🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Did the Ring betray Sauron?

Ancalagon

Quality, not Quantity!
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
10
Gandalf to Frodo in Bag-End
Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-Maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was MEANT to find the ring, and NOT by its maker. In which case you also were MEANT to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought
One wonders if the Ring was so corrupt in its design that it chose to ultimately betray its own maker!
 

Niniel

Random Quoter
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
1,488
Reaction score
2
Location
The Netherlands
What a coincidence, I was just re-reading exactly this same part yesterday, and asked myself the same question. I think the answer is yes, the Ring did betray Sauron. How I understand it, is that Sauron controls the Ring and lets it do this, like betraying Isildur. But according to Gandalf the Ring did something that Sauron didn't want. So it might be said that it did betray him. But when did this treason start? Before or after Gollum lost it?
Unfortunately, this raises other questions: somewhere else it is said 'The Ring is trying to return to its maker'. Why, if it had betrayed him? Is this a contradiction in Tolkien's work?
And: If the Ring betrayed Sauron, what did it want to do? The Ring is always seen as something with a will of its own, so what did it want? And if it wanted to return to its maker, why did it get harder and harder for Frodo to carry it, the closer he came to Mordor? Or did the Ring understand that Frodo wanted to destroy it? And if so, why didn't the Ring leave Frodo? Somewhere it says: 'The Ring decided to leave Gollum' (the Ring itself, not Sauron mind you!). This little chain that Frodo wore the Ring on, could hardly have stopped it.
So, you see a simple question can raise more questions than it answers...
 

Elanor2

Registered User
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Location
Germany
My interpretation is that the forces of good and evil were having a match there. The Ring (force of evil) fell out of Gollum's pocket because the Ring could not use him to get to Sauron. The Forces of Good (Iluvatar, The Valar...???) brought Bilbo to that place so that he picked up the Ring.

I imagine the Ring's thoughts there (if it can think):
"Great, someone is coming. Good! He's picked me up! Let's who he is... Oh, no! NOT another darn Hobbit!
 

Dagorlad

Registered User
Joined
Sep 16, 2001
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
In the past, almost always
Ancalogon has been thinking. You devious scoundrel. This is good to have new and interesting ideas for the forum instead of always just a lot of jabber-de-jook. But I'm worn out from my just-completed disertation on "Fearing the Dead?" and I'll not be presently provoked, though this is a neat question that I never pondered.

If I could have applied myself nearly that well in college.... Well, that's why we're called Tolkien-Geeks.
 
Last edited:

aragil

Just another loremaster
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
1,852
Reaction score
4
Location
Secondarily Beautiful State of Washington
I agree with Elanor2 here- the passage does not say that 'the ring itself wanted you to have it'. It is never attributed who or what 'meant' for Frodo and Bilbo to get the ring. The ring is attributed as wanting to leave Gollum, but not necessarily wanting to end up with Bilbo and Frodo. Best to keep these two things separate, in my opinion.
 

Quercus

The Last Entwife
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
I don’t believe that the Ring wanted to betray Sauron. I’ve always thought of the ring as sort of a separate entity with a mind of its own, but it needed Sauron as much as Sauron needed it. The Ring left Gollum because it realized that it was never going to get back into Sauron’s possession as long as it stayed with Gollum.

I can think of three possible reasons why it ended up in Bilbo’s hands.

1.) It had no intentions of being found by Bilbo specifically, it just wanted to be found by somebody. There were much greater odds that an orc or a goblin would have found it rather than a lost hobbit.

2.) If the Ring was aware that Bilbo was present in the cave, perhaps it was also aware that Bilbo was heading in an easterly direction which fostered some hope of getting back to its master. However, I don’t recall any incident in the Hobbit (and it’s been a while since I read it) where the Ring might have been trying to get away from Bilbo and continue its journey toward Mordor.

3.) Perhaps the Ring was in no great hurry to get back to Sauron. Perhaps three thousand years was just a drop in the bucket of time, and being picked up by Bilbo was just one small systematic step in the right direction. Perhaps it knew that its stay with Bilbo would be a relatively short one, and soon it would be passed on to someone else.

