Elrond remaining in Rivendell

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Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 9, 2011, 8:43:49 PM9/9/11
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I've just been re-reading a passage from the LotR chapter 'The Houses
of Healing' and when Aragorn assesses the hurts done to Faramir, Eowyn
and Merry, he says "Would that Elrond were here, for he is the eldest
of all our race, and has the greater power."

My question, obvious from the subject line, is why did Elrond stay in
Rivendell and send forth his sons (or rather, they went forth
themselves, "desiring to go to the war"), but not come forth himself?
Was the idea to stay and protect Arwen his daughter? In 'The Last
Debate', Elrohir says (in response to Gandalf's and Aragorn's speeches
setting forth what needs to be done): "From the North we came with
this purpose, and from Elrond our father we brought this very counsel.
We will not turn back." And in the chapter 'The Passing of the Grey
Company', Elrohir says "I bring word to you from my father", all
indicative of Elrond remaining engaged with the struggle, but not
actively taking part himself.

This is in contrast to Elrond's actions during the time of the Last
Alliance, when he was "the herald of Gil-Galad and marched with his
host" (from 'The Council of Elrond'). Maybe, though, the answer comes
in what Elrond says later in that chapter: "Never again shall there be
any such league of Elves and Men; for Men multiply and the Firstborn
decrease, and the two kindreds are estranged."

But is that just a weak excuse or a valid reason for Legolas to be the
only representatives of Elves to take part in the battles down south
in Gondor? Would the presence of Elrond have unbalanced things in
terms of the story Tolkien was trying to tell? Elves did fight, as we
see when we hear later of the battles in Lothlorien and Mirkwood, led
by Thranduil and Celeborn, but it seems only in defence of their own
lands or retaking land that was once theirs?

The same goes for Glorfindel. Gandalf says (when the Fellowship are
named, in 'The Rings Goes South') that Glorfindel "could not storm the
Dark Tower, nor open the road to the Fire by the power that is in
him", but surely he would have been among those that Gandalf said (in
'The Last Debate') are "worth more than a thousand mail-clad knights
apiece". Furthermore, as Gandalf said to Frodo in 'Many Meetings':
"you saw him for a moment as he is upon the other side: one of the
mighty of the Firstborn. He is an Elf-lord of a house of princes.
Indeed, there is a power in Rivendell to withstand the might of
Mordor, for a while".

Does the fact that Elrond carried Vilya, mightiest of the Three Rings,
influence the reasons for him staying in Rivendell? Picture the scene
before the Black Gate of Mordor in the chapter 'The Field of
Cormallen', where "all about the hills the hosts of Mordor raged".
Gandalf is there "white and cold, and no shadow fell on him". Aragorn
is there "silent and stern, as one lost in thought of things long past
or far away; but his eyes gleamed like stars that shine the brighter
as the night deepens". So why not have Elrond and Glorfindel there,
doing their bit to keep Sauron distracted as long as possible? I was
going to put Galadriel there as well, but that seemed a step too far!

I suppose it does all come down to the Elves fading and passing away,
and Men (and Hobbits) being the ones to usher in the new age (with a
little bit of help and advice from Gandalf), but it does seem a little
bit forced. Boromir would certainly have demanded everyone be there
who could, but Gandalf is guiding Men into this new age, not the
Elves. And the whole story arc sees Aragorn grow into his kingship,
and Men and Hobbits defeat the Dark Lord, and the Dominion of Men
begins. So I suppose having Elves there would spoil that symbolism.

But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond? Are we
to suppose that they had their own battles or potential battles to
fight in Rivendell?

Christopher

Michael Cole

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Sep 9, 2011, 9:14:29 PM9/9/11
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on 10/09/2011, Christopher Kreuzer supposed :

[SNIP]
>
> But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
> couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond? Are we
> to suppose that they had their own battles or potential battles to
> fight in Rivendell?

Maybe just old age. They've already had their turn - let the young
whippersnappers have a go.

--

Michael Cole


sean_q

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Sep 10, 2011, 12:18:18 AM9/10/11
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On 9/9/2011 4:43 PM, Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
> couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond?

They could have, but:

> Are we
> to suppose that they had their own battles or potential battles to
> fight in Rivendell?

I believe that's the answer. Later on Gandalf says to Frodo and Gimli,

Think of what might have been. Dragon-fire and savage swords
in Eriador, night in Rivendell. There might be no Queen in Gondor.
We might now hope to return [presumably to Rivendell] from
the victory here only to ruin and ash.

Earlier on, Elrond admits that if worse comes to worst he hasn't
the means to resist Sauron:

What power still remains lies with us, here in Imladris, or with
Cirdan at the Havens, or in Lórien. But have they the strength,
have we here the strength to withstand the Enemy, the coming
of Sauron at the last, when all else is overthrown?"

"I have not the strength," said Elrond; "neither have they."

And with his sons gone to war in the South, Elrond would have
even less. But *someone* had to stay in Rivendell to defend
the place... and Arwen.

SQ

Stan Brown

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Sep 10, 2011, 11:28:59 AM9/10/11
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On Sat, 10 Sep 2011 11:14:29 +1000, Michael Cole wrote:
>
> on 10/09/2011, Christopher Kreuzer supposed :
>
> > But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
> > couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond? Are we
> > to suppose that they had their own battles or potential battles to
> > fight in Rivendell?
>
> Maybe just old age. They've already had their turn - let the young
> whippersnappers have a go.

My opinion, FWIW, is that Elrond needed to stay in Rivendell and keep
some fighters with him because he had no way to know Rivendell would
not be attacked by Orcs and trolls from the north and the Misty
Mountains. L�rien actually was attacked, so I think hindsight shows
it was prudent to plan for the defense of Rivendell.

Another reason, I think, is that the war against Sauron was really
not the Elves' affair. The Dominion of Men was coming, and they knew
it. Yes, Elrond and Galadriel offered help and counsel, but they
fought only defensively. It was Men who left their homes to fight
Sauron, and Gondor bore the brunt of his attacks. (L�rien was the
exception, I know.) Elrond sent his sons, but technically they were
half-Elven, and they also recognized a family connection with Aragorn
so they may even have persuaded him to let them go to the war.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
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more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/faqget.htm

sean_q

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Sep 10, 2011, 7:00:51 PM9/10/11
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Further to my last:

>> But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
>> couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond?
>>
>> Are we
>> to suppose that they had their own battles or potential battles to
>> fight in Rivendell?

I forgot to mention this part:

Among many cares he [Gandalf] was troubled in mind by the perilous
state of the North; because he knew then already that Sauron
was plotting war, and intended, as soon as he felt strong enough,
to attack Rivendell. [LoTR, Appendix A]

I'm not certain why the DL planned to attack Elrond at that
particular time (circa 2941 TA). Perhaps as a preemptive strike
to divide his enemies (ie, to ensure that the Last Alliance was
truly the last) and to eliminate the Rangers, especially Aragorn
who, although only 10 years old at the time was still a candidate
for uniting the Free People against him.

However, the War of the Ring happened 77 years later and the DL's
priorities had shifted after he learned of the Ring being found.

So of course eventually the DL would have moved on Rivendell after
the setback at Bruinen if he thought the Ring was still kept there,
but once it moved South his attention naturally went with it.

SQ


Stan Brown

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Sep 11, 2011, 10:38:43 AM9/11/11
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On Sat, 10 Sep 2011 15:00:51 -0800, sean_q wrote:
> I forgot to mention this part:
>
> Among many cares he [Gandalf] was troubled in mind by the perilous
> state of the North; because he knew then already that Sauron
> was plotting war, and intended, as soon as he felt strong enough,
> to attack Rivendell. [LoTR, Appendix A]
>
> I'm not certain why the DL planned to attack Elrond at that
> particular time (circa 2941 TA).

I don't think that's what the passage says. Gandalf knew that Sauron
intended to attack Rivendell at some unspecified later date, when
Sauron felt strong enough.

That's how I read it anyway.

sean_q

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Sep 11, 2011, 2:29:18 PM9/11/11
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On 9/11/2011 6:38 AM, Stan Brown wrote:

>> I'm not certain why the DL planned to attack Elrond at that
>> particular time (circa 2941 TA).

> I don't think that's what the passage says. Gandalf knew that Sauron
> intended to attack Rivendell at some unspecified later date, when
> Sauron felt strong enough.

To clarify: I'm not certain why the DL at that particular time
(c. 2941 TA) was planning to attack Elrond ASAP.

We knew that Sauron targeted Aragorn specifically:

But he was called Estel, that is "Hope", and his true name and
lineage were kept secret at the bidding of Elrond; for the Wise
then knew that the Enemy was seeking to discover the Heir of
Isildur, if any remained upon earth.

Apparently by the time Aragorn meets the Hobbits in Bree the secret
is already out:

"I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to
study you first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps
for me before now."

