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Old 02-07-2004, 02:02 PM   #41
Legolas
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Manwe did not specifically call out Olorin for no reason. Tolkien said Gandalf could beat Sauron, and with him being the creator of this story and world, this makes it fact...

Letter No. 246:

Quote:
Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the same order, an immortal spirit taking a visible physical form. In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', 1381, it appears that Galadriel conceived of herself as capable of wielding the Ring and supplanting the Dark Lord. If so, so also were the other guardians of the Three, especially Elrond. But this is another matter. It was part of the essential deceit of the Ring to fill minds with imaginations of supreme power. But this the Great had well considered and had rejected, as is seen in Elrond's words at the Council. Galadriel's rejection of the temptation was founded upon previous thought and resolve. In any case Elrond or Galadriel would have proceeded in the policy now adopted by Sauron: they would have built up an empire with great and absolutely subservient generals and armies and engines of war, until they could challenge Sauron and destroy him by force. Confrontation of Sauron alone, unaided, self to self was not contemplated. One can imagine the scene in which Gandalf, say, was placed in such a position. It would be a delicate balance. On one side the true allegiance of the Ring to Sauron; on the other superior strength because Sauron was not actually in possession, and perhaps also because he was weakened by long corruption and expenditure of will in dominating inferiors. If Gandalf proved the victor, the result would have been for Sauron the same as the destruction of the Ring; for him it would have been destroyed, taken from him for ever. But the Ring and all its works would have endured. It would have been the master in the end.
Gandalf as Ring-Lord would have been far worse than Sauron. He would have remained 'righteous', but self-righteous. He would have continued to rule and order things for 'good', and the benefit of his subjects according to his wisdom (which was and would have remained great).

[The draft ends here. In the margin Tolkien wrote: 'Thus while Sauron multiplied [illegible word] evil, he left "good" clearly distinguishable from it. Gandalf would have made good detestable and seem evil.']
(The "Of the others" at the beginning means other than Frodo and Aragorn. The previous paragraph explains how Frodo would've lost quickly and the reasons why Aragorn was able to defeat Sauron in the palantir incident.)

On Gandalf's humble nature:

Quote:
For in his condition it was for him a sacrifice to perish on the Bridge in defence of his companions, less perhaps than for a mortal Man or Hobbit, since he had a far greater inner power than they; but also more, since it was a humbling and abnegation of himself in conformity to 'the Rules': for all he could know at that moment he was the only person who could direct the resistance to Sauron successfully, and all his mission was vain. He was handing over to the Authority that ordained the Rules, and giving up personal hope of success.
Quote:
But the last-comer was named among the Elves Mithrandir, the Grey Pilgrim, for he dwelt in no place, and gathered to himself neither wealth nor followers, but ever went to and fro in the Westlands from Gondor to Angmar, and from Lindon to Lrien, befriending all folk in times of need. Warm and eager was his spirit (and it was enhanced by the ring Narya), for he was the enemy of Sauron, opposing the fire that devours and wastes with the fire that kindles, and succours in wanhope and distress; but his joy, and his swift wrath, were veiled in garments grey as ash, so that only those that knew him well glimpsed the flame that was within. Merry he could be, and kindly to the young and simple, and yet quick at times to sharp speech and the rebuking of folly; but he was not proud, and sought neither power not praise, and thus far and wide he was beloved among all those that were not themselves proud. Mostly he journeyed unwearingly on foot, leaning on a staff; and so he was called among Men of the North Gandalf, the Elf of the Wand. For they deemed him (though in error, as has been said) to be of Elven-kind, since he would at times works wonders among them, loving especially the beauty of fire; and yet such marvels he wrought mostly for mirth and delight, and desired not that any should hold him in awe or take his counsels out of fear.
Gandalf says this while, as shown in the story, he is obviously capable of this mission - the only of the five.

