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Old 01-28-2002, 10:06 AM   #1
Mayla Took
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Sting Hobbit Resilience To the Ring.....

I have been wondering, why do Hobbits have such a resilience against the Rings powers to take over there mind? It took Bilbo quite a while and also Frodo. Do they have a strength greater than the Elves in this aspect?
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Old 01-28-2002, 03:42 PM   #2
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I think it has to do with the simple lives that they lead. They are not roubled by the world's affairs and are not easily corrupted because they do not know how to be corrupt. Also the Rings are more dangerous to the Elve because most of them have power of their own and they would wield the Ring for good and it would turn evil. The hobbits have no power of their own and do not know how to propoerly use the Ring. Also Gandalf is always hinting that there is more to both Bilbo and Frodo than what meets the eye. There is also something about ven the fattest hobbit has a seed of courage and if it woken, then that hobbit can become fierce in atight place. Other than this, i do not kniow what resistance they have.
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Old 01-28-2002, 04:10 PM   #3
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Sting

This would definitely seem to be the case when looking at Frodo and Bilbo but Pippin seems to be more easily influenced. I think that when he drops the stone into the well in the mines of Moria, it was probably because of the ring's influence on his mind. That's the way I see it anyway If that's the case, then it wouldn't be hobbits, but Bagginses, that have a great resilience to the Ring.
However, Pippin never expresses any sort of desire to have the ring, unlike many of the other characters, and neither did the other hobbits, so maybe they are stronger aftrer all
Perhaps it is something to do with desiring power. Hobbits are quiet folk, certainly not the sort to want to rule Middle Earth- all the other races, the men, the dwarves, the elves, even wizards like Gandalf, are much more power hungry than any hobbit. I think this probably has something to do with it.

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Old 01-30-2002, 06:39 PM   #4
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I believe it is the desire for power, or lack of it in this case, that protects the hobbits from the Ring. Very rarely it seems do we find hobbits that desire power, and the main power of the Rind seems to be to the domination of other wills. For this to happen, the wearer has to been his own will towards the domination of others. Hobbits appear for the most part to lack this characteristic, providing their protection
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Old 01-30-2002, 08:35 PM   #5
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If I am correct Hobbits never wanted to have power.They where always harmless little creatures who hated adventures.Im sure they had some kind of poer or something against the ring but they never did want it in the first place.After having it for a while they eventually grew twords it.Bilbo and Frodo both ened not wantin gto get rid of it.
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Old 06-18-2002, 08:19 PM   #6
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Hobbits are very content. They are happy and they have peace in their lives. Everything that they could possibly want or need is in their very own Shire. The Ring is like a burning glass by which all of the selfishness, greed, and desire to dominate can be brought into focus. As it's been said before, hobbits hate adventures or anything unexpected-- they are extremely unambitious. They are completely happy and do not need anything else to fulfill them. They have no desire to control others, nor do they (unlike Men),feel they need to prove themselves to anyone and become more powerful. Basically, it is because hobbits are so pure- they are full of innocent strength, humility, and goodness--that is why evil slow to destroy them.

Also, remember that the Ring gives the bearer power only according to his inherent strength. Hobbits are far less powerful, in the traditional sense. But they are powerful in their own special way--i've read somewhere that they are a "secret weapon" of Eru, who were kept hidden and only to be used when the time was right. And that is certainly true-- all the long years, Sauron and others more powerful had overlooked them, when finally, at the end of the Third Age, it is the small, "weaker" race who put a final end to the greatest menace in the world. On the surface, the Ring might seem more fit for someone stronger and wiser like Gandalf and Galadriel to handle, but it would turn them into monsters because of the inherent strenght and power.

"Yet such if oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere."
-Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond

[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Jessica Jade ]
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Old 06-18-2002, 09:02 PM   #7
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I'd add my voice to those that say it's simply because your average hobbit doesn't want power. For an example, look at Sam: he had the Ring on not five steps out of Mordor, it threw its entire will into convincing him, and yet his "hobbit-sense" reasserted itself, informing him that he was NOT fit to rule, thanks muchly, and all that he really wanted was his own garden.
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Old 06-18-2002, 09:34 PM   #8
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They are not troubled by the world's affairs and are not easily corrupted because they do not know how to be corrupt.
I would not say that they are entirely uncorruptable (read Sackville-Baggins).

