Excellent post barclay. It got me thinking about Saruman's Ring and I seem to recall reading somewhere where JRRT compared Saruman's study of ring lore with Germany during WWII. I'm not sure if I came across this in Tolkien or in my readings of WWII though it makes more sense it would be in LOTR, The Silmarillion or UT (I'm excluding The HoME since I'm just now beginning reading them.) Perhaps someone will help me out where I came across this. I thought the comparison implied that both Saruman and Germany if given enough time would have both realized their ultimate desire, total power over their worlds. Germany via their creation of the first atomic bomb, something they were concurrently striving towards as was Japan and the USA. Saruman by creating a ring with which he could have total control over Sauron and ME. I could be reading too much into this but it is an interesting pov and might help shed more light on JRRT's thoughts here. And btw barclay welcome! It's wonderful having new members join.