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In The Prancing Pony under I'm New:
Adweena Posted Wednesday 7th April 2004 (12:52am)


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by the way does anybody know any of the elf, men or dwarve ringbearers? any help will be appreciated


I think this fits better as a thread of its own.
And in reply:
Gildor inglorion Posted Wednesday 7th April 2004 (12:21pm)

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In response to Adweena (welcome to PT btw ), here ar the ringbearers that l know:

Elven Rings:

Nenya the Ring of Water was carried eastward from Eregion by Galadriel, who crossed the mountains and settled in the land of Lórien. Narya and Vilya had already been sent into the north by Celebrimbor, and were in the safekeeping of High King Gil-galad.Galadriel kept her Elven-ring throughout the later years of the Second Age, and the duration of the Third. Gil-galad gave his rings to lords in his service - Narya to Círdan at the Grey Havens, and Vilya to Elrond, who used it to found a haven of his own against Sauron in the midst of Eriador - Imladris, that Men came to call Rivendell. Círdan, too, passed on his Ring, to a Grey stranger who sailed into his havens out of the West, who would come to be known in later legends as Mithrandir, or Gandalf.

Dwarve Rings

Of the Dwarvebearers l only know 1: The Last Ring of the Dwarves. It was originally given to King Durin III of Khazad-dûm by the Elves of Eregion, and it remained in his line for thousands of years until it was inherited by Thrór, the King under the Mountain at Erebor. It was during Thrór's reign that Smaug descended on Erebor and drove the Dwarves into exile. Long after Erebor's destruction, Thrór passed the Ring to his son Thráin, who dwelt for many years as an exile from his ancient home. At last, Thráin set out on his own ill-fated Quest of Erebor, but he was captured by the spies of Sauron, and the Ring of Thrór was lost.

Men Rings

The Rings of Men were of: Khamûl, Murazor (the Witch-king himself), Dwar, Ji Indur, Akhorahil, Hoarmurath, Adunaphel, Ren and Uvatha.

l hope l helped you out
Adweena Posted Wednesday 7th April 2004 (08:09pm)

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thanks gildor
does anybody know what the names of the mens rings and the names of the ringbearers so i can match it up and thror's ring name please
Well, according to the Encyclopedia of Arda, the Ring of Thrór was also known as the Last of the Seven Rings, but nothing more is specified on the subject of names. It was the first of the Seven Dwarf-rings to be forged, but the last to be recovered by Sauron.

As for the Nine Rings, they don't seem to have any names, not that I can find anyway. I haven't got my books here, so I can't help you out further, sorry...

The bearers have been summed up above by Gildor. Smile Smilie
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Men Rings

The Rings of Men were of: Khamûl, Murazor (the Witch-king himself), Dwar, Ji Indur, Akhorahil, Hoarmurath, Adunaphel, Ren and Uvatha.


Khamul the Easterling was actually the only nazgul to be named by Tolkien. Murazor was a Tolkien figure (the younger brother of one of the Numenorian kings) and is a strong contender to be the Witchking, although Tolkien never specified this. The other names are all names which were invented by Iron Crown Enterprises for their Middle Earth Role Playing game, and have no foundation in Tolkien's work at all. All of them can be found in the I.C.E manual, Lords of Middle Earth Volume 2.
thank you rednell for making a new thread for my question and thank yu for answering people
Ringbearers? I take that to mean those who bore the ring rather than those who possessed a ring. Call me nitpicky if you like but surely the only true Ringbearers would be Bilbo, Frodo and Sam.

Bilbo is a slightly grey area because he had the ring without knowing what it was and when it was discovered to be the One Ring he had already left it to Frodo. Bilbo was more of a Ringkeeper as he never took it anywhere. Frodo and Sam knew what they were doing with the ring.

Gollum just found it and treasured it. Isildur won it in battle and kept it but neither had any intention of destroying it. They were Ringhoggers!

This is just my interpretation. I don't know whether Tolkien himself ever referred to anyone and everyone who ever touch a ring of power as a Ringbearer.
I don't know whether JRRT wrote something about, but i too am inclined to say that "Ringbearer" only refers to the three who bore the One Ring : Bilbo, Frodo and Sam.

It's true that Bilbo didn't know that Gollum's ring was the one Ring, but still he bore it at times in the Shire : to escape from Lobelia, for instance. So he's a Ringbearer as well. Sam didn't bear it for very long himself, perhaps on a whole for a shorter time than Bilbo considering the fact that Bilbo had the Ring for 60 years, but the fact that Sam bore the Ring for just one moment makes him a Ringbearer as well.
I am still undecided about Bilbo. After all, Gollum wore the ring, Isildur wore the ring and neither of them were trying to give it away or destroy it whereas the true Ringbearers were - i.e. Sam and Frodo. I think I shall give Bilbo the benefit of the doubt because he 'gave' it to Frodo when it was required of him to do so. His part in the Hobbit redeems him perhaps - working for good but in terms of how he came to have the ring he is not much different from Gollum/Smeagol who stole it from Deagol
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Bilbo was more of a Ringkeeper as he never took it anywhere. Frodo and Sam knew what they were doing with the ring.

