A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #841
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    It can make people invisible, but it's not clear if this would affect everyone since it didn't affect Sauron that way.
    It's stated outright that the Dwarven rings couldn't turn them into wraiths, and implied strongly that Dwarven rings couldn't make them invisible. The One Ring might be the same - its power to turn beings invisible, only working on regular mortals. Bombadil doesn't turn invisible when he puts it on momentarily, before handing it back to Frodo.
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    *Nods* Each of the rings is a force multiplier, designed to improve the user's native faculties. Gollum, for example, was not exactly a dark lord in the making. But it did make him better at sneaking around, which he was already good at. "Power given in accordance with their stature".

    -- The elvish rings are designed to preserve the world undecayed. There are places in middle-earth which are "islands out of time", and it is the elvish rings that make them so.

    -- The Dwarvish rings are designed for the acquisition of material wealth. In the appendices, one of the wielders says it "needs gold to breed gold" -- in other words, it makes you very, very good at making money. Perverted, they can also kindle a lust for gold in the heart of the wielder, which may partly explain why the dwarves dug so deeply until they awoke a monster. Possibly they would not have dug so deeply if they were not being subtly pushed to do so by a ring their king wielded.

    -- The rings for humans grant power and insight. Those who wielded them became both kings and sorcerers in their times. They became what Boromir aspired to be, and if he had lived thousands of years earlier Sauron might have recruited him as a nazgul.

    -- The One Ring is Sauron's one ring, and it is designed for the purpose of domination and control of other wills. Neither Bilbo nor Frodo are able to use it in this way, because neither of them are strong, masterful, domineering wills already. A person would already have to be well on the road to being a Dark Lord already to be able to use the ring properly. Aragorn or Gandalf might be able to do it; our hobbit's can't. Which is one reason they remain the bearers of the ring right through all the stories; they are the safest custodians you can imagine.

    All of the great rings grant *continuation*. That is, although you don't die you don't gain more life either. So you just continue, stretching thinner and thinner until you eventually fade.

    Wearing the ring also allows a hobbit like Frodo to step onto the threshold of the wraith-world, granting invisibility to human eyes but visibility to wraiths. It doesn't have this effect, however, on everyone who wears it. One particular person in the stories wears the ring, besides Sauron, and does not disappear because he is simply so *real* the ring has no power to move him to the frontier of the wraith world.

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  3. - Top - End - #843
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    The "power according to their stature and nature" bit might apply to the Seven and the Nine, in that they may in fact be identical.


    It's possible that if Sauron had given the Seven to Men and the Nine to Dwarves, that there would be 7 Nazgul instead of 9, and that there would be 9 rich and greedy Dwarven kings.

    After all, the Seven and the Nine were made by Elves, for Elves, under Sauron's guidance. It was only after Sauron retrieved them from the elves and then handed them out again to bearers of his choice, that they became "for the dwarf lords" and "for mortal men".

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post

    All of the great rings grant *continuation*. That is, although you don't die you don't gain more life either. So you just continue, stretching thinner and thinner until you eventually fade.
    Gollum used the ring for 500-odd years and didn't fade - possibly because he used it a lot less than the mortals who became the Nazgul did? A point is made of how he started putting the pouch with the ring in, on his island rather than keeping it by him, because he couldn't stand to keep the ring close for long, and only wore it for hunting down and eating Orcs as an occasional treat.

    Gandalf suggests that it is "often using the ring to become invisible" that causes fading.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2021-12-07 at 04:48 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #844
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    *Nods* Each of the rings is a force multiplier, designed to improve the user's native faculties. Gollum, for example, was not exactly a dark lord in the making. But it did make him better at sneaking around, which he was already good at. "Power given in accordance with their stature".

    -- The elvish rings are designed to preserve the world undecayed. There are places in middle-earth which are "islands out of time", and it is the elvish rings that make them so.

    -- The Dwarvish rings are designed for the acquisition of material wealth. In the appendices, one of the wielders says it "needs gold to breed gold" -- in other words, it makes you very, very good at making money. Perverted, they can also kindle a lust for gold in the heart of the wielder, which may partly explain why the dwarves dug so deeply until they awoke a monster. Possibly they would not have dug so deeply if they were not being subtly pushed to do so by a ring their king wielded.

    -- The rings for humans grant power and insight. Those who wielded them became both kings and sorcerers in their times. They became what Boromir aspired to be, and if he had lived thousands of years earlier Sauron might have recruited him as a nazgul.