Who? Why Otho Baggins, of course! Bilbo’s closest living relative (according to patrilineal standards). Imagine the Ring in the hands of Otho, Lobelia and Lotho! I suspect that Sauron would have gotten his Ring back in short order under these circumstances. But if the Ring had known all about Bilbo wouldn’t Sauron had known too?



I must agree with Elanor2 and go with option #1; the Ring had no intention of be picked up by Bilbo. Whether he knew it or not, Gandalf had set the wheels in motion when he got the notion to send Bilbo off on an adventure with the dwarves.

If there had been some divine intervention here, as Gandalf suggests, and Bilbo was indeed MEANT to find the Ring, then surely Frodo was doomed to become an orphan in order to someday inherit the Ring and help save ME.

Does all that make sense - or am I just rambling again?
 

Aldanil

mad about mallorn
Joined
Dec 27, 2001
Messages
281
Reaction score
1
Location
Beleg Iant in Va Usa
the terrors imagined by Master Oak

Now there's a truly horrifying thought: the One Ring in the hands of the Sackville-Bagginses! Yikes!!
 

Eonwe

Upper Class Twit
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
543
Reaction score
1
Good post Quercus.

"However, I don’t recall any incident in the Hobbit (and it’s been a while since I read it) where the Ring might have been trying to get away from Bilbo and continue its journey toward Mordor."

The Ring somehow slips off Bilbo's fingers right when he is in front of the Goblin guards at the exit of the Misty Mountains.
 

Quercus

The Last Entwife
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
Eonwe,

You're right! Thank you for reminding me.

So maybe option #2 is a possibility.

However, I still think that option #1 is most the likely.
 

Camille

Of the Edain
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Messages
331
Reaction score
0
Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-Maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was MEANT to find the ring, and NOT by its maker. In which case you also were MEANT to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought
I do not think that the ring betray his maker, I think that the meaning of the quote above is that something greater that Sauron's will or the desire of the ring to come back to his master was working, and that somehow Frodo, and Bilbo were part of this master plan, maybe some were predeterminated (Bilbo finding the ring) some others were not (cast the ring into the mount doom) and these two situation combined made the story. My own believe is that we make our destiny but in some points luck or casualties make our day!!
 

EverEve

Back from a long hiatus
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
770
Reaction score
1
hmmmmmmm......interesting thoughts. I personally believe that Bilbo was meant to have the ring, as was Frodo. But, now that yall bring up these points, I am beginning to see that it is possible that these things happened by chance. But, the fact that so many people tried to take the ring from Frodo, but Frodo never gave it to them, suggests that he may in fact was meant to get it. It could have been Frodo sheer will power that gave him the ability to keep the ring, but it is possible that there were other forces at work.

Frodo knows that if he puts on the ring, it is a dead give-away for Sauron to there position, but he constantly feels the urge to put it on, especialy in moments of stress. So that could be Sauron at work trying to find his ring. But, Frodo also knows that if Boromir (or anyone really) were to get the ring, he would put it on, and sauron would find it anyway. But, Frodo never gives in to that temptation, so that could be Illuvatar, or the Valar at work trying to get the ring destroyed.

Does anybody get that? I might not have explained so well, but it really does make sense in my head.:p
 

Ancalagon

Quality, not Quantity!
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
10
let's think of another question; was it by chance that the ring was cut from Saurons finger and picked up by Isildur? Consider the history of the Ring after this point; Sauron always wanted it back, yet the Ring never returned, though it did manage to become his single most burning desire.......and isn't that what the Ring is best at?
 

EverEve

Back from a long hiatus
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
770
Reaction score
1
Another hard question. I think that since the ring was with its master, and his master controlled it, that the ring was cut off Sauron's finger by accident. I dont see Sauron willingly giving up his ring, but if he did not really control the ring..........things are totally different. Im not gonna get into that cuz Ill start babbling:eek: .
 

aragil

Just another loremaster
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
1,852
Reaction score
4
Location
Secondarily Beautiful State of Washington
I'd say that the tricks the Ring plays on Frodo (wanting to put the ring on in the Shire, at Weathertop, in the Morgul Vale, and slipping on his finger at the Pony, pulling towards the Mirror in Lothlorien) are all instances of the Ring trying to get back to Sauron. In some of these cases Frodo's will is strong enough to resist the Ring, in other cases Aragorn or another outside influence saves the day. However, I wouldn't say that the Ring stays out of Sauron's grasp for lack of effort.
 