IMHO: Bilbo had the ring on him at all time, so yes he DID take it somewhere (he "beared" the ring at all time, ergo he's a "Ringbearer"!)

oh, and btw. i also think Isildur and Gollum should be counted as Ringbearers. They did carry it, even though they didn't have the intention of destroying it. (Isildur actually did, up until the point he reached the Orodruin and changed his mind...)
Well don't ringbearers get to go to the grey havens?
the elves do FRodo and Bilbo do.
I remember TOlkien said that somewhere
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oh, and btw. i also think Isildur and Gollum should be counted as Ringbearers. They did carry it, even though they didn't have the intention of destroying it. (Isildur actually did, up until the point he reached the Orodruin and changed his mind...)

Indeed Isildur is a Ringbearer as well: he put the ring on, thus bore the Ring, for a short while to escape the Orcs at the Gladden Fields. But then the Ring betrayed him.

Sam didn't have the Ring with him all the time, only when Frodo was captured, but the fact that he put it on even for a short while makes him a Ringbearer.

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From ROTK, chapter Grey Havens :

" Then Bilbo woke up and opened his eyes. 'Hullo, Frodo!' he said. 'Well, I have passed the Old Took today! So that's settled. And now I think I am quite ready to go on another journey. Are you coming?'
'Yes, I am coming,' said Frodo. 'The Ring-bearers should go together.'
'Where are you going, Master?' cried Sam, though at last he understood what was happening.
'To the Havens, Sam,' said Frodo.
'And I can't come.'
'No, Sam. Not yet anyway, not further than the Havens. Though you too were a Ring-bearer, if only for a little while. Your time may come. Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.'
'But,' said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, 'I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too. for years and years, after all you have done.' "


So, the fact that Sam had put the Ring on even for such a short while, makes him a Ringbearer. Hence, Isildur and Gollum were Ringbearers as well.

Vee, Bilbo did wear the Ring at times during the 60 years he had the Ring in his possession, for instance to escape from Lobelia Baggins, and at the night of the Long Expected Party. "i announce this is the end. Goodbye". So Bilbo is a Ringbearer all right. It's true that Bilbo never knew that his Ring was the One Ring, and as such never intended to destroy it, but this doesn't seem to exclude him from being a Ringbearer, because he wore it at times.
He wore it lots of times in "the Hobbit" too...
I know Bilbor wore the ring but to me that isn't the criteria for a RingBearer, merely a ringwearer but I do concede that Bilbo was a RingBearer because he was part of the whole plan. But if Isildur and Gollum are also RingBearers would they have been entitled to go to Valinor as Ringbearers (had they lived) even though they were against the need to destroy the ring and they wanted the Ring? I think not.

It is more an English language pedantic point on my part..... Everyone who had the ring could be called a ringbearer but I feel Ringbearer means someone who bore the ring readily and willingly for the good of Middle-Earth not someone who just happened to have it and wear it and to keep it etc.

Wearing it is not the same as bearing it, is my point. Carrying it around is not bearing it. Bearing it is taking on the responsibility to destroy it which Frodo and Sam did. Bilbo sort of did it but without knowing. Neither Gollum nor Isildur took on the responsibility.

Galadriel and the other wearers of rings of power who fought on the side of good are also entitled to be called Ringbearers but those who became corrupted are not. Again because they took on the responsibility of the Rings.

Of course, Tolkien may not have taken this view. I am not saying it is his view, I am saying what I think it should mean.
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I know Bilbor wore the ring but to me that isn't the criteria for a RingBearer, merely a ringwearer but I do concede that Bilbo was a RingBearer because he was part of the whole plan. But if Isildur and Gollum are also RingBearers would they have been entitled to go to Valinor as Ringbearers (had they lived) even though they were against the need to destroy the ring and they wanted the Ring? I think not

Bilbo wore it for the good of Middle-Earth as well. Look what he did with it in the Hobbit. He's as much Ringbearer as Frodo and Sam. Does that serve your viewpoint or definition of Ringbearer? I just look at what JRRT wrote.

In LOTR, Isildur and Gollum died because of the Ring, so why would they live? It would completely change the story, had they lived, and would also change the parts of Frodo, Sam and Bilbo in the story. Can't argue about that.

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Galadriel and the other wearers of rings of power who fought on the side of good are also entitled to be called Ringbearers but those who became corrupted are not. Again because they took on the responsibility of the Rings.

