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What would happen if Saruman got the ring?

Lord Melkor

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Well it is likely that Saruman with the ring would be more powerful than Sauron at the height of his power, for he would possess a great deal of The Dark Lord`s power as well as his own. But I don`t think how could he easily defeat Sauron since armies of Isengard were much less powerful than those of Mordor! Do you think he would try to ally with Balrog, assuming he wasn`t slain by Gandalf? What do you think would happen if Saruman`s Uruk-hai managed to catch Frodo and bring him to Isengard shortly after Fellowship was broken?
 

Glaurung

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Here is my version of what would happen.....

Sauron would be the first to discover that his ring was in the grasp of Saruman. He would crazily send all of his might at once against Isengard and lay siege to it, ignoring Gondor completely. The good guys would figure out that something is wrong and would head to Isengard as well. So while Sauron's army was done crushing Saruman's army and started assaulting Isengard, a joint army of Gondor and Rohan led by Gandalf the White and Aragorn, would come up after them. I just cannot see orcs and men fighting on the same side, so the two armies would start fighting against each other. In the midst of this battle Saruman, insane with power, would come out of hiding and looking down from his high place in the tower he would send down waves of energy crushing the armies of Gondor and Mordor as well as let loose the waters of the river Isen to drown everybody. Meanwhile Frodo, who was imprisoned by Saruman, would be freed by Gollum and Sam, who followed him, and his captors, to Isengard. The three would sneak up the tower and, while Saruman would notice and encase Sam and Frodo in an energy field, Gollum would sneak up behind him and screaming "My Precious" would knock himself and Saruman over the edge down into the waters below. The two, and the ring, would be swallowed up, lost by the waters, to be found another time. The forces of Mordor would retreat, and the forces of good would have to wait for another day in the far future before the evil of Sauron was completely destroyed.

What d'ya think?
 
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Lord Melkor

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Interesting reply Glaurung! I don`t think he could destroy everything from Mordor to Rohan, but destroying armies sieging Isengard would be possible, for I remember that during Beleriand Wars Sauron defeated elfen king Orodreth mostly due to his foul sorcery. Anyway in your case Sauron wins because Gondor`s and Rohan`s armies are destroyed yet Sauron is likely to have reserves.
 

Glaurung

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Actually, Lord Melkor I should have been more precise. I didn't mean that he would destroy everything from Gondor to Mordor, but rather he would destroy the armies representing Gondor and Mordor. I've entered the proper corrections....
 

Gary Gamgee

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Saruman was very wise in the lore of the ring, but i don't know if this would have been enough for him to use it so soon. He would have done one of two things I think, he would either have retreated deep into Orthanc to give himself some time. Not even the armies of Mordor would easily or quickly overthrow that tower. And in this time he would plan and learn to use the ring and discover it's true powers, and perhaps try to tame it. If this were to happen he would also almost certainly get rid of or disable somehow the Palantir.

The other option he would have would be to use His Voice which would now surely with the ring be incredibly powerful and almost impossible for those listening to resist. Saruman calling from his tower to the armies that surround him to join with him now for he is the new Lord of the Ring and Sauron will soon be defeated and he shall rule over Middle Earth.
 

Beleg Strongbow

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Originally posted by dgoof911
I thought in the ring's power is Sauron's. How could Sarumon use it if it is someone elses power inside of the ring?

He would just use the power in the ring for his own cause and it wouldn't matter who's power was in it. But then i think the nazgul would turn against sauron as he is no longer under the power of the ring and they would kill him???:confused: :confused: :cool: :D :)
 

Glaurung

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I read in Unfinished Tales that Sauron has power over the ringwraiths because he is the one who has possession of their nine rings. Maybe as long as he controls their rings, they are under his power. In a way this makes sense because even if he, as I thought before, could control the ringwraiths only because of the One ring, how could he control them in LOTR if he didn't even have access to the One ring at the time? So probably, if I am right, even if Saruman gained access to the One ring the Nazgul would still follow Sauron, until those nine rings were taken from him.
 

Elanor2

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Yes, I do not think that Saruman could have commanded the power of the One Ring so fast. Sauron might have got to him before he could fully control it!

