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FarFromHome
Valinor


Jul 4 2017, 12:32pm

Post #51 of 60 (1589 views)
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Well it depends... [In reply to] Can't Post

... if anyone else could have believably fallen by accident into the Fire! That's all Gollum really does for the Quest, in the end. Frodo could conceivably have had a mad reaction to finally claiming the Ring and fallen in by himself, or he and Sam could have struggled for the Ring and gone in that way. Basically, someone has to go into the Fire with the Ring, without consciously meaning to (because you can't actually destroy the Ring willingly). As the story stands, Gollum is the one who achieves the Quest, but whether he was the only one who could save the world, or just the only one who could save Frodo, seems less clear to me.

As for whether the Quest would have succeeded with Merry, Pippin and Gollum depends on whether Merry and Pippin would have had the wisdom and pity to keep Gollum alive until the big moment (as well as to resist the ever-growing temptation to claim the Ring themselves, which would, on the strength of what we know about Gollum's past, have been irresistible if they had caused the death of Gollum). Frodo faces a lot of tests in that regard, and the story implies that it's his exceptional character in resisting the Ring and showing love and mercy towards Gollum that earns him the divine grace to see the Quest to the end and survive to tell the tale. As the story is written, only Frodo seems to be capable of doing what he did. Maybe Gandalf did have Merry and Pippin up his sleeve as replacements for Frodo and Sam if anything went wrong, but he'd have been even more nervous about the outcome I think, and with more reason!

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



FarFromHome
Valinor


Jul 4 2017, 1:24pm

Post #52 of 60 (1587 views)
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I guess you need to define "myth" [In reply to] Can't Post

How exactly do you understand the term, as you seem to be using it in a very broad sense. It's true that characters in popular stories today, and the stories themselves, can become very well known to the point where everyone has heard of them. But to become a myth, the characters and stories have to take on a life of their own, passing through generations and weaving themselves into the culture of the people who tell them. Tolkien's "mythology" isn't real-world myth, after all. It's just the mythology of the culture he invented, that of Middle-earth.

I don't know if you are familiar with Tolkien's lecture On Fairy-Stories? You might find it online, or if your library has Tales from the Perilous Realm, it's in there. If you're interested in myth, it's well worth a read. There are a lot of interesting insights there about how stories percolate through a culture, and how bound up stories are with language itself. Tolkien talks about a "Pot of Soup" or a "Cauldron of Stories" full of characters and situations that are constantly being boiled up, and from which storytellers can serve up a new "dish".

As squire says, modern expectations, including copyright law, make this ancient way of storytelling harder to achieve today. We expect novels to be "novel" - new and different from what we've heard or read before. That's not how it used to be, when most people couldn't read and it was up to each storyteller to tell the traditional tales in the way that suited his or her audience. Our culture is much more fragmented and individualistic than it was for most of humanity's past, and our stories reflect this. But as you say, some of these stories do resonate so widely that they become familiar parts of our culture anyway. Does that make them "myth"? I suppose it depends on how you define it!

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



AddisonS_UVM
Registered User

Jul 13 2017, 10:49am

Post #53 of 60 (1537 views)
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Effects of the One Ring on Bilbo vs Frodo [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking into the effects the Ring has on Bilbo and Frodo, it seems like Frodo is more affected by the ring's power than Bilbo. While Sauron may not be as strong when Bilbo had the ring or that Bilbo didn't leave the shire with the Ring, are there any other logical reasons why Frodo started showing signs in 18 years versus Bilbo's 80ish?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 13 2017, 1:45pm

Post #54 of 60 (1528 views)
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Bilbo and the Ring [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Looking into the effects the Ring has on Bilbo and Frodo, it seems like Frodo is more affected by the ring's power than Bilbo. While Sauron may not be as strong when Bilbo had the ring or that Bilbo didn't leave the shire with the Ring, are there any other logical reasons why Frodo started showing signs in 18 years versus Bilbo's 80ish?


Well, I don't think that this is entirely accurate. The Ring was certainly having some effect on Bilbo all along, mostly giving him the appearance of ageing very little. That said, consider that Bilbo had no clue about the Ring's history and thought of it as little more than an interesting (and magical) trinket for all of the sixty years that he possessed it. And there was the manner in which he acquired it. Bilbo found the Ring by accident and he ended his encounter with Gollum by showing mercy when he could have murdered the wretch with some justification.