So? If Galadriel or any other big fish would've taken the Ring like Isildur, they would've fallen for it as well just like Isildur. Btw, Isildur didn't became corrupted, as he was never able to use the Ring (the Ring had other plans). Isildur fought at the side of good as well, heck he fought with his brother for Gondor in the Dagorlad. The big fishes, though, would've succeeded in using the Ring, and would become corrupted. No place for Valinor for them as well. No need to degrade Isildur, really.

There's only 1 character who became corrupted : Gollum

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Galadriel and the other wearers of rings of power who fought on the side of good are also entitled to be called Ringbearers but those who became corrupted are not. Again because they took on the responsibility of the Rings.

They are not, as they never wore the One Ring, luckily enough.

you posted earlier :

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Ringbearers? I take that to mean those who bore the ring rather than those who possessed a ring. Call me nitpicky if you like but surely the only true Ringbearers would be Bilbo, Frodo and Sam.

I agree with that!
You are missing my point - this is how I interpret the term bearer as in RingBearer, not necessarily how Tolkien intended it. If he intended for anyone who wore the ring to be a Ringbearer then fine but I am arguing with the language - the subtle distinction I see between bearer and wearer; the difference between bearing the responsibility and merely wearing the ring for personal gain.

As for Galadriel, perhaps I should have used a lower case R for ringbearer as she and the other wearer/bearers of the rings of power were caretakers and had responsibility and were therefore ringbearers but not Ringbearers.

I wasn't referring to Isildur as corrupt - his mistake was in wanting to keep the ring rather than destroy it - the corrupt ones I referred to were those who received the rings of power - Men and Dwarves and became corrupt because of them and the desire for power - Men especially - RingWraiths.

My point about Isildur and Gollum was that they both carried the Ring at some point and therefore if they are to be considered RingBEARERS then they should be afforded the same honour that Frodo, Sam and Bilbo received in being able to go to Valinor - which they couldn't because they are dead. They received no honour at all. All hypothetical..... I don't want a discussion about what if they lived and how would it change the story. It was a mere comment on the term Ringbearer.


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you posted earlier :


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Ringbearers? I take that to mean those who bore the ring rather than those who possessed a ring. Call me nitpicky if you like but surely the only true Ringbearers would be Bilbo, Frodo and Sam.


I agree with that!


Do you?

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Indeed Isildur is a Ringbearer as well: he put the ring on, thus bore the Ring,


I don't think Isildur was a true Ringbearer even though he carried the Ring.
omg...
Yes, so far for constructive discussion indeed. I think it's better to look at what JRRT wrote, than just trying to jam one's opinion through other members' throats, and starting arguments that way.
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Bilbo wore it for the good of Middle-Earth as well. Look what he did with it in the Hobbit. He's as much Ringbearer as Frodo and Sam.
I agree. Read Gandalf's story: 'The Quest of Erebor' in Unfinished Tales, wherein he tells how he knew Sauron was at Dol Guldor, and Saruman was dragging his feet, and there was this Dragon named Smaug that Gandalf didn't want to get teamed up with Sauron. Then he met Thorin on the road; Thorin wanted to win his birthright back, and Gandalf thought of this young hobbit who needed to go adventuring, and he just stirred the pot and the part of the problem concerning the Dragon was solved. This story with notes and variation, fills about 16 pages of UT and better ties together the events of The Hobbit, into that time's general state of Middle-earthen affairs.

Anyway, by finding the Ring and using it towards ridding the middle-earth of the danger of Smaug joining Sauron, (actually by being the catalyst that kept things moving, including riling-up the great wyrm), Bilbo contributed to the well being of Middle-Earth, just as Virumor said. Bilbo's time playing at caring for the Ring between the time of his return to Bag End from Rivendell, until his leaving for there again, is irrelevant: his place in history as a Ringbearer had already been determined.
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Yes, so far for constructive discussion indeed. I think it's better to look at what JRRT wrote, than just trying to jam one's opinion through other members' throats, and starting arguments that way.


My opinion is as valid as anyone's. There is no argument on my part. I responded to those comments you made as I felt you misunderstood some of what I said. Please do not read my posts in some imagined 'angry tone'. I stated clearly that this was my interpretation, not Tolkien's. You may disagree with my opinion all you like but if I think you have misunderstood or misinterpreted what I have said I will reiterate.

Perhaps a comment from you on the point I was making would be better than accusations of argument starting - Bearer versus Wearer - do you see what I meant even if you disagree?

Also, from memory I do not recall Tolkien ever referring to Isildur or Gollum as Ringbearers. The only three named as Ringbearers were Sam, Frodo and Bilbo and we've already agreed on these.
I still can't see the problem. Frodo can't be called Ringwearer, because he didn't wear the Ring all the time... only 6 times in the entire trilogy if i counted it correctly?

i think JRRT just used 'bear' (not referring to the animal) as in 'carry', 'possess'.
Did you mean Bilbo?