I'm more certain about it by now. As you pointed out recently,
the Elves defended themselves but were less aggressive than Men
in going on the offensive. Rivendell was an important operational
base for the Dunedain in the North, and destroying (or even
investing) it would have hurt them badly. A heavy stroke, possibly
a decisive one in Sauron's favor:

But Ivorwen, his wife, who was also foresighted, answered:
"The more need of haste! The days are darkening before the storm,
and great things are to come. If these two [Aragorn's parents]
wed now, hope may be born for our people; but if they delay,
it will not come while this age lasts."

SQ

David Bent

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Sep 11, 2011, 2:17:00 PM9/11/11
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Aragorn after he takes control of the palantir says that Sauron didn't
know there was any descendant of Isildur until that point.

"To know that I lived and walked the earth was a blow to his heart, I
deem; for he knew it not till now." Return of the King

So it appears that Sauron couldn't have targeted Aragorn specifically as
he didn't know he existed.


D. Marrold Bent

Steve Morrison

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Sep 11, 2011, 2:21:41 PM9/11/11
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sean_q wrote:
> On 9/11/2011 6:38 AM, Stan Brown wrote:
>
>>> I'm not certain why the DL planned to attack Elrond at that
>>> particular time (circa 2941 TA).
>
>> I don't think that's what the passage says. Gandalf knew that Sauron
>> intended to attack Rivendell at some unspecified later date, when
>> Sauron felt strong enough.
>
> To clarify: I'm not certain why the DL at that particular time
> (c. 2941 TA) was planning to attack Elrond ASAP.
>
> We knew that Sauron targeted Aragorn specifically:
>
> But he was called Estel, that is "Hope", and his true name and
> lineage were kept secret at the bidding of Elrond; for the Wise
> then knew that the Enemy was seeking to discover the Heir of
> Isildur, if any remained upon earth.
>
> Apparently by the time Aragorn meets the Hobbits in Bree the secret
> is already out:
>
> "I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to
> study you first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps
> for me before now."

That seems hard to reconcile with what Aragorn said after using
the Palant�r:

He drew a deep breath. �It was a bitter struggle, and the
weariness is slow to pass. I spoke no word to him, and in the
end I wrenched the Stone to my own will. That alone he will
find hard to endure. And he beheld me. Yes, Master Gimli, he
saw me, but in other guise than you see me here. If that will
aid him, then I have done ill. But I do not think so. To know


that I lived and walked the earth was a blow to his heart, I

deem; for he knew it not till now. The eyes in Orthanc did not
see through the armour of Th�oden; but Sauron has not forgotten
Isildur and the sword of Elendil. Now in the very hour of his
great designs the heir of Isildur and the Sword are revealed;
for I showed the blade re-forged to him. He is not so mighty
yet that he is above fear; nay, doubt ever gnaws him.�

Although if "he knew it not till now", why did he set traps for
Aragorn? Simply because he was the leader of the D�nedain?

sean_q

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Sep 11, 2011, 5:32:18 PM9/11/11
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On 9/11/2011 10:17 AM, David Bent wrote:

> Aragorn after he takes control of the palantir says that Sauron didn't
> know there was any descendant of Isildur until that point.
>
> "To know that I lived and walked the earth was a blow to his heart, I
> deem; for he knew it not till now." Return of the King
>
> So it appears that Sauron couldn't have targeted Aragorn specifically as
> he didn't know he existed.

Good point; I'd forgotten that.

SQ

Chris Hoelscher

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Sep 11, 2011, 10:58:52 PM9/11/11
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"sean_q" <no....@no.spam> wrote in message
news:XW8bq.6038$Rq3....@newsfe13.iad...
The Enemy may have indeed set traps for Thorongil <sp?> without in fact
knowing who he was ... Would not Sauron (or an agent thereof) gotten reports
of ANY man or elf who has harrassing the bad guys and tried to waylay him?
would even knowng his true name have revealed his ancestry ?


sean_q

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Sep 12, 2011, 3:09:45 AM9/12/11
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On 9/11/2011 6:58 PM, Chris Hoelscher wrote:

> The Enemy may have indeed set traps for Thorongil<sp?> without in fact
> knowing who he was ...

I think the DL at least knew (from his spies) that "Strider" was
a Ranger, ie one of those pesky Dunedain (Numenoreans in exile).
Not his favorite kind of people, being descended from the Faithful
who had opposed his voice in King Ar-Pharazon's ear and then
a real nuisance all through the TA.

He re-entered Mordor, and hid there for a time in silence.
But his anger was great when he learned that Elendil whom he
most hated, had escaped him, and was now ordering a realm
upon his borders.

Not only that, this Strider had escorted the 4 hobbits including
the Ring-bearer from Bree to Rivendell and helped fend off
5 of his Wraiths. Who was this joker, anyway? Surely Sauron
would have wondered, besides being seriously annoyed at the guy.

SQ

sean_q

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Sep 12, 2011, 3:14:32 AM9/12/11
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On 9/9/2011 4:43 PM, Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

> But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
> couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond?

Because he ruled rather according to the wisdom that Denethor spoke:
from the rear, driving his forces in a mood for battle on before.

He would not come save only to triumph over the Enemy when all was won.
He used others as his weapons. So do all great lords, if they are wise.

SQ

Clams Canino

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Sep 12, 2011, 2:38:28 AM9/12/11
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"sean_q" <no....@no.spam> wrote in message news:Nshbq.30178$qy6....@newsfe07.iad...

> Because he ruled rather according to the wisdom that Denethor spoke:
> from the rear, driving his forces in a mood for battle on before.
>
> He would not come save only to triumph over the Enemy when all was won.
> He used others as his weapons. So do all great lords, if they are wise.

Twas my take as well.
Theoden showed us what happens when the King is put into play.

-W


tenworld

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Sep 12, 2011, 3:29:02 PM9/12/11
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On Sep 12, 12:14 am, sean_q <no.s...@no.spam> wrote:
> On 9/9/2011 4:43 PM, Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> > But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
> > couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond?
>

I think Elrond still held a grudge (maybe not the right word) that
Aragon's ancestor did not destroy the ring when he could. But besides
needing to defend Rivendale, I think Elrond knew that Men must win
this round with minimal help. Didnt he tell Aragon he could wed Arwen
only if he reclaimed the throne of Gondor? More than one marriage
has failed when the in-laws do too much meddling.

Stan Brown

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Sep 12, 2011, 7:14:51 PM9/12/11
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On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 23:09:45 -0800, sean_q wrote:
> I think the DL at least knew (from his spies) that "Strider" was
> a Ranger, ie one of those pesky Dunedain (Numenoreans in exile).

*Did* he? Did Sauron have any certain knowledge that the last of the
Dúnedain -- or at least the last of the line of Elendil -- had not
perished with Arvedui, last King of Arthedain?

Sauron seems remarkably ill informed about the doings in Eriador, or
west of the Misty Mountains generally. If I were aiming at world
domination, I would make it my business to have an extensive spy
network in enemy territory. But Sauron seems to have neglected
intelligence gathering almost completely. And it can't be because he
was relying on Saruman, for their alliance (or Saruman's subjection)
was comparatively recent.

Michael Ikeda

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Sep 12, 2011, 7:50:11 PM9/12/11
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Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in
news:MPG.28d85c768...@news.individual.net:

> On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 23:09:45 -0800, sean_q wrote:
>> I think the DL at least knew (from his spies) that "Strider"
>> was a Ranger, ie one of those pesky Dunedain (Numenoreans in
>> exile).
>
> *Did* he? Did Sauron have any certain knowledge that the last
> of the Dúnedain -- or at least the last of the line of Elendil
> -- had not perished with Arvedui, last King of Arthedain?

I suspect he did think that the line of Elendil had perished with
Arvedui. However, I also suspect that he thought that the Rangers
were of Numenorean descent.

>
> Sauron seems remarkably ill informed about the doings in
> Eriador, or west of the Misty Mountains generally. If I were
> aiming at world domination, I would make it my business to have
> an extensive spy network in enemy territory. But Sauron seems
> to have neglected intelligence gathering almost completely. And
> it can't be because he was relying on Saruman, for their
> alliance (or Saruman's subjection) was comparatively recent.
>

My guess at his attitude would be something along the lines of "Why
bother with spies when I can SEE everything of importance myself?".

Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 12, 2011, 9:37:44 PM9/12/11
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The bit about Elrond's conditions for marrying Arwen is revealed in
the Appendices (Tale of Aragorn and Arwen). The bit about Elrond
bemoaning the fact that Isildur didn''t destroy the One Ring, was that
something over-emphasised or made-up for the Jackson films? I can't
remember off the top of my head, but I think the discussion goes
something like: (a) In the book, Elrond says Isildur should have cast
it into Orodruin; (b) But Elrond is silent on whether this is
something that Isildur should be censured for; (c) This becomes, in
the film, distorted in an Elrond that bears a grudge against Men. Or
something. As I said, I may be mis-remembering this.

Christopher

Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 12, 2011, 9:45:57 PM9/12/11
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On Sep 13, 12:14 am, Stan Brown <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote:

<snip>

> Sauron seems remarkably ill informed about the doings in Eriador, or
> west of the Misty Mountains generally.  If I were aiming at world
> domination, I would make it my business to have an extensive spy
> network in enemy territory.  But Sauron seems to have neglected
> intelligence gathering almost completely.  And it can't be because he
> was relying on Saruman, for their alliance (or Saruman's subjection)
> was comparatively recent.