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Also the Rings are more dangerous to the Elves because most of them have power of their own...
I think that has more to do with it. Hobbits have less power and power of a different kind.
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Old 06-18-2002, 10:15 PM   #9
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Sting

I've always thought of the hobbits like some kind of secret weapon. They lie low for a long time. And their skill in riddles and treading silenty. And in the Hobbit Bilbo had a keener sight and hearing then the dwarves. They save up these talents untill the world needs them most. And fate chooses the hobbits most worthy for each task. Bilbo to find the ring; Frodo to bear it; Sam to see the quest through; Merry to help slay the Witchking; Pippin...um...to give moral support [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] just kidding, Pippin did many small seemingly foolish things that in the end lead to a good purpose. I also find that the hobbits are terribly stubborn and this stubbornous my have helped their will to be stonger.
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Old 06-18-2002, 10:15 PM   #10
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Hobbits have less power and power of a different kind.
Interesting thought, Kuruharan! I'd never thought about it having to do with a sort of "power begets power" line-of-thought... [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]

I agree with most of what's already been said, but here's why I agree with it:

Hobbits represent children. (In my mind at least.) But think about it. (1) Tolkien initially invented Hobbits and "The Hobbit" as a story for his own children, (2) Pippen and Merry are the rambunctious children, (3) Sam is the dutiful, obedient child, (4) Frodo is the studious, serious child, and his plight with the Ring is all the more perilous because he risks losing his innocence (i.e. his childhood).

When I read the books and saw the movie, that's immediately what struck me and continued to hold throughout. Except for "Frodolijah" (someone on the "2 Frodos" thread came up with that nickname), who represented "The Everyman," in much the same way that Homer's Odysseus did. (This was more readily apparent in the movie than in the book, which is why I only attibute it to Frodolijah.)

Anyway, to answer your original question, Mayla, it is because they are innocent children that Hobbits are more able to resist the Ring. They are naive enough to not really be able to understand what it is that they could do with it, not to mention, as Naaramare has pointed out, they already have everything they could possibly want, right in their home in the Shire. Now when is the last time any grown-up remembers being completely satisfied like that? (Probably when you were a child, right?)
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Old 06-18-2002, 11:29 PM   #11
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I think it has not only to do with their lack of desire for world domination, but also within their everyday lives. Hobbits are very pure and lead simple lives for the most part. (Although there are some bad apples, but that does not make the whole tree rotten) This purity and simplicity I think helps them see right and wrong a lot clearer, so what say an Elf may question as to if it's better to do one thing, a hobbit won't think twice about it because it's just not right. I do not mean by any means that they do not think deeply, quite the contrary. I just feel they don't normally think themselves in circles on the most important matters because their hearts are so pure and true and untroubled by other cares elves and men might have.

Also, as Tolkien points out several times in the story...this task was appointed to Frodo, he did not want it. I think when that happens a person's true character comes out. Since Frodo is pure of heart and spirit, he sacrifices his...quality of life, to save the land and people he holds dear. Once he accepted, although there were many times he would have prefered to give the burden of the ring up, I do not think it was ever really a question of what he felt he needed to do. We didn't get to see this so much with Bilbo because although he kept the ring, he did not bear it into Mordor or try to destory it.

This also brings up an interesting thing about Gollum. He is the flip side of personality. The power of the ring brought out all the anger and hatred that he had held inside for years. He took it out on those he may but when he sees Frodo and Sam sleeping, he realizes what he has lost...that piece of humanity comes back for a brief moment and he wants to be a part of it, but then Sam wakes and he becomes more resolute in killing them. Again, the anger is what is brought out under the stress of the ring.

As for Pippin being drawn to the palantiri (excuse spelling, I don't have the book with me) I don't think that's the same thing. Pippin is always curious about everything...thus the number of times he's called "fool" by gandalf. The power of Sauron calling from that orb I think would affect someone differently than carrying the ring when you're resolute to destroy it. I think the question may have been much different if a different hobbit was in Frodo's place. Hobbits I think have some resilience beyond what other races have simply because they have been sheltered for so long and thus, again, the purity is still true.