I have already given my views on Bilbo and have agreed that it is right he should be a Ringbearer as he was part of the plan and he did keep the Ring safe all those years. He also handed it over when needed. And he volunteered to carry the Ring to Mordor even though that was quite impossible. I don't think it has anything to do with how many times he wore the Ring or whether he carried it with him. Ringbearer is the title for those who take on the responsibility of the Ring which is why I don't count Gollum or Isildur as Ringbearers.

As I said, I don't think anyone other than Frodo, Bilbo and Sam were called Ringbearers in the book.
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As I said, I don't think anyone other than Frodo, Bilbo and Sam were called Ringbearers in the book.

Discussion is closed then, as i already posted a quote from ROTK which clearly shows there are 3 Ringbearers: Frodo, Bilbo and Samwise. Btw, i meant Frodo : he wore the Ring in the Prancing Pony, at Weathertop, at the house of Tom Bombadil, on Parth Galen/Amon Hen and near the fires of Mt Doom. I don't remember right now if Frodo put the Ring on in Buckland as well, and i'm too lazy to check it now. So 5 or 6 times.
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Also, from memory I do not recall Tolkien ever referring to Isildur or Gollum as Ringbearers. The only three named as Ringbearers were Sam, Frodo and Bilbo and we've already agreed on these.


Tolkien never referred to Isildur or Gollum as Ring-bearers anywhere in his stories pertaining to Middle Earth, and it is quite correct that the only three that were specifically named by Tolkien to be Ring-bearers were Frodo, Sam, and Bilbo.

The term Ring-bearers is definitely exclusive to those three I think, hence the fact that they were rewarded by the Valar for their service in the war against Sauron, and granted permisssion to enter the Grey Havens.

I looked in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien today to see if I could find anything more specific from him on this, but there was nothing relevant listed directly under the term Ring-bearers in the index. If I come across something more later on, I'll post it here.

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Galadriel and the other wearers of rings of power who fought on the side of good are also entitled to be called Ringbearers but those who became corrupted are not. Again because they took on the responsibility of the Rings.


The more I think about this, the more I'm inclined to think that the keepers of the three were also by definition Ring-bearers. So I think the list for official Ring-bearers is this,

Cirdan
Gil-galad
Galadriel
Elrond
Gandalf
Frodo
Bilbo
Sam

Must do some more investigating on this! Serching Smilie
While the three were major rings of power, I don't believe Tolkien ever gave them the capitol R, which he reserved for the One Ruling Ring. Would this problem be less muddied if Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam were deemed Ring-bearers; leaving Cirdan, Gil-galad, Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf as ring-bearers, those who bore the three Elven rings?

(I have since found a few cases where Tolkien wrote "the ring" and the "Three Rings" so maybe the above is all wet, but I think he often wrote of the "One Ring".)

Oh well, I'll leave it to those of you with more brainpower than mine to figure out the answer to this dilemma.
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(I have since found a few cases where Tolkien wrote "the ring" and the "Three Rings" so maybe the above is all wet, but I think he often wrote of the "One Ring".)


This is similar to how he almost always has Elves with a capital E, but seldom has dwarves with a D. I did read somewhere though, that this was actually down to sloppy editing on the part of the publishers than Tolkien himself. Maybe the same is true for the rings, ring-bearers etc.
yes. but gollum & isildur were killed instead of going over the sea.
that is true, but none of them is called ringbearers (or Ringbearers, whatever. that is a typo for all we know) because they went over the sea.. SOME of the ringbearers did, some didn't!!

and btw, if going over the sea is so important to determine who was ringbearer and who was not, why was Gimli allowed to travel over the sea with Legolas??? just a thought..
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SOME of the ringbearers did, some didn't!!

and btw, if going over the sea is so important to determine who was ringbearer and who was not, why was Gimli allowed to travel over the sea with Legolas??? just a thought..


All of the official Ring-bearers that we know of went over the sea to the Undying Lands (Frodo and Bilbo in S. R. 1421, and then Sam in S.R. 1482, last of the Ring-bearers).

In addition, all of the Three Keepers, original, and otherwise went over the sea with the only exceptions being Gil-galad because he was killed at the Dagorlad, and possibly Cirdan, although I’m very inclined to believe that Cirdan himself eventually went back to Aman. So really with the exception of Gil-galad, all of the Ring-bearers went over the sea!

As far as Gimli is concerned, it is said that Galadriel herself secured that favor for him with the Valar. It is because of Galadriel, and his service in the war against Sauron that Gimli was the only dwarf ever allowed into the Grey Havens.
Elf Smilie
oh well, i'll just go back to talk to the stone in my backyard. better chance of making that one change it's mind. :S
I believe Isildur and Gollum were Ringbearers as well, for a short while, just like Sam, before they perished. You don't have to pass into the West to be one, just have the One Ring in your possession for a while.