There are some hints in Unfinished Tales (though maybe not canonical)
in the 'The Hunt for the Ring' section, but this is (more than usual)
a jumble of various drafts and planned storylines. Not sure how much
use that is. If you do accept it as admissible, that seems to indicate
what the Nazgul knew and didn't know, and they seem to have been
largely relying on Gollum's descriptions and such local spies and
knowledge as they could gather. I wonder if the Nazgul had clear
memories of these lands that they had visited many years before
(really, many, many years!).

Christopher

Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 12, 2011, 10:01:15 PM9/12/11
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On Sep 12, 7:38 am, "Clams Canino" <cc-mar...@earthdink.net> wrote:
> "sean_q" <no.s...@no.spam> wrote in messagenews:Nshbq.30178$qy6....@newsfe07.iad...
> > Because he ruled rather according to the wisdom that Denethor spoke:
> > from the rear, driving his forces in a mood for battle on before.
>
> > He would not come save only to triumph over the Enemy when all was won.
> > He used others as his weapons. So do all great lords, if they are wise.
>
> Twas my take as well.
> Theoden showed us what happens when the King is put into play.

Still, Elrond did go forth before, as Gil-galad's herald. But yeah,
look what happened to Gil-galad. Cirdan as well was at the Battle of
the last Alliance when they marched in Mordor and laid siege to Barad-
dur. That conflict lasted years. This was a different sort of battle,
one trusting to stealth and secrecy, not might of arms (except to
distract). Cirdan stayed at the Havens. Elrond stayed in Rivendell.
Galadriel stayed in Lothlorien. It all makes sense. And Bilbo was in
Rivendell as well as Arwen. And as for Aragorn wishing that Elrond
could have been there to help him in the Houses of Healing, turned out
he didn't need help. Gandalf was roaming free with Narya, but that
Ring gave hope while the others of the Three Rings were used to
maintain and defend and prevent decay (though that didn't prevent the
Elves embarking on the Last Alliance).

Christopher

sean_q

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Sep 13, 2011, 7:18:55 AM9/13/11
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On 9/12/2011 3:14 PM, Stan Brown wrote:

>> I think the DL at least knew (from his spies) that "Strider" was
>> a Ranger, ie one of those pesky Dunedain (Numenoreans in exile).
>
> *Did* he? Did Sauron have any certain knowledge...

I don't know what Sauron knew for certain. Just hints and clues.

We know that "Dunadan" means "Numenorean" from Bilbo:

"_The_ Dúnadan," said Bilbo. "He is often called that here.
But I thought you knew enough Elvish at least to know dún-udan:
Man of the West, Númenorean.

However, not all of the Dunedain were necessarily Elendil's descendants.

And, possibly, not all of them were (or descended from) the Faithful,
either. During the 2nd Age the Numenorean kings built outposts in ME:

Moreover, after Minastir the Kings became greedy of wealth and power.
At first the Númenoreans had come to Middle-earth as teachers and
friends of lesser Men afflicted by Sauron; but now their havens
became fortresses, holding wide coast-lands in subjection. Atanamir
and his successors levied heavy tribute, and the ships of
the Númenoreans returned laden with spoil.

So I suppose that when Numenor sank some of Ar-Pharazon's men
(ie, not of the Faithful) happened to be on garrison or tribute
collection duty etc in Middle Earth and escaped the deluge.
For want of a better term I'll call them "Loyalists".

Some of the Faithful were also in ME. For instance the Chronology
in LotR Appendix B says:

2350 SA - Pelargir is built. It becomes the chief haven of
the Faithful Númenoreans.

Meanwhile, other Faithful were in Numenor itself (mainly in the west)
and managed to escape by ship when the island submerged.

I'm not clear on what happened to the Loyalists. With their Head of
State and island Homeland suddenly gone they were left with no one
to report to. Perhaps they pledged to Elendil, joining the Numenorean
realms in exile, Arnor and Gondor; at least, those who weren't tried
for war crimes. Perhaps others fled Elendil's realms to become
the Black Numenoreans.

Anyway, the point being that Sauron presumably knew all of the above.
Also I suppose he could distinguish between Numenoreans and
the "lesser men" of Middle Earth, having fought wars with them
during the Second Age. So when his spies and agents encountered
the Rangers I have to guess he knew who they were:

"...there are few left in Middle-earth like Aragorn son of Arathorn.
The race of the Kings from over the Sea is nearly at an end. It may
be that this War of the Ring will be their last adventure."

"Do you really mean that Strider is one of the people of the
old Kings?" said Frodo in wonder. "I thought they had all vanished
long ago. I thought he was only a Ranger."

"Only a Ranger!" cried Gandalf. "My dear Frodo, that is just what
the Rangers are: the last remnant in the North of the great people,
the Men of the West."

> ...that the last of the Dúnedain -- or at least the last of the line
> of Elendil -- had not perished with Arvedui, last King of Arthedain?

He knew that the Royal Line had ended in the South. And must have known
about the Dunedain in the North but not that an heir of Isildur
was among them.

> Sauron seems remarkably ill informed about the doings in Eriador, or
> west of the Misty Mountains generally. If I were aiming at world
> domination, I would make it my business to have an extensive spy
> network in enemy territory. But Sauron seems to have neglected
> intelligence gathering almost completely. And it can't be because he
> was relying on Saruman, for their alliance (or Saruman's subjection)
> was comparatively recent.

He seems to have agents in Bree at any rate:

"And there are some folk in Bree who are not to be trusted,"
he went on. "Bill Ferny, for instance. He has an evil name
in the Bree-land, and queer folk call at his house. You must
have noticed him among the company: a swarthy sneering fellow.
He was very close with one of the Southern strangers, and they
slipped out together just after your "accident". Not all of those
Southerners mean well; and as for Ferny, he would sell anything
to anybody; or make mischief for amusement."

"What will Ferny sell, and what has my accident got to do with him?"
said Frodo, still determined not to understand Strider's hints.

"News of you, of course," answered Strider. "An account of your
performance would be very interesting to certain people. After that
they would hardly need to be told your real name."

We know from the Tale of Years that Saruman began spying on Gandalf
as well as keeping agents in Bree and the Southfarthing around 2953.
However, the "certain people" mentioned above seem to be Sauron's:

"I do not know, but it seems clear to me that this is what
happened. Their Captain remained in secret away south of Bree,
while two rode ahead through the village, and four more invaded
the Shire. But when these were foiled in Bree and at Crickhollow,
they returned to their Captain with tidings, and so left
the Road unguarded for a while, except by their spies."

I suspect that some of the "dark things" in the following passage
are also in the DL's service:

"If Gondor, Boromir, has been a stalwart tower, we have played
another part. Many evil things there are that your strong walls
and bright swords do not stay.

You know little of the lands beyond your bounds. Peace and freedom,
do you say? The North would have known them little but for us.
Fear would have destroyed them. But when dark things come from
the houseless hills, or creep from sunless woods, they fly from us.

What roads would any dare to tread, what safety would there be
in quiet lands, or in the homes of simple men at night, if
the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?

"And yet less thanks have we than you. Travelers scowl at us,
and countrymen give us scornful names. "Strider" I am to one fat man
who lives within a day's march of foes that would freeze his heart
or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly."

SQ

tenworld

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Sep 13, 2011, 11:45:35 AM9/13/11
to
On Sep 12, 4:14 pm, Stan Brown <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 23:09:45 -0800, sean_q wrote:
> > I think the DL at least knew (from his spies) that "Strider" was
> > a Ranger, ie one of those pesky Dunedain (Numenoreans in exile).
>
> *Did* he?  Did Sauron have any certain knowledge that the last of the
> Dúnedain -- or at least the last of the line of Elendil -- had not
> perished with Arvedui, last King of Arthedain?
>
> Sauron seems remarkably ill informed about the doings in Eriador, or
> west of the Misty Mountains generally.  If I were aiming at world
> domination, I would make it my business to have an extensive spy
> network in enemy territory.  But Sauron seems to have neglected
> intelligence gathering almost completely.  And it can't be because he
> was relying on Saruman, for their alliance (or Saruman's subjection)
> was comparatively recent.
>
sounds like our intelligence capability under Clinton. Plus Saruman
had a lot of influence on the spies and he had his own agenda not
realizing he was already being controlled.

Paul S. Person

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Sep 13, 2011, 12:56:10 PM9/13/11
to
I don't recall his saying anything about it in the book, but it has
been so long since I read the book, that he may well have, and may
have done so exactly as you indicate.

The idea that Elrond holds a grudge against Aragorn is, as you note,
entirely PJ's. Just as the conditions for allowing the affianced pair
Aragorn and Arwen to wed cited are entirely JRRT's. The Elrond of the
film would /never/ have recognized their engagement, let alone allowed
the marriage to take place, had Arwen not turned. It is only when
faced with that fact that PJ's Elrond decides to give Aragorn a swift
kick in his hind end to see if he can be motivated to do something
worth while.
--
"I begin to miss Öjevind."
"I have missed him long since."

