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"The Power of the Ring"

Grond

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Okay. We've asked a lot of questions about this and that. This very question may have been asked before, but Grond hasn't seen it.

Here goes.... "What is the true nature of the power of the ring?"
And, I don't mean the meek, minor power given to a Hobbit who hasn't claimed it for his own. I don't mean walking around in the shadows. I don't mean being able to see Ringwraith's in their true form. What I mean is "What additional power would the Ring impart to Sauron, or one of the other Greats (Elrond, Aragorn, Gandalf, Saruman) if they had actually claimed it for their own and harnassed and learned to use its full power?"

Grond is extremely testy about being in third place in the moderator election and will "crush", "hammer", "stomp" and "mash" any 'stupid' responses... so, post at your own peril. (aka... Grond is really pissy!)
 

Valinorean

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Originally posted by Grond
What additional power would the Ring impart to Sauron, or one of the other Greats (Elrond, Aragorn, Gandalf, Saruman) if they had actually claimed it for their own and harnassed and learned to use its full power?
Good luck Grond. I was going to hazard a response, but I think this is one for the true scholars. Plus, I don't have the books with me here at work.

Whatever the effect the ring would have, it wouldn't be good in the long run, or so they say.
 

Merry

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Is this power supposed to be identified? Is this like Pulp Fiction where we never learn what is in the briefcase?

I get the impression that Boromir thought that the ring would have given him power over armies in a physical way, I actually think that the ring would have been a mind controlling device that caused armies to fall and the wise to flee, all things beautiful to fail and defenses to crumble.

I agree with Valinorean, this question is for those who know what they are talking about.

*Waits patiently for Kem, Anc, Mike B and RW to make a triumphant entrance to save the day*
 

Ancalagon

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As I know you are fully capable of submitting a reasoned and well researched response to this question, I will refrain from offering my own opinion until I have read yours.

If you are that concerned about the moderators position, take my place, rather that than feel the 'wrath of Grond'. :)
 

Valinorean

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Okay, okay.

I am on my way home for lunch, so I will grab FotR, which I was reading last night till midnight. I am at The Mirror of Galagriel. Once I refresh my memory about her response, I will be back with a meaningful post.

I hope someone who knows more that I do chimes in soon, though, because I am fascinated by the question!

Thanks a lot, Grond! I do have real work to do today, but I can't focus on it . . .
 

Grond

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Anc.... Grond is just joshing (South Louisianian for Joking). He's not really upset as all four of us in the running would do excellent jobs and have the prerequisite understanding of the works. Everyone, please feel free to respond to this thread without fear of Grond "grinding you into the dust". I assure you that at worst I would put a bump on your head and nothing worse.

Having said that, I want everyone to remember that their are several references to the Ring's power in the book. What I'm looking for is a discussion of those quotes, what they mean, and how they actually related to the story.
 

Lantarion

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Great question, Grond. I have also realized (In fact I had a debate about it with a friend of mine today) that the power of the Ring is never described. What does it do? What can you do with it? What's the point of destroying it if you don't know what it does?
Well, I answered that the fact that it is a semi-mystery is one of the very reasons it should be destroyed. Not knowing something about a dangerous object is a lot worse than knowing something about it, I say. (or as the Gaffer might have said :D ) Then my friend, who has actually read the LotR :rolleyes: , struck me with another question: why would Sauron want the Ring, a simple little trinket that you can build things with, so badly that he searches for it for years?
I didn't have a very witty answer this time. I didn't really know! There is no section in the LotR which explains the power and might of the Ring, and although there is the obvious implication that Middle-earth would be doomed if He got it.
"The Dark Lord Sauron needs only this Ring to cover all the lands in Darkness!"
Yes, I know, movie-quote. Shame on me. But I think that the terrible, corruptive and destructive power of the Ring would be emphasized a lot more if the reader knew what that power was! My friend is more into D&D, and sees the One Ring as just another "magic item", so it won't be easy to explain it to him..

Anyway, back to the actual question. :) I think that the Ring might be some kind of weapon, which can be tapped into the mind of the wielder and can be controlled. Eg., it might have an explosive, ray-gun like zap of energy, which the wielder busts the scene; or the wearer might be able to simply set things on fire when the ring-hand is waved at the object with intent.. or something. It's possible to speculate and guess endlessly. But I really think that the true 'power' of the Ring is the possibility of power: the slaves and labourers who built Barad-dur and the outpost in Mirkwood might have been intimidated and frightened into doing better and quicker work, with the threat of pain and death. I don't really think that anything concrete can be done with the Ring by anybody but Sauron himself, the creator of the Ring. But what those powers are, are impossible to fathom, and I think it is better that way.
 