Just my opinion. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] I just think it's more of an issue of the true personality underneath comming out under the stress and trauma of carrying the ring.
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Old 06-18-2002, 11:51 PM   #12
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Remember that there was one hobbit who actually had the Ring for many, many years. And he certainly wasn't a "good" hobbit even to begin with because he had murdered one of his own kind. Yet good or not, this hobbit had very simple ambitions.

When Gollum spoke with Frodo how they might have a happy life, he didn't talk about ruling or controlling or buiding a big empire. He described his great desire to have lovely big fish for three meals a day! Gollum's "sin" was in his desire for possession of the Ring, not in wanting to become a world ruler. In this desire for posession, Gollum and Bilbo were actually quite similar. Perhaps this possessiveness is more characteristic of hobbits, rather than a desire to rule their neighbors. (Lobelia's sins also seem to fall in this same category of greediness and possesiveness.)

So don't forget there were actually four hobbit Ringbearers of modest ambitions, not just three. If an Elf or Man had found the Ring in the river, rather than Smeagol, I dread to think what might have happened to Middle-earth, and how quickly Sauron might have recovered the Ring. So even Gollum, with his evil ways, was more resitent to the pull of the Ring than a Gandalf or Galadriel or Aragorn may have been.

Actually, if you stop and think about it, Bilbo and Gollum were also not too different in how they treated the Ring. They both kept it hidden at home and used it for their own little schemes. The difference lay not in how they used it or the size of their ambitions, but in how they acquired it and the extent of good or evil already in their soul.

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[ June 19, 2002: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 06-19-2002, 08:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
If an Elf or Man had found the Ring in the river, rather than Smeagol, I dread to think what might have happened to Middle-earth, and how quickly Sauron might have recovered the Ring. So even Gollum, with his evil ways, was more resitent to the pull of the Ring than a Gandalf or Galadriel or Aragorn may have been.
How do you mean? Do you mean that Sauron would have been able to 'detect' the Ring more easily if it were found by Elf or Man. Or do you mean that their nature would have fallen to the Ring more quickly.

Whether Sauron would have known if Gandalf, or Galadriel had found the Ring would not have had anything to do with the reletive evil of their natures, and everything to do with their native power. Beings of great power in Middle earth seem to have had some kind of connection to each other and be able to sense each other. Neither one of them could have come by the Ring without Sauron knowing it.

If Galadriel had fallen to the lure of the Ring she would have been beaten, but it may have taken awhile. Alas, for the poor folk of Middle earth it would not have made any difference, even if Galadriel had won (which she could not).

Gandalf is the only being ever mentioned to be capable of mastering the Ring and then going mano y mano against Sauron and winning. And even then the issue would have been in doubt, but while a tale of their clash would be interesting in itself it would make no material difference to anyone but the person of the victor.

I think that Aragorn is another story. He probably could have carried the Ring without Sauron knowing it, as long as he did not try to claim it. If Aragorn's will had fallen to the Ring then yes Sauron would have quickly recovered it. It was impossible for Aragorn to defeat Sauron by trying to use the Ring and the result of a clash like that would be inevitable.


Hmm, yes it's definitely a good thing that a hobbit found a ring. Thank goodness for Gollum.
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Old 06-19-2002, 12:52 PM   #14
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Kuruharan -- I feel that if a Man or Wizard or Elf had found the Ring, he or she would have been tempted to use it for some "major" schemes, perhaps ostensibly for the good. These major schemes would surely have come to the attention of Sauron. I didn't mean to explicitly limit this finding to Galadriel, Gandalf, or Aragorn. Simply that the races they represent would have likely used the ring in a different way than Gollum did. Gollum's use of the Ring actually protected and hid it a very long time from Sauron.