Jerry Friedman

unread,
Sep 14, 2011, 12:18:41 AM9/14/11
to
On Sep 11, 12:21 pm, Steve Morrison <rima...@toast.net> wrote:
> sean_q wrote:
> > On 9/11/2011 6:38 AM, Stan Brown wrote:
>
> >>> I'm not certain why the DL planned to attack Elrond at that
> >>> particular time (circa 2941 TA).
>
> >> I don't think that's what the passage says.  Gandalf knew that Sauron
> >> intended to attack Rivendell at some unspecified later date, when
> >> Sauron felt strong enough.
>
> > To clarify: I'm not certain why the DL at that particular time
> > (c. 2941 TA) was planning to attack Elrond ASAP.
>
> > We knew that Sauron targeted Aragorn specifically:
>
> >   But he was called Estel, that is "Hope", and his true name and
> >   lineage were kept secret at the bidding of Elrond; for the Wise
> >   then knew that the Enemy was seeking to discover the Heir of
> >   Isildur, if any remained upon earth.
>
> > Apparently by the time Aragorn meets the Hobbits in Bree the secret
> > is already out:
>
> >   "I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to
> >   study you first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps
> >   for me before now."
>
> That seems hard to reconcile with what Aragorn said after using
> the Palant r:
>
>    He drew a deep breath. It was a bitter struggle, and the

>    weariness is slow to pass. I spoke no word to him, and in the
>    end I wrenched the Stone to my own will. That alone he will
>    find hard to endure. And he beheld me. Yes, Master Gimli, he
>    saw me, but in other guise than you see me here. If that will
>    aid him, then I have done ill. But I do not think so. To know
>    that I lived and walked the earth was a blow to his heart, I
>    deem; for he knew it not till now. The eyes in Orthanc did not
>    see through the armour of Th oden; but Sauron has not forgotten

>    Isildur and the sword of Elendil. Now in the very hour of his
>    great designs the heir of Isildur and the Sword are revealed;
>    for I showed the blade re-forged to him. He is not so mighty
>    yet that he is above fear; nay, doubt ever gnaws him.
>
> Although if "he knew it not till now", why did he set traps for
> Aragorn? Simply because he was the leader of the D nedain?

Maybe when Aragorn was fighting for Rohan and Gondor, or when Sauron
knew him only as someone who fought annoyingly well with Elladan and
Elrohir, or as a friend of Gandalf.

--
Jerry Friedman

Jerry Friedman

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Sep 14, 2011, 12:22:26 AM9/14/11
to
On Sep 12, 5:14 pm, Stan Brown <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 23:09:45 -0800, sean_q wrote:
> > I think the DL at least knew (from his spies) that "Strider" was
> > a Ranger, ie one of those pesky Dunedain (Numenoreans in exile).
>
> *Did* he?  Did Sauron have any certain knowledge that the last of the
> Dúnedain -- or at least the last of the line of Elendil -- had not
> perished with Arvedui, last King of Arthedain?
>
> Sauron seems remarkably ill informed about the doings in Eriador, or
> west of the Misty Mountains generally.  If I were aiming at world
> domination, I would make it my business to have an extensive spy
> network in enemy territory.
...

There's practically nobody west of the Misty Mountains and north of
Dunland. Spying on Elves and Dwarves seems difficult now that they've
learned not to trust Sauron, and spying on Bree and the Shire seems
pointless (until Sauron hears about it them from Gollum). He's got
Gondor and Rohan to worry about.

--
Jerry Friedman

sean_q

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Sep 14, 2011, 2:30:49 PM9/14/11
to
On 9/12/2011 11:29 AM, tenworld wrote:

> I think Elrond still held a grudge (maybe not the right word) that
> Aragon's ancestor did not destroy the ring when he could.

Surely, by the time of the War of the Ring, Elrond understood
that Isildur had no choice in the matter.

Among other properties the Ring had incredibly strong mind-control
powers when matters came down to its self-preservation.

Isildur wrote, "But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing:
of all the works of Sauron the only fair. It is precious to me,
though I buy it with great pain."

When Frodo was called upon to try melting it, "The gold looked very
fair and pure, and Frodo thought how rich and beautiful was its colour,
how perfect was its roundness. It was an admirable thing and altogether
precious."

Frodo hadn't the strength of will to throw it even into his small fire.
Gandalf did have, but by his own admission even he, a powerful Wizard
would be mastered by the Ring's evil power before he could drop it
into the Crack of Doom, had he tried to wield it.

So no, I don't think Elrond held it against Isildur. Nor do I think
Elrond himself could have destroyed it either, if Gandalf speaks
the truth, and I think Elrond was wise enough to know it. Otherwise
he might have undertaken the Quest himself.

This wasn't just an plain old garden-variety magic ring; it had
the "best part of the strength that was native" to a powerful
and evil Maia, second only to Morgoth the Enemy.

For instance if I somehow bought Thor's hammer at a yard sale
in Oslo and tried using it to tap a picture-hanging tack
into the wall, I'd be lucky if the thing didn't demolish
the whole building. See _Farmer Giles of Ham_, where merely
brandishing a magic sword at a dragon was "quite enough"
to unleash its true power. Whereupon it delivered (or caused
the wielder to deliver) a crippling blow beyond his own
first intention.

How to neutralize such a magic token? It wasn't enough merely
to squirrel it away somewhere; Sauron was too powerful and
threatening even without the Ring on his hand.

Since it couldn't be destroyed by any strength of will, the Wise
had no choice but to rely on a long shot. A very long shot,
it seems, a fortuitous accident. However, the Wise, or at least
Gandalf, knew "There was more than one Power at work...
something else, beyond any design of the Ring-maker."

All they could do was give that other Power the best possible chance
to do its work. So they chose a "witless Hobbit", one with small
stature and therefore the one least vulnerable to corruption.

They knew even he would ultimately succumb. But it would be enough
if his free will took him only as far as the *Brink* of Doom before
claiming it as his own.

SQ

Michael Ikeda

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Sep 14, 2011, 6:02:15 PM9/14/11
to
sean_q <no....@no.spam> wrote in
news:Oy5cq.31703$qy6....@newsfe07.iad:

> On 9/12/2011 11:29 AM, tenworld wrote:
>
> > I think Elrond still held a grudge (maybe not the right word)
> > that Aragon's ancestor did not destroy the ring when he could.
>
> Surely, by the time of the War of the Ring, Elrond understood
> that Isildur had no choice in the matter.
>

Actually, I think that was the one occasion in history when someone
of great strength of will might possibly HAVE been able to destroy
the Ring.

The Ring's hold over a person seems to grow stronger over time.

And Isildur had just acquired it.

Stan Brown

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Sep 14, 2011, 9:03:35 PM9/14/11
to
On Wed, 14 Sep 2011 10:30:49 -0800, sean_q wrote:
> On 9/12/2011 11:29 AM, tenworld wrote:
>
> > I think Elrond still held a grudge (maybe not the right word) that
> > Aragon's ancestor did not destroy the ring when he could.
>
> Surely, by the time of the War of the Ring, Elrond understood
> that Isildur had no choice in the matter.

Oh, please. It takes time for the Ring to get its full hold over a
person. Bilbo resisted for 50 years, though it was starting to gain
the ascendant. I can't accept that Isildur's will was obliterated in
a few hours (or less). He kept the Ring because he was proud and did
not want to be led by Elves.

derek

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Sep 14, 2011, 10:36:15 PM9/14/11
to
On Sep 14, 10:03 pm, Stan Brown <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> On Wed, 14 Sep 2011 10:30:49 -0800, sean_q wrote:
> > On 9/12/2011 11:29 AM, tenworld wrote:
>
> >  > I think Elrond still held a grudge (maybe not the right word) that
> >  > Aragon's ancestor did not destroy the ring when he could.
>
> > Surely, by the time of the War of the Ring, Elrond understood
> > that Isildur had no choice in the matter.
>
> Oh, please.  It takes time for the Ring to get its full hold over a
> person.  Bilbo resisted for 50 years, though it was starting to gain
> the ascendant.  I can't accept that Isildur's will was obliterated in
> a few hours (or less).  He kept the Ring because he was proud and did
> not want to be led by Elves.

And yet it had enough hold over Gollum in minutes to have him murder
his cousin. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that the Ring had
the power to prevent Isildur destroying it in the first few hours of
his possession. Bilbo "resisted", but he never once tried to destroy
it. Frodo tried - and failed (though admittedly he had it far longer
than Isildur).

Erik Trulsson

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Sep 15, 2011, 8:12:03 AM9/15/11
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> On Wed, 14 Sep 2011 10:30:49 -0800, sean_q wrote:
>> On 9/12/2011 11:29 AM, tenworld wrote:
>>
>> > I think Elrond still held a grudge (maybe not the right word) that
>> > Aragon's ancestor did not destroy the ring when he could.
>>
>> Surely, by the time of the War of the Ring, Elrond understood
>> that Isildur had no choice in the matter.

