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Here is a fun little topic to discuss I suppose, just thought it up :mrgreen: . Here is my main question, if Frodo kept the Ring just as Gollum had, would he have been utterly consumed by its power, or would he still appear as a Hobbit, and not go into the wretched state of Gollum?

Another Question: Is it really the corruption of Men/Other Races of Middle Earth, or is it truly the Power that the Ring holds?

Is it truly Gollum's fault for ending up the way he is, or was he just simply misguided, and rejected by those around him? Was it Gollum's own weakness that he turned to who he is, or was it the Ring's power?

For, it does seem Gollum is meant to have a rather weak character and personality, and the Ring seems to have the exact opposite effect on Bilbo, (Who has a very strong character, portrayed by Tolkien), it advances his life, but he looks much younger then he actually is, and once he loses the Ring, he ages dramatically, as opposed to Gollum... so apparently the Ring's power can change over time? Or, does it depend on the Character of the bearer?


Another Question: How does the ring have effect on the Istari? Saruman obviously has fell under its sway, and even Gandalf seems weary of it, it even having a weakening effect on himself.

Sauron is some kind of immortal spirit, but so are the Istari. And if I do recall, Saruman was the strongest of the Istari, so how could he of all be corrupted by Sauron, who was just as himself, (perhaps), but had a Darker side?

Well, that's all I have to ask you on this, but I think I may have another topic coming up soon with another question.

Thanks for Reading :P .

[b:3lunxy3o]LITD[/b:3lunxy3o]


EDIT: Sorry if some of the questions were somewhat repetitive, they were all on the same topic, did the best I could. :oops:
Let's see if I can answer this without writing an epistle...

Question:
[quote="Light In The Dark":2djjlbwu]If Frodo kept the Ring just as Gollum had, would he have been utterly consumed by its power, or would he still appear as a Hobbit, and not go into the wretched state of Gollum?[/quote:2djjlbwu]

Answer:
Physically, after hundreds of years, Frodo's bodily changes are somewhat unpredictable. Gollum was in possession of the Ring for hundreds of years, while Bilbo had it for less than 100. This means that the Ring, after it left Gollum, left a more profound effect on Gollum than it did on Bilbo. The Ring was what was keeping Gollum alive, since the Ring was 99% of who he was. But the Ring could not hold onto Bilbo, and he slipped into normal life (and the normal aging process) quite easily. So, although each person is different, if Frodo had held the Ring for as long as Gollum did, and then lost it, then he would have turned out quite a lot like Gollum.

Question:
[quote="Light In The Dark":2djjlbwu]Is it really the corruption of Men/Other Races of Middle Earth, or is it truly the Power that the Ring holds?[/quote:2djjlbwu]

I'm not 100% sure of what the question is, so I'll rephrase it into what I think you mean: When men possess the Ring, is it the Ring that corrupts them, or their own "sin" (if you will) and desire that corrupts them?
Answer:
I look at it this way. The Ring has a certain amount of evil power in it. It is constant. Every person and being in Middle Earth has a different amount of power to stop the power of the Ring. Hobbits, as a rule, are very resilient and immune (though not totally) to the Ring's power. On the other end of the scales, Men are some of the weakest creatures in this respect. So, although a Man's intentions may be right, he has little power to resist the Ring, and the Ring doesn't have much trouble subduing him. So where does the corruption itself come from? Does it come from the Ring, or does the Ring merely awaken the "sin" in the bearer's heart? Putting my Christianity aside, and looking at Middle-Earth as neutrally as I can, I believe that Tolkien intended that it was the Ring that corrupted beings. The Ring gave the bearer power, and as the saying goes, "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." So, the actual corrupting was done by the Ring, but the resistance was put up by the individual, and the individual was responsible for how much of a resistance they put up.