Quote:
Then Manw asked, where was Olrin? And Olrin, who was clad in grey, and having just entered from a journey had seated himself at the edge of the council, asked what Manw would have of him. Manw replied that he wished Olrin to go as the third messenger to Middle-earth (and it is remarked in parentheses that "Olrin was a lover of the Eldar that remained," apparently to explain Manw's choice). But Olrin declared that he was too weak for such a task, and that he feared Sauron.
There's another important quote on how Gandalf and Sauron stacked up against each other:

Quote:
To the overthrow of Morgoth he sent his herald Enw. To the defeat of Sauron would he not then send some lesser (but mighty) spirit of the angelic people, one coval and equal, doubtless, with Sauron in their beginnings, but not more? Olrin was his name.
'Black' is no doubt mightier not because of any clear advantage of his own power, but by his influence and the power held within those under him.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 3:07 PM February 07, 2004: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 02-07-2004, 03:28 PM   #42
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Tolkien

I've read this fascinating thread and have at the moment nothing to add, just one thing to ask:
Legolas, where did you get that last quote from? I can't remember ever having read it.
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Old 02-07-2004, 03:59 PM   #43
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Thumbs up

He got it from the chapter 'The Istari' in Unfinished Tales of Nmenor and Middle-earth.
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:41 AM   #44
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Thanx Maerbenn, ol' pal [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]. As I have read UT several times, it must be a trick my memory is playing with me [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img].

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 4:48 AM February 09, 2004: Message edited by: Earendilyon ]
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Old 02-10-2004, 04:23 AM   #45
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Quote:
His idea is not that power corrupts, but that evil corrupts and delights in corrupting good...
The Ring, aside from its inherent evil, gives unnatural might. For someone in Arda to acquire more power than that is delegated to him is extremely dangerous. Case in point:

Quote:
...especially that they[the Valar] had attempted to guard and seclude the Eldar by their might and glory fully revealed...

(UT IV 2)
The Ring's greatest evil is that it promises a swift display of might to amend wrongs and enforce order. It allows a shortcut way to good, an easier way to achieve what is necessary. The battle of good against good* is always harder to fight than one of good against evil.

But then, use of force to implement good has never been feasible. If it was, we should be polishing up on our Marx now...

Later days!
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<font size="1">*with credits to Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew</font>
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Old 02-11-2004, 10:24 PM   #46
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Legolas, thank you for that quote from The Letters. One day soon I'm going to have to read them for myself. But while what you quoted was an interesting read, I fail to see where
quote:
Quote:
Tolkien said Gandalf could beat Sauron
There's a big difference between what you quoted and what you are saying it means. If you, me, and Lennox Lewis are sitting in a room together, Lewis is the only one of us that might be expected to be able to beat Muhammad Ali in his prime. That doesn't mean that he actually could, or would, only that of the 3 of us he's the only one with anything resembling a real chance.
Same with Gandalf. Of course he has a chance to do it. But could he? Mano y mano? One on one? In The Palantir Gandalf isn't even sure he could handle the test of facing Sauron through the Stone
Quote:
'I had considered whether or not to probe this Stone myself to find its uses. Had I done so, I should have been revealed to him myself. I am not ready for such a trial, if indeed I shall ever be so.'
You have demonstrated your point of Gandalf's humbleness, and perhaps this is another example. Or perhaps he is simply aware of his limitations?

Gandalf the Grey, with Narya, was prisoner of Orthanc. Again with Narya he died from the effort of defeating the Balrog.

And what of Gandalf the White? His power is greater, yet he still doubts his strength vs Sauron. It would have been interesting to see how he would have fared against the Witch-king at the Gate of Gondor, if circumstances had allowed them to engage one another. It likely wold have been a fair battle, but it's hard to picture Gandalf not winning.

But against Sauron? Sauron who has been practicing evil and death since the time of Morgoth - literally for ages? Just looking at it from an experience factor, if Gandalf were expected to hold his own you'd think that he'd have to be much more powerful than Sauron, since Sauron is surely much more experienced and tested. Before the War of the Ring Gandalf saw a few battles - Dol Guldur, Amon Sul. But Sauron was Morgoth's right hand man since the beginning of Arda and surely must have faced many more battles himself. I'm just guessing, but I figure that it takes more than an evil heart to become so high in Morgoth's estimation - you must be able to dole out the death if you want the job.

So while I respect your view, I still disagree. Even the characters in ME never compare Gandalf to Sauron - they compare him the The Nine. That's because no one in ME compares to Sauron. Like Melkor before him, he is the strongest.
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Old 02-11-2004, 10:41 PM   #47
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Your point about the characters is entirely irrelevant. None of them have ever seen Sauron and his physical form has not done anything by its own means outside of Mordor. He hasn't left Mordor, nor does his physical presence pose any immediate threat. Defeating Sauron with might is never mentioned or considered because everyone is fixed on what it takes to get to that point - defeating an army of thousands led by nine deathless riders who bring fear into the hearts of all.

