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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did the movies do a good job explaining the Ring's powers?

Darth Crumb
The Shire

Apr 24, 8:45pm

Post #1 of 4 (2038 views)
Did the movies do a good job explaining the Ring's powers? Can't Post

Other than showing that it makes you invisible, and giving dire warnings of what would happen if Sauron got it, I wonder if the movies could have used another few lines explaining just WHY everyone wanted the Ring.

The books tell you that it gives the power of command, lets you control/see the wearers of the other rings, etc but the movies never get into that.

Same goes for the elven rings. Other than Galadriel using it to blow up an orc, its never explained what they do and how they are connected to the One Ring.

A bit more explanation might have added some weight to the Galadriel temptation scene, and her line about "the power of the 3 rings is ended". Also would have shown how much the elves were willing to sacrifice to destroy the ring.

Just a bit of armchair script quarterbacking 17 years after the fact!

Superuser / Moderator

Apr 24, 9:39pm

Post #2 of 4 (2025 views)
I think the greatest explanation [In reply to] Can't Post

came from the sound design - the siren call of the Ring. It evokes desire, illusion; it's the lure that draws all people to posses it.

For the rest, the explanations, we see that it's powerful and dangerous by what it has done: enabled Sauron to stay alive, bound the undead to Sauron's will, and overtook the good sense of a very grounded and companionable Hobbit. So no, we don't get hear the description on the back of the manufacturer's box but we can infer quite a lot from its effects on others.

I quite like that the powers of the Rings aren't laid out for us. It gives us room to fill in the gaps with our imaginations, and that can be more evocative.

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


Apr 27, 6:07pm

Post #3 of 4 (1907 views)
Speaking for someone who knew nothing of the books (unlike me): [In reply to] Can't Post

I dragged my mother to all 3 movies, and she was thoroughly disgusted by the Ring and the sinister effect it had on people. She wouldn’t be able to hold her own among a bunch of Tolkien fans discussing the Ring’s powers, but she knew it was evil, drove innocent people to evil, and was linked to the most evil being in the world. Using her as my sample of n=1, I think the movies were effective, on that point at least. (As a book fan, of course, I always wanted more from the movies, of course.)


Apr 27, 6:36pm

Post #4 of 4 (1897 views)
"It's bad, m'kay?" [In reply to] Can't Post

All you need say about a McGuffin.

“Did you say 'You Shall Not Pass' or 'You Shall Not Sass'?" asked the Balrog.

"I said 'You Shall Not Pass,'” replied Gandalf; "and I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy."

"All right," said the Balrog; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of its wings, and ending with its shadow, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

'Well! I've often seen wings without a Balrog,' thought Gandalf; `but a Balrog without wings! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!’

-The Adventures of Gandalf in Middle-earth Land


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