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Old 06-19-2002, 05:15 PM   #15
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Jessica Jade wrote:
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The Ring is like a burning glass by which all of the selfishness, greed, and desire to dominate can be brought into focus.
To my mind the Ring not only brings to light the darkest sides of the owner's nature, but also tends to fulfill his wishes (in it's own evil way). Thus Isildur, as a worrior, got killed in a battle. Smeagorl, who was after dark secrets and mysteries even before he got the Ring, got his share of darkness. Boromir wanted the Ring for nothing else than to defend his city and people. And perhaps the Ring would give him sich power, only to invite Sauron later, as he had been inviter to Numenor.
Now Bilbo, it seems to me, didn't dream of much else as to return safely from his adventure with the dwarfs (and the Ring helped a lot with that) and live happily ever after not being bothered by neighbours and relatives (for which purpose he also used the Ring). The same is true about Frodo, I mean the love for quiet life, plus the desire to rid the world of the Ring, which the Ring itself couldn't eventually beat.
So I support the idea that it was easier for hobbits to resist corruption thanks to their simple lives and pure minds. It's hard to speak for the whole people, but these two simply didn't have any of the desires that could be perverted by the Ring to its evil purpose.
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Old 06-19-2002, 06:46 PM   #16
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I don't think that furthering their major schemes would hold true for all humans. Remember that Hobbits are just little humans. I think that if most humans found the Ring, they would probably eventually end up in the condition of Gollum.

For one thing, I don't think that most Men would have the slightest idea what it was that they found. I doubt that Aragorn himself, if he had stumbled across it lying on the ground in the Wild, would have understood what it was. (Although everyone would have been in for quite a surprise the next time he went to Rivendell because Elrond at least would have recognized it.)

A human would, obviously, eventually figure out that the Ring made one invisible, but they would not necessarily know that they would be able to further their "big schemes" with it. (Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to obtain information.) They would probably go through a process similar to Gollum's and the one that was starting on Bilbo.

So, in short, the Ring might have been "safe" in the hands of a human for quite sometime.

An Elf on the other hand would probably be a different story altogether.

[ June 19, 2002: Message edited by: Kuruharan ]
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Old 06-19-2002, 07:12 PM   #17
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I think Hobbits have such a simple life and they care about other things like eating, gardens, family, etc. -- Which are much more important than power. They are happy with the lifes they have, and they dont need that power.
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Old 06-20-2002, 06:27 PM   #18
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Yes, basically it all comes down to the nature of hobbits-- hobbits live very simple lives, they are free from the weaknesses that bring ordinary humans down: jealousy, envy, corruption-- things that make kingdoms fall (Think Nmenor, the Oath of Fanor, etc etc)-they are not issues that hobbits have to deal with. And their pureness of heart is what enables them to take on the greatest evil and defeat it, because it takes a lot longer for evil to corrupt a pure, untainted heart and soul.
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Old 06-20-2002, 07:31 PM   #19
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Hmm, yes it's definitely a good thing that a hobbit found a ring. Thank goodness for Gollum.
But why did Gollum find the Ring? And for that matter, why did it leave Isildur's possession to begin with? Was it because of the Ring, itself? Or did it have more to do with Eru?
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Old 06-20-2002, 08:14 PM   #20
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I thought the ring slipped off Isildur's finger because it would always be trying to get back to its master. That was why Frodo wore it on a chain so that it could not slip off or fall out of a pocket or anything. Gollum isn't the one who found it, it was his friend, but the allure of the ring was so great that he killed his friend, or whatever you want to call him, for it. Although Gollum had a...less than pure heart when it comes to right and wrong, he was very self centered and did not see the world outside of his life, thus he dwelled in his cave for many years tormenting what creatures he could to take out his anger and frustrations until Bilbo came and found it. The ring "knew" Gollum was not going to take it out of his hole, so in order to get back to its master, it needed to be found and taken from the hole, which is exactly what happened. Although, if anyone knows more on the subject, please elaborate because I have not finished reading all of the books on Middle Earth's history. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 06-20-2002, 08:34 PM   #21
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A human would, obviously, eventually figure out that the Ring made one invisible, but they would not necessarily know that they would be able to further their "big schemes" with it. (Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to obtain information.) They would probably go through a process similar to Gollum's and the one that was starting on Bilbo.
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So, in short, the Ring might have been "safe" in the hands of a human for quite sometime.-Kuruharan
I disagree. Hobbits ARE like little people--little in stature and have little ambition. And the modest ambition is what makes ALL the difference. How many humans do you know want nothing more than to live in their own little neighborhood,never to leave, and are never curious about the outside world? How many humans do you know are completely content and fulfilled with their lives? The nature of humans differs from that of hobbits. Men are simply more audacious and have a lot more pride. Thus, the tendency to want to control or rule people, which is almost nonexistent in hobbits, is undoubtedly a part of humans, which would allow the Ring to consume them much more quickly.
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Old 06-20-2002, 11:30 PM   #22
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Karuharan -- I disagree with your contention that the Ring would have been "safe" with a human for many years, and that Aragorn would not have recognized it.