> Oh, please. It takes time for the Ring to get its full hold over a
> person. Bilbo resisted for 50 years, though it was starting to gain
> the ascendant. I can't accept that Isildur's will was obliterated in
> a few hours (or less). He kept the Ring because he was proud and did
> not want to be led by Elves.


It seems to depend in part on how you acquired the Ring (and I thnk Gandalf
even said something to that effect). Bilbo found it lying on the ground.
Frodo was given it. Isildur as well as Smeagol/Gollum used violence to
take it from its previous owner (Sauron and Deagol respectively.)

Isildur's will may not have been obliterated quite that fast, but he
quickly found excuses for why he should not destroy the Ring.
First of all he possibly did not really believe that the Ring was as
dangerous as as it was. Secondly a natural reluctance to destroy a
precious work of art, which the Ring is. Thirdly a desire to take the Ring
as (partial) payment for the recent death of his father.
All of these (and quite possibly more, like not wanting to take orders from
the Elves) would have been encouraged and strengthened by the Ring.


Also remember how reluctant Sam was to hand back the Ring to Frodo after
having held it for only a brief time - and Sam was probably far more
difficult for the Ring to manipulate than Isildur would have been.



--
<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr...@student.uu.se

Christopher Kreuzer

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Sep 15, 2011, 7:53:33 PM9/15/11
to
On Sep 15, 1:12 pm, Erik Trulsson <ertr1...@student.uu.se> wrote:
I agree. There is a lot about this relative influence of the One Ring
over others in the chapter 'The Shadow of the Past'. That has at least
one of the references you were thinking of, where Gandalf is quite
explicit in saying that how one acquired the Ring influenced the end
result, though there may be other such passage elsewhere as well:

"Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the
end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity."

This follows the famous 'Pity and Mercy' bit when Frodo wishes that
Bilbo had killed Gollum.

Christopher

Michael Ikeda

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Sep 16, 2011, 7:49:48 AM9/16/11
to
derek <de...@pointerstop.ca> wrote in
news:190b8d09-1d4a-4819...@bl1g2000vbb.googlegroups.
com:
I'd agree that the real reason Isildur did not destroy the Ring was
the influence of the Ring.

I do suspect that there was at least the possibility of choice at
that point--that someone else coming into possession of the Ring at
that time (or even perhaps Isildur if he had known that destroying
the Ring was also the only way to permanently destroy Sauron) might
have destroyed the Ring.

Stan Brown

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Sep 16, 2011, 8:10:33 AM9/16/11
to
On Thu, 15 Sep 2011 12:12:03 +0000 (UTC), Erik Trulsson wrote:
[on ability to destroy or give away the Ring]
> It seems to depend in part on how you acquired the Ring (and I thnk Gandalf
> even said something to that effect). Bilbo found it lying on the ground.
> Frodo was given it. Isildur as well as Smeagol/Gollum used violence to
> take it from its previous owner (Sauron and Deagol respectively.)

I think Gollum goes against your argument. Yes, he used violence to
acquire it -- but that means he had murdered Déagol before ever
touching the Ring, after having just seen it for a few minutes. I
think that says a lot more about Gollum than it does about the Ring.

Unless you think the Ring chose Sméagol over Déagol? That seems
pretty far fetched to me. We understand that in some sense it was
always "trying" to get back to its Master, but I can't think that it
could make fine character distinctions between two Stoors.

Of course there's no indication Gollum ever tried to destroy the Ring
or get rid of it in any fashion. Apart from anything else, it was a
useful tool in catching food.


A new thought: Gandalf knew that Frodo could not destroy the Ring.
In Frodo's own home, in Book I Chapter 2, Frodo is unable to put the
ring into the hearth fire. When Gandalf sent Frodo to the Black Land
to throw the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, the idea that Frodo
would ever have been able to destroy it was *really* nuts. I suspect
that Gandalf had planned all along to accompany Frodo, and if
necessary, to take the Ring by force and destroy it.

What do y'all think?

Clams Canino

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Sep 16, 2011, 11:32:49 AM9/16/11
to

"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message

> Unless you think the Ring chose Sméagol over Déagol? That seems
> pretty far fetched to me. We understand that in some sense it was
> always "trying" to get back to its Master, but I can't think that it
> could make fine character distinctions between two Stoors.

I'm not so sure. I think the Ring chose it's own ilk when possible.
It may have well picked up on Smeagol's flawed character.

-W


Paul S. Person

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Sep 16, 2011, 12:35:10 PM9/16/11
to
I think Gandalf's Master Plan was quite simple:

1) Get Frodo, plus Ring, really near to the Cracks of Doom (if that's
the wrong term, I apologize, but it has been a /long/ time since I
read the book -- perhaps too long).
2) Push him in.

It is, after all, the simplest plans that often work the best.
Message has been deleted

derek

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Sep 16, 2011, 9:19:02 PM9/16/11
to
On Sep 16, 12:32 pm, "Clams Canino" <cc-mar...@earthdink.net> wrote:
> "Stan Brown" <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
> > Unless you think the Ring chose Sm agol over D agol?  That seems
> > pretty far fetched to me.  We understand that in some sense it was
> > always "trying" to get back to its Master, but I can't think that it
> > could make fine character distinctions between two Stoors.
>
> I'm not so sure. I think the Ring chose it's own ilk when possible.
> It may have well picked up on Smeagol's flawed character.

Yes. I think it chose Smeagol, but made a mistake, so it chose to
find a new "host", when it slipped off his finger for Bilbo to find.
It may not have been able to "choose its own ilk" there, but it knew
that Bilbo was the only creature around who might get it closer to
Sauron.

It did the same with Isildur - it may not have actually chosen
Isildur, but it would certainly have preferred Isildur to the others
present who might have taken it in hand - and yet when it came to it,
Isildur didn't advance its agenda, so it slipped off his finger at an
inopportune time (if you're Isildur - not so inopportune for the
Ring).

Taemon

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Sep 17, 2011, 2:20:18 AM9/17/11
to
Paul S. Person wrote:

> "I begin to miss Öjevind."
> "I have missed him long since."

What do you mean by this?

T.


Stan Brown

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Sep 17, 2011, 2:59:33 AM9/17/11
to
On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 19:28:13 +0200, Raven wrote:
> Gandalf's plan was
> another, and it had to do with his trust in Providence. He knew full well
> that if the Ring never came near the Cracks of Doom no miracle could have
> caused it to fall into the Fire, short of eg. Ulmo or Aulë grabbing it and
> dealing with it personally, sort of thing.
> If it came near the only place where it could be unmade, the chance of
> such a miracle would be present.

I think this is much more in the spirit of the book than what I
proposed. Thanks!

derek

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Sep 18, 2011, 3:18:12 PM9/18/11
to
It's a paraphrase from LOTR...

Taemon

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Sep 19, 2011, 12:16:30 PM9/19/11
to
But what does he mean by it?

T.


Geza Giedke

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Sep 25, 2011, 12:48:23 PM9/25/11
to
derek schrieb am 17.09.2011 03:19:
> On Sep 16, 12:32 pm, "Clams Canino" <cc-mar...@earthdink.net> wrote:
>> "Stan Brown" <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
>>> Unless you think the Ring chose Sm agol over D agol? That seems
>>> pretty far fetched to me. We understand that in some sense it was
>>> always "trying" to get back to its Master, but I can't think that it
>>> could make fine character distinctions between two Stoors.
>>
>> I'm not so sure. I think the Ring chose it's own ilk when possible.
>> It may have well picked up on Smeagol's flawed character.
>
> Yes. I think it chose Smeagol, but made a mistake, so it chose to
> find a new "host", when it slipped off his finger for Bilbo to find.
> It may not have been able to "choose its own ilk" there, but it knew
> that Bilbo was the only creature around who might get it closer to
> Sauron.

i very much doubt this: any Orc would have been better in this respect
(getting the Ring to Sauron). Recall that according to Gandalf "another
Power was at work there". Moreover,

I think the "choosing" part is much less active: the Ring clearly has
influence not only on its bearer (cf. Boromir, the Orc in the Tower of
Cirith Ungol, Grishnakh, Saruman) and I think the Smeagol/Deagol affair
just showed that Smeagol was much more open to the Ring's temptation
than Deagol - and hence the more promising target for the Ring.


> It did the same with Isildur - it may not have actually chosen
> Isildur, but it would certainly have preferred Isildur to the others
> present who might have taken it in hand - and yet when it came to it,
> Isildur didn't advance its agenda, so it slipped off his finger at an
> inopportune time (if you're Isildur - not so inopportune for the
> Ring).

certainly Isildur was the most promising target around at Orodruin after
Sauron's defeat. It is not so clear to me why the Ring did not stay with
him - he probably would have become a quite powerful Dark Lord himself
and might have saved the Ring a couple of boring centuries before Sauron
would be back to take over...