Even if he could ever fully control it. Part of Sauron's power is in the ring, but more that that the ring also has Sauron's will. Gandalf (I think), says clearly that only Sauron could fully control the ring. I think that Saruman was fooling himself when he thought that he could use the ring. I believe that the ring would have betrayed him at the end, Maiar or not. Even if other books say that Saruman might have commanded the Nazgul with the ring, I still believe that none but Sauron could really use it fully.

However, Sauron is afraid of the possibility of someone using the ring against him. If whoever took the ring was going to be betrayed at the end, Sauron just needed to sit and wait. It is perhaps just impatience? Could Sauron not stomac the thought of having to wait a few thousand years again to have another go at total conquest?

I like the idea of Saruman increasing the power of his persuasive voice with the ring. Well thought, Gary Gamgee !!

I also think that the Nine rings should count as the way to control the Nazgul. Gaurungs reasoning makes sense to me as well. Any thoughts anyone?

Regards. Elanor2
 

Lord Melkor

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I also think that the Nine rings should count as the way to control the Nazgul. Gaurungs reasoning makes sense to me as well. Any thoughts anyone?
But One Ring has power over the other! It is why Celembrimor put away three elfen rings when he understood Sauron`s betrayal, as said in Silmarilion. I am not sure if Nazgul were able to exist because of the rings or the 9 were only the tools responsible for their transformation into undead? If the first is true than first thing that Sauron would do after gaining knowledge about someone else having The One Ring would be to destroy The Nine and Nazgul with them.
 

Snaga

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It is clear to me that Saruman could wield the One with great menace. Galadriel and Gandalf both said if they used it they would become Dark Lord v.2 The same holds for Saruman.

I agree that Saruman could command the 9, and through them the greater part of Sauron's forces.

I feel sure that in the scenario outlined, Saruman would crush Rohan, and Sauron would crush Gondor. Then the two forces of evil would be able to meet.

Saruman cannot wholly destroy Sauron while the ring endures. He would therefore have to contest wills with him and enslave him. Some battle. I think Saruman would win. Sauron would become the 10th Ring Wraith bound to the one, hating Saruman but forced to do his bidding. But I can't see Sauron ever wholly subdued, and therefore for Saruman the peril of betrayal would always be there.

From Sauron, Saruman would have completed his knowledge of ring lore, and forged yet more rings.
 

Elanor2

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Hi Variag,

>>>Sauron would become the 10th Ring Wraith bound to the one, hating Saruman but forced to do his bidding.<<<

Do you think that becoming a Wraith would be something that could happen to a Maiar? I have the feeling that Sauron might have lost his body once more if (and I have doubts about it) Saruman could control the ring and win against Sauron, but would not become Saruman's mindless slave. It would bid his time and try to rise against him in the future.

I still do not think that Saruman could win against Sauron. Look what happened after the defeat of his forces in Orthanc. He could not even convince Theoden with his voice and Gandalf broke his staff! No. Saruman's powers had very clear limits, and Sauron was beyond them by far.

If Saruman had the ring, and lots of time to learn to control it, he might have gone beyond his limitations. But I do not think that he would have had the leisure. Sauron, Gandalf and who knows else would have gone against him. He might have gained some power temporarily, but in my mind he was bound to fail in the end.

Unfortunately, he was too embroiled in his own clever plots to realise how fruitless it was. I think that that's why Gandalf pitied him, even if he had to get rid of him to continue his quest.
 

Brown Ribbon

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Originally posted by Variag of Khand
It is clear to me that Saruman could wield the One with great menace. Galadriel and Gandalf both said if they used it they would become Dark Lord v.2 The same holds for Saruman.

I agree that Saruman could command the 9, and through them the greater part of Sauron's forces.

I feel sure that in the scenario outlined, Saruman would crush Rohan, and Sauron would crush Gondor. Then the two forces of evil would be able to meet.

Saruman cannot wholly destroy Sauron while the ring endures. He would therefore have to contest wills with him and enslave him. Some battle. I think Saruman would win. Sauron would become the 10th Ring Wraith bound to the one, hating Saruman but forced to do his bidding. But I can't see Sauron ever wholly subdued, and therefore for Saruman the peril of betrayal would always be there.

