Power of the Rings of Power

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Amarië
Posts: 2785

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#1 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:12 am

The answer to a question in Trivia: Barad-dur made me think.

"The chief power (of all the rings alike) was the prevention or slowing of decay (i.e. `change' viewed as a regrettable thing), the preservation of what is desired or loved, or its semblance - this is more or less an Elvish motive. But also they enhanced the natural powers of a possessor - thus approaching `magic', a motive easily corruptible into evil, a lust for domination. And finally they had other powers, more directly derived from Sauron...such as rendering invisible the material body, and making things of the invisible world visible." [The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]


Gildor posted something similar and then I though: "Pah, only the One Ring made people invisible." But then I found that quote. Would this mean that if for instance Sam got Galadriels Ring on his chubby fingers, he would become invisible?
"Don't complain under the stars
about the lack of bright spots in you life."
Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian writer

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Vee
Posts: 2711

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#2 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:39 am

Frodo asks Galadriel...

"I am permitted to wear the One Ring: why cannot I see all the others and know the thoughts of those that wear them?"

"You have not tried," she said. "Only thrice have you set the Ring upon your finger since you knew what you possessed. Do not try! It would destroy you. Did not Gandalf tell you that the rings give power according to the measure of each possessor? Before you could use that power you would need to become far stronger, and to train your will to the domination of others. Yet even so, as Ring-bearer and as one that has borne it on finger and seen that which is hidden, your sight is grown keener. You have perceived my thought more clearly than many that are accounted wise. You saw the Eye of him that holds the Seven and the Nine. And did you not see and recognise the ring upon my finger? Did you see my ring?" she asked turning again to Sam.

"No, lady," he answered. "To tell you the truth, I wondered what you were talking about. I saw a star through your finger."


The Mirror of Galadriel - The Fellowship of the Ring

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laurelindhe ilmarin
Posts: 1314

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#3 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:59 am

Correct me if my memory is letting the answer elude me, but what exactly is it about the One Ring that makes its wearer invisible? If Sauron wore the ring, why did it not make him invisible also? What purpose did the invisibility serve?

Anyone? Anyone? :question:

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Amarië
Posts: 2785

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#4 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:35 am

It's got to do with how powerful the user/wearer is. It enhances the powers that the wearer already have. A little hobbit doesn't have much power. Galadriel does, and she wouldn't become invisible, she might try to become a new Sauron. Which wouldn't work since the Ring is part of Sauron. It would give him back his powers, and the power over the Three elven Rings and those who wear them and what they have been used to create.

My guess is that the invisibility thing is just so it would seem like a nice thing to keep as a secret. Bilbo often used it to hide from the annoying Lobelia and other people he didn't want to talk to (who wouldn't find that useful?), Gollum used it to get food (orcs), but neither of them had any idea it was the One Ring untill later on. It wanted to be used and it wanted to be kept secret. Once Frodo knew what it was, he was tempted to test the Rings powers, which would corrupt him. He could never be as powerful as Galadriel could be if she had used the Ring.

I'm sure Val will provide us with a nice quote soon to explain it all a lot better.

But would wearing an elven Ring make Sam invisible? Are the Seven and the Nine and the Three like mini-One Rings? You need a certain amount of power and knowledge to use their powers?
"Don't complain under the stars

about the lack of bright spots in you life."

Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian writer

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Vee
Posts: 2711

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#5 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:53 pm

Maybe if Sam wore ALL the rings at the same time......

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terrijayne
Posts: 432

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#6 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:33 pm

My theory on the invisibility factor of the one ring when worn by the hobbits and Gollum, is that the intense power of the one ring swallowed up the one who wore it. For example, no one but Sauron was powerful enough to withstand being swallowed up by it. Even after Bilbo wore the ring (on occasions) over the course of years, he commented to Gandalf that he felt stretched and thin, like butter scraped across too much bread (or something like that.) This was an after affect of the ring beginning to erode the very being of Bilbo. Since Galadriel was strong in her own right she may not have physically disappeared if she put the one ring on, but in time it would have consumed her true self and she would have become a shadow or slave of Sauron. Sauron's physical being was not consumed when he wore the ring because he was its creator and therefore his essence dwelled within the ring.

