" option--but in the general "Elvish Original Sin" sense of trying to turn back time, which was how the Rings were first wrought. Not that Galadriel need offer thoughts of the Ring to effect this temptation, as I think Elempi has a very plausible temptation in this vein in the idea of "turn Dark Elf."

I think LMP might also be right about Aragorn, but that's partly because I keep thinking of the test of the palantír, which he passes by exercising his authority. But maybe that's the point: everyone but Boromir seemingly passes this test by Galadriel, though perhaps all by degrees rather than outright.
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Old 08-17-2021, 04:07 PM   #9
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An interesting aspect of some of the answers above is the apparent assumption that members of the Fellowship were offered the Ring as the means toward achieving their desires. I do not believe this to be the case. Galadriel's test was geared towards testing the loyalty of each member of the Fellowship by offering something they truly wanted if they turned aside. While I have little doubt that Boromir's heart craved the Ring (and maybe part of the test was to see if the Ring-desire had taken hold of anyone) I do not think that the others were offered the Ring.

Only Sam's "desire" is clearly stated: a hole of his own with a bit of a garden. This is actually rather telling. Because Sam is a servant. He is Frodo's "man" in the British sense. For him to want property ownership of his own is akin to him wanting release from servitude. And, ironically, in the end he gets this.

Merry concedes being offered something similar, but slightly different. He declines to say more. I get the sense that revealing your inner desire is something very personal and that Galadriel, by effectively perceiving it in each member, is invading their privacy in a disturbing way. I almost wonder if this results from an Elf not perceiving what a Man might not like. Nonetheless, I cannot imagine specifically what either Merry or Pippin might want.

I guess that Gimli is easy. As others suggest, he was offered a kingdom of some sort and its attendant riches.

Aragorn is actually interesting. He almost certainly desired Arwen above all else. He could, as someone speculated, have been offered an "easy" way out to this end, somehow. However, I suspect he was presented with the kingship of Gondor as that was the condition of his betrothal to Arwen. How Galadriel might show Aragorn a way to achieve this I do not know. I do not think he would have been offered the Ring.
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:45 AM   #10
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I wonder if Frodo's was to hand over the responsibility for the quest to someone else. It's what he does a couple times - with Aragorn, and later in Lorien with Galadriel. But if that is so, I find it curious that he should "fall" to the temptation in truth so quickly after Galadriel's test, and with the test-maker too.
While I agree that part of Frodo dearly wished to hand over the Ring, and thus responsibility for the mission, to some authoritative figure (whether he would still have been able to do so at that stage is another question) I don't see him as falling to the temptation in the scene at Galadriel's mirror, or if he did it was a controlled fall, you might say: knowingly turning the temptation against the tempter, and maybe with a bit of hobbitish tongue-in-cheek. Mark the wording:
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‘You are wise and fearless and fair, Lady Galadriel,’ said Frodo. ‘I will give you the One Ring, if you ask for it. It is too great a matter for me.’
Not Will you not take the Ring?, as he asked of Gandalf, but I'll give it to you if you ask for it, leaving it to her to ask or not ask. Two can play that game, Lady Galadriel - and her reaction is as good as saying Touché.
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Old 08-31-2021, 08:37 AM   #11
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Yes, I don't think Frodo is being the naif here. When Galadriel says "Gently are you revenged..." that's exactly right; Frodo knew what he was doing. He wasn't just teenage Elijah begging "please, please take this burden away."

Book-Frodo is very far from clueless.
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Old 09-11-2021, 11:30 AM   #12
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I just wanted to pop in and say I agree with the point being made that Galadriel wouldn't be tempting members of the Fellowship with claiming and using the Ring. The Fellowship is grieving the loss of Gandalf, so she is testing their resolve and I think tempting each one of them with what their heart desires and all they would need to do is abandon the quest of the Ring.

I recall various threads over the years here and other members saying they thought Galadriel hastened Boromir's downfall. Prior to Galadriel testing him, Boromir didn't seem to be bothered by the Ring. Sure he makes his case to use it as a weapon at the Council of Elrond, but it appears he accepts the Council's decision and besides made quite clear his journey was to return to Minas Tirith. I disagree with the argument that Galadriel hastened Boromir's fall, and I'm not even entirely convinced she tempted him with claiming the Ring.

I think it was Gandalf's death that hastened Boromir's downfall, because after Moria, the observant Sam starts noticing a personality change...Boromir is becoming more anxious and pressing Frodo with questions. I think it's interesting what Boromir says about Galadriel:

Quote:
'...but almost I should have said that she was tempting us, and offering what she pretended to have the power to give.'
I think it's an astute observation, almost as if Galadriel is acting as a surrogate for the Ring..."pretended to have the power to give" could easily describe the One Ring's chief power. Galadriel tests each member before she passes the test. I read that whole encounter as Galadriel was acting as a surrogate for the Ring to aid him in his own trial. Boromir is able to realize that Galadriel was "offering what she pretended to have the power to give." Unfortunately, as Gandalf would say about Boromir's trial:

Quote:
"I could not see what happened to him. It was a sore trial for such a man: a warrior, and a lord of men."~The White Rider
Boromir is unable to realize the One Ring deceives in the same way, tempting someone with delusions of power it pretended to give.

Regarding Aragorn's test. Maybe it has something to do with whether to return to Minas Tirith or not? His original plan in joining the Fellowship was to go there with Boromir, Gandalf's death changes his mind. And his choice after leaving Lothlorien is "I'm just going to lead us down the river and delay my decision for as long as possible."
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:28 PM   #13
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It should be noted that Galadriel held all in her gaze, but Aragorn and Legolas showed no embarassment or discomfort. I assume based on Aragorn's statement later on the Tongue when they were departing that:

......... "Lady, you know all my desire, and long held in keeping the only treasure that I seek".

This suggests that Galadriel offered Aragorn the chance to be with Arwen, but as Aragorn says:

......... "It is not yours to give me...",

thus the lack of a response from Aragorn. Similarly, I expect that Legolas was offered a chance to go back to his northern woods:

......... "The heart of Legolas was running under the stars of a summer night in some northern glade amid the beechwoods:"

I would agree with the comments above that only Boromir was offered the Ring, or perhaps the taking of the Ring to Gondor--the others would have been looking for something else. Gimli was probably offered gold, the usual (and predictable?) temptation of the dwarves...
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