First, Aragorn was knowledgable about Elvish history and culture. He would probably have heard of the Elvish rings of power, and would have made the connection once he realized that this Ring had magical powers such as conferring invisibility. Aragorn would not realize it was THE Ring, any more than Gandalf initially did, but he would at least have recognized that it was a magic ring and that such items could be dangerous and powerful.

Secondly, just compare the history of hobbits and humans in the context of Middle-earth. There was only one known murder in all of hobbit history; the same can not be said of humans.

Tolkien felt that modern man was actually an amalgam of ancient Elf, Hobbit, and Man. Each of these Middle-earth residents represented a different side of modern man's personality. The hobbit side was gentle, childlike and fun-loving. Hobbits definitely had faults, but they were not the faults of those who sought great power. Hence, the Ring would have less influence on Hobbits than on Man or Elf.

Moreover, Hobbit "government" in the Shire was local and decentralized so there was, by default, more individual freedom. There was really no central auhority to come in and confiscate a Ring. A wealthy hobbit might offer money or riches for the ring to a poor hobbit, but there was no all powerful leader who would have the innate authority to confiscate it.

Compare that with humans in Middle-earth. Human society generally had more centralized authority whether in Rohan or Gondor. Men generally lived under a King or a Lord. You can bet the moment the ruler heard about a ring that made one invisible, he would find some pretext for investigating and confiscating it. And if a ruler with ambition got the Ring, even if he didn't initially know its powers, he would inevitably be corrupted by it.

sharon, the 7th age hobbit
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Old 07-02-2002, 03:41 PM   #23
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I agree with Rosie,
Was Gollum not some sort of Hobbit? He was yet he was full of mischief. And when he got hold of him he used it for evil. Pippin was quite mischievous and he wanted the Palantier so badly after he had touched it. It had already influenced his mind. And even though Pippin was related to the Bagginses. His mischief led his influence. I think it is the ring, if you will, that is more like the Devil. It is more prone to influence those that are more prone to do bad (like Pippin) or have the power to do so, than those that are more prone to do good (like Frodo).
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Old 07-03-2002, 01:19 AM   #24
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Although this doesn't bring us any closer to a conclusion, I find it interesting that many of the arguments here about the desire for power bear a certain similarity to Boromir's theory of the Ring.

Quote:
"Gandalf, Elrond, all these folk have taught you to say so [that everything done with the Ring turns to evil]. For themselves they may be right. These elves and half-elves and wizards, they would come to grief perhaps. ... But each to his own kind. True-hearted Men, they will not be corrupted. We of Minas Tirith have been staunch through long years of trial. We do not desire the power of wizard-lords, only strength to defend ourselves, strength in a just cause.
Obviously, he's not the best source for information on the thing, and I'm pretty sure that if he had succeeded in claiming the Ring it would have led to disaster just as it would have if Galadriel or Gandalf had done so. But he specifically disclaims the desire for power. It's quite possible that he's entirely wrong about himself--we know he wants to be king, and also that the desire for power diguises itself. If nothing else, however, this suggests to me that Men are as vulnerable to it as Elves, and that they (or some of them) are more likely to attempt to use it for grand schemes than hobbits are. This may have to do with Child's point about hobbit government and Jessica's about the smallness of their vision.

Interesting, as well, to think that the Ring doesn't actually have less effect on hobbits, but that they simply behave differently. Hmmm.

--Belin Ibaimendi

[ July 03, 2002: Message edited by: Belin ]
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