Question:
[quote="Light In The Dark":2djjlbwu]Is it truly Gollum's fault for ending up the way he is, or was he just simply misguided, and rejected by those around him? Was it Gollum's own weakness that he turned to who he is, or was it the Ring's power?[/quote:2djjlbwu]

Answer: Although this is much like the last question, it deserves answering because it deals with a specific example. I believe that it was not Gollum's fault for becoming corrupted, but it was his responsibilyt to hold out against the Ring as much as possible. He failed in this respect. He pretty much sold himself to the Ring the moment he saw it. But one must remember: So did Deagol. Deagol was actually the first to see it, and the first to sell himself to it. Either:
1. Gollum happened to be faster and stronger that day.
2. The Ring sensed more weakness in Gollum than it did in Deagol, so it forsook Deagol and chose Gollum.
or
3. The Valar (or Iluvatar) was overseeing the whole thing, and that power saw something in Smeagol (Gollum) that would, in the end, save the world. Perhaps if Deagol had retained possession of it, he would have died after losing the Ring, and consequently Frodo would have become a Dark Lord because there was no one to take the Ring from him at the end. Or maybe Sam would have done the hardest thing in the world. Perhaps Sam would have taken hold of Frodo and the Ring, and would have thrown all three (himself, Frodo, and the Ring) into the fire. We'll never know.
I also must address your question about Gollum's depravity being somewhat caused by those around him (who banished him). This was not Gollum's fault, and this was not Gollum's family's fault. This was the Ring's fault. Although Gollum maybe could have held out a little longer against the Ring, ultimately he would have fallen, and he would have been banished anyways. His family was merely doing what was best for the clan.

[quote="Light In The Dark":2djjlbwu]For, it does seem Gollum is meant to have a rather weak character and personality, and the Ring seems to have the exact opposite effect on Bilbo, (Who has a very strong character, portrayed by Tolkien), it advances his life, but he looks much younger then he actually is, and once he loses the Ring, he ages dramatically, as opposed to Gollum... so apparently the Ring's power can change over time? Or, does it depend on the Character of the bearer?[/quote:2djjlbwu]

Like I said earlier, the effect on Bilbo and the effect on Gollum were different, firstly, because of the time period that each held the Ring. But I also do believe that the effect that the Ring has on a person varies from person to person, if only slightly. This is because everyone has different "Firewalls" (if you will) against the Ring. Some are made of paper, some made of solid granite. So, even though the Ring will eventually conquer anyone who possesses it (except the Valar, Iluvatar, or Bombadil), the effect it has on them depends on how strong their original firewall was.

Question:
[quote="Light In The Dark":2djjlbwu]How does the ring have effect on the Istari? Saruman obviously has fell under its sway, and even Gandalf seems weary of it, it even having a weakening effect on himself.[/quote:2djjlbwu]

Answer: We really don't know much about the firewalls that the Istari have. But we do know that, if an Istari were to possess It long enough to break down the wall, then it would wield terrible power, since the Istari are messengers and helpers sent from the Valar and bestowed with certain Valar powers.

[quote="Light In The Dark":2djjlbwu]Sauron is some kind of immortal spirit, but so are the Istari. And if I do recall, Saruman was the strongest of the Istari, so how could he of all be corrupted by Sauron, who was just as himself, (perhaps), but had a Darker side?[/quote:2djjlbwu]

Sauron was more powerful than the Istari (I believe). Sauron was, in the hierarchy, essentially one step down from being one of the Valar. I do not believe that the Istari were this powerful. The Valar did not want to come themselves to Middle-Earth and settle all the troubles, because they wanted the inhabitants to own Middle-Earth for themselves. The Valar didn't want to just come in every time Middle-Earth needed help. But they knew that there were certain odds that the inhabitants of Middle-Earth could never overcome. So, instead of coming themselves, they sent as much help as they, in their wisdom, thought fit to send. Although I have no proof that Sauron was more powerful than the Istari, it just is the most logical. If the Valar sent the second-most powerful, then they might as well have come themselves. No, they decided to help Middle-Earth out just enough to get it through the night.
So how could have Saruman, the most powerful of the Istari, have been corrupted by Sauron? Well, I believe that he wasn't. He was corrupted by being hungry for power. For, again, "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Saruman, by no means, had absolute power, so this suggests that Saruman was not wholly corrupted, and that there was some hope for him. That was why Gandalf let him go free. He, much like Gollum, needed to at least be afforded the opportunity to change and come back to the light.

