Why could Bilbo and Sam part with the Ring voluntarily when nobody else could?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by BalrogRingDestroyer, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. BalrogRingDestroyer

    BalrogRingDestroyer Member

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    Sauron: Didn't part with it of his own free will. Had it cut from his finger.
    Isildur: Didn't destroy it and only parted with it when killed by orcs.
    Deagol: Didn't seem willing to part with it and only parted with it when murdered by Smeagol.
    Smeagol*: Lost it unwillingly when it slipped off his finger.
    Bilbo: Parted with it willingly.
    Frodo*: Did NOT part with it willingly by had it taken from him, first by Sam, and later by Smeagol.
    Sam: Parted with it willingly.

    * Smeagol and Frodo, alone of the above, lost the Ring once but got it back later. However, neither parted with it willingly the second time either.

    BTW, I just realized, Bombadil and Gandalf had it briefly too, but that was of very negligible time.
     
  2. Aramarien

    Aramarien New Member

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    Isildur took the ring when it was very near the height of its power, near Orodruin and it was still warm with the heat of Sauron's hand. With Smeagol, he wasn't the best of characters to begin with. Frodo was willing to give it to Gandalf, offered it to Galadriel and would have reluctantly given it to another bearer if the Council of Elrond had decided on another Ring Bearer.

    Tolkien has said in his letters that no mortal would have been able to resist the Ring at Mt. Doom at the very height of its power and Frodo was no exception.

    Bilbo needed all of Gandalf's help to let go of the Ring at Bag End. Bilbo went through the elaborate planning of the party to help him give up the Ring. The Ring was starting to get a hold of him.

    Sam had it briefly and took possession of it with good intentions. He agonized with his decision to take it from what he thought was a deceased Frodo in order to destroy it and go on with the mission for the sake of Middle Earth. Like Bilbo, he did not take it from someone else for his own self gain. Sam was tempted by the Ring, but his love for Frodo and his good hobbit sense and humbleness overcame it.

    Gandalf said of Bilbo, " Be sure that he that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity."

    But neither Bilbo or Sam had the Ring at the end as it gained in its power step by step toward Mt. Doom which Frodo endured with agony. It was at the very cracks of Doom that the Ring was at the height of its power, and Frodo, a mere mortal could endure it no longer.
     

  3. Gilgaearel

    Gilgaearel Member

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    My notion is that only those who wore the ring didn't want to give it away. Frodo offered the ring to Gandalf in the beginning in order to get rid of it as he hadn't use it up until that moment. But when he offered it to Galandriel he did it in order to revenge her by tempting her to get it for looking in his mind. At this point he had already used the ring twice and he could now see hers. The ring was already affecting him.

    All the rest, Isildur, Smeagol and Bilbo had used the ring and couldn't give it away. The ring was that who abandoned the first two and Bilbo needed Gandalf's help to abandon it.

    Gandalf didn't want not even to touch it. Same Galandriel.
     
  4. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    Actually, I think that Book-Gandalf, unlike Movie-Gandalf, did handle it just a bit (going on memory here - I could be wrong). The movie portrayal was interesting though, and I wonder if JRRT himself might have thought it a good idea to have Gandalf avoid touching it if he had seen that scene. It sure emphasizes the seductive power of the Ring.
     

  5. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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    You're not wrong; Gandalf does handle the Ring -- and even throws it in the fire, in "The Shadow of the Past". I stated my reasoning for the seeming incongruity here:

    http://www.thetolkienforum.com/inde...st-alliance-weaknesss-or-inevitability.23609/

    so won't repeat myself. It was PJ's obsessive need to amp up every aspect of the story, essentially directing with the equivalent of a yellow highlighting marker, that made him change the scene -- and giving a generation of readers a distorted understanding of the Ring.
     
  6. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    Yes - I suppose we see consistency in the book, with Ring-handlings by both Gandalf and Bombadil. And while I don't like everything that PJ did with the movie, I didn't object so much to making the Ring more menacing in this way. It IS interesting how strongly the visual images shape our memories. I've had several discussions on the Books where someone states the alternative action which is actually in the movies - without realizing it. So if we've read, and we've also seen - the "seen" makes a very strong impression, by comparison.
     
  7. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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    Indeed. I can understand that sometimes there is a need to emphasize an aspect of a story, when translating a written work to film -- to "foreshorten" it, under the restrictions of time, for instance -- where the book has leisure to render it much more subtly.

    The problem is that it may cause misunderstanding of what the author created so carefully, in allowing us to see whatever aspect presented -- the Ring, in this case -- from different angles and viewpoints, so that we build up a fuller picture.

    The result of PJ's treatment seems to have led many to what I called elsewhere a "black hole" idea of the Ring: that it sucks in any who touch, or even get near it; that, at least, is the impression I have from reading old threads from the time of the films' release -- a great number of questions, for instance, about why the other members of the Fellowship seemingly weren't affected by the apparently overwhelming power of the Ring, as portrayed by PJ.

    Or worse: the idea that Aragorn or Faramir were "tempted" by the Ring, something definitely absent in the book, and imported, or "back-translated" from the films, as you point out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
    CirdanLinweilin likes this.
  8. Gilgaearel

    Gilgaearel Member

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    I didn't mean that literally. :)
     
  9. Merroe

    Merroe Active Member

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    I wore The One Ring most of my life now, and let me confirm this: there's no way now to get rid of it!:confused:

    Well, I do - I'm totally subdued to her will! :(:(:(
     
  10. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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    Heh.

    download.jpeg

    Placate her with a mug.
    images (9).jpeg

    Or a sweatshirt.
    images (5).jpeg
     
  11. Gilgaearel

    Gilgaearel Member

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    Well... you should have been more careful!
     
  12. Barliman

    Barliman Active Member

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    Sam wore the ring, quite a bit for the amount of time it was in his possession, and wasn't overly resistant to returning it to Frodo.

    Odd, there are moments from the book that I think are, MUST be, in the movie only to find out they aren't, or are bastardized in the movie.
    SES and I were talking this summer and he mentioned Frodo sending Sam away, my response was, "What?! What are you talking about, he never did that." Then he reminded me it was from the movie.
    I think I loathed the movies so much I'm immune to thinking something from the movies is in the book. My disdain for the movies is like a elven cloak. :p
     
  13. Gilgaearel

    Gilgaearel Member

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    My point is that he was too, though he wasn't a person that possessed any particular power or maliciousness in order to be a good bearer for the Ring itself to stay with him ( as the ring had his own will). But then again he didn't want to give it away.
    Those who used it didn't want to give it back. And those who knew that they would probably got into the temptation to use it, didn't want it.