Beorn

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Originally posted by Merry
*Waits patiently for Kem, Anc, Mike B and RW to make a triumphant entrance to save the day*
Well, I'm flattered, but I'm really not one of those know everything about Tolkien people...I'm probably on the lower end of the scale...I believe Cian would have a good take on this...Tel & Kem too...

I believe the real question here is, "What can an Ainu, or more specifically a Maia do?" I think that this is the case, because Sauron put a good deal of his power into our infamous golden trinket, so a Maia's power would be in the ring.

As to my alternate question, I cannot answer all that well, considering the fact that I didn't take in much of the stuff in the Sil...

Aside from the obvious things, like being able to control the other rings (and the power to make the bearer wanted by Ringwraiths), I can't think of other features of the ring...
 
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R

ReadWryt

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WHAT?!?! Who says *I* know what I'm talking about?? I've learned as much from being corrected on a wide range of subjects as any other person on this forum!

Look, don't think that because I have some inate ability to research and backup the things that I remember from reading these stories that I'm some sort of "expert" or "Scholar", Lucky or Intuitive would be more like it in actuallity...Bahaha! That being said,

Influence. The Ring had the ability to Influence individuals by giving them a taste of Sauron's great power. It contained part of Sauron himself and cleverly offered the ability to move unseen as a trick to get people to use it. It had the potential to be Sauron's eyes and ears, could permit goodness knows WHAT controll over the wearers of the other Rings...Even if it only permitted him to know the thoughts and plans of Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel then any who opposed him would either have to destroy the lesser rings to defeat Sauron, in which case he would have won a minor victory that would weaken his enemies, or worse he would be privy to the plans and intentions of his enemies, making his ability to gain controll of all of Middle-earth all the easier.

Remember, Sauron was incomplete without the Ring, and yet so powerfull that Gandalf had apprehension about facing him alone. (I will not go into the writings of J.R.R. about how Gandalf could probably have defeated Sauron in his "ringless" condition none the less) Imagine having armies that were totally loyal, completely without swaying morale and constantly ready to fight and die for your cause...His controll over his dark minions would have been complete and his influence would have spread across the face of the land like a great shadow, darkening the hearts of the good and making them give up hope...as well as fortifying the will of the foul and evil to inflict their perversisty upon the good peoples.

I'm not saying that Sauron would have been invincible, and my thoughts of late have wandered about the idea of attempting to outline an alternative story about Frodo utterly and completely failing in his quest, falling prey to Shelob's bite and Gollum delivering the ring inadvertantly to Sauron. I imagine Gandalf and Elrond rushing across the waters to call forth the Elves of the West to assist in putting down the greatest threat to Middle-earth since Melkor...not that I am one tenth the writer that Tollkien was, but you must admit it would make for a great tale!
 

syongstar

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ring power

the reason the "one ring to rule them all and in the darknes bind them" is in the book 1984 or remember Hitler or facist because the purpose of life is to find ones true will and to tell a person what their divine vision quest is is evil. the world needs understanding to cross the rainbow bridge.God's plan in the bible is "everyone to live forever"The three rings for elven kings are about freedom,art,music,wisdom........all good things!!!!blessed be
 

Courtney

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I always thought that if Sauron had the one Ring, he could control the other rings. It said something like if the one ring was destroyed, the elven rings would loose their power, and places like Lothlorien would fade away.
 

Ancalagon

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Syongstar;

the reason the "one ring to rule them all and in the darknes bind them" is in the book 1984 or remember Hitler or facist because the purpose of life is to find ones true will and to tell a person what their divine vision quest is is evil. the world needs understanding to cross the rainbow bridge.God's plan in the bible is "everyone to live forever"The three rings for elven kings are about freedom,art,music,wisdom........all good things!!!!blessed be
I couldnt even begin to compete with your words of wisdom, I shall bow out gracefully.
 

Grond

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Okay... this isn't going quite the way I had planned. I was hoping someone would actually look in the book and find some great idea about what the Ring was, what Power it contained and why it was so essential for Sauron to have it.

I will throw a slight tidbit out to try and restart the conversation as this relates directly to the original question. Are y'all ready............. here it comes....................................

If Sauron's Ring is so gol' darned powerful, then how come he's 0-2 in Wars where he wielded it against others????

Come on people, I know there's an election going on but this should be a really great thread!!
 