Dagorlad

Registered User
Joined
Sep 16, 2001
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
In the past, almost always
I basically agree with what Aragil just said, but I also think that...

The ring may have surrendered Sauron to the Men and Elves because it knew that he was too weak a vessel at that time to further withstand the siege of Barad Dur and the Battle of Dagorlad which had gone on for several years. It may have been able to corrupt the mind of he who picked it up, and of coarse at just the right time it chose to liberate Sauron's ring finger from his hand in a manner that the deed was done by one such as Isulder. But at this time, the west was still strong, such that even if it could pull off the full corruption of Isuldur, the ring's defeat and risk of destruction would only be at hand again. So the ring mabye *chose* another route....

The ring *might* have "known" that with Sauron defeated, the people of the west would become ever more lax and weak, until someday the ring could strangle them again. What better way to fall into obscurity until that time than to get itself lost in a river, or a mountain?

When the years had past, and a shadow returned, the ring *may* have put Sauron at the top of it's list, but *may* still have not cared very much about who was it's vessel. So it had options.

All of this accomplished by corrupting the minds of whoever possessed the ring.

Through all this, I think "the ring" is interchangable with "evil forces".

The whole thing is just too much speculation for me.:confused:
 

Ancalagon

Quality, not Quantity!
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
10
This is getting back into the realms of 'Does the Ring Think?', which is a tricky combination. Don't look too much into what the ring doesnt yet do, but more what is does! The Ring doesnt like to remain hidden,yet strangely enough, were it so mind-bending that it acheived its ultimate purpose which was to return to Sauron. The Ring led Gollum, to the ends of the earth and back, it eluded Sauron, it found Bilbo and ultimately Frodo, it betrayed Isildur. This ring is a bit of a git!
 

Lady_of_Gondor

CityMaiden
Joined
Mar 22, 2002
Messages
113
Reaction score
2
Location
Le Mans, France
I agree with Ancalogon, in that, we don't really know if the ring thinks or not. IMO, I believe that whatever "instincts" the ring has are to carry out Sauron's intentions. When Sauron forged the ring, didnt he, in a way, make it in his image? The ring doesn't think so much as do what it needs to survive(and by survive I mean get back to Sauron and/or carry out Sauron's intentions), much the same way unsophistocated animals such as rats just act on instinct.

So to get back to the initial question, could the ring be betraying Sauron? While you make very good points for this, I believe it is stated somewhere in the Council of Elrond that all the ring "wants" is to reach it's master. So, no I don't believe that the ring is betraying Sauron.

Good Post!!!
 
H

Harad

Guest
The Ring was a part of Sauron. Could your right arm betray you? (counter-example: Dr. Strangelove). Are you envisioning a Gollum/Smeagol Sauron/Ring Dialog:

"Ring...lovely Ring...come here Ring."
"No..musnt go to nasssty masster...Ring wants to be free...freeeeee."
 

aragil

Just another loremaster
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
1,852
Reaction score
4
Location
Secondarily Beautiful State of Washington
The recent turn of this thread has reminded me that Tolkien would not allow the Ring to have a free will. Independent thought in Tolkien's world could only be bestowed by Eru. Witness the incident with Sauron's original Vala Aule and his Dwarves. If Aule couldn't make Dwarves with independent thought, then it's highly improbable that Aule's student Sauron could make a Ring with independent thought. In Tolkien's universe anyone less than Eru had sub-creative powers, and could not bestow independent will/thought into their creations.
 

Eonwe

Upper Class Twit
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
543
Reaction score
1
Does the "no independent thought" apply here, since Sauron moved most of his original power into the Ring? Or if it is a sub-creation, then (like Illuvatar says to Aule regarding his thought controlling the dwarves without independent thought) did Sauron's thought when intent on the Ring possibly make it do things (within what the Ring is capable of), when not intent it would sit idle?
 
Last edited:

Thread suggestions

Top