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The One Ring - invisibility - Tom B

Brent

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The Ring - not being seen - Tom B

THE ring of Power makes you invisible. I've had an arguement that old Tom B was NOT a Maia because when he put the ring on he remained visible and was therefore immune to its power, (Whilst Gandalf etc felt the power of the Ring) unlike everyone else.
Me thinks this is no arguement at all. I suggest that because of their nature the ring would not render a Maia invisible.

Consider
Sauron the Great wore the ONE RING (TM) during his attack on Eregion and the battles of the Last Alliance. He's in combat with Elendil the tall (heavy opponent) Gil Galad (High king of the Noldor - rather deadly I would suspect) and finger cutter Isildur, so I suggest that a good tactical move for any Dark Lord would be to render oneself invisible for the duration of the encounter. Since our friends had a hack at him me thinks its safe to say he was there for all to see - with a ring that makes you invisible - hmm

Any thoughts on this ONE Ring*(TM) forum members.


*ONE RING is the Trademark of Sauron Enterprises (Overseas) Incorporated (a division of Dark Lord Enterprises LLC), a Caymans Island Corporation, used under licence, all rights reserved.
Sauron Enterprises will vigourously protect its intellectual property rights - this means YOU hobbit !!
Always the shadow grows anew !!

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Snaga

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Interesting point.

I suspect that Gil-galad would have been able to see Sauron anyway, as the High Elves could see in the real and wraith worlds. But also a big part of his power was in his presence, and the fear he could induce. I think this would diminuish if he was invisible.
 

pgt

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Yes very interesting point. I agree w/ your logic that he was there to be seen and cleary was wearing the ring and can't justify why he didn't go stealth at a crucial moment...

Remember the ring had NO affect on Tom who seemed to consider it a mere trinket.

Were there not lesser and greater or junior/senior Maia?

While we are sure the ring would have had an affect on someone like an Elrond or Gandalf, I'm not sure that it's entirely clear it would have conferred invsibility per se (see my post on dwarvish rings from the Ring Function thread).
 

Lantarion

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Welcome, Brent! :)
This may sound totally movie-ish, and the LotR probably doesn't even back it up, but in the movie I recall that Sauron wore the Ring over heavy gloves. This could, and prob. is, a crock of the story made up by PJ; but it's an interesting little glitch, that cannot be answered for certain as so little is actually known of the physical power of the One Ring. It might be that Sauron could still tap into the 'stored' power in the Ring, but not become invisible because of the glove. So perhaps the Ring must be in contact with the finger itself to render the wearer invisible..
And it is obviously arguable as to what Tom is; I personally think he was some kind of Maia, but a strange sort that would be better classified as a 'nature spirit'. So perhaps he was a more powerful Maia, possibly sent in secret by Yavanna (ie. only Eru knew of him) when M-e was first created. This might answer the enigma that Tom was there before the first Elves and Men came. Soo, he might be more powerful, and with more 'willpower' than a normal Maia because his mission is to harmonize Nature as best he can, without interfering. I see many similarities with Bombadil's philosophy and Taoism; all that, 'just letting things pass by', and letting Nature work itself out. But perhaps Yavanna had forseen that evil things would arise in M-e, even after the Fall of Beleriand, and that Nature itself should be spiritually upheld by a powerful 'spirit'. This theory might seem a bit strange, because any being charged with such a dire mission would not be so merry and care-free. But I think that, as I said, Tom is not exactly a Maia, or a special kind of Maia (perhaps 'wrought' by Aule?) who only subconcsiously upholds his mission, and needs only to Be to fulfill his deed.
Hmm, strayed a bit there.. :) But welcome again.
 

pgt

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I recall Sauron was already some sort of shape shifter originally. I don't have a clue on the glove thing. I completely agree that the ring allowed him to tap into or regain power since he's after it. (Also having it prevents other from destroying it!) In fact other than the movie I have no real idea what his stature or form was was at either:

A) the last battle of the alliance (he was a veritable 'giant' in the movie). I could only he was dressed in armor for battle but beyond that ...

or

B) during the war of the ring when had again 'assumed form' (when Pippin saw him but didn't describe him). At this juncture, personally, I always had a vague image of the emperor from Star Wars.

Ideas?
 
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Gandalf 2058

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I think that the one ring didn't turn Bombadil invisable or Sauron invisable was because they knew how to use the power of the ring, and could weild it. When anyone else (hobbit or man) would try to use it, they couldn't weild it because it was to powerful. Only the most powerful could fully weild it.
 

Brent

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Originally posted by Gandalf 2058
I think that the one ring didn't turn Bombadil invisable or Sauron invisable was because they knew how to use the power of the ring, and could weild it. When anyone else (hobbit or man) would try to use it, they couldn't weild it because it was to powerful. Only the most powerful could fully weild it.
Ah yes BUT if your in combat with a bunch of Numenoreans then it would be a good idea to go "stealth" as one poster puts it.