If I didn't cover something, let me know <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />.
[quote="Beren":2s56opbz]

If I didn't cover something, let me know <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />.[/quote:2s56opbz]

Ah, I see, very interesting answers, much appreciated. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> .

I will be sure to whip up some new questions on here soon... "You are not Prepared." :oops:
Thanks to Beren, I can rest my tired fingers and brain <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . Kudos are in order for that brilliant response :ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek: . I don't have anything to add, and I agree with all of your answers Beren :mrgreen: .

[b:22ux23r0]GB[/b:22ux23r0]
As I understand the Silmarillion, the istari are simply a handful of Maiar spirits, just like Sauron was a Maiar spirit. And for that matter, so was the Balrog. What we tend to forget (me included) in times like this, is that even though they are the same race, that doesn't mean they are equal.
Professional wrestlers are humans too, but I don't think I would fair very well in a fight against them.
Also, when comparing Gandalf vs Sauron, consider their Valar teachers. Sauron originally served with Aule, the smith. His expertise was swayed by Morgoth and spent Millenia crafting war and violence.
Gandalf studied under Manwe and Nienna, [i:1md5e3g9]if wikipedia serves me, as my memory at this time can not[/i:1md5e3g9] Valar of wisdom and mercy, not war.
Perhaps a Maiar under the tutaledge of Tulkas could have matched Sauron in battle.
The ring easily could affect Gandalf because of what Sauron did. Sauron poured his heart and soul into making the ring. In a seemingly literal sense. The evil of the ring isn't so much the evil of the [b:1md5e3g9]ring[/b:1md5e3g9], but really it is the evil of [b:1md5e3g9]Sauron[/b:1md5e3g9]. Originally the Ring was made to control many other rings of power. And full dominance is not done by simply out powering the other by a little bit. Powerful tyrants (like Sauron) would not simply make his ring a little more powerful than the other. He needed a ring of [b:1md5e3g9]overwhelming[/b:1md5e3g9] strength.
Now considering the rings potential effects on Bilbo and/or Frodo in the future. I believe they would have shriveled up and become just as twisted as Gollum, it just might have taken longer.
Tolkien gave us an explanation of this with the ringwraiths. The nine mortals did not all come under their rings sway at the same time. I'll paraphrase how the book put it, they fell to the rings in their own time according to their stature and virtue. But in the end, the ring would always win.
Even the dwarves fell for it. While they didn't allow for direct control like the ringwraiths, the possesers of the seven were overcome with greed that would eventually lead to their demise. And often the demise of their people.
Regarding the dwarves not coming under the sway, remember to consider their creation. Aule created the dwarves, not Eru. And Aule created them with the added purpose of living in a world that Morgoth was in the process of corrupting. So he made them extra resiliant.

Regarding Bilbo still looking young. While 111 is old for a hobbit, it's still within a potential lifespan for his race. Gollum is long past the point he should have died. I think, after a long enough time, you would have seen the same thing with Bilbo. His fear of losing the ring was the early signs of a growing paranoia. Eventually he would stay inside an sercure and protect his "precious".
I think Andy Serkis' motivation he put into his character was a perfect fit. He played Gollum like an addict. Someone who needed his fix.
[quote="Show":1ksmckrd]The evil of the ring isn't so much the evil of the [b:1ksmckrd]ring[/b:1ksmckrd], but really it is the evil of [b:1ksmckrd]Sauron[/b:1ksmckrd].[/quote:1ksmckrd]

This is one thing I forgot to mention. Yes, "They are one: The Ring, and the Dark Lord." (FOTR) It's like they're married. They are "two and yet at the same time one." (Hunchback). So they are separate characters in the story, but their being and their entity are one and the same.
I dont believe sauron actually was more powerful than saruman. What we have to remember is that the valar were of the opinion that matching power with power would not work, this based on thier previous encounter with morgoth in which most of beleriand was destroyed. Instead they sought to rise the power of men against sauron and so defeat him with the power of the masses.

