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Very tough question

Anamatar IV

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In the Simarillion it shows how mighty men and elves were in the second age when Sauron fell. how did such a proud and valiant people diminish so that they had to rely on hobbits to defeat the dark lord ( ;) ) but really why didnt they just gather all the men and elves that were ready for war and attcack mordor before sauron gathered so ,uch power.
 

HLGStrider

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It depends on whether you are referring to the Battle that Aragorn led or the last Alliance between Elves and Men with Gilgalad and Isulder (etc.)

In the last Alliance I think it was that Sauron was deceptive. He also had more power than anyone could imagine, and it took a whole lot of work to wipe him out...

In the LotR, however, I believe that they didn't do it sooner A. Because as Gandalf said, Sauron was at first hidden in Mirkwood as the Necromancer and noone was sure enough that it was him for a full out assault. By the time he was he had garrisoned himself a nice little force and moved back home... sort of like Hitler building up an army though I don't believe this is any sort of allegory for that.
B. Because Gondor, the former seat of all power, was kingless and rather weakened, the dwarves were sort of burrowing in and remaining nutral, and the elves were fading. C. Because only with the rings destruction could Sauron be totally destoryed.
 

Anamatar IV

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they couldve made a safe passage for the ring bearer to come instead of thousands of orcs, nazgul, a giant spider. they couldve just cleared the way.
 

HLGStrider

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I don't think they could've. The gates of Mordor were extremely well fortified. The only real way to get in was stealth, which it would've been impossible to pull off using an army. A great captain, weilding the ring, could've done it, but he probably would've wanted to keep the ring afterwards, which was what they were trying to avoid.
The main idea was get in fast. Origenally the plan was for someone like Gandalf to go along but events changed that. There have been several arguments on whether Aragorn should've gone after Frodo and helped him, however.
If you'll consider the RotK, the armies of Gondor were facing defeat already when the ring was destroyed, which caused disorder in the bad guys troups. I don't think the Men could've done it on their own. The elves and dwarves were already in trouble at their own homes, and they weren't of very great numbers anyway.
 

Anarchist

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Dear amerxtremist
This question was wandering in my mind a long ago, before you made this thread. As a matter of fact, I was planning to create a thread about it. It is indeed strange. Elves and men in the Silmarillion fought against Balrogs and Dragons. Beren faced Morgoth some time. And now, we see a group of nine retreating before a Balrog. What's going on here? Have they diminished that much?
 

Turgon

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I think the main points of this arguement are:
1. There were not enough elves in ME to pose a significant threat to Sauron (even the armies of Gondor were on the verge of being destroyed just prior to the one ring being destroyed.)
2. There was too much desention between the peoples of ME for a new alliance to be formed. Can you imagine Denethor's reaction when Gandalf turned up at Minas Tirith with a rag-tag army of Elves?
3. The hope of the fellowship was in secrecy, what chance would Frodo have of slipping into Mordor unnoticed if Sauron was preparing his troops in Mordor for an all out war with his most hated enemies?

I suppose the Elves had diminished that much, there were no real Elf Lords left to compare with the Elves of the First ages (with one or two exceptions) because, of course, they had mostly been killed fighting the said Balrogs and Dragons.
 

HLGStrider

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Men really had diminished, though, if you look at their lifespans. Numenoreans were living for like four hundred years when they started. Aragorn was lucky to make two hundred... plus that was considered extraordinary.
 

Anamatar IV

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but that really isnt my point. when the wise knew that the ring had been found dont you think they shouldve encouraged a war on saurons forces? I know that the men had diminished but there were still great armies (Gondor, Rohan, Dunedain {i know}) and there were the elves of imladris, lorien, and mirkwood. Maybe even some dwarves.
 

Gamil Zirak

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If they had waged an all out war, they would have lost. The only reason they weren't destroyed at the gate of Mordor is because the one ring was dropped in the fire of Mount Doom and Sauron was destroyed leaving his army in utter disaray. On top of that, the only reason the men of Gondor and Rohan even went to the gate was to drawn Suaron's forces and his thoughts towards them and away from his own land. Suaron's forces were too strong and too many. Very few men could even stand up to a Nazgul let alone try and destroy one.
 

HLGStrider

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Plus the elves were very few. There were the wood elves, of course, but they were small, and very busy with their own problems to the south where Sauron used to live and still had a good sized force if I remember correctly.
Rivendale wasn't much. There were a few elves who might've been able to help, Glorfindel, for instance, but I think Elrond's warrior days were over. He was apparently a brave fighter in his time, being Gil-Galad's standard bearer (which would be, I believe, a position of high honor), and while he is immortal, I think he was weary of Middle Earth. Elladan and Elohir went to fight, but I don't think there were many other options.
Dwarves were also under seige at their own home, and I'm not exactly sure how powerful they were... etc.
 

Turgon

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I suppose in the end it comes down to sheer numbers - God is in the side of the Big Battalions and so on...
 

Camille

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I think at the third age ME did not have much options...
Men were weaker than in the Second age, you can not campare them to the Dunedain great warrior that can hardly be difference from the elves, and of course the very great elves of the second age were not any more, of all the people that have seen the light of the trees, (and it is said that the eldar were to the Avari, the sindar and silvan elves as these elves to Men) only Galadriel remainded at ME.
Dwarves were diminish too Moria was no more.
And it seams that every race has their time of coming to action and remember that the chief of the events of third age was gandalf and he said once that the little ones will surprise the wisest or something like that.
 

Goro Shimura

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Originally posted by Turgon
I suppose in the end it comes down to sheer numbers - God is in the side of the Big Battalions and so on...
Alas, this is neither true in the Old Testament, nor in the Lord of the Rings.
 

Greenwood

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Originally posted by amerxtremist
i find it hard to beleive that 1 army could over power 3 or 4.
But Sauron had more than one army and the numbers of armies do not matter if the "one army" is many times larger than the "3 or 4" combined.

when the wise knew that the ring had been found dont you think they shouldve encouraged a war on saurons forces?
There was neither the time nor the resources. The Council of Elrond at which "the Wise" learned of the finding of the Ring was on October 25. The battle of the Pelennor Fields in front of Minas Tirith was on March 15 of the following year, less than five months later. "The Wise" had very little time to do anything. Also, the very same day as the battle before Minas Tirith there is battle in Mirkwood and at Lothlorien. Two days later King Dain and King Brand fall in battle at Dale. Sauron has many armies attacking at many points.
 

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