We all know that Isildur and Gollum died, but this doesn't mean they are not Ringbearers. They're just dead Ringbearers. Actually, they died because of the One Ring, because they had the One Rin in their possession...

Also, i don't think the keepers of the Three are Ringbearers, Ringbearer only refers to dramatis personae carrying the One Ring.
so they're ringbearers, not Ringbearers. (note the absence of capital letter on the former)
From Letter # 181
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Yes: I think that ‘victors’ never can enjoy ‘victory’ – not in the terms that they envisaged; and in so far as they fought for something [I]to be enjoyed by themselves[/I] (whether acquisition or mere preservation) the less satisfactory will ‘victory’ seem. But the departure of the Ringbearers has quite another side as far as theThree are concerned.


The ‘Three’ undoubtedly refer to Bilbo, Frodo and Sam. We know Bilbo left the Shire for Rivendell because it was never the same for him after he returned from his adventure. Wearing the Ring had changed him and he found it difficult to find the same pleasures he had previously experienced in the Shire. For Frodo, wearing the Ring and, probably more importantly, carrying (or bearing) it so close to its source of power until its destruction, changed Frodo so that he could no longer enjoy the tranquil life in the Shire. I think this is the irony that Tolkien is pointing out in the above and Frodo makes the same observation before departing for the Grey Havens.
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‘I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger; some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.’


It would seem that Sam did not bear the Ring long enough to bring him the same “pain” that Frodo and Bilbos experienced, but he did lose his closest friend. Even though he had many happy years with Rosie raising a family, he too suffered “pain” brought on by the bearing of the Ring in the “anti-quest. The only hope our “Three” had for any healing was to sail in that ship. Was this not the least that could be done for them considering their sacrifice?
It is unfortunate that Isildur didn't live to see the destruction of the Ring, for if he was successful in getting it to Rivendell, he too would have been considered an Ring-bearer and afforded the same offer of healing in the Grey Havens. But then, the story would have been very different from the one we love and enjoy.
But poor Gollum, would never have even considered destroying his preciousssss. So I don't think the privlidges of the Ring-bearers would have applied to him.



Many Meetings (Gandalf speaking to Frodo)
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’The Ring is another: you are the Ring-bearer. And you are the heir of Bilbo, the Ring-finder.’

I think the distinction is made here between “bearer” and “finder” because of the task that laid before Frodo. However, there seems to be inconsistency as later in the chapter “The Grey Havens”, Bilbo also is referred to as ‘Ring-bearer’.

Those who were in possession of the three Elven rings were not considered Ring-bearers, any more than were the 9 mortal men or 7 dwarves.

As far as the uppercase “R” is concerned, I agree that it is really an error in editing. I have no doubt that Tolkien meant that an uppercase “R” was to be used when referring to the One Ring and consequently, Ring-bearer was meant to have the uppercase “R”, as well.
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Those who were in possession of the three Elven rings were not considered Ring-bearers, any more than were the 9 mortal men or 7 dwarves.


After doing more research on this over the weekend, I’m personally very inclined to think this is true, so I’m going back to my original belief that the term “Ring-bearer’s” was intended by Tolkien to apply specifically for Frodo, Bilbo, and Sam.

It is very interesting to ponder the fates of Isildur, and Gollum had they been redeemed. I do feel that in Isildur’s case, had he made it to Rivendell, and handed over the Ring to Elrond, he would have been redeemed, and most likely would have earned the title of Ring-bearer.

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But poor Gollum, would never have even considered destroying his preciousssss. So I don't think the privlidges of the Ring-bearers would have applied to him.


I think your right about this Nell. Tolkien makes it clear in the same letter you quoted (letter #181 to M. Straight) that Gollum blew his shot at redemption. There are also other mentions by Tolkien of Gollum’s failure to repent in letter’s # 96, 165, 191, 194, and 246. It seems very reasonable to assume that due to Gollum’s failure to repent he would not have been deserving of the title, or the privileges afforded to a Ring-bearer.
Elf Smilie
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I do feel that in Isildur’s case, had he made it to Rivendell, and handed over the Ring to Elrond, he would have been redeemed, and most likely would have earned the title of Ring-bearer.


Yes - this ties in with the point I was making that it is taking on the responsibility of the Ring that makes one a Ringbearer rather than a ringwearer and that responsibility is to ensure its destruction.


.
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It seems very reasonable to assume that due to Gollum’s failure to repent he would not have been deserving of the title, or the privileges afforded to a Ring-bearer.


Absolutely. And Isildur refused to destroy it so he also lost the privilege of being a Ringbearer.
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Absolutely. And Isildur refused to destroy it so he also lost the privilege of being a Ringbearer.