To this end they sent the 5 istarii in the guise of men, whilst they still maintained thier imortality thier powers were considerably weakened. As it was specifically stated they were not allowed to match thier power against sauron. In the state of men they also had the weakneses of men. This is most clear in saruman as his lust for the ring far predates his connection with sauron via the palantir. It is stated in the apendixes that Saruman specifically delayed the eviction of the Necromancer from Dol'Guldur so as to afford more time to search the rivers around the gladden fields for the ring. This is noted by Gandalf during the lord of the rings when he notices Isildurs armour on display in orthanc. However in unfinished tails some characteristics of the istarii are comented on most noticeably the fact that Saruman has been asked to take Radagast with him and even then he shows disdain and contempt for his weakness towards animals, this also shows an unwilling ness to co-operate with others towards an end, instead preferring to go it alone. This shows up later in Radagasts supposed corruption and his adandonment of his duties to commune with nature.

We know also that he is full of pride. This can be seen by his illusion of contestance with Gandalf for the leadership of the Istarii. This most likely starts from the creation of the order as it is deemed that he is the leader, but later Gandalf is forced into the order against his own will. Saruman feels that this is a challenge to his leadership as clearly the Valar are of the impression that Saruman is no match for Sauron alone and so requires aid from Gandalf, this plays upon Sarumans pride and his unwillingness to co-operate. This ill will is of course further exacerbated by Cirdans giving of Narnya, the Elvish ring of fire, to Gandalf over Saruman.

So we know of his character that even as a maiar he had no love for nature and was very proud, this perception being honed by his human spirit to a lust for power and dominion over lesser people. However as a man his powers were confined and so it is no surprise that he could not withstand saurons might.

Gandalf on the other hand was the only Istarii who had no desire to go to middle earth he only went under the specific command of Manwe. This may explain his ability to stick to his duties most of all the istarii as he wishes to return to Aman, the only way to do so is having defeated Sauron for good.

It is interesting to note that in all this Saruman was selected to go to middle earth by Aule imply that he was a Maiar of Aule and so of the same background as Sauron himself. It is also noted that Saruman voluntered along with Alatar, one of the blue wizards, to go where as Gandalf was specifically selected by Manwe despite professing to being scared of Sauron. This implys that Saruman would have many of the same traits as Sauron, he is also of the opinion that he is a match for Sauron. showing his characteristic pride and perhaps some oversight. Gandalf on the other hand exhibits the ability to overcome adversity, real or imagined, and so earn his victory.

I dont know if what I have said is helpful, relevant or even coherent as I seem to have rambled but nvm.
One small comment on the difference between Bilbo and Gollum:

Gollum starts his acquaintance with the ring with violence - Bilbo doesn't. So you might say that the Ring gets a head start on Gollum.
I think that was due to Smeagol and Deagol's weaker characters (bad genetics probably due to inbreeding <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ). So they were far more susceptible to the Ring's corrupting influence. Bilbo and Frodo had exceptionally strong, positive personalities and were thus very incorruptible. The Ring didn't take Frodo until it was at full strength being near it's birthplace and sensing it's potential Doom.

[b:13yahzok]GB[/b:13yahzok]
[quote="Elladan":2cd878qs]I dont believe sauron actually was more powerful than saruman. ... they sent the 5 istarii in the guise of men, whilst they still maintained thier imortality thier powers were considerably weakened. [/quote:2cd878qs]

That's an interesting point, but I feel that in the end it is somewhat irrelevant. Neither Saruman's military might nor his "mental powers" were superior to Sauron (UT-The Palantiri). So regardless of Saruman's native power when in Valinor, he as an Istari was weaker than Sauron (who had himself lost some of his native power, though for different reasons).

[quote:2cd878qs]when he notices Isildurs armour on display in orthanc.[/quote:2cd878qs]

I'm afraid I don't recall that, do you know when it was?