Most Costly Mistake Poll

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#1 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:13 pm

I chose 'Boromir's falling to evil and trying to take the Ring from Frodo' as the most costly, in that it ended with the loss of the lives of both Boromir and Denethor, leaving Minas Tirith without it's best commanders.

After long thought, I have since reconsidered and have decided that Pippin's stone probably led to the loss of Gandalf's life and guidance. This was such a horrible thing that it required the outside intervention of Eru & Company to get the derailed quest back on track. Had this intervention not been forthcoming, Rohan would have fallen with along with Minas Tirith and Gondor soon after, and eventually all of Middle-earth. "For want of a nail, the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe ..."

What led you to choose the mistake you did and have you since reconsidered?
'Share and enjoy'

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Etharion
Posts: 1717

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#2 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:50 pm

I chose "none of the above". The reason being is that i belive every single one of these "mistakes" led to a good thing. You just have to look at the whole thing and fit the little pieces inside... If i had to choose one id pick...Boromir or perhaps Bilbo telling Gollum his name.

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#3 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:21 pm

I voted for Boromir succumbing to the Ring (he did not fall to evil, for he eventually repented), as it not only ripped Gondor of its fiercest warrior and commander but also hastened Denethor's fall. And for this there was no patching up/divine intervention possible, like with Gandalf.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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gandalf-olorin
Posts: 481

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#4 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:59 pm

I agree with your first choice, Grondy. All the other choices are plausible in this poll. But I think that each of those choices was able to be compensated for, thwarted, overcome, turned to good, and finally benefited all concerned. But in the case of Boromir, though he repented before he died, he did indeed die. The Company lost a member, and this was the only time they actually lost someone by death. Gandalf's death was not at all the same. There was no way that he would have been allowed to "leave" ME with his duty unfulfilled. Whether the intervention of Eru was necessary or not, he would have had to return because the demise of Sauron was his quest. (Even the first time I read LOTR, before I knew anything of Tolkien's underlying thoughts on this, I remember thinking "This can't be the end of Gandalf!") The death of Boromir alone, of all these choices, is the one thing that cannot be undone in the plot of the story. That is what makes it poignant. Hence, my choice remains the same.

And by the way, when are we going to be able to view the results of all those past polls? I have been able to see none save the very first. I want to see the others, too. Grep, when are you going to "fix" whatever it is, so that we can all enjoy those results?

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mungo
Posts: 171

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#5 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:56 pm

I looked at each event individually to try and figure out exactly which negative outcome could be directly correlated to the event, and in the end I found only one bad thing could be isolated with one choice. Allow me to elucidate:

1. Bilbo telling Gollum his real name: Sauron would likely have been able to find the shire from Gollums description of a hobbit alone, regardless of whether there was a name attached to that description. The nine would have ridden to the shire in search of the ring, although they wouldn't have headed directly to bag-end. Perhaps that would have given them enough proximity to "feel the presence of the ring" and find Frodo anyway. So no "fer-sure" bad outcome here.
2. Barliman Butterbur failing to deliver Frodo's letter from Gandalf: This has a bad outcome - Frodo getting injured on the road to Rivendel, a wound which he carries for the rest of his life. If the letter had reached him when it was supposed to Frodo would have left the shire long before the nine left minas morgul. The attack would not have happened.
3. Pippin tossing the stone into the well in Moria: We don't know, according to the books, that this allerted the orcs to the presence of the fellowship. For all we know they could have tripped onto them anyway. No "fer-sure" bad consequence.
4. Boromir falling to evil and trying to take the Ring from Frodo: Boromir may have died anyway since the party was attacked by a large number of orcs. The only real thing that this incident caused was Frodo leaving suddenly and his only taking Sam. This was likely a good thing as I don't know if the rest of the fellowship would have been able to slip into Mordor. Frodo got in as a captive and the only reason Sam got in was because he was invisible wearing the ring. No "fer-sure" bad consequence.
5. Samwise leaving Frodo for dead after Shelob's attack: Good thing, not a bad thing. If he hadn't taken the ring on himself after finding Frodo "dead" the orcs may have kept searching (tracks and such) until they found both Sam and the unconscious body of Frodo. No "fer-sure" bad consequence.
6. Gandalf deciding to hunt for Gollum instead of directly returning to Bag End: Well if his message had gotten through okay he wouldn't have needed to get back so much, and his searching for Gollum and getting Aragorn on the track did in the end do some good so it was "kinda" worth it.
7. Frodo's table dance in Bree: The Nazgul were onto him at this point anyway, and nothing really happened as a direct cause of this action besides a little finger being pointed at him.
8. Gandalf setting Grima free: Nothing that bad here, the palantir was even tossed out of Isengard because of the worm. I'd say it's a good thing.
9. Pippin looking into the Palantir: Not bad at all. This action allowed the crew to learn a little, showed both Aragorn and Gandalf that they shouldn't really use the palantir, and caused Sauron a fair bit of confusion and wrath towards Isengard.