Frodo also refused to destroy it in the very end, didn't he? Would that take his 'privilege' away too then?

quote from ROTK, chapter Mt Doom:

" 'I have come,' he said. 'But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!' And suddenly, as he set it on his finger, he vanished from Sam's sight. Sam gasped, but he had no chance to cry out, for at that moment many things happened. "

Just before he died at the Gladden Fields, Isildur acknowledged he had been wrong by trying to use the Ring and even before then, he decided to take it to the keepers of the Three. So at least he redeemed himself after refusing to destroy, instead of Frodo, who faltered just before the end (and shouldn't be blamed for that).

from UT :

"Atarinya," he said, "what of the power that would cow these foul creatures and command them to obey you? Is it then of no avail?"
"Alas, it is not, senya. I cannot use it. I dread the pain of touching it. And I have not yet found the strength to bend it to my will. It needs one greater than I now know myself to be. My pride has fallen. It should go to the Keepers of the Three."

About Gollum, it was just impossible for him to repent after having had the Ring for how long? 500 years? At least it was Gollum who destroyed the Ring, which was Eru's plan all along. Perhaps, if Frodo hadn't failed in the end and just have destroyed the Ring, then Gollum would've been released by his burden and returned at least slightly normal again, or like with the Three, it would've been the total end of Gollum as well.
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Frodo also refused to destroy it in the very end, didn't he? Would that take his 'privilege' away too then?


I don't see why it should because Frodo had already taken the Ring to Mount Doom at great risk and he faltered at the end but for all we know had Gollum not taken the Ring from him he may have recovered his senses and courage and destroyed it. But even without that he had taken the Ring, with the responsibility, and had been for all that time a Ringbearer whereas Isildur never intended to destroy the Ring but to keep it for himself as a weregild for my father, and my brother and he took it to treasure it.

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Just before he died at the Gladden Fields, Isildur acknowledged he had been wrong by trying to use the Ring and even before then, he decided to take it to the keepers of the Three.


There is no mention of repentance or decision to take the Ring anywhere in the Silmarillion or in LotR other than...

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to be an heirloom of his house

The SIl, Of The Rings of Power and The Third Age

which together with the other quotes above shows he intended keeping it for himself. I prefer the text of the Sil and LotR over that of UT which is contradictory to the finished story.

No mention either that Isildur delayed wearing the Ring because it caused him pain. So no, I don't think Isildur deserved to be included as a Ringbearer.

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Perhaps, if Frodo hadn't failed in the end and just have destroyed the Ring, then Gollum would've been released by his burden and returned at least slightly normal again, or like with the Three, it would've been the total end of Gollum as well.


I think Gollum was more likely to go totally bananas and end up dead anyway, probably killing Frodo and Sam as well.

Are you playing Devil's Advocate? You agree that Frodo, Sam and Bilbo are the only true Ringbearers yet you persist in suggesting that Isildur and Gollum are also Ringbearers. What is it to be?
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You agree that Frodo, Sam and Bilbo are the only true Ringbearers yet you persist in suggesting that Isildur and Gollum are also Ringbearers. What is it to be?
Me thinks he's merely keeping the discussion going, without yeilding you the last word. Animated Wink Smilie Of course, in this I'm probably wrong.
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Frodo also refused to destroy it in the very end, didn't he? Would that take his 'privilege' away too then?


This is a very valid point you have raised here Vir, and it is true that Frodo did fail in the end. Thankfully the good professor left us the answer to this question sometime around the early winter of 1956 in a letter to Michael Straight (letter #181, and the same one that’s been mentioned in this thread a few times now).

Here’s the quote with the answer,

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But at this point the ‘salvation’ of the world and Frodo’s own ‘salvation’ is achieved by his previous pity and forgiveness of injury. At any point any prudent person would have told Frodo that Gollum would certainly betray him, and could rob him in the end. To ‘pity’ him, to forbear to kill him, was a piece of folly, or a mystical belief in the ultimate value-in-itself of pity and generosity even if disastrous in the world of time. He did rob him and injure him in the end – but by a ‘grace’, that last betrayal was at a precise juncture when the final evil deed was the most beneficial thing any one could have done for Frodo! By a situation created by his ‘forgiveness’, he was saved himself, and relieved of his burden. He was very justly accorded the highest honours - since it is clear that he and Sam never concealed the precise course of events.


So there we have it, straight from Tolkien himself, by a situation created by his forgiveness, Frodo was saved, redeemed, and still worthy and deserving of the title and privileges of Ring-bearer. Tolkien also states further in that letter that after the events at Shelob’s lair, Gollum was lost, and all chance of repentance for him was gone, no matter if some circumstances had changed.

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Perhaps, if Frodo hadn't failed in the end and just have destroyed the Ring, then Gollum would've been released by his burden and returned at least slightly normal again, or like with the Three, it would've been the total end of Gollum as well.


It’s the latter of the two possibilities you’ve addressed here Vir, just like with the Keeper’s of the Three, the destruction of the One would have been the total end for Gollum too, but that’s probably a whole other topic on it’s own.

