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The Many Forms of the "One Ring"

Istari

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I suffered a dillema last night, and I'm amazed that I never thought of it before. Of course I'm expecting a simple explanation for a very irritating question, but I still need to know.

Sauron poured a part of himself into the One Ring. When he wore it, it gave him supernatural powers. He could dispatch armies by barely lifting a finger. Yet after two and a half millenia, the One Ring falls into Bilbo's hands and suddenly it grants him the power of invisibility. Why did this never come up with Sauron when he wore the One Ring? Is there some sort of transition from Maia of Evil to Hobbit?
 

Nazgul

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My guess is that Sauron could be invisible of he wanted to, by the power of the ring.
In bilbo`s hands the only thing that the ring could do was to make him invisible and that because he couldn`t control and order the ring what to do for he hadn`t had enough power to do it.
 
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Istari

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Originally posted by Nazgul
My guess is that Sauron could be invisible of he wanted to, by the power of the ring.
In bilbo`s hands the only thing that the ring could do was to make him invisible and that because he couldn`t control and order the ring what to do for he hadn`t had enough power to do it.
I still think it works differently for each race. It makes little sense for Sauron to NOT go invisible when he'd clearly have an advantage in that form.
 

LadyEowyn

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Originally posted by Istari
I suffered a dillema last night, and I'm amazed that I never thought of it before. Of course I'm expecting a simple explanation for a very irritating question, but I still need to know.

Sauron poured a part of himself into the One Ring. When he wore it, it gave him supernatural powers. He could dispatch armies by barely lifting a finger. Yet after two and a half millenia, the One Ring falls into Bilbo's hands and suddenly it grants him the power of invisibility. Why did this never come up with Sauron when he wore the One Ring? Is there some sort of transition from Maia of Evil to Hobbit?
Well, to answer your question correctly, one would have to know the full true power of the ring, which by reading posts in this forum I've found that no one here truely knows what it can do.(Besides turning whoever wheres it invisible) I've seen some pretty great guesses and theroys though. So, I'm not sure if your question is answerable.
 

Lord Aragorn

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I think that the ring can be controlled in various levels depending on the will and power of the wearer. For example in RotK Gandalf states that Sauron was concerned with the army that apprached Mordor because Sauron knew that there were people, like perhaps Gandalf or Aragorn, who could control the ring to a greater extent and pose a threat to Sauron's own power. Also, while the Fellowship was in Lothlorien, Frodo offered the ring to Galadriel. She, in response, said that the only thing that would come of that would be in place of Sauron, and she would eventually become a master of evil and a dark lord (something like that). Hinting that she would be able the control the ring to a greater extent. You see, Gollum, Bilbo, and Frodo could only gain invisibilty, and although Frodo and Bilbo never looked to gain more powers from the ring, Gollum may have tried to use the ring to a greater extent, which he could not. So I think it depends on the power of the wearer, or else Sauron wouldn't have been concerned if he knew that no one but him could wield the ring and use its power against him. This is my view at least.
 

Snaga

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The power of invisibility was not new when the ring was rediscovered because Isildur also obtained this power. The ring betrayed him by slipping off his finger as he swam the Anduin allowing orc archers to nail him.

Somewhere Frodo asks why he cannot understand the thoughts of the other ringbearers, and Galadriel tells him don't even go there. (In the sense that Aragorn says lets hunt some orc, you understand). Galadriel explains, and also Gandalf previously I think, that it gives power according to the strength of its owner.

Frodo in fact gains in other ways: he can see Galadriel's ring, and understand her temptation. He gains wisdom and authority as shown in his dealings with Faramir, and Gollum. In the case of Gollum, he uses its power to dominate Gollum, and ultimately it is this power that destroys the ring. Why? Because he declares that Gollum will be cast into the Cracks of Doom if he touches the ring... and you know the ending.

Frodo is the only ring-bearer besides Sauron who wields the ring knowing its power. What Isildur would have done with it we don't know.

The other point to take issue with slightly is the Sauron 'could dispatch armies by barely lifting a finger' claim. I think this is the film interpretation rather than anything strictly claimed within the book. Nothing to say PJ's wrong either. Of course you may have been talking figuratively - sorry if that's the case. But what this does point to is the lack of detail about what the ring can really do, which is part of Tolkien's genius because the reader fills in the blanks for themselves. If anyone more learned than me can fill in any more of this ...?
 

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