    -- The One Ring is Sauron's one ring, and it is designed for the purpose of domination and control of other wills. Neither Bilbo nor Frodo are able to use it in this way, because neither of them are strong, masterful, domineering wills already. A person would already have to be well on the road to being a Dark Lord already to be able to use the ring properly. Aragorn or Gandalf might be able to do it; our hobbit's can't. Which is one reason they remain the bearers of the ring right through all the stories; they are the safest custodians you can imagine.

    All of the great rings grant *continuation*. That is, although you don't die you don't gain more life either. So you just continue, stretching thinner and thinner until you eventually fade.

    Wearing the ring also allows a hobbit like Frodo to step onto the threshold of the wraith-world, granting invisibility to human eyes but visibility to wraiths. It doesn't have this effect, however, on everyone who wears it. One particular person in the stories wears the ring, besides Sauron, and does not disappear because he is simply so *real* the ring has no power to move him to the frontier of the wraith world.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    But is it the ring or the wearer that makes the power? All rings (except for the master ring) were made by elves for elves. Then Sauron took some and gave them to dwarfs and men. It would be quite the coincidence that he stole just exactly those rings that fit the mindset of the people he gave the rings to. There is also some implication that Bilbo and Frodo turned invisible because sneakiness is already a hobbit characteristic (and Gollum was also a kind of hobbit). I do not remember: Is Isildur turning invisible also in the book or only in the movies? I think in the book it is just a vague "it betrayed him" without any specific details.

    There are also some hints of the Nazgul being invisible under their robes, so the invisibility thing could go both ways. But at least the general characteristics of the great rings appear to depend on the wearer, not the ring.

    Or maybe it is a mixture of both?
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    Late in the book the One Ring tempts Sam with gardening powers. Of all things. But it is still a kind of domineering gardening: Take control of Middle Earth and make it into a garden of your design!
    Last edited by Seppl; 2021-12-07 at 04:52 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #845
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
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    So, I doubt there's going to be much concrete or specific, but what exactly where the powers/abilities of the Great Rings? Also, what happened to them all? Ideally in as much detail as possible. Finally, who created the Lesser Rings, and why?

    The ring lore is super interesting here.
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    There isn't much to say about the lesser rings. these were apparently jsut magic trinkets and toys the great Elven smiths made from time to time. Still, they served as inspiration for Celembrimbor's masterwork. He wished to create something that rivalled his grandafther Fëanor's Silmarils and would help the Elves of Middle-Earth by stalling their decline and inevitable departure fro the True West.

    When he and his team forged the nineteen Greater Rings, they poured much of the "power" of the Elves in them, which is why they are so powerful, but also tied to the Elves. Sauron of course had tricked him. By forging an even Greater twentieth Ring (and pouring his own essence into it) through sympathetic magic ("like effects like") he was able to claim dominion over all 20 (possibly also the lesser ones?), as long as Sauron wore the Master-Ring, he could make his the power of the elves, which was the point of the whole gambit.

    What exactly the Rings could do isn't made specific but we do know they enabled telepathy as Celembrimbor heard Sauron's thoughts when he put on the One and realized what was happening. All the Elves who were wearing one of the Nineteen immediately took them off, tipping Sauron that the charade was over.

    Sauron fought the elves, and tortured Celembrimbor into giving up the hiding place of the 16 least powerful great Rings (the Seven and Nine), but Three (the most powerful, besides the Master-Ring) were already safe in the hands of Galadriel, King Gil-Galad and Cirdan the Shipwright of the Gray Havens. Sauron distributed the Rings in his possession to seven dwarves (most likely one for each tribe) and nine Men so that he could twist them to his service. This failed with the Dwarves but netted him the Nazgűl. After Sauron lost the One, he recovered the Nine and three of the Seven, the remaining four having been destroyed (presumably by dragon-fire as gandalf says that would do the trick with any ring but the One). This was likely to help speed up his recovery after Isildur "killed" him, which was his second death already. After Gil-Galad died his Ring passed down to his herald (and closest living relative) Elrond of Rivendell, while Cirdan gave his to Gandalf (I have no idea how Gandalf kept it after his fight with the Balrog or his captivity at Orthanc). After the destruction of the One, the sympathetic magic ("like effects like" again) took away all magic from the remaining Great Rings, leaving them simple jewelry.

    There's one last Ring to be mentionned: When he reveals his treachery, saruman is wearing a ring and calls himself Ring-maker. Nothing comes from this.