I don't swallow the "glove" arguement it doesn't seem to fit, I think the wraith world arguements concerning Maia better. Also remember that Sauron is NOT like Gandalf and the other wizards. Tolkien says that the wizards are indeed encased in flesh and subject to the same weakness as men, Sauron merely takes on a form.
 

Ithrynluin

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Why do you think the One Ring, when worn, makes those of smaller stature invisible, but not those who are greater? Do you think perhaps the greater ones (like Maiar) can choose whether to become invisible or not (when wearing the One Ring)?

Do you think this side effect was devised by Sauron himself upon forging the ring? If so, for what reason?

Like others in this thread have said, it would have been very convenient for Sauron to be able to 'go into invisible mode' at such crucial instances as the Battle of the Last Alliance or when he was captured by Ar-Pharazon.

by Variag of Khand
I suspect that Gil-galad would have been able to see Sauron anyway, as the High Elves could see in the real and wraith worlds.
For some reason, I doubt even the High-Elves were able to see someone who was invisible on account of wearing the One...I can't exactly explain why I think so... On a side note, Gil-galad is not a High Elf...

I also disagree with Lanty's glove argument. It just seems a little too far-fetched somehow...
 

Inderjit S

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In Isildur's manuscripts he claims that Sauron had a "black hand", that burnt like fire, and killed Gil-Galad. Gollum makes a similair statement. (He has four fingers on his Black Hand.)

Tom was able to remain visible when he wore the ring because the ring had no effect on him, he didn't think much of it, wheras Gandalf, Saruman and Sauron, as well as others did think a lot of it and they would have been corrupted by it.
 

Gildor

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Invisibility seems to be the least of the Ring's powers and the only one that is usable by the mortal beings who we see put it on in the book. It seems likely that this lesser effect is discarded or overrridden when someone is able to harness the Ring's greater powers, which have more to do with dominating by one's physical and mental presence than they do with hiding or concealment. It is also arguable that someone of greater stature would not want to be invisible even in battle, as when wielding the full power of the Ring they would see themselves as being invincible. Even if he could have chosen to disappear, Sauron may easily have fallen prey to overconfidence...seeking to strike awe and terror into his enemies with his physical might, he made himself vulnerable.

As far as the Ring being in the hands of a powerful being other than Sauron, I think the very nature of the Ring would make that person even more visible, especially to Sauron himself. If Gandalf or Galadriel had put on the Ring, they would have become a beacon of power that could probably not be cloaked or concealed by any means. On the other hand, Bombadil seems to be so disconnected from the other powers in Middle Earth that in his hands the Ring has no power at all.
Originally posted by ithrynluin
On a side note, Gil-galad is not a High Elf...
On another side note, Gil-Galad was the last high king of the Noldor and was the son of Fingon, most definitely making him a High Elf. ;)
 

Ithrynluin

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Welcome to the forum, Gildor!

Originally posted by Gildor
On another side note, Gil-Galad was the last high king of the Noldor and was the son of Fingon, most definitely making him a High Elf.
The Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
These were the three kindreds of the Eldalië, who passing at length into the uttermost West in the days of the Trees are called the Calaquendi, Elves of the Light. But others of the Eldar there were who set out indeed upon the westward march, but became lost upon the long road, or turned aside, or lingered on the shores of Middle-earth; and these were for the most part of the kindred of the Teleri, as is told hereafter. They dwelt by the sea or wandered in the woods and mountains of the world, yet their hearts were turned towards the West. Those Elves the Calaquendi call the Úmanyar, since they came never to the land of Aman and the Blessed Realm; but the Úmanyar and the Avari alike they call the Moriquendi, Elves of the Darkness, for they never beheld the Light that was before the Sun and Moon.
Index of names to the Silmarillion
Calaquendi - Elves of the Light', those Elves who lived or had lived in Aman (the High Elves).
The History of Middle-Earth XI: The War of the Jewels; Quendi and Eldar
The Quenya forms were Kalaquendi and Moriquendi. [color=sky blue]The Kalaquendi in Quenya applied only to the Elves who actually lived or had lived in Aman[/color]; and the Moriquendi was applied to all others, whether they had come on the March or not. The latter were regarded as greatly inferior to the Kalaquendi, who had experienced the Light of Valinor, and had also acquired far greater knowledge and powers by their association with the Valar and Maiar.
The terms 'Calaquendi' and 'High-Elves' are interchangeable.

Gil-galad may indeed be greater than the children of non-High-Elven parents, but he himself cannot be called a High-Elf. He was born in Beleriand and had never lived in Aman.

Or is there some passage somewhere (that I am unaware of) that states that the children of High-Elven parents are automatically High-Elves themselves?
 

WizardMagus

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I was personally under the impression that the son of a High Elf is a High Elf, but that's because I think of High Elves as a race, rather than a specific group of people. *shrug*

I don't see Tom Bombadil as a Maiar. Too many things about him don't really check out. I think of him as a part of the actual world, created at the same moment, and so he was above such things of men, like the One Ring. But that's just my feeling.

