Every so often someone brings up a thread asking who the true hero of the Lord of the Rings is. Some vote Frodo, others Sam, others (YayGollum...) Gollum, and a few Gandalf or Aragorn. I was thinking tonight. . .who is the true villain of the Lord of the Rings? The obvious answer is Sauron, as he controls all the little villains. He is the force they are attempting to destroy. He is the one who will destroy everything if he gets the ring. . . but what about the ring itself? We never see Sauron (not really). We never hear him. He doesn't directly battle the protagonists. The ring, on the other hand, inflict physical harm upon Frodo, corrupts several characters, and compells other characters through greed to do harm. In the end it even turns Frodo against his quest in a way Sauron himself could not. The ring is the more personal villain. Or what about Melkor, or not Melkor directly, but the force of evil and corruption he introduced into Middle Earth? Could it not be said to be the root of all? That is a greater menace. Then we have all the little guys, but I think no Orc or even Sarumen could compete against the three I listed above. Which do you think it was? If anyone has another viable idea, I'll add it to the poll. Tell me what you think!