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Lord of the Rings question..... (1 Viewer)

Dome Vongvises

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I've read Tolkien's magnificent book series compleletly twice now, and I'm halfway through my third run (almost finished with the Two Towers). In all my readings, I never once questioned the power of the One Ring. However, it occured to me that I had absolutely no clue why the One Ring was so damn powerful. It's pretty obvious Sauron had it at one time and easily lost it. What's the danger of him getting it again? That question never occured to me until recently.
 

andrew markworthy

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The idea of a single object into which is invested a particular person's power is a common one in mythology. The idea is that without it they are very powerful (because they draw on the power from a distance) but may be defeated, but with it they are totally invincible. So, in the case of Sauron, if he gets the ring on his finger again, he will be invincible, whereas whilst he is without it, he is powerful, since he draws on the power from a distance. Incidentally, he didn't lose it easily - if memory serves correctly, he lost it in battle following combat with one of the early heros of Middle Earth.

Actually, there's another inconsistency in LOTR which has always bugged me:

Frodo and Sam are eventually rescued by that giant eagle and flown back from Mount Doom all the way to safety. Why didn't they simply get an eagle to fly them to Mount Doom in the first place?
 

Mark Lee

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Wouldn't doing that have drawn Sauron's attention just a bit? I mean, two insignificant hobbits crawling over the rocks and dirt of Mordor is one thing, two hobbits riding a giant eagle coming in for a two-point landing on the crest of Mount Doom....now that's something else.
 

TheoGB

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Andrew I think the point is that with Sauron defeated, there is no longer any kind of coherent threat within Mordor. Before that I would think the Nazgul's flying mounts (I'm sure they had some, didn't they) would have intercepted the eagles. Also the eagles grudging got involved. After Sauron's defeat they would be feeling 'good' towards the hobbits maybe...

I think the point about the ring is that Sauron invests his own power into it so it is a part of him in an inanimate object - presumably the only way he could control the other rings.
I have never presumed that he would be invicible if he got the ring, even if that is the language they use, but I think the suggestion is that with the Elves fading there was little hope of a similar mighty battle to wrest the ring from Sauron succeeding. At the end of the day, however, empires fall and over a large timescale Sauron would lose power again for sure. :)
 

Danny R

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Remember that once the One Ring was destroyed, the power of the Three also went.

Since the elves departed Middle Earth after this time, its reasonable to assume that much of their power till that time was due to their dependence upon their own rings in sustaining their realms. After all, most of the crafters who created the rings (and other great elvish works like the Silmarils) were dead now. Thus the Elvish rings held most of the elvish power that remained in middle earth.

So should Sauron have regained the One, not only would his power grow immensely, but the elves would lose what power they retained once they lost the use of their own rings.
 

Dome Vongvises

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but I think the suggestion is that with the Elves fading there was little hope of a similar mighty battle to wrest the ring from Sauron succeeding.
I never really thought of it that way. You're right Theo, it's like saying all the "old school" dudes with their wisdom who knew how to fight a certain type of war with Sauron were gone.
 

Mike Broadman

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The whole thing was an ancient trick by Sauron. Before he revealed himself as a Big Nasty Bad Guy, he was friendly with the ancients. He taught them how to forge rings of power, which the most powerful people of the time used to weild power. Sauron then pulled a quick one by creating "one ring to rule them all."

At the time of the Lord of the Rings story, the only other rings we know are not in the grasp of Sauron at some point are the elven rings, which give power to the "good guys." If Sauron got the One, the most powerful sources of magic in Middle-Earth would be corrupted to his gain.

However, with the destrution of the One, the three diminish as well. It is why, no matter what had happened, the Elves could not stay in Middle Earth, and it was a bittersweet ending. This is why Galadriel said Frodo was bringing their doom upon them, yet they must help him.
 

John Garcia

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Umm, Sauron was taught how to make the rings, he did not teach others how to make them. Once he mastered the skill, he went on to eventually make The One.

which give power to the "good guys."
I don't think any of the rings besides The One, are truly evil. They take on the temperament of the wearer, just as The One does. However, The One IS evil, and no matter the good or strength of the bearer/wearer, they will eventually be destroyed by it, as can be seen in everyone who has possessed it since it was taken from Sauron. Gollum is the best example, but so are Isuldur and Bilbo.

The other rings were given with the intent that The One would give Sauron control over them.

