Could Treebeard have destroyed the Ring?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by BalrogRingDestroyer, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. BalrogRingDestroyer

    BalrogRingDestroyer Member

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    I get that he'd have had a job getting into Mordor and to Mount Doom unseen, but assuming he could, and was given the Ring, could he be strong enough to resist its tricks to throw it into the fire?

    I don't see him having much use for the thing, other than to perhaps find or bring back the Entwives. Unlike the Elves, he doesn't even appear to have tried to fend off the changes brought on by the passing of time, so I don't think he'd have used the One Ring as a preservation tool either.
     
  2. Merroe

    Merroe Active Member

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    It might have proven difficult to convince him to take an interest, other than for his woods:

    I am not altogether on anybody’s side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me: nobody cares for the woods as I care for them, not even Elves nowadays.

    However, he would have been able to pass Cirith Ungol unharmed, no doubt: I can imagine that Shelob's appetite for wood was rather limited! :D
     

  3. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    I'd expect a situation similar to that of Tom Bombadil. He might take it

    ". . .if all the free folk of the world begged him. . .if he were given the Ring, he would soon forget it, or mostly likely throw it away. Such things have no hold on his mind.'

    In fact, it would be even more the case with Treebeard; we don't know the origins of TB, but we do see some of his powers at work, his interests, and what he saw as his responsibilities. As Goldberry says, he is "the Master of wood, water, and hill". He seems to owe his "external" origins in part to the shamans of the Kalevala. And he does take the brooch from the barrow, though it is intended for his wife.

    Of the Ents, on the other hand, we do know their origins: they were created, or at least given sentience, at the behest of Yavanna, to protect the Olvar of Middle Earth against the depredations of the "walkers" -- orcs, certainly, but especially the dwarves of Aule. This is significant, as it is the dwarves who are fascinated, to the point of obsession, with the creation and possession of artifacts, something which held no interest for Yavanna, a characteristic which would be "bred into" the Ents. They are, in fact, the polar opposite of Dwarves, desiring ownership of nothing. Treebeard, certainly, shows no particular interest in made artifacts.

    As such, he, as Gandalf says of Bombadil:

    '...would be a most unsafe guardian; and that alone is answer enough.'
     
  4. Starbrow

    Starbrow Tolkien Fan

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    I think Treebeard would be tempted to use the ring. I can see him wanting to use it's power to protect the forests, but gradually being overcome by the ring and turning to evil.
     
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  5. Miguel

    Miguel Member

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    Evil could sprout!. I've read that Treebeard was a villain in the original drafts of LOTR. He was the one who captured Galdalf instead of Saruman and was referred to as the "Giant Treebeard".

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  6. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    Yes, at one point, Treebeard was evil. But just as the original idea that the Horselords served Mordor morphed into only a "rumor", as the story developed, so the Evil Treeman became Old Man Willow. And Aragorn married Arwen, instead of Eowyn.

    We have to judge from the final text; on that basis, I retain the view stated in my earlier post.
     
  7. Miguel

    Miguel Member

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    If you happened to be under Aragorn's skin, who would you have married, Arwen or Eowyn? :)
     
  8. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
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  9. darkG

    darkG New Member

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    I think there indeed are similarities to Bombadill, both are a bit detached from business outside their realms, and foreign to other species' pursuits. Still, Treebeard is not as likely as Bombadill to forget it or throw it away; he's not distracted as much as detached, and once committed he would in my mind surely make any effort to destroy it.

    But would he commit? He just might.
     
  10. Thistle Bunce

    Thistle Bunce Member

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    In addition to the excellent points made above, I suggest that Treebeard's treatment of Saruman would make him unlikely to be a guaranteed destroyer of the Ring. Treebeard knew Saruman and had no reason at all to like him, given the destruction of so many trees to further Saruman's ends. Treebeard knew the evil that Saruman was capable of, yet, in a surprising show of sympathy, Treebeard allowed both Saruman and Wormtongue to leave Orthanc and toddle off to make more trouble.

    He would have known even less about the power of the Ring, beyond its existence and the desire of Sauron to reclaim it. He had been told something of the situation by Gandalf, as seen when he congratulates the hobbits for saying less than they could have about their situation, but if he was willing to loose Saruman, whose evil he had seen first hand, he would probably be as willing to lose the Ring.
     
  11. Miguel

    Miguel Member

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  12. Starbrow

    Starbrow Tolkien Fan

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    Just as Treebeard showed he was susceptible to Saruman's voice and persuasion, I think he would also submit to the Ring's insidious influence. I think he would attempt to rule the forests and ultimately all of ME unless he was overthrown.
     
  13. Aramarien

    Aramarien New Member

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    I agree with Starbrow. Treebeard was able to be influenced by Saruman's voice. Gandalf says to Treebeard of Saruman at Orthanc, "He had the poison of his voice, and I guess that he persuaded you, even you Treebeard, knowing the soft spot in your heart..." (ROTK, Many Partings)

    If Treebeard could succumb to Saruman's voice, how would he stand against the power of the ring? Like Gandalf, he might be tempted to use the ring for good, but be corrupted in the end.
     

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