I somehow did not get the impression that the Ring was explicitly doing
Sauron's bidding but just advanced his own agenda of world domination.
(except that Isildur's end is an argument against that view - unless
already here "another Power" is at work, saving Isildur from a terrible
fate and laying the groundwork for Frodo's quest)

regards
Geza

--
Now come ye all,
who have courage and hope! My call harken
to flight, to freedom in far places!
Lays of Beleriand

Stan Brown

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Sep 25, 2011, 1:53:09 PM9/25/11
to
On Sun, 25 Sep 2011 18:48:23 +0200, Geza Giedke wrote:
> derek schrieb am 17.09.2011 03:19:
> > [quoted text muted]
> > find a new "host", when it slipped off his finger for Bilbo to find.
> > It may not have been able to "choose its own ilk" there, but it knew
> > that Bilbo was the only creature around who might get it closer to
> > Sauron.
>
> i very much doubt this: any Orc would have been better in this respect
> (getting the Ring to Sauron). Recall that according to Gandalf "another
> Power was at work there".

Here's the quote, from "The Shadow of the Past" (Book I Ch 2):

"'What, just in time to meet Bilbo?' said Frodo. 'Wouldn't an Orc
have suited it better?'

"'It is no laughing matter,' said Gandalf. 'Not for you. It was the
strangest event in the whole history of the Ring so far: Bilbo's
arrival just at that time, and putting his hand on it, blindly, in
the dark.

"'There was more than one power at work, Frodo. The Ring was trying
to get back to its master. ...

"'Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of
the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was
meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also
were meant to have it. And that maybe an encouraging thought.'"

derek

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Sep 25, 2011, 9:13:15 PM9/25/11
to

derek

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Sep 25, 2011, 9:25:10 PM9/25/11
to
On Sep 25, 1:48 pm, Geza Giedke <joed...@gmail.com> wrote:
> derek schrieb am 17.09.2011 03:19:
>
> > On Sep 16, 12:32 pm, "Clams Canino" <cc-mar...@earthdink.net> wrote:
> >> "Stan Brown" <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
> >>> Unless you think the Ring chose Sm agol over D agol?  That seems
> >>> pretty far fetched to me.  We understand that in some sense it was
> >>> always "trying" to get back to its Master, but I can't think that it
> >>> could make fine character distinctions between two Stoors.
>
> >> I'm not so sure. I think the Ring chose it's own ilk when possible.
> >> It may have well picked up on Smeagol's flawed character.
>
> > Yes.  I think it chose Smeagol, but made a mistake, so it chose to
> > find a new "host", when it slipped off his finger for Bilbo to find.
> > It may not have been able to "choose its own ilk" there, but it knew
> > that Bilbo was the only creature around who might get it closer to
> > Sauron.
>
> i very much doubt this: any Orc would have been better in this respect
> (getting the Ring to Sauron). Recall that according to Gandalf "another
> Power was at work there". Moreover,

Of course it was, but do you doubt the Ring was trying to return to
its maker? If you do, there's no point in continuing the discussion
because we have no common ground to work from. If you don't, then you
have to wonder _why_ it didn't slip off Gollum's finger and have an
Orc find it. The simple fact would seem to be that an Orc was no more
likely to return it to Sauron than Gollum,. For two reasons: they
didn't like to leave their caves much more than Gollum did, and they
were _corrupt_ - they would want the Ring for their own, just as
Gollum did. Certainly "another power" is at work - that other power
is making sure it's _Bilbo_ who finds the Ring. Imagine what might
have happened if one of the Dwarves had been the one... But that
power is subtle - it places a character who is _able_ to make the trek
to return the Ring to Sauron, into a place where the Ring can find
him. It doesn't promise the Ring that it will be able to have its way
with that character.

> > It did the same with Isildur - it may not have actually chosen
> > Isildur, but it would certainly have preferred Isildur to the others
> > present who might have taken it in hand - and yet when it came to it,
> > Isildur didn't advance its agenda, so it slipped off his finger at an
> > inopportune time (if you're Isildur - not so inopportune for the
> > Ring).

Is that not exactly what I said about Gollum?

> I somehow did not get the impression that the Ring was explicitly doing
> Sauron's bidding

Absolutely not. The Ring has some limited sentience - I think that
much is obvious - but its "agenda" has nothing to do with Sauron's
bidding, it is merely an automaton with a limited number of goals, the
most important of which is to return to its rightful owner.

Geza Giedke

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Sep 26, 2011, 3:05:43 PM9/26/11
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derek schrieb am 26.09.2011 03:25:
> On Sep 25, 1:48 pm, Geza Giedke <joed...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> derek schrieb am 17.09.2011 03:19:
>>> Yes. I think it chose Smeagol, but made a mistake, so it chose to
>>> find a new "host", when it slipped off his finger for Bilbo to find.
>>> It may not have been able to "choose its own ilk" there, but it knew
>>> that Bilbo was the only creature around who might get it closer to
>>> Sauron.
>>
>> i very much doubt this: any Orc would have been better in this respect
>> (getting the Ring to Sauron). Recall that according to Gandalf "another
>> Power was at work there". Moreover,
>
> Of course it was, but do you doubt the Ring was trying to return to
> its maker? If you do, there's no point in continuing the discussion
> because we have no common ground to work from. If you don't, then you

well, Gandalf says it was trying to get back to its maker, so there's
little reason to doubt this; though I am not 100% convinced that it
wanted to be back to Sauron specifically or just any sufficiently
powerful owner - I always thought the Ring would have been fine with
Gandalf, Galadriel or Saruman as well.

> have to wonder _why_ it didn't slip off Gollum's finger and have an
> Orc find it.

I think, the Ring simply sensed it was time to move on ("he couldn't
make any use of Gollum anymore" Gandalf says somewhere). But getting
lost is not easy if you're somebody's precious so he took the first
chance he got; later, the Ring also tried to leave Bilbo (who warned
Frodo that it "needed looking after") but Bilbo was careful enough to
not lose it. The Ring could try to slip of and tempt people to take it
but it had no say in who found it, I think.

> The simple fact would seem to be that an Orc was no more
> likely to return it to Sauron than Gollum,. For two reasons: they
> didn't like to leave their caves much more than Gollum did, and they
> were _corrupt_ - they would want the Ring for their own, just as
> Gollum did.

I think any Orc (or any evil creature) would have led to the Ring
quickly making its way to Sauron: some Orc or Troll chieftain setting
himself up as a Lord and ruling with the power of the Ring would have
caught Sauron's attention pretty quickly if he were not drawn to Mordor
before (Gollum was drawn there even without the Ring once Sauron had
risen again) I suspect none of the bad guys were strong and power-hungry
enough to have any chance against Sauron even with the Ring (maybe
Saruman, possibly the Balrog, Smaug - I doubt it).


> Certainly "another power" is at work - that other power
> is making sure it's _Bilbo_ who finds the Ring. Imagine what might
> have happened if one of the Dwarves had been the one... But that
> power is subtle - it places a character who is _able_ to make the trek
> to return the Ring to Sauron, into a place where the Ring can find
> him. It doesn't promise the Ring that it will be able to have its way
> with that character.

the power is subtle - certainly; but I thought it's subtle in letting
possibly the only person find it who is (by his lack of ambition, good
heart, and stubbornness) capable of keeping it safe and secret, giving
the Wise time to take counsel and come up with a plan.
The capability of _Bilbo_ to bring the Ring to Mordor is IMHO not part
of anybody's calculations (and its actually debatable whether he had the
capability at all...)

>>> It did the same with Isildur - it may not have actually chosen
>>> Isildur, but it would certainly have preferred Isildur to the others
>>> present who might have taken it in hand - and yet when it came to it,
>>> Isildur didn't advance its agenda, so it slipped off his finger at an
>>> inopportune time (if you're Isildur - not so inopportune for the
>>> Ring).
>
> Is that not exactly what I said about Gollum?

yes, I didn't question this; I was just wondering why it left Isildur so
soon - before having exploited all the possibilities in dominating a
powerful Numenorean...

>> I somehow did not get the impression that the Ring was explicitly doing
>> Sauron's bidding
>
> Absolutely not. The Ring has some limited sentience - I think that
> much is obvious - but its "agenda" has nothing to do with Sauron's
> bidding, it is merely an automaton with a limited number of goals, the
> most important of which is to return to its rightful owner.

this I'm not fully convinced; I thought it's mainly trying to find the
most powerful (and evil or corruptable) owner, with Sauron being the
best target at present; but I'm not sure if it would have slipped of
Saruman's finger (Gandalf or Galadriel when they hypothesize about
taking the Ring never mention that they'll lose it to Sauron but only
that they'd become evil themselves

Steve Morrison

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Sep 26, 2011, 3:45:05 PM9/26/11
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Geza Giedke wrote:

> yes, I didn't question this; I was just wondering why it left Isildur so
> soon - before having exploited all the possibilities in dominating a
> powerful Numenorean...

According to "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", Isildur had in
fact given up on trying to use or even keep the Ring:

There was a pause, though the most keen-eyed among the Dúnedain
said that the Orcs were moving inwards, stealthily, step by
step. Elendur went to his father, who was standing dark and
alone, as if lost in thought. '/Atarinya/,' he said, 'what of
the power that would cow these foul creatures and command them
to obey you? Is it then of no avail?'

'Alas, it is not, /senya/. I cannot use it. I dread the pain of
touching it. And I have not yet found the strength to bend it
to my will. It needs one greater than I now know myself to be.
My pride has fallen. It should go to the Keepers of the Three.'