Evenstar

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Well in the council of elrond it is said that the hearts and minds of the wielders of the three elven rings would be revealed to Sauron once he got the One. That was his porpose. It also says that the three were yielded to use for good and healing not war and conquests like the One. I know there's an exact quote for that stuff in FotR but I don't have it with me right now.

That said, the ring would most likely give Sauron the power to see and predict the moves of his opponents. Thus improving the power he already has. With the power of the ring he can see others thougths and well with no better way to say it, "Take over the World"

I dont know how he could manage to lose the other wars though. Thats a questionn for you more lerned scholars.

Also, I hope I dont get hammered for this response. HAha:)
 

Ancalagon

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Sauron was a master-craftsman, that must be clarified. It was becaus of Suarons guidance that the elven rings of power were created. As a result of his influence in the forging of these rings he was able to understand the power held within them. For this reason he forged the one ring. The design of the One was to master those that each of the Elven lords held.

!
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
It must be said, the power of each of these rings was immense, these rings could shape and form the elements, control time and aging and control the very will of both mortal and immortal. Sauron had designed this from the start. His plan was to ensure rings were given to the greatest of the elven lords and leaders. As a result, by forging the One, he could influence and control the rings the elves held. This was his power, if he could control these people, he would be able to position himself to create turmoil among this race. He would see them, know them, control them and eventually destroy them. Why, because he despised them, a deep hatred for those whom had played a part in his own downfall, the downfall of Melkor and the destruction of all that they had governed in Middle-earth.

And while he wore the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them
However, Saurons own decay and demise was woven into The One ring. If the other rings were used, he could control and draw upon their power, if not, his strength was weakened. The Elves knew he had forged this ring to control the lesser and they stopped openly using them. This frustrated Sauron, for if they were not used openly, he could not see them or control them, his power over them was diminished. He waged open war against the elves, but the 3 rings were hidden from him, these rings were the most powerful yet made by Celebrimbor, untainted by Sauron, yet still subject to the one. The linkage between them remained, he had control if they were openly used, however, the strong will of those who guarded them was enough to keep them hidden. I say guarded, for these could never be used while Sauron wore the One ring, this was the bond between them, for if they did, they would eventually fall under his command.

In this time Sauron gradually gathered the lesser rings to himself. Though he had no need to keep them for himself, he gave 7 to the Dwarf-Lords and Nine to the Lords and Kings of Men. These rings were subject to the One, therefore the bearer was subject to the will of Sauron. This was the key to his power, for he could control vast lands and peoples as those who bore these rings were an extension of Sauron himself. It was said of these rings ;

And all those rings he that he governed he perverted, the more easily since he had a part in their making, they were accursed, and they betrayed in the end all those who used them.
Those of the Men were easy to control, they over time turned to shadow and were simply become one with the mind of Sauron. Dwarves proved more difficult to master, they could not be so easily governed, yet they were still cursed by the nature of the rings. They drove them to desire and lust for more wealth, this in turn profited Sauron for his desire was to sow dissent and destruction among the races of the Valar, this he acheived by the eventual demise of the dwarves. Of their rings he recovered some and was satisified.

Sauron ultimate goal was to master all the lands of Middle-Earth and to see the destruction of Elves, for they were the first-born and his hatred for them was unparalled. He would govern the lives of men and his own evil hordes would over-run all those who tried to withstand him, these would be subjects of this terrible master.

This he acheived through the control of the rings. While he wore the ring, he could wield this power, to govern without reproach. To cause constant war and fighting, this he would design and this he would wage until all fell under his power.

Upon his return to Mordor where he had forged the One he wrought a new shape, Dark and terrible, for he had taken up the Ring after his downfall in Numenor. With his ring he was whole again, all-powerful, all-encompassing fro this ring was his ability to control and corrupt.

The Battle at Gorgoroth against Gil-Gilad and Elendil was his undoing, for 7 years they had laid seige to Mordor until eventually Sauron himself faced them. Both these Elves were cast down, but Sauron also lost the ring and was himself defeated. But while the ring remained, he himself was not totally destroyed. Such was the power invested in the ring.For even though Sauron had been defeated and returned to the shadows, the ring would continue to corrupt and control those who bore it. Isildur was betrayed by the ring, for it would serve only to destroy him. Not by calling an enemy, but by creating an arrogance and false sense of security. He fell at the Gladden Fields and the Ring passed from knowledge. Yet still it was not destroyed, and while it remained, Sauron would be able to restore himself. The nine returned to Mordor and evil returned with them. For they also were bound by the One and while it remained, so would they.

