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Theoretical Situation....

Girdle of Melian

Jan 22 2014, 12:19am

Post #1 of 6 (243 views)
Theoretical Situation.... Can't Post

Most likely would have never happened if Frodo had not succeeded for whatever reason, and the kingdoms of Middle Earth instead decided to take a last stand and consolidate their leaders and followers in one place, and elect new leaders amicably (meaning no internal strife):

1) Where would you think strategically will be the best place to consolidate their forces? Please take into consideration that when bunkered up in one place, not only walls and caves will be of value, but also food resources (forest, water, etc.)

a) Gondor /b) Rohan, including Helm's Deep / c) Lothlorien / d) Mirkwood / e) Rivendell f) Fangorn with the Ents g) any Dwarf kingdom that may have still been around during that time that I'm not aware of

2) Definitely, with mighty people at hand, some kind of War council will elected, most likely comprising of the following people: Thandruil, Celeborn, Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf, Aragorn, replacing the Steward of Gondor, Theoden or Eomer. So who would you elect as the head of the council and 2nd head of the council and why? Who would you appoint as the main general responsible for overall defense of the Kingdom? Who would you put in the front lines? This is ASSUMING already that everyone is fully united, of course, and no jealousy will exist amongst the leaders (though unlikely).

3) Do you think they can hold out indefinitely without Sauron ever finding the Ring? With Saruman still on the good side, or with Saruman against the good side?

4) Do you think they can hold out indefinitely if Sauron had found the ring? With Saruman still on the good side, or with Saruman against the good side?

5) What if the other Istaris - presumably good - join the good side, even without Saruman?

In summation, you will have Sauron with a massive army, perhaps with the aid of one remaining Balrog, Saruman (or without Saruman), Nazgul, and evil men with large Elephants


Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Aragorn, Theoden, Thandruil, the Eagles, the Ents, the other 3 Istaris, and the rest of the high elves like Celeborn, Glorifindel, Elrond son's, etc., and their presmably smaller army with rings of power still active (Elven) or potentially without once Sauron finds his ring...

Let the war games begin!


Jan 22 2014, 12:55am

Post #2 of 6 (154 views)
I think Tolkien makes it clear there are no good options, no 'best place' for resistance. [In reply to] Can't Post

The set-up reminds me of a classic exchange on this topic from the book:
‘Hardly has our strength sufficed to beat off the first great assault. The next will be greater. This war then is without final hope, as Denethor perceived. Victory cannot be achieved by arms, whether you sit here to endure siege after siege, or march out to be overwhelmed beyond the River. You have only a choice of evils; and prudence would counsel you to strengthen such strong places as you have, and there await the onset; for so shall the time before your end be made a little longer.’
‘Then you would have us retreat to Minas Tirith, or Dol Amroth, or to Dunharrow, and there sit like children on sand-castles when the tide is flowing?’ said Imrahil.
‘That would be no new counsel,’ said Gandalf. ‘Have you not done this and little more in all the days of Denethor?'
(LotR V.9)

And this echoes an earlier conversation in the story, where the reader is clearly instructed that, as the phrase goes. 'resistance is futile':
'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.’
(LotR II.2)

In short, from the author's point of view it would seem that no matter how many kingdoms and warriors and Elven rings one may combine, no matter who leads or joins the final coalition of the Free Peoples, nothing can win against Sauron's pure military might as long as the Ring exists. Of course it is possible to wargame the apocalypse for fun, but any question of 'holding out indefinitely' is not in the cards.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Tol Eressea

Jan 22 2014, 2:31am

Post #3 of 6 (134 views)
Fight on, and do not despair! [In reply to] Can't Post

But if you do despair, then, fight on in despair.

I would make the final stand at Rivendell. The terrain is suited to tactical defense with enough room for cavalry to maneuver, and the land is fertile enough to keep the armies fed.

Since Elrond is hosting his guests, he will head the council, which will be primarily a triumvirate of himself, Celeborn, and Galadriel. Aragorn, Théoden/Eomer, Thranduil, Dain, and Imrahil will lead their armies in the field. Gandalf will be liaison between the generals and the council. All of them will advise the council when they are present.

They will make such an ending as will be long remembered in song... if there is anyone left alive with the will to sing songs.

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.

Superuser / Moderator

Jan 22 2014, 2:39am

Post #4 of 6 (141 views)
My only thoughts against Rivendell [In reply to] Can't Post

is that once the enemy had gained access to the valley they could fight from higher ground, putting the Elves at a disadvantage.

I wonder if Lothlorien would be a good stronghold: Elves can fight from the trees and disappear as quickly as they appear; being a guerilla army, in essence. Rohan's cavalry could drive orcs into the forest to be pounced on from above.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

Tol Eressea

Jan 22 2014, 3:17am

Post #5 of 6 (118 views)
Good points, [In reply to] Can't Post

but I decided against Lothlorien because I don't see them as able to feed all the armies coming to visit.

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.

Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jan 22 2014, 8:13am

Post #6 of 6 (126 views)
In the council of Elrond [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a little hint that Bombadil might be the last free being standing against Sauron. Last as he was first and then night will fall!


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