From Sauron, Saruman would have completed his knowledge of ring lore, and forged yet more rings.
that's how I see it too. Gandalf says that the only surety the free have of winning against Sauron is to use the Ring. Surely that would go for Saruman as well. If he had the ring, Sauron would have been defeated, at least for a time
 

JeffF.

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According to Unfinished Tales

...in the Search for the Ring the Nazgul would have been beholden to Saruman, "...I have it not as its servants certainly perceive for if I did they would bow and call me lord..." It is likely that depending on when Saruman actually acquired the One and control of the Nazgul, he would also control any armies they commanded. It is doubtful that any of Sauron's 'normal' Captains (orc chieftains, brigands, leaders of Easterlings or Haradrim), could have withstood a battle of armies with any of the Nazgul. Sauron would lose control of his vast hosts one at a time. The only hope would be the Balrog (assuming it was still around). It is very likely that he could have captained a host against the Lord of the Nazgul even if the latter had all the Nazgul gathered under him (as stated in FOTR his power was greater when they were gathered all together).

Since Sauron was not a ringbearer I don't agree that he would be beholden to the wearer of the One Ring. In fact I think he would still wield great power of evil in opposition to the bearer of the One since he could not be destroyed while the Ring existed. Saruman's gain of the One may have caused Sauron himself to come forth to vie against the Nazgul and the Ringbearer (despite the limitations on forms that he could now assume).

Given a situation with Saruman in Isengard with the One Ring, the Nazgul, Isengard Orcs and whatever armies the Nazgul brought with them; and on the other side Sauron, with perhaps the Balrog, and the remainder of the Dark Lord's forces the Rohirrim and Men of Gondor would still be in a difficult position, particularly since they would be between the two dark forces which would be attempting to get at each other.

In the long run I believe that Saruman would gain a victory over the Free Peoples and Sauron but it would be a longer fought campaign than if Sauron himself had gained the One.
 
H

Harad

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A couple of points to add to the excellent arguments thus far:

1. Did the Nazgul have their rings in their possession? My thought is that they did. It wasnt as if Sauron were holding their rings for good behavior. The reason that Sauron kept control over the Nazgul was from his previous control and from an alliance of convenience. If someone else could wield the OneRing effectively, and if his goals coincided with the Nazgul, why wouldnt they switch sides, both because they were compelled to do so and because they wanted to?

2. Sauruman as a Maia should be more closely attuned to the powers of the OneRing than any of the Elves who claimed they could use it if they wanted to (a claim never demonstrated). Gandalf also made the claim, believable in his case.

3. The armies of Sauron were notoriously unreliable, fair-weather fiends so-to-speak, so as soon as Saruman demonstrated he was the winning side with a few demos, e.g. showing up at the Bad Guys Banguet with the Witch King at his side, then the rest of Sauron's house of cards would fall.

4. The Elves and Gandalf would be up Brandybuck Creek since their rings would become liabilites when Saruman starting wielding the One. Saruman being particularly learned in Ringlore should have been just about the best study on ME for wielding the ring other than its maker Sauron.

5. Saruman would rightly want to eliminate Saruon all together if he could, never trusting him to not attempt to regain the Ring. If he could, e.g. as Saruman himself was eliminated in the real story, then the Rings powers should become his.
 

Bucky

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Originally posted by dgoof911
I thought in the ring's power is Sauron's. How could
Sarumon use it if it is someone elses power inside of the
ring?

The power left Sauron & was encompassed in the Ring.
Gandalf says "He let a great deal of his former power pass into it so it could rule the others" (paraphrase, Shadow of the past),

So, the ring has power that can be used outside of Sauron.

On Sauron becoming a wraith and/or subject to the power of the ring, I don't see that he would fade or be in any worse shape than before the ring was found.
What Sauron is afraid of is the power it would give to another.

As for Saruman learning to 'use' the power of the Ring, Galadriel answers Frodo's question of why he can't see the other ringbearers & know their thoughts, Galadriel replies that he hasn't tried, & first he would have to train his will to the domination of others.
Saruman is already doing the latter, & would immediately try the former if he got the Ring.
I doubt with his strong powers apart from the Ring, and being of Aule's 'people' like Sauron, he would take much time mastering use of the Ring.