Thats my theory folks. If I'm way off base, please be gentle as I seek to learn from those who know. Thanks for listening.

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Amarië
Posts: 2785

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#7 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:08 pm

That was a very good theory if you ask me, Terrijayne. :)
For them it was practical to become invisible, but they did slowly become consumed by the ring. The more powerhungry you'd get, the more it would consume you, but hobbits aren't like that so they are tougher to break. Bilbo was 111 years old and still looked... how old was he when during 'the hobbit', 50? It was only natural that he felt streched, the poor fellow.

If sam had worn all the rings, he would probably have looked very pretty but only Frodo could have seen him I guess. And what is the point of dressing up when the only one who can see you is a short fellow with hairy feet who only cares about his own pretty ring? ;)
"Don't complain under the stars

about the lack of bright spots in you life."

Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian writer

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Vee
Posts: 2711

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#8 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:58 pm

.
And what is the point of dressing up when the only one who can see you is a short fellow with hairy feet who only cares about his own pretty ring?


Sounds like my first marriage!

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#9 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:53 pm

Ah, but read the next sentence following the above paragraph from Tolkien's letter:
The Elves of Eregion made Three supremely beautiful and powerful rings, almost solely of their own imagination, and directed to the preservation of beauty: they did not confer invisibility. (The empasis is mine.)
So Amarië was right in her initial thoughts on the subject. But don't let that put a damper on your discussion.

All the rings of power were basicaly "anti-entropy" devices—when I was studying thermodynamics back in the middle of the last century, we tried to devise an entropy meter, but a Heisenberg-like problem kept rearing its ugly head and we finally gave up and turned our minds to girls. :funnylaugh:
'Share and enjoy'

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valedhelgwath
Posts: 4233

Power of the Rings of Power

Post#10 » Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:38 pm

My theory on the invisibility factor of the one ring when worn by the hobbits and Gollum, is that the intense power of the one ring swallowed up the one who wore it. For example, no one but Sauron was powerful enough to withstand being swallowed up by it.


Terrijayne's explaination is almost correct in a way. There is a parallel plane which lies alongside Middle Earth, referred by the likes of Gandalf as the Wraith world. The One Ring transports its wearer into this world, and hence they become "invisible" because they have entered this shadow world. This is why Frodo was able to see the Nazgul on Weathertop when he put the ring on. He had entered their world.

It is not simply a case either of power that stops the Ring turning its wearer invisible. This is an assumption people make because neither Sauron or Tom Bombadil were turned invisible by it. Both Sauron and Tom are Maiar spirits. They are naturally invisible, because in their true form they are spirits who live in the "Wraith" world. Maiar, however, are able to weave themselves an image that can be seen by the people of Middle earth because it is projected into the "Real" world. What the Hobbits see when they meet Tom is not really Tom, but a projected facade. When he puts the ring on, therefore, he does not appear to turn invisible because he is already in the "wraith" world. His facade is something that is being projected out from that world and is not effected therefore.

Galadriel is of the "real" world, so if she wore the One Ring, she would turn invisible. She is a powerful sorceress, however, so she might have sufficient power to project a facade out of this shadow world as Tom and Sauron do. Gandalf and Saruman are Maiar too, but they have been given the burden of flesh while they are in Middle Earth. This flesh is real, not a facade (although I believe in the case of Gandalf the White, it perhaps is), so they too would be effected by the invisibility property.

As for the Elven Rings, they do not have this property on the wearer, but do appear invisible themselves to those who are not aware of them. They do, however, grant the wearer and those around them the power of invisibility from scrying. That is how both Galadriel and Elrond were able to keep their respective realms hidden from Sauron's prying eye for so long, and why Sauron was unable to find Gandalf even though he entered Dol Guldur on a couple of occasions.

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