    As to what the Rings effectively did, they show several powers: telepathy was previously mentioned, however Galadriel and Elrond could apparently use their rings to communicate without fear of Sauron listening in during the War of the Ring (I suspect this is because the Three are more powerful than the Nine or Seven). There main feature seems to be an overall boost of one's innate ability, making you stronger, faster, more powerful, etc. Wearing a Greater Ring also shifts you into the "Unseen World", the world of magic, making you invisible to mundane eyes but more visible to the beings of that world. Gandalf, the Elf-Lords and Sauron seem to be unaffected* either because they already exist in both worlds or because they can control the effects of the Ring better
    than your everyday hobbit. The Seven somehow helped the dwarves accumulate, wealth, don't really know how. The Rings also extend your lifespan (this may be related to the invisibility), but as the "spread butter" metaphor states, it's more agonizing than pleasnt. This eventually resulted in the Nazgul being permanently invisible and unkillable, even without their Rings, as they no longer have a visible body. Gollum, is halfway there making him tougher than he has any rights to and looking like he does.

    Elrond and Galadriel could use their Rings to warp time around Rivendell and Lothlorien, making it so the decline of the Elves is not happening within their borders (which is why the Elves much faster once the Rings are deactivated), this was the primary purpose of the Three after all. Furthermore, the Three are the White, Blue and Red Rings. The Blue Ring seemingly gave Elrond the power to flood his nearby river at will with nazgűl repealing water, and the Red Ring is implied to have helped Gandalf with his whole metaphorical "fire" shtick (the fire that warmths and gives strenghth as opposed to sauron's destructive fire). I'm guessing the White Ring has something to do with the element of air.

    The One Ring also once possibly gave Sam the ability to understand the language nearby orcs were speaking (the wording is ambiguous) gave Sam something of a frightening aura and was able to command Gollum through Frodo (unless it was the other way around). It's not stated, but often assumed that had someone managed to wrestle control of the one away from Sauron they'd have gained his mass mind-control abilities (through which he directs his forces). It has often been noted that Gollum swears on the Ring to jump into the fire if he ever touches the Ring/Frodo again, and that's exactly what ended up happening. Make of it what you will.


    *As does Tom Bombadil, but let's not get into that discussion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  6. - Top - End - #846
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppl View Post
    Is Isildur turning invisible also in the book?
    It is - though Unfinished Tales goes into more detail.

    FoTR version:

    ‘But for the moment, since most of all you need to know how this thing came to you, and that will be tale enough, this is all that I will say. It was Gil-galad, Elven-king and Elendil of Westernesse who overthrew Sauron, though they themselves perished in the deed; and Isildur Elendil’s son cut the Ring from Sauron’s hand and took it for his own. Then Sauron was vanquished and his spirit fled and was hidden for long years, until his shadow took shape again in Mirkwood.

    ‘But the Ring was lost. It fell into the Great River, Anduin, and vanished. For Isildur was marching north along the east banks of the River, and near the Gladden Fields he was waylaid by the Orcs of the Mountains, and almost all his folk were slain. He leaped into the waters, but the Ring slipped from his finger as he swam, and then the Orcs saw him and killed him with arrows.’

    Gandalf paused. ‘And there in the dark pools amid the Gladden Fields,’ he said, ‘the Ring passed out of knowledge and legend; and even so much of its history is known now only to a few, and the Council of the Wise could discover no more. But at last I can carry on the story, I think.’
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2021-12-07 at 04:54 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #847
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    Unfinished Tales also has Isildur's invisibility being temporarily broken by the elven gem he wears on his forehead since it starts shining like a lighthouse, probably as an attempt to reject the Ring's evil magic.

    And LotR has the Witch-King throw back his hood revealing a crown resting on an invisible head (with two faint points of red light where the eyes ought to be).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  8. - Top - End - #848
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
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    The One Ring also once possibly gave Sam the ability to understand the language nearby orcs were speaking (the wording is ambiguous) gave Sam something of a frightening aura and was able to command Gollum through Frodo (unless it was the other way around). It's not stated, but often assumed that had someone managed to wrestle control of the one away from Sauron they'd have gained his mass mind-control abilities (through which he directs his forces). It has often been noted that Gollum swears on the Ring to jump into the fire if he ever touches the Ring/Frodo again, and that's exactly what ended up happening. Make of it what you will.
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    There are also greater powers than Sauron and the ring, who might be listening in on such an oath, and take (subtle) action. Especially when that oath is sworn on an object like this at a pivotal point in history. An oath is not just words in Middle Earth, it has real power, just as prophecies are very real (Remember Gandalf prophesying that Gollum will be important!).

    This is not just speculation, there is a letter by Tolkien that strongly implies that this is exactly what happened.
    Last edited by Seppl; 2021-12-07 at 05:08 PM.

