Do the Great Rings also corrupt?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by BalrogRingDestroyer, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. BalrogRingDestroyer

    BalrogRingDestroyer Member

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    Obviously, the Nine Rings turned nine men into Nazgul, so they are bad. But less is known of the Seven Dwarven Rings. Do they corrupt? They don't appear to have ensnared the dwarven lords to Sauron's service.

    Also, the Three Rings of the Elves don't appear to be evil, yet Gandalf calls the Great Rings "perilous" and says that they would make mortals fade if used too much and would have bad effects on them. Does that also apply to the three Elven Rings?

    The only one that we know that had them that wasn't an Elf was Gandalf, who was a Maia, which is, from what I can gather, a "super Elf" with the ability to shape shift and with more power than most Elves (at least concerning power, immortality, etc.)

    If Bilbo, Gimli, or Aragorn were to long possess one of the Three Rings, would it hurt them? What if they had one of the Dwarven Rings? Would those hurt Bilbo and Aragorn (The Dwarves don't appear to be ensnared to Sauron by them, so likely Gimli may have been immune, though maybe Legolas wouldn't have, especially as the Dwarven Rings were made by the Enemy, and maybe Dwarves were just too hardy but the other kinds would have fallen.)

    Also, while the Nine Rings were likely the most perilous to mortals, would they have any significant effect on Legolas, Galadriel, or Gandalf if they kept them?
     
  2. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    I think the Seven would definitely corrupt a Man, and change him into a Wraith much like the Nine had done. The Dwarves resisted not because of the difference in the Rings - but because of something inherent about themselves.

    The Three... that's a tough one. The Elves claimed that Sauron had never touched them. I think the greatest danger there is that possession of one of the Three would leave the wearer open to control by a powerful person who had the One.
     
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  3. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    According to Gandalf (The Shadow of the Past): "And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end invisible permanently, and walks in . . ."

    I would say the larger context concerns the Great Rings, so Gandalf seemingly includes the Three. But according to Tolkien (in a letter) the Three did not confer invisibility. My normal path is to give far greater weight to author-published material, but in this case, I think Gandalf could be excused for generalizing.

    That is, I think part of the point is to warn Frodo about using his Ring, which both Frodo and Gandalf know confers invisibilitability (< I know it's spelled wrong but it looks good in my opinion), so Gandalf adding "except the Three don't confer invisibilitability" (or whatever) seems hardly necessary at this point in the discussion.

    In my opinion. Or something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  4. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    You would need to understand the nature of magic in Middle-Earth overall to understand the question.

    In Middle-Earth there coexists two worlds (dimensions), Seen and Unseen. It's in the nature of the Elves to dwell in both worlds at once. Galadriel's ring Nenya is hidden into the the Unseen world though she carries them in both. I don't know if it applies to Narya and Vilya, but it would make sense.

    Now, Unseen world is neutral with both creatures of darkness and light, just like the seen world. It's in the nature of Elves (especially the Eldar) to see the Unseen as well and be a part of it, though it's hidden from the mortal races. Remember when Frodo saw Glorfindel as a bright light at the Ford of Bruinen as he began to fade and everything else grew dim?

    The reason why Frodo can see Nenya is that The One Ring has made him see the Unseen as well as shift into that dimension (so he's not invisible from the creatures of Unseen when he puts it on) - something that Galadriel commented on by saying that his sight has known keener. Gandalf warned him not to do it (too often), so Frodo wouldn't get shifted into the Unseen world permanently like the Nazgûl.

    I don't believe that the Three Rings would corrupt, at least not when The One Ring isn't controlling them yet. They were created on a very different idea than the rest of the Rings of Power - healing and renewal. Sauron also never touched them which is why he has failed to get them under his power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  5. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    In my head canon, I don't believe the Three were invsiable (misspelled again) to mortal eyes.

    Though they were disguised to mortal eyes . . . as rings ;)
     
  6. CirdanLinweilin

    CirdanLinweilin The Wandering Wastrel

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    Though the Three could lead to the holders to become quite obsessive with things being as the should, with preserving from natural progress. I think the Elves sort of fell into this for a while.


    CL
     
  7. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    Perhaps he didn't see the ring, but what he saw wasn't nothing. Maybe there's light in it that reflects into the Seen world.
     
  8. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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  9. Elaini

    Elaini Lost in Eä

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    Yes, certainly preserving as well. There's a description that in Lórien they could hear the cry of birds that were long gone. It was almost like Galadriel could control the passing of time with Nenya. With The One Ring broken Nenya would also lose its power and in came the wear and fading until Lórien was but a memory.

    But Galadriel knew that it was going to be her sacrifice which is why she didn't take the One Ring but chose to help Frodo instead. Sauron had done enough damage for her loved ones already anyway.
     
  10. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    I think Sam saw, but did not recognize/understand/pay attention to both his sight and hearing.

    I agree that Frodo's ability was enhanced, but I still think he didn't suddenly see Nenya, but suddenly understood what it was (for myself, I'm not sure I would have noticed Galadriel was even wearing a ring until she made her notable gesture under Earendil). When Frodo saw Nenya, it's likened to a star, "... as if the Even-star had come down to rest upon her hand. Frodo gazed with awe; for suddenly it seemed to him that he understood."

    Tolkien has Sam see a "star" too, but to my mind he was still upset and distracted by his vision -- still referring to the gaffer at the end of this scene. But even if Sam had realized the star was a ring, he couldn't perceive/know that it was one of the Three.

    Galadriel says this to Frodo, and in the next breath turns to Sam. "And did you not see and recognize the ring upon my finger? Did you see my ring?" she asked, turning again to Sam.

    To me, the second part seems an abbreviated form of the same question to Frodo. And Sam doesn't say that he saw nothing, but that he saw the same "seeming image" that Frodo saw -- a star -- but he's not a ringbearer of course, and even after Galadriel asks her question, Sam's response still includes what I believe to be his main distraction through all this, his vision, including "them digging up the gaffer and turning him adrift."

    And Frodo's question to Galadriel (the one he meant to ask Gandalf in Rivendell) reads: "I am permitted to wear the One: why cannot I see all the others and know the thoughts of those that wear them?"

    To me this is not merely about visual sight at a given meeting with someone, for example (not that anyone said otherwise), but goes to the very perception that Sauron desired with his ring ruse: you put on the One, and you can "see" the bearers and their thoughts. But as noted (Galadriel says), Frodo has not tried this. Yet even so "your sight has grown keener. You have perceived my thought more clearly than many that are accounted wise."

    I would say sight/perception/recognition.

    Elrond may have also worn Vilya openly on his finger only in select times, but on the other hand (cough, pun intended), generally speaking, Elrond wearing jewelry doesn't necessarily mean he's wearing Vilya.

    And thanks SE-S :D

    I didn't have to roam far for that (slightly edited) copy-and-paste.
     
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