Sauron is certainly not invincible with the ring in his possession, or it would never have been taken from him in the first place.
 

Jeff Kleist

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Brian, I'm guessing Elrong just gave him another one. The staff is just something that focuses his power, it is not the power itself
 

Mike Broadman

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Umm, Sauron was taught how to make the rings, he did not teach others how to make them. Once he mastered the skill, he went on to eventually make The One.
Are you sure? I could swear that Sauron taught the elves, men, and dwarf kings/leaders to make magic rings as a "gift" from a higher being (Maia) to the younger races.

Gandalf's staff: if the guy could get his body back, surely the staff is an insignificant point.
 

John Garcia

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I'm pretty sure, but not 100%. I just finished re-reading Fellowship, and it said Sauron was taught (by the dwarves if Moria, I think) the craft of ring making. However, he did pose himself as a friend at the time, to learn this skill. I believe it said he had all the rings of power made (not sure if he made them or not), and made The One himself. They were given as gifts to the leaders of the various races, without their knowledge of The One.

with the race of men being the first to succumb, and eventually become the wraiths, and eventually Nazgul's mounts

I think he underestimated what would happen when certain ring bearers wore the rings, such as Elrond and Galadriel. The fact that he could not control them just through the power of The One leads me to believe that the other rings are not evil.
 

Danny R

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Umm, Sauron was taught how to make the rings, he did not teach others how to make them.

Actually the academic credit belongs to BOTH Sauron and the elves. His knowlege was essential for the first rings to be made, as was the knowlege held by the elves. In fact ALL of the rings, save the Three, had Sauron's help in their creation. The elves weren't making rings before he came around. Thus it was something of a joint project till the end.

The only rings created exclusively of each other are the Three elvish rings, and One Ring to rule them all.

by the dwarves if Moria, I think

The Dwarves were given their rings by Sauron.
 

Danny R

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I'm sure the dwarves helped in teaching the elves something, but nothing I've read indicates they played a direct part in the creation of the actual rings.

The only quote I've found associating the dwarves with the elves who made the rings is this, that Ost-in-Edhil was located near the west gate of Moria, and the elves and dwarves worked together for the "enrichment of both peoples".
 

TheoGB

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My LOTR:FOTR question has always been how did gandolf get his staff back?
This has been covered before and it was claimed that the two staves are different. I believe it says so in the book and I think that it is visible through comparisons in pictures from the film.
 

Dome Vongvises

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If the One ring had that much dominion over the other rings of power that were forged, how was the Last Alliance of Elves and Men able to wrestle the ring from Sauron? You'd think that the good races were pretty screwed at this point, but somehow, they Isildur was able to get it still from Sauron.
 

Holadem

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Actually the academic credit belongs to BOTH Sauron and the elves.
While I am sure this is true, I have always been under the impression that Sauron was more of a student than the elves. He learnt, then deceived and betrayed them. But three of the rings they managed to keep from his touch.
I never made it through the end of the Silmarillion, is the forging of the rings detailed in it?
You know what would be great? If Peter Jackson made a Prequel. That would feature Morgoth and Thangorodrim, the Fall of Numenor, the arrival of the three wizard, etc... and of Course the Last Alliance and the Battle of Dargolad (sp?)... I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it :D
--
Holadem
 

Danny R

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While I am sure this is true, I have always been under the impression that Sauron was more of a student than the elves. He learnt, then deceived and betrayed them. But three of the rings they managed to keep from his touch.
I never made it through the end of the Silmarillion, is the forging of the rings detailed in it?

Yes, this comes from the Silmarillion:
It was in Eregion that the counsels of Sauron were most gladly recieved, for in that land the Noldor desired ever to increase the skill and subtlety of their works.
...
Therefore they hearkened to Sauron, and they learned of him many things, for his knowledge was great. In those days the smiths of Ost-in-Edhil surpassed all that they had contrived before; and they took thought, and they made Rings of Power. But Sauron guided their labours, and he was aware of all that they did; for his desire was to set a bond upon the Elves and to bring them under his vigilance.
Thus I think its clear that the rings were certainly a creation of both Sauron and the elves. Their idea perhaps, but incorporating the powers that Sauron was teaching them.
This is part of the reason why his One Ring could control all the others, because the programming the Elvish used was supplied by a 3rd party and had a backdoor password that allowed Sauron to hack into their processes and use them for his own compiles. ;)
 

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