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    Prophesy or "foresight" also occurs in a The Hobbit-related context, in Unfinished Tales (and an extended versions of The Hobbit with Unfinished Tales content in at the end), when Gandalf warns Thorin that without Bilbo he'll fail.

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    Thorin was contemptuous and suspicious. 'Thief!’ he snorted. 'He is as honest as he is silly. His mother died too soon. And anyway many of the spoons were tin. You are playing some strange game of your own, Master Gandalf. I am sure that you have other purposes than helping me.’

    'You are quite right,’ I said. 'If I had no other purposes, I should not be helping you at all. Great as your affairs may seem to you, they are only a small strand in the great web. I am concerned with many strands. But that should make my advice more weighty, not less.’ I spoke at last with great heat. 'Listen to me, Thorin Oakenshield!’ I said. 'If this hobbit goes with you, you will succeed. If not, you will fail. A foresight is on me, and I am warning you.’

    'I know your fame,’ Thorin answered. 'I hope it is merited. But this foolish business of your Hobbit makes me wonder whether it is foresight that is on you, and you are not crazed rather than foreseeing. So many cares may have disordered your wits.’
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2021-12-07 at 05:33 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #850
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seppl View Post
    But is it the ring or the wearer that makes the power? ....
    Or maybe it is a mixture of both?
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    Late in the book the One Ring tempts Sam with gardening powers. Of all things. But it is still a kind of domineering gardening: Take control of Middle Earth and make it into a garden of your design!
    Pretty sure the answer to the first question is a definitive 'Yes' - both are elements. The ring aids the wearer in achieving whatever it is the wearer wants to achieve. A wearer who already had great talents and strong ambitions will find themselves boosted to historic heights as the ring helps them burn their mark in legends. Somebody with much more humble desires to start with may merely find that the ring keeps them in good health and leads to an unusually long life.. at least until that life gets over-worn and they may find themselves fading toward wraith-hood. The difference between the Nine Rings of Men and the Seven of the Dwarfs is likely not in the nature of the rings, it's in the nature of the races that wore them.

    As for the One Ring.. the One is actually different in nature. It was forged specifically to grant dominion, by a being that couldn't conceive of *not* wanting to be in charge of everything. Naturally its temptations are to try to convince its bearers that they can change the world to be what they desire it to be; it's the One Ring's literal reason for existing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    The difference between the Nine Rings of Men and the Seven of the Dwarfs is likely not in the nature of the rings, it's in the nature of the races that wore them.
    That's how I see it. The Nine were given to particularly power-hungry and greedy Men to boost those aspects of them to the point they fell to Evil. The Seven he didn't really have a choice about, the Dwarves have their seven kings and no upstart would be able to replace them, Ring or not, so they ended up in the hands of those kings--whose lust for wealth was what the rings fixated on, so that part of his plan backfired. He probably would have been better off giving the seven to Men also, but that wouldn't have made such a catchy rhyme!

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    "Dragon sickness" is plain greed, yes, I'm not sure why it's presented as a supernatural curse when it isn't really.
    Tolkien would have been intimately familiar with concept of "kenning". If it makes you more comfortable simply read it as such.

    Greed = dragon sickness
    killing = feeding eagles (an actual example)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibrinar View Post
    Differences hmm. The weirdo white Orc is a big difference, I guess they wanted an recognizable antagonists.
    They even made and filmed perfectly good practical effects Orcs Azog, or is it Bolg... I forget. And then plastered it over with this weird CGI effect that totally takes me out of the movie every time.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2021-12-08 at 07:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Gollum used the ring for 500-odd years and didn't fade - possibly because he used it a lot less than the mortals who became the Nazgul did? A point is made of how he started putting the pouch with the ring in, on his island rather than keeping it by him, because he couldn't stand to keep the ring close for long, and only wore it for hunting down and eating Orcs as an occasional treat.

    Gandalf suggests that it is "often using the ring to become invisible" that causes fading.
    Gollum both eventually grew to hate the Ruing and use it very little (even as he still loved it), and also was, as a proto-hobbit, inherently resistant to the fading it caused. Bilbo complained of feeling stretched "thin, like butter over too much bread." If we stick with that analogy, hobbits have a lot more butter than, say, a regular human.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    So, Extra Credits has a short video described "So you haven't read the Hobbit." It's pretty entertaining

    Respectfully,

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    I've started my readthrough of Dracula with the first journal entry in the first chapter... Had to cut it short there though.
    I also answer to Bookmark and Shadow Claw.

    Read my fanfiction here. Homebrew Material Here Rater Reads the Hobbit
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