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.
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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.
"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
That seems hard to reconcile with what Aragorn said after using
He drew a deep breath. ï¿½It 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 Thï¿½oden; 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.ï¿½
Although if "he knew it not till now", why did he set traps for
Aragorn? Simply because he was the leader of the Dï¿½nedain?
> 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.
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.
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.
> 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
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
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.
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
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)
Now come ye all,
who have courage and hope! My call harken
to flight, to freedom in far places!
Lays of Beleriand
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.