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There is no mention of repentance or decision to take the Ring anywhere in the Silmarillion or in LotR other than...


Isildur’s repentance is chronicled in detail in the tale Disaster Of The Gladden Fields in Unfinished Tales.

Vee, I totally understand your stance about personally choosing to adhere to the published versions of the Sil, and LotR due to some contradictory problems that arise, and generally this is a practice that I follow for the most part as well. I choose to stick with the published version of the Sil most of the time, but also understand, and acknowledge that often times Tolkien had other thoughts about certain events, and had some alternate versions of some of the stories we know.

In the case of UT however, I think one can accept almost everything in there as relevant and valid, and definitely additional essential canon to the stories we love. If my memory is serving me correctly, with the exception of a few of the stories in UT (the chief being the Narn I Hin Hurin, and The History Of Galadriel And Celeborn), there is actually very little told in UT that is in conflict with anything we know from either the Sil, or LotR. The great majority of what’s in UT definitely adds to what we know, and is very consistent in accordance with Tolkien’s other writings.

It’s been a little while since I’ve last read the specific chapter Disaster Of The Gladden Fields, but I have read it a few times overall, and from what I can remember, the only conflict from what we know in published versions of the Sil, and LotR are just some specific details concerning the exact manner, and location of Isildur’s death? The rest of what’s in that chapter greatly adds to what we know, and I think is safe for those of us who wish to accept as canon.

I feel Tolkien does make it clear in that chapter that Isildur had realized the error of his ways, and that he wished to repent, and in fact was on his way to Rivendell to surrender the Ring to Elrond, and admit his mistake. For me personally, I definitely do believe this to be true.

However, we all know that the Ring betrayed Isildur to his death, and thus he was not afforded the chance at ultimate repentance. He did wish to repent, and after I read UT for the first time, Tolkien had redeemed Isildur in my eyes, but there is a difference between wanting to do something, and then actually following through with it.

I also agree with Vee’s point in that it is taking on the responsibility of the Ring that makes one a Ring-bearer, and that responsibility is to ensure its destruction. The reasons that Isildur, and Frodo took the Ring were completely different from one another.

So I would have to say that in my own personal opinion, due to the circumstances and events we know to be acceptable canon, that Isildur and Gollum could not be considered Ring-bearer’s. I do feel that it could have been possible though if Isildur had managed to turn over the One successfully to Elrond, thus gaining repentance, that he might have been granted the privilege of getting to go to Aman by the grace of the Valar?
Elf Smilie
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I feel Tolkien does make it clear in that chapter that Isildur had realized the error of his ways, and that he wished to repent, and in fact was on his way to Rivendell to surrender the Ring to Elrond, and admit his mistake. For me personally, I definitely do believe this to be true.


Yet if Isildur had taken the Ring to Elrond we would not have had Gollum's involvement and the story would have been very different. Even if we believe he intended to do the right thing, he didn't. He left it too late and that was his own fault. Tough, but that's how it is.

I admire Isildur as a leader. He did some wonderful heroic things which are easily overlooked because in the end he was responsible for the Ring not being destroyed and that is how he is chiefly remembered. If Tolkien had wanted Isildur's redemption and repentance to be part of the main story he would have made the point in either the Silmarillion or LotR. But he didn't and we are left with Isildur wanting to keep the ring and eventually being betrayed by it. At one point it may have been Tolkien's intention to show that redemption but he didn't.

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However, we all know that the Ring betrayed Isildur to his death, and thus he was not afforded the chance at ultimate repentance. He did wish to repent, and after I read UT for the first time, Tolkien had redeemed Isildur in my eyes, but there is a difference between wanting to do something, and then actually following through with it.


Maybe it was more Isildur's realisation that the Ring was beyond his control rather than a true desire for redemption. But he made a mistake and paid for it.

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I also agree with Vee’s point in that it is taking on the responsibility of the Ring that makes one a Ring-bearer, and that responsibility is to ensure its destruction. The reasons that Isildur, and Frodo took the Ring were completely different from one another.


I think we have become bogged down in a pedantic struggle here. The fact that I do not consider Isildur to be a Ringbearer doesn't detract from the good he did. He just didn't get it quite right.

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So I would have to say that in my own personal opinion, due to the circumstances and events we know to be acceptable canon, that Isildur and Gollum could not be considered Ring-bearer’s. I do feel that it could have been possible though if Isildur had managed to turn over the One successfully to Elrond, thus gaining repentance, that he might have been granted the privilege of getting to go to Aman by the grace of the Valar?


Good job he didn't! Think of what would have been lost to the story if he had! It's a shame but life isn't fair. A lot of good people gave their lives in the story but they can't all be raised to the level of hero even though they made the ultimate sacrifice. Isildur, at least, was considered a hero, albeit a flawed one because he failed to see the danger of keeping the Ring.