Of course, this contradicts Gandalf's statement that Bilbo was the
first to give up the One Ring of his own free will. Story-internally,
Gandalf would not have known the details of Isildur's final moments;
but all this depends on taking material in /UT/ as canonical.

sean_q

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Sep 26, 2011, 6:49:31 PM9/26/11
to
On 9/14/2011 5:03 PM, Stan Brown wrote:

>> Surely, by the time of the War of the Ring, Elrond understood
>> that Isildur had no choice in the matter.
>
> Oh, please. It takes time for the Ring to get its full hold over a
> person.

However, as Gandalf warned Frodo:

Clearly the ring had an unwholesome power that set to work
on its keeper at once.

SQ

Morgoth's Curse

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Sep 29, 2011, 6:14:37 AM9/29/11
to
On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 14:21:41 -0400, Steve Morrison <rim...@toast.net>
wrote:

>sean_q wrote:
>> On 9/11/2011 6:38 AM, Stan Brown wrote:
>>
>>>> I'm not certain why the DL planned to attack Elrond at that
>>>> particular time (circa 2941 TA).
>>
>>> I don't think that's what the passage says. Gandalf knew that Sauron
>>> intended to attack Rivendell at some unspecified later date, when
>>> Sauron felt strong enough.
>>
>> To clarify: I'm not certain why the DL at that particular time
>> (c. 2941 TA) was planning to attack Elrond ASAP.
>>
>> We knew that Sauron targeted Aragorn specifically:
>>
>> But he was called Estel, that is "Hope", and his true name and
>> lineage were kept secret at the bidding of Elrond; for the Wise
>> then knew that the Enemy was seeking to discover the Heir of
>> Isildur, if any remained upon earth.
>>
>> Apparently by the time Aragorn meets the Hobbits in Bree the secret
>> is already out:
>>
>> "I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to
>> study you first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps
>> for me before now."
>
>That seems hard to reconcile with what Aragorn said after using
>the Palantír:
>
> He drew a deep breath. ‘It was a bitter struggle, and the
> weariness is slow to pass. I spoke no word to him, and in the
> end I wrenched the Stone to my own will. That alone he will
> find hard to endure. And he beheld me. Yes, Master Gimli, he
> saw me, but in other guise than you see me here. If that will
> aid him, then I have done ill. But I do not think so. To know
> that I lived and walked the earth was a blow to his heart, I
> deem; for he knew it not till now. The eyes in Orthanc did not
> see through the armour of Théoden; but Sauron has not forgotten
> Isildur and the sword of Elendil. Now in the very hour of his
> great designs the heir of Isildur and the Sword are revealed;
> for I showed the blade re-forged to him. He is not so mighty
> yet that he is above fear; nay, doubt ever gnaws him.’
>
>Although if "he knew it not till now", why did he set traps for
>Aragorn? Simply because he was the leader of the Dúnedain?

My interpretation is that Sauron _feared_ that a heir of Elendil
existed (a fear that was quite valid as it provided a symbol for his
enemies to rally around), but did not have any _proof_ until Aragorn
showed him Narsil. Since the only the Heir of Isildur would possess
the shards of Narsil and wield it when it was reforged, this was
indeed a serious blow to his plans. That was why he struck so quickly
at Gondor--he had to destroy that realm before the heir of Isildur
arrived and men flocked to his banner as they had during the Last
Alliance.

It is crucial to recall that Sauron's primary strategy during the
Third Age was to divide and conquer--to sow distrust and discord
wherever and whenever possible. His failure to do so before he
attacked Elendil had cost him the Ring and he was determined not to
make that mistake again.

Morgoth's Curse

Morgoth's Curse

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Sep 29, 2011, 6:38:32 AM9/29/11
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2011 19:01:15 -0700 (PDT), Christopher Kreuzer
<chrisk...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>On Sep 12, 7:38 am, "Clams Canino" <cc-mar...@earthdink.net> wrote:
>> "sean_q" <no.s...@no.spam> wrote in messagenews:Nshbq.30178$qy6....@newsfe07.iad...
>> > Because he ruled rather according to the wisdom that Denethor spoke:
>> > from the rear, driving his forces in a mood for battle on before.
>>
>> > He would not come save only to triumph over the Enemy when all was won.
>> > He used others as his weapons. So do all great lords, if they are wise.
>>
>> Twas my take as well.
>> Theoden showed us what happens when the King is put into play.
>
>Still, Elrond did go forth before, as Gil-galad's herald. But yeah,
>look what happened to Gil-galad. Cirdan as well was at the Battle of
>the last Alliance when they marched in Mordor and laid siege to Barad-
>dur. That conflict lasted years. This was a different sort of battle,
>one trusting to stealth and secrecy, not might of arms (except to
>distract). Cirdan stayed at the Havens. Elrond stayed in Rivendell.
>Galadriel stayed in Lothlorien. It all makes sense. And Bilbo was in
>Rivendell as well as Arwen. And as for Aragorn wishing that Elrond
>could have been there to help him in the Houses of Healing, turned out
>he didn't need help. Gandalf was roaming free with Narya, but that
>Ring gave hope while the others of the Three Rings were used to
>maintain and defend and prevent decay (though that didn't prevent the
>Elves embarking on the Last Alliance).

It is possible that Elrond believed or at least suspected that
his presence would do more harm than good. With the singular
exception of Thrainduil and the Elves of Mirkwood, men and Elves had
not interacted for many centuries prior to the War of the Ring.
Remember that even in Gondor's loyal ally Rohan, men were glad when
the sons of Elrond had departed with the Grey Company to seek the
Paths of the Dead.

And some said: 'They are Elvish wights. Let them go where they
belong, into the dark places, and never return. The times are evil
enough."

["The Passing of the Grey Company"]

Last, but not least, we should recall that Elrond was fully aware
that Aragorn intended to claim the throne of Gondor. Elrond's
presence might very well prove more detrimental than beneficial:
Consider Denethor's hostility toward Gandalf which was based on the
surmise that Gandalf intended to supplant him with Aragorn. Elrond
had no authority to forbid Gandalf from participating in the war, of
course, but he could refrain from personally participating in the
politics of Gondor. The best that he could do to aid his foster son
was to send his own sons as well as protect Arwen.

Morgoth's Curse

Morgoth's Curse

unread,
Sep 29, 2011, 6:52:28 AM9/29/11
to
This is an important point: Did Isildur know exactly just how
much Sauron's survival was connected to the existence of the Ring?
Remember that Elendil and Isildur believed that Sauron had perished
once when Numenor was destroyed and that the Elves tried to conceal
the existence of their rings as long as possible. Isildur may very
well have believed that the Ring was merely a weapon of war that
allowed Sauron to dominate his servants in which case simply taking it
from him was sufficient to render him powerless. It's interesting to
speculate on whether Elrond shared the full truth with Isildur--or
whether he even knew it himself. The Wise may not have known of the
true power of the Ring until long after it was lost.

Morgoth's Curse

Morgoth's Curse

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Sep 29, 2011, 6:57:00 AM9/29/11
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On Mon, 12 Sep 2011 12:29:02 -0700 (PDT), tenworld <t...@world.std.com>
wrote:

>On Sep 12, 12:14 am, sean_q <no.s...@no.spam> wrote:
>> On 9/9/2011 4:43 PM, Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>>
>> > But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
>> > couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond?
>>
>
>I think Elrond still held a grudge (maybe not the right word) that
>Aragon's ancestor did not destroy the ring when he could.

Why would Elrond bear a grudge against Isildur when he himself
wore and used Vilya? If anything, Elrond understood Isildur's choice
better than anyone else in Middle-earth except perhaps Galadriel.

Morgoth's Curse

Morgoth's Curse

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Sep 29, 2011, 7:08:38 AM9/29/11
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On Fri, 9 Sep 2011 17:43:49 -0700 (PDT), Christopher Kreuzer
<chrisk...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>But are there story-internal reasons why Elrond and Glorfindel
>couldn't have come south to the wars with the sons of Elrond? Are we
>to suppose that they had their own battles or potential battles to
>fight in Rivendell?

Apart from the question of why Elrond himself chose not to
participate, I think that sending Elrohir and Elladan was all of the
military assistance that he could provide without leaving Rivendell
defenseless. I would be very surprised if the total population of
Rivendell exceeded two thousand Elves at the time of the War of the
Ring. I doubt that Elrond could field more than a small company of
trained and armed warriors. As Boromir observed at the Council of
Elrond: "The might of Elrond is in wisdom not weapons, it is said."