So to make a very long speal short I chose Barliman failling to deliver Frodo's letter. Frodo got hurt as a direct consequence of not leaving before the nazgul were on the way. Please feel free to refute any of the points that I have made.

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eruwen
Posts: 1277

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#6 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:22 pm

This was a difficult one. I chose Barliman not delivering the letter to Frodo, for Frodo would have set off earlier from the Shire if he had received the letter. I guess no one is too certain what would have happened if Frodo set off sooner, but he at least may not have been hunted like a dog and may not have received the wound on Weathertop. It was either this one or "none of the above" to me, for I, too, believe that most of the things led to good, for when Gandalf fell into shadow, he arose with more power. Yes, Boromir attempting to take the Ring was a costly mistake, but it pushed Frodo to go to Mordor, for he saw even more truly the evil nature of the Ring, and I'm sorry to say, but Gondor was left with an even better commander in the more patient and thoughtful Faramir. But, I do agree that they were deprived of the strength of a great warrior in the rash Boromir.

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Grep
Posts: 231

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#7 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:27 pm

And by the way, when are we going to be able to view the results of all those past polls? I have been able to see none save the very first. I want to see the others, too. Grep, when are you going to "fix" whatever it is, so that we can all enjoy those results?


I fixed it weeks ago, you could try clicking the previous poll results link, or the one below.

previous polls

Morambar
Posts: 1022

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#8 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:58 am

I chose the fool of a Took, for the reasons Grondy listed. In the end the Nines trip to Bag End and pursuit of Frodo could have been averted no less than three ways; by Bilbo not mentioning Bag End, by Gandalf returning instead of haring off after Gollum or by Barliman delivering his letter. Had any of these three things not happened Frodo sets out much earlier and the Nine arrive only to find him long gone and the trail cold.

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#9 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:30 am

Actually to me the most costly mistake was Isildúr not destroying Sauron's Ring after cutting off Sauron's finger, but it didn't make it to the poll. It should've ended there and then, imo (but who can blame Isildúr? he was so lonely and hurt after daddy and lil bro had died).

It wouldn't have given us LOTR, but it would've saved a couple millions of fictitious lives.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

Morambar
Posts: 1022

Most Costly Mistake Poll

Post#10 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:21 am

MILLIONS?!!! That seems an overestimation, given the combined might of the Free Peoples in the War of the Ring only mustered 20,000-30,000 soldiers. I doubt the loss of military life topped a quarter millon between Wars of the Ring. If three times as many civilians died (which I doubt) it could reach one million, but that seems unlikely. However, I do agree that, at least within the context of the Trilogy, Isildurs failure to destroy the Ring was the most costly "mistake." But can this truly be called a mistake? Neither Gandalf nor Galadriel would touch the filthy thing for fear of being corrupted by it; can we fault Isildur for falling prey to a temptation too great for the eldest of the Noldor in Middle-earth, too great even for a Maia of not inconsiderable power and wisdom? It's not obvious when we first encounter Isildur, but by the end of the Trilogy I was forced to conclude "yeah, Isildur was always going to keep the Ring; the only question was how we would rationalize it."

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