As for Sauron, he lost his physical body when Numenor was swallowed into the sea. Therefore, he already WAS a spirit during the time of the Last Alliance. When a spirit, who is already invisible, wears a Ring, what could possibly happen? My thought is that because Sauron materialized himself into a somewhat physical form in order to battle, that would negate the effects of the Ring.

The real argument is that Sauron is the master of the Ring. He made it himself. He would logically have complete control of it. End of story. :D
 

Inderjit S

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Lantarion

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LOL I can't believe I actually wrote that.. My only excuse is that I was young and naïve! ;) :D

Hm, anyway I would almost agree with the theory that Maiar would not turn invisible if they put on the Ring.
Sauron is a Maia. He 'poured' much of his 'soul' (i.e. his Valinorean spirit) into the Ring. But if it is the same essense that he is composed of, why should it have any side-effects? Because that is, as I see it, what the invisibility of the One Ring is. The true purpose of it is to greatly enhance the Valinorean stature of a Maia when in corporeal form. If the wearer/bearer is of lesser Valinorean stature than a Maia (e.g. Frodo, Gollum), then the Ring will produce solely side-effects (hunger for power after long exposure, invisibility).
I believe that if Gandalf had worn the Ring, he wouldn't have become invisible. So in that sense it is one argument for Tom being a Maia; but if the above theory was true, then it would only prove that Tom had a similar (probably even more powerful) essence to that of a Maia's.
 
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laurelindorenan

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Yes, I agree with the comments made. Also, I get ths feeling that after being, like, mega-evil for a while, Sauron might be a bit less than a real solid being. Do you see where I'm going with this? Sorry to go back to the movie, but maybe his soul, or whatever was just inhabiting a body. I don't know, I just think it can't be good for your health.

I am puzzled as to why the ring has no effect on Tom Bombadil. Is it just his good nature repelling the evil? I don't know, you lot figure it out...
 

Lantarion

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Originally posted by laurelindorenan
Sorry to go back to the movie, but maybe his soul, or whatever was just inhabiting a body. I don't know, I just think it can't be good for your health.
How is that going back to the movies? :confused:
And you're right, Sauron's Maia-essense is only inhabiting some vague corporeal form while he's in Arda.
I am puzzled as to why the ring has no effect on Tom Bombadil. Is it just his good nature repelling the evil? I don't know, you lot figure it out...
Um, well we've had quote a lot of arguments already.. Read through those and make up your mind. :)
And that's not a bad theory either, it's really basic but who's to say that Tolkien didn't mean for it to be exactly that fundamental?
 
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laurelindorenan

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I was referring to the movie because it looked like Sauron was walking around in a big suit of armour thing. It kind of looked custom made, so thats kind of what I meant. And looking on the Tom Bombadil thing, I have satisfied my want for knowledge. Thanks for asking.
 

The PETER

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I believe that the reason Tom Bombadill could see Frodo with the Ring is simply that his willpower is too strong. The side-effect (good argument) is, in my opinion, only a trick that effects the weak-minded (maybe the wrong word, but I can't find any better). Do you see my point?
 

Lantarion

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I do PETER, and it's a lot like the Maia-theory, except with willpower instead of Maia-essense. :)
 

Úlairi

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My lord, how long has it been? My first post in answer to debate! And in my specialty, Ring Lore. I made a thread a long time ago, it was my magnum opus and it had everything and anything to do with this discussion. The textual evidence was compelling, if only I could remember it!

In answer to the post.

There are only two people that have power above and beyond that of a Hobbit that we see wear the Ring, and remarkably, they never become invisible! How could this be possible? I argued a long time ago that the invisibility induced by the Ring upon a bearer was quite simply a devised mechanism of the Ring created by none other than Sauron himself. The invisibility is in fact a mere result of something far greater, the ability of the Ring to bring its bearer into the spirit realms that higher beings exist in. Bodies are mere encapsulations of the spirit in all of Tolkiens books. The invisibility occurs when any bearer that is mortal wears it. Why? The Gift of Men of course, mortality. In theory if an Elf possessed it they would not turn invisible. I also argued that invisibility was an excellent indication that a person who wore, when turned invisible, was a compelling indication that they had neither the strength nor will to possess it. You're argument about Tom Bombadil is valid, according to Tolkien he is the dying spirit of the English countryside. I had a proof that Tom was a Maia some while back, but I'd need to dig it up, like most of my old posts.

We know that Tom isn't Valar, as they weren't allowed to go to Middle-earth in those times, which is why the sent their minions. You're argument is an indication that he isn't Maia. There is reference to other spirits in the Music of the Ainur as far as I recall, but I haven't read the books for quite some time, and I don't have them with me. Ah, now I remember! Does Frodo suggest that the Ring should stay with Bombadil??? Answer me that, and I'll see if I can remember the proof in full. Give me Bombadil's relpy to that question if it exists.
 

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