The Ringbearers were afforded the honour of going to Aman only after the Ring was destroyed so unless the destruction of the Ring took place during Isildur's life he would never have made it to Aman anyway. Tis a moot point and an academic one.
Ok everyone sorry for the confusion by my question "Who are the Ringbearers?" I meant who had the rings like the One Ring the Elves rings the Dwarves rings the Mens rings. I mean them all not just the One. (Would the other people the bore the other rings be called ringbearers too.)
Hey, don't be sorry - we've had some good discussion out of this.



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I mean them all not just the One. (Would the other people the bore the other rings be called ringbearers too.)
The Nazgul were the original bearers of the 'Nine Rings of Men' and were known as the Ringwraiths rather than ringbearers.

Thráin (Thorin Oakenshield's father) had the last of the 'Seven Rings of the Dwarves' taken from him when he was captured and imprisoned in Dol Guldor by Sauron. We don't know who held the other six before Sauron took control of them. They could have technically, been called ringbearers, but by the time of the story, the end of the Third Age, Sauron was completely in control of their rings and they were no longer alive, Thráin having died 168 years before the 'Long Expected Party'.
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... He (Bilbo) was very justly accorded the highest honours - since it is clear that he and Sam never concealed the precise course of events.
Of course they couldn't conceal the fact that Frodo had failed and Gollum was accidently ***Hero of the Day***. One look at that hand and the jig was up; the story had to come out. When asked what happened to Frodo's hand, what could they say: "The dog ate my finger!"? And after all, now that the corruption of the Ring was gone, any thought of dishonesty was naturally out of hobbit character.
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Of course they couldn't conceal the fact that Frodo had failed and Gollum was accidently ***Hero of the Day***. One look at that hand and the jig was up; the story had to come out. When asked what happened to Frodo's hand, what could they say: "The dog ate my finger!"? And after all, now that the corruption of the Ring was gone, any thought of dishonesty was naturally out of hobbit character.


Doh, that’s actually my bad there Grondy! I realize now in looking at your last post that I somehow mis-read part of the quote from letter #181 I had posted.
Dunce Smilie

I too had always believed that it was clear that Frodo and Sam never concealed the precise course of events, and that’s why I had said I had always just assumed that probably at least Aragorn, and definitely Gandalf were told the truth about what actually occurred.

What happened is I made a bo-bo, and somehow mistook that statement to mean that Tolkien was saying that they did conceal what happened, that’s why I was so shocked initially, but it was just my mistake.

Don’t know how I could have mis-read that, or believed that in the first place, but it happens, and I’m glad you pointed that out or else I probably would have been scarred for the rest of my life!
Super Scared Smilie
Elfstone posted:

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As far as Gimli is concerned, it is said that Galadriel herself secured that favor for him with the Valar. It is because of Galadriel, and his service in the war against Sauron that Gimli was the only dwarf ever allowed into the Grey Havens.


What exactly does that mean?
Exactly what it says.
OK. I always wondered how the Ringbearers knew that they had to depart to Valinor. How did Frodo know. Now, from that quote, can I take it as that Galadriel communicated with the Valar? If so, then, how would she communicate?
Maybe it came to her in a dream; or one of Gildor I's messengers brought her a message from Cirdan who had an undersea/overair connection with the home office; or maybe Gandalf gave her the word that her visa had been approved, now that she, the last of the exiled Noldor, had assisted in the downfall of Sauron. She had achieved her dream to have an adventure and become gueen of a land; besides that, she was tired, and her ring no longer kept decay at bey.
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As far as Gimli is concerned, it is said that Galadriel herself secured that favor for him with the Valar. It is because of Galadriel, and his service in the war against Sauron that Gimli was the only dwarf ever allowed into the Grey Havens.


Oh, Vee!!! If someone doesn't understand, we ought to explain it in simpler terms, not say "exactly what it says"! BAD VEE!!!! DOWN, GIRL!!!! DOWN!!!!!! OW!!!!!!!! *tries to lock Vee up, but to no avail*

Back to explaining the quote for Floyd. Well, you know how Gimli went over the Sea with LEgolas? Of course you do. Well, seeing as going over the Sea was an honour reserved for the Elves and a special few (Frodo, Bilbo, Earendil for a little while)... well, Gimli couldn't just come waltzing into Valinor. Being a member of the Fellowship is not enough. you've got to have done something REALLY good (like destroying the Ring) or have someone REALLY high up vouch for you. Which is what happened. Galadriel was allowed in, right? After her service in the war of Sauron. And she said Gimli should be let in. And I guess they respected her judgment of him, having never met him themselves. (Well, being VAlar, they probably DID know, but that's another matter and another argument, of which I have no REAL opinion. Another thread, perhaps). Explained enough for you?
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