Yet, while Sauron was defeated and the One lost, the 3 were able to weild their power once more to weave lands hidden in mists where the securement of the Elves could remain hidden.

I will not delve further into the history after the finding of the ring and the eventual rise of Sauron in Mirkwood. Neither will I dwell on the War of the Ring that followed as told in The Lord of the Rings. The purpose of these history of the ring and its power is to give my good friend Grond the ammunition to progress further with his discussion. I feel I have explained the power and purpose of the ring in relation to Sauron himself, though I am sure many will find holes in my synopsis.

Enjoy, if you are still awake
 

Grond

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Great starts from both Evenstar and Ancalagon. Both of you get nice pats on the back and no cracks on the head.

So, now we have a few things that I'm trying to bring out.
1) The One Ring was designed to control all of the Lesser Rings
2) It didn't. While it had complete control of those who wore the nine, it only appeared to influence the seven, held by the dwarves in a milder way. It did not dominate the Dwarves due to their very nature as quoted by Anc. As for the three, they were subject to the One because their creation was a direct result of Sauron's teachings to the Elven-smiths in general and Celebrimbor in particular. But they were not tainted by 'his hand' as the others were and therefore.... were not subservient to Sauron.

That's enough for now. Think deep and hard about this and let's go forward with my prior post. If Sauron's One Ruling Ring is all powerful and the mechanism for his ruling the world..... 1) Why did he so willingly give up to the might of Numenor in the year 3262 of the SA? If he was so almight, how could he be defeated? 2) This same question is asked again 179 year later. How did Gil-galad and Elendil defeat Sauron while he wielded the Ring?

Another hint of where I'm trying to go.
(Does the ring make one all powerful or is it a conduit for something else?) Remember, we're talking about one strong Maia who studied long under none other than the Grand Smith of all time "Aule".

Bat it around a little more and I'll get back to you!
 

Telchar

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I don't think the ring would make anybody powerful.. In my opinion it depends on how powerful the bearer is.. When Frodo claimed the ring for his own at Mount Doom, and Sauron "noticed" it, but Frodo, even with the Ring, would have had no chance against Sauron.. To me it seems like the ring only gives the bearer as much power he/she can handle.. Remember when Isildur cut of Saurons Ring and picked it up, he described it as hot, and that he thought he would never get free from the pain. Then think about what happened when Gandalv threw the ring into the fire in Bag End. I don't think that the Ring was hot, when Isildur cut it of, because the body of Sauron, but because of his powers. As for invisability, I do only think, as I've said before in another thread, that the invisability that Men and Hobbits experience is because of their lack of power. The ring takes full control over their "body" while they use it..

I'm curently at work, so I don't have my books here.. This is just my view..
 

Walter

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I swear I posted a reply - and a rather long one it was - yesterday evening. Where the heck could it be?

Anyway I'll try to gather my thoughts once again and post them from home, and I already will tell that I'm neither going to re-read the LoTR nor finish the Sil nor read the HoME befor I put in my 5 cents again, even though Grond would like us to... ;P

----
I will give a few answers to possibly upcoming questions in advance here: YES, the puter was on, YES, it was in this forum, YES, it was on this thread, YES, I did push the lil button that says "submit reply", YES, I already used the "search" function to look for it and NO I did not accidently delete my post afterwards...

No, I wasn't drunk either...
 
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DGoeij

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How could Sauron have been overthrown while in possesion of the Ring?

Counterquestion: How could the Gaffer and farmer Maggot stand the presence of a Nazgul right in front of their faces, while brave warriors of Gondor ran for home when they flew over their heads?

Anwser to both: Fear. Fear in the head of its enemy makes the 'bad' rings powerful. The Gaffer and farmer Maggot didn't know better that that some Human asked for directions, even thought it wasn't a friendly looking one. The soldiers of Gondor knew better, or for their sakes, worse.
The Numenorans were mightier than ever, Gil-Galad and Elendil most likely consedered themselves able to take on Sauron. They didn't fear Sauron enough to be defeated by him.
(All in my views of course)

As for the one Ring, Sauron put a great deal of his own power in it, we all know that for certain. It surely gave both Boromir and Samwise visions of commanding great armies and bringing good in the world, them being the absolute rulers. If it would have given them these powers is to be doubted.
But Galadriel and Gandalf were both afraid to take it. They were certain it would eventually corrupt them. Those two were among the wisest in Middle Earth. I believe them.
 

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