One more thing:
Would the Nazgul follow Saruman if he had the Ring?
I'm not so sure.
Isn't Sauron wearing their 9 rings? (where'd I read that?)
Would that make Sauron subject to Saruman?
He'd probably just take them off.
But, on the Nazgul thing, their will is so bound to Sauron that neither of them need to wear their rings anymore to be slaves to his will.
 

JeffF.

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Nazgul didn't have rings

According to Unfinished Tales, The Hunt For the Ring, "They (ringwraiths) were entirely enslaved to their Nine Rings which he (Sauron) himself now held."

This is confirmed by the fact there was no ring when the Lord of the Nazgul was killed by Eowyn and Merry.

It also makes sense that Sauron should 'hold' the Nine because without the One in his possession he could not control them.
 

Snaga

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Sauron as 10th Ring-wraith

I didn't mean that as a strictly literal phrase... Sauron's relation to the One isn't the same at all as the Nazgul's relation to the 9. But what do we know, and what can we guess?

We know that Sauron cannot be wholly destroyed while the One remains. He has poured a large part of his strength into it, and while it survives he will too. So Saruman claims the ring and Sauron would survive.

If Saruman claims the ring Sauron will be aware of him, and will contest his will. Saruman is a Maiar, and so too is Sauron. Sauron was much the stronger, but a lot of his power is in the ring. If Saruman masters the ring, he will have a chance of defeating Sauron. Gandalf and Galadriel both seem to think that they could take the One, and replace Sauron - if they can so could Saruman.

The implication is that Saruman has to defeat Sauron. But he cannot destroy him. It is my belief that Sauron is so tied to the One Ring, and its powers of enslavement, that any with the strength to wield the power of the Ring would have to humble Sauron, to bend his will to their own. Sauron would become a slave, but a dangerous and hateful slave ever-unwilling, ever-plotting. Imagine Sauron-Gollum (or Sauron-Wormtongue) and perhaps this is better than Sauron-Wraith. Except does Sauron take physical form, or his he just a spirit of malice?

The Nazgul are slaves to the Nine Rings. But in turn, the Nine are slaves to the One Ring. If Saruman has the one, I believe the Nazgul could be made to submit to him.
 

Grond

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Originally posted by Harad
A couple of points to add to the excellent arguments thus far:

1. Did the Nazgul have their rings in their possession? My thought is that they did. It wasnt as if Sauron were holding their rings for good behavior. The reason that Sauron kept control over the Nazgul was from his previous control and from an alliance of convenience. If someone else could wield the OneRing effectively, and if his goals coincided with the Nazgul, why wouldnt they switch sides, both because they were compelled to do so and because they wanted to?

2. Sauruman as a Maia should be more closely attuned to the powers of the OneRing than any of the Elves who claimed they could use it if they wanted to (a claim never demonstrated). Gandalf also made the claim, believable in his case.

3. The armies of Sauron were notoriously unreliable, fair-weather fiends so-to-speak, so as soon as Saruman demonstrated he was the winning side with a few demos, e.g. showing up at the Bad Guys Banguet with the Witch King at his side, then the rest of Sauron's house of cards would fall.

4. The Elves and Gandalf would be up Brandybuck Creek since their rings would become liabilites when Saruman starting wielding the One. Saruman being particularly learned in Ringlore should have been just about the best study on ME for wielding the ring other than its maker Sauron.

5. Saruman would rightly want to eliminate Saruon all together if he could, never trusting him to not attempt to regain the Ring. If he could, e.g. as Saruman himself was eliminated in the real story, then the Rings powers should become his.
I agree with everything in your post but your first assertion about the Ringwraith's rings. From Letter 246 to Mrs Eileen Elgar, September 1965, Tolkien writes,

"...laid upon them by Sauron, who still through their nine rings (which he held) had primary control of their wills..."

That quote would seem to throw the allegiance of the Ringwraiths in question. I still believe as you do that Saruman would ultimately control them through Sauron's power passed to him through the Ruling Ring. He would then consolidate their support and forces, combine it with his own and wipe out all opposition.

As Harad stated so well, no one in Middle-earth save Sauron was more learned in Ring lore than Saruman.
 
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