Morgoth's Curse

tenworld

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Sep 29, 2011, 4:11:46 PM9/29/11
to
On Sep 29, 3:57 am, Morgoth's Curse
Vilya was not evil as the One Ring was, and Isildur caused a lot of
pain the next 3000 years by not destroying the ring (including the
death of Elrond's wife)

Morgoth's Curse

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Oct 2, 2011, 6:14:16 AM10/2/11
to
On Thu, 29 Sep 2011 13:11:46 -0700 (PDT), tenworld <t...@world.std.com>
wrote:

>>         Why would Elrond bear a grudge against Isildur when he himself
>> wore and used Vilya?  If anything, Elrond understood Isildur's choice
>> better than anyone else in Middle-earth except perhaps Galadriel.
>>
>Vilya was not evil as the One Ring was, and Isildur caused a lot of
>pain the next 3000 years by not destroying the ring (including the
>death of Elrond's wife)

Elrond was fully aware that the pride of the Elves was the source
of the problem. They wanted the best of both worlds: To enjoy the
beauty of Middle-earth and the serenity of Valinor. That was how
Sauron snared them and why he had forged the Ruling Ring. The Elves
should have destroyed their Rings as soon as they became aware of
Sauron's purpose, but to do so would have been to renounce their
desire to live in Middle-earth. If they could not bring themselves to
destroy the Three, then how could Elrond blame Isildur for his failure
to destroy the Ruling Ring (which was much more powerful than the
Three.) Elrond was doubtless dismayed and indeed angered at first,
but as he wielded Vilya over the centuries he would have eventually
perceived that the destruction of the Ring (at least at the moment
that he claimed it) was too great a challenge for a man like Isildur.
That was precisely why the Wise eventually recognized that only a
person of lesser stature (so to speak) had a chance of destroying the
Ring. Otherwise Elrond or Gandalf or Galadriel would have considered
it their personal duty to bear it to the Crack of Doom.

Incidentally, Celebrian was only wounded and not slain. She
forsook Middle-Earth for Valinor in 2510 and was eventually reunited
with Elrond when he too departed from Middle-earth in 3021 or a mere
511 years later.

Morgoth's Curse

O. Sharp

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Oct 2, 2011, 2:12:30 PM10/2/11
to
Morgoth's Curse <morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> wrote, in part:
> [...] The Elves
> should have destroyed their Rings as soon as they became aware of
> Sauron's purpose, but to do so would have been to renounce their
> desire to live in Middle-earth. If they could not bring themselves to
> destroy the Three, then how could Elrond blame Isildur for his failure
> to destroy the Ruling Ring (which was much more powerful than the
> Three.) [...]

I agree completely that - unlike the psychotic, bad-tempered Movie-Elrond
- the wise, descended-from-Man, related-by-blood-to-Elendil-and-Isildur
Book-Elrond bore no "grudge" against Isildur for his failure to destroy
the One. Yes, he thought it was a bad decision on Isildur's part, but it's
clear he wasn't scowling about Those Mannish Bastards for the next 3,000
years.

I am somewhat curious, though, about the statement that the Elves "could
not bring themselves to destroy the Three". Did they ever even consider
doing so? Would there even be a reason, in their eyes, to consider it?
The Three were never sullied by Sauron, and the Elves thought there was
even a possibility that destroying the One "would then [set the Three]
free, and their rulers might heal the hurts of the world that [Sauron]
has wrought" (Elrond, at the Council). Did the Elves ever even consider
unmaking the Three? If so, is there a cite somewhere that I'm missing?
I'm all curious. :)

------------------------------------------------------------------
o...@panix.com I'm _certain_ there's no citation of Elrond's
scientific attempt to have his blood screened to remove
all the Mannish DNA from it. :)

Morgoth's Curse

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Oct 2, 2011, 2:50:41 PM10/2/11
to
On Sun, 2 Oct 2011 18:12:30 +0000 (UTC), "O. Sharp" <o...@panix.com>
wrote:

>Morgoth's Curse <morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> wrote, in part:
>> [...] The Elves
>> should have destroyed their Rings as soon as they became aware of
>> Sauron's purpose, but to do so would have been to renounce their
>> desire to live in Middle-earth. If they could not bring themselves to
>> destroy the Three, then how could Elrond blame Isildur for his failure
>> to destroy the Ruling Ring (which was much more powerful than the
>> Three.) [...]
>
>I agree completely that - unlike the psychotic, bad-tempered Movie-Elrond
>- the wise, descended-from-Man, related-by-blood-to-Elendil-and-Isildur
>Book-Elrond bore no "grudge" against Isildur for his failure to destroy
>the One. Yes, he thought it was a bad decision on Isildur's part, but it's
>clear he wasn't scowling about Those Mannish Bastards for the next 3,000
>years.
>
>I am somewhat curious, though, about the statement that the Elves "could
>not bring themselves to destroy the Three". Did they ever even consider
>doing so? Would there even be a reason, in their eyes, to consider it?
>The Three were never sullied by Sauron, and the Elves thought there was
>even a possibility that destroying the One "would then [set the Three]
>free, and their rulers might heal the hurts of the world that [Sauron]
>has wrought" (Elrond, at the Council). Did the Elves ever even consider
>unmaking the Three? If so, is there a cite somewhere that I'm missing?
>I'm all curious. :)

For whatever it may be worth, in "History of Galadriel and
Celeborn" in Unfinished Tales, it is related that:

Sauron himself departed from Eregion about the year 1500, after
the Mirdain had begun the making of the Rings of Power. Now
Celebrimbor was not corrupted in heart or faith, but had accepted
Sauron as what he had posed to be; and when at length he discovered
the existence of the One Ring he revolted against Sauron, and went to
Lorinand to take counsel once more with Galadriel. They should have
destroyed all of the Rings of Power at this time, 'but they failed to
find the strength.' Galadriel counselled him that the Three Rings of
the Elves should be hidden, never used and dispersed, far from Eregion
where Sauron believed them to be.

It is rather sad to reflect that with this decision Celebrimbor
effectively condemned nine men to thousands of years of slavery as the
Nazgul. Even if he could not bring himself to destroy the Three, he
should have at least destroyed the Nine and the Seven and deprived
Sauron of the additional power.

Morgoth's Curse

Morgoth's Curse

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Oct 2, 2011, 2:53:08 PM10/2/11
to
On Sun, 2 Oct 2011 18:12:30 +0000 (UTC), "O. Sharp" <o...@panix.com>
wrote:

>------------------------------------------------------------------
>o...@panix.com I'm _certain_ there's no citation of Elrond's
> scientific attempt to have his blood screened to remove
> all the Mannish DNA from it. :)

I can't decide whether to be thankful or sad that Peter Jackson
did not hire you as a script consultant while filming the movies. ;-)

Morgoth's Curse

Stan Brown

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Oct 2, 2011, 6:52:39 PM10/2/11
to
On Sun, 2 Oct 2011 18:12:30 +0000 (UTC), O. Sharp wrote:
> I am somewhat curious, though, about the statement that the Elves "could
> not bring themselves to destroy the Three". Did they ever even consider
> doing so? Would there even be a reason, in their eyes, to consider it?
> The Three were never sullied by Sauron, and the Elves thought there was
> even a possibility that destroying the One "would then [set the Three]
> free, and their rulers might heal the hurts of the world that [Sauron]
> has wrought" (Elrond, at the Council). Did the Elves ever even consider
> unmaking the Three? If so, is there a cite somewhere that I'm missing?
> I'm all curious. :)
>

As far as I'm aware, they never seriously considered destroying the
Three. They put them away as soon as they became aware of the One.

I'm not sure it was a good idea for them to keep the Three, though.
After all, what if Sauron had captured one or more of them. Even if
they were not originally evil, hey were subject to the One and I'm
sure he would have found a way to use them to evil effect. Imagine
the Anduin rising up and destroying Osgiliath and the townlands of
Minas Tirith, for instance.

In a letter somewhere, I believe Tolkien says that the Elves' motive
in making the three was to arrest the natural* order of change in
Middle-earth, and to that degree their motive was not good. I wonder
if the Three had a hold on the Elves to the extent that it didn't
occur to them to destroy them, just to make certain that Sauron could
never get hold of them.

Or perhaps they did *want to destroy them, but no longer possessed
the means to do so. Weren't Celebrimbor's forges destroyed?

Morgoth's Curse

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Oct 2, 2011, 11:39:23 PM10/2/11
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On Sun, 2 Oct 2011 18:52:39 -0400, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:

>Or perhaps they did *want to destroy them, but no longer possessed
>the means to do so. Weren't Celebrimbor's forges destroyed?

I suspect that only Celebrimbor knew how to destroy the rings
(short of actually tossing one into the Cracks of Doom.)

Morgoth's Curse

Noel Q. von Schneiffel

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Oct 3, 2011, 11:20:27 AM10/3/11
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On 3 Okt., 05:39, Morgoth's Curse <morgothscurse2...@nospam.yahoo.com>
wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Oct 2011 18:52:39 -0400, Stan Brown
>
> <the_stan_br...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> >Or perhaps they did *want to destroy them, but no longer possessed
> >the means to do so.  Weren't Celebrimbor's forges destroyed?
>
>         I suspect that only Celebrimbor knew how to destroy the rings
> (short of actually tossing one into the Cracks of Doom.)

The latter, however, would have been easily possible at least during
the first 1.5 millennia of the Third Age, when Mordor was basically
empty and secured by Gondorian strongholds.

Noel

Morgoth's Curse

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Oct 3, 2011, 12:14:29 PM10/3/11