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Thread: What if...

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My friend and I were having a very inspiring conversation on the phone last night. She was asking me what would've happened if the Ring had somehow fallen into Boromir's hands, and he had wielded it to kill off Aragorn and the rest of the Fellowship.

I answered: He goes back to Gondor, and sees his father Denethor, of course. Then, Denethor would want the Ring, and Boromir wouldn't give it up. Then one of them would die (or maybe both) and the one left with the Ring would rule Gondor. First, he'd try to get rid of Mordor, and assuming he did get rid of Sauron and Saruman, he will own ME. Then, they'll start killing Rohan, Shire, and all the other places (save Gondor). In the end, someone may cut the Ring off his finger, or ME itself will burst from environmental problems and everyone will go KABOOM!

OR

He gets the Ring, is crazy for hatred against Sauron, so goes to challenge Sauron in Mordor. But between Sauron and a Ring-wielding Boromir, I think Sauron would definately win the duel. And well...he'd get the Ring back...

Then she asked me what would've happened if Faramir took the Ring.

I reply: faramir knows what would happen if he took the Ring, so he would not take it.

She says: then what does he know would happen?

I answer: He would not be able to resist, and he will put on the Ring.

She: But Faramir's such an honorable person, he wouldnt do bad things with the Ring, especially if he knew that the Ring was trying to tempt him.

Me: The Ring would the find more subtle ways to tempt him. If it can't use his love for Gondor, then it will use his love for his family (especially the father). If even that does not work, then it will work on his love for honor and virtue. When a person wears the Ring, I think the Ring could show you what it wanted you to see, and what it didn't want you to see it would screen from your eyes. Then it could wash most things of light from your mind.

She: Faramir would never forget the memory of beauty and good.

I: But he would be very lost if his found out that his whole idea of "good and fair" was actually all false. If everything he based his knowledge upon was challenged and turned upside down. If Manwe and Varda were slandered beyond thought, and all the heroes he'd grown up hearing about were but cowards.

She: OK, you win. Why doesn't the Ring turn traitor against Sauron, though, if it has a mind of its own?

I: It cannot turn against him, because it will be destroyed with him.

She: ...

I: The Ring affects those who have desires that, no matter how twisted, are not selfish. The Ring affects those who love (or think to love) something other than themselves.

Good argument.

And, of course, the minute someone put the Ring on the Ringwraiths would hunt them down and slaughter him/her. And the Ring wants to get back to Sauron so it would probably persuade the wearer to do something stupid like wearing it or rushing to Mordor for revenge...

Gee, Cloveress's parents are sure gonna like the phone bill.

Boromir with the Ring wouldn't be able to topple Sauron. No one but the Istari wielding the Ring would be able to topple Sauron, although Sauron was defeated by Gil-galad and Elendil but that happened only because Sauron was with his back against the wall and had no more troops. That would not happen anymore during the events of LOTR.
The Ring would destroy Boromir's mind and turn him into nothing more than a slave to the Ring. Sauron would simply retrieve it without much problems. That's what he was counting on, for someone to use his Ring.

He was not counting, though, on the fact that Isildúr's Heir was still alive and kicking, because this one wielding the Ring could pose a serious threat - Sauron remembered the sword that had once exposed his entrails. That's why he immediately decided to cross the Rubicon.

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And, of course, the minute someone put the Ring on the Ringwraiths would hunt them down and slaughter him/her.

No, they'd turn him/her into a Ringwraith too. Like they tried to do with Frodo.
That was an either/or, I think, Vir: "we'll try to kill him and take the Ring, but even if we just manage to wound him THAT will ultimately turn him into a wraith, and then Master gets his Ring back, too." It's a good thing Elrond was such a good healer though or otherwise there'd have been a nasty little Hobbitwraith running around Rivendell in the interim, one that put Gollum shame.

I think you pretty well covered it, Cloveress; someone bearing the Ring can't turn it to good, only resist it's ability to turn them to evil for varying durations but inevitable and universal failure. Theoretically the power of a Maia can't dominate or even subvert a Vala/i in that way, but that's about it. And I agree (for the most part) with Virumor about who can and can't challenge Sauron with the Ring; I think Galadriel MIGHT be able to, but if so even she would prob'ly get torn up doing it.

And, Vir, I don't know where you OR Cloveress are, but in the States local calls run a flat rate regardless of length.
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No one but the Istari wielding the Ring would be able to topple Sauron,
And even Gandalf was wise enough to know that after he toppled Sauron sooner or later there would come a time when, even though he was trying to do good with the Ring, he would be corrupted by it, and everything he did with it from then on would be evil. This is why he refused to take the Ring when Frodo offered it to him and forbear to even touch it.
There is one issue though. If Gandalf topples Sauron with the Ring, wouldn't the Ring itself have to be destroyed? Because the Ring is a part of Sauron, and to destroy one of them would mean to destroy the other.
Toppling doesn't necessarily mean destroying.

Sauron could never be destroyed. Destroying the Ring didn't destroy him, it merely turned him into a helpless, weak spirit which would never be able to take form anymore, bound forever to haunt the house of Auntie Smith.

Toppling Sauron with the Ring would only mean that Sauron would pop up again a couple of thousand years later, just like after his body was destroyed when Númenor sank under the waves and after Gil-galad and Elendil pulled him to pieces.
Point taken, Vir. But what do you mean by Auntie Smith? Sauron in the fields of Palurien?
Pal- what?
*sing song" i kow something that Vir does not~~ I know something that Vir does not~~!!*singsong finished*

FYI, Palurien, as I'm sure many here who have read the HoME will be able to tell you, is the former name for Yavanna and I think it means lady of magic or something.
Lady of Magic?! There is no magic in JRRT's works, only art.

Thank you, though, for adding another murky name to my database.
Palurien means 'Lady of the Wide Earth'.
Whoops! But Tolkien did mention that Palurien was mother of magic and a great weaver of spells in HoMe (I think it was either the Shaping of Middle Earth or the Book of Lost Tales I)
Oh, so that's why she got burnt at the stake then.
No, it was because she was made of wood, and weighed less than a duck. And I believe it is in LT I, but don't quote me. My main reason for thinking that is that I've read LT I and recognized the name. My general rule of thumb is that when you think you've caught Vir out, check again; be VERY sure of your facts, because he generally is (the lousy so-and-so. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie )
Oh well, luckily HOME isn't canon, eh? ;-P
hm, what would have happened if Faramier took the ring?

First, I have to ask what would have had to have happened for Faramir to take the ring? Since he doesn't take it the way things stand in the book, what different turn of events would have convinced him to take it? Is there any circumstance in which someone of his character would put it on? And if there were a case, wouldn't it look more like what happened when Sam took the ring from Frodo than when, say, Gollum took the ring from Deagol? I mean to say -- Faramir would have to have a sense that he was taking the ring in order to complete the quest Mithrandir sent it on, and the previous ringbearer's death (or apparent death) would probably be involved, but not by Faramir's hand.

In any case if no hobbit be found to carry it inside Mordor, the quest probably would have failed. Where hobbits have trouble going unnoticed, men have little chance at all.
Had Faramir come upon the bodies of Sam, Frodo, and Gollum after their eating tainted conie (or having been despoiled by orcs who hadn't got the word to take all they carried back to the Nazgul) and he found the ring, he not knowing what it was, would have taken it back to Minas Tirith and until the ring started working its malice on him, nothing probably would have happened until Gandalf and Pippin showed up on his doorstep. Of course if he had chanced to put the ring on his finger in the presence of any of his men, or if they had found it and not brought it to his attention, then those are a few threads leading to other stories.