Gandalf left Frodo with mysterious and dire warnings before leaving for his investigation into the Ring. Even though Frodo didn't know yet about the Ring's heritage, that certainly aroused his curiosity. Beyond that, the Ring itself was doubtless responding to its master's desire to reclaim it, especially after He became aware that it had somehow resurfaced.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall. -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 13 2017, 1:48pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Jul 13 2017, 3:34pm

Post #55 of 60 (1521 views)
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Bilbo does not have to cope with perils [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo uses the Ring only for fairly small-scale stuff: escaping from the unwanted Sackville-Baggins encounter that Merry witnesses, or 'an amusing prank' of vanishing to shock his Birthday party guests. He does not cope with the mortal and moral perils Frodo faces, and so that makes the comparison between them difficult. How would Bilbo have fared chased by Nazgul, captured by a Barrow Wight and so on? Would the Ring have affected him - there's no way of knowing.

What the Ring seems to offer Frodo in his FOTR times of peril is an easy way out: a false promise of a quick fix that would either be a disaster or have awful moral costs. He is tempted to put it on to hide from the Black Riders (which would really be disastrous, of course), or to slip away from the Barrow Wight, deserting his comrades. Later, he's continuously tempted to claim the Ring, which you could see as an easy way out of the awful slog to Mount Doom (though of course, claiming the Ring would be utterly futile, as we see when Frodo finally succumbs). .

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 14 2017, 1:19am

Post #56 of 60 (1503 views)
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Sauron was aware of the Ring when Frodo has it, [In reply to] Can't Post

but he was weaker when Bilbo found it and thought the Ring had been lost. Sauron grew in strength, and through Gollum he learned that the Ring had been found, and he started to search for it.

I think that's a big reason why Frodo was more susceptible to the effect of the Ring. It's also true that Bilbo was older - he was 50 and Frodo was 33. That age gap could be another difference. Since hobbits came of age at 33, Frodo is 21 in our time frame, whereas Bilbo would be nearer 30. Many of us are different people at 30 than we are at 21, and hobbits probably aren't much different!


AddisonS_UVM
Registered User

Jul 15 2017, 1:48am

Post #57 of 60 (1467 views)
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Orc Rings? [In reply to] Can't Post

Knowing there are rings to humans, dwarves, and elves, why wasn't there a ring for the orcs?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2017, 3:35am

Post #58 of 60 (1461 views)
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Unnecessary [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Knowing there are rings to humans, dwarves, and elves, why wasn't there a ring for the orcs?


The Orcs were already creatures made by Morgoth. Sauron didn't need Great Rings to dominate them. They were bred to it.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall. -- The Doctor


squire
Half-elven


Jul 15 2017, 11:47am

Post #59 of 60 (1437 views)
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Not the orcs, maybe. But why not Rings for the Ents? [In reply to] Can't Post

As you say, the Rings were bound by the One Ring, to enslave the so-called Free Peoples: Elves, Dwarves, and Men. Orcs and trolls and other evil creatures with societies (if any - dragons? wargs?) were already enslaved to Sauron in the name of Morgoth.

Yet from Treebeard's point of view, at least, the Ents count among the "Four Free Peoples" in the verse of lore he recites to Merry and Pippin - and then he adds the Hobbits to the list at the next Entmoot.

Now, it's a convention of the entire story that Sauron "overlooks" the Hobbit race, and it's frankly not even clear when Hobbits emerged as a people -- was it as early as the Second Age, when the Rings were forged and distributed? So perhaps we can accept that the Hobbits were not allocated a Ring of Power!

But the Ents are an original race of the world created by Yavanna and Manwe to counter the Dwarves. As this tidbit of creation myth indicates, Tolkien even took the time to retrofit them into his completed Silmarillion (rather awkwardly) after he had created them during the subsequent writing of LotR.

Should there have been a Ring or two distributed to Treebeard and the gang in Fangorn? Could there have been? But if not - why not?



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'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Meneldor
Valinor


Jul 15 2017, 12:52pm

Post #60 of 60 (1431 views)
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Going by the evidence in the books, Saruman has a history of overlooking ents, [In reply to] Can't Post

much to his eventual chagrin. I'd speculate that if he ever thought of making rings for them, he'd decide it wasn't worth the effort; after all, ents just keep to themselves cleaning up the forests, and they never had great numbers, so why bother with them?


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. -Psalm 107

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