Gandalf could not withstand a battle with all of the Nazgul, nor could Radagast. Nor could any incarnate! This would hold true for Sauron as well if they were not his servants under his control.

I'm not sure why you continue to refer to Narya. The Elven Rings are not described as having any power in war whatsoever. They preserve.

Quote:
But Sauron was Morgoth's right hand man since the beginning of Arda and surely must have faced many more battles himself. I'm just guessing, but I figure that it takes more than an evil heart to become so high in Morgoth's estimation - you must be able to dole out the death if you want the job.
I disagree here, and so do all accounts of Sauron's activity. Sauron's power was in his knowledge, influence, and ability to manipulate others. Never once is he mentioned actually physically fighting underneath Morgoth except for the incident with Huan when Sauron took on a wolf shape. He faces off against Finrod in a battle of spells, so to speak. He was defeated here also (also - in addition to the defeat in the Last Alliance):

Quote:
...but he could not elude the grip of Huan without forsaking his body utterly. Ere his foul spirit left its dark house, Lthien came to him, and said that he should be stripped of his raiment of flesh, and his ghost be sent quaking back to Morgoth; and she said: 'There everlastingly thy naked self shall endure the torment of his scorn, pierced by his eyes, unless thou yield to me the mastery of thy tower.'
Quote:
But against Sauron? Sauron who has been practicing evil and death since the time of Morgoth - literally for ages?
Elendil and Gil-galad defeated him *with* his Ring, but you think Gandalf could not defeat him *without* his Ring? I cannot see this logic.

Tolkien *did* say Gandalf could beat Sauron. It could go the other way too, but the fact remains, Gandalf could beat Sauron. He had the ability to. He could have. Tolkien said so; Tolkien created this world and decides such things. How is this disputed?
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Old 02-12-2004, 12:31 AM   #48
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Originally posted by Legolas
Your point about the characters is entirely irrelevant.
How silly of me to use what the characters in the book say and do to draw conclusions from. Since none of them has ever seen Sauron it's a wonder they even know he exists.
Quote:
Gandalf could not withstand a battle with all of the Nazgul, nor could Radagast. Nor could any incarnate! This would hold true for Sauron as well if they were not his servants under his control.
Ok, but I'm not sure what your point is.
Quote:
I'm not sure why you continue to refer to Narya. The Elven Rings are not described as having any power in war whatsoever. They preserve.
I bring up Narya because it is a source of power. I'm not all that well versed on the Elven Rings, so I'm not sure what exactly you think Gandalf was preserving with it other than himself. But certainly Cirdan gave it to him for his 'aid and comfort' and because 'in all it will support thee and defend thee of weariness.' Perhaps not a weapon of war, but certainly something that enchanced him, no?
Quote:
I disagree here, and so do all accounts of Sauron's activity..... Never once is he mentioned actually physically fighting..
So far as I know, Tolkien didn't write the complete biography of Sauron. 'All accounts' are few and far between when judged in the scope of time that Sauron was in the world. But since the point is speculation on my part, I'll concede it.
Quote:
Elendil and Gil-galad defeated him *with* his Ring, but you think Gandalf could not defeat him *without* his Ring? I cannot see this logic.
Elendil and Gil-Galad defeated who, when? I wasn't there, but I remember a dead Elendil, and a dead Gil-Galad. It was the war machine of Elendil and Gil-Galad that defeated Sauron, not the one on one type of battle I've been talking about.
Quote:
Tolkien *did* say Gandalf could beat Sauron. It could go the other way too, but the fact remains, Gandalf could beat Sauron. He had the ability to. He could have. Tolkien said so; Tolkien created this world and decides such things. How is this disputed?
Unless someone else has been posting and deleting before I could read it, no one is disputing that Gandalf could defeat Sauron. Assuming that you mean me, I'm pretty sure that one of the things you didn't quote from my last post was
Quote:
Of course he has a chance to do it.
The bone of contention is that you seem to think it's a forgone conclusion, whereas I think that someone should abe to survive a brawl with a balrog before they consider themselves ready to move on to the Dark Lord. But in any case, I'm guessing that the rest of the board is beginning to find our battle of semantics a bit tedious, and since I don't have any compelling evidence that Sauron absolutely and undeniably would beat Gandalf one on one, and that seems to be the only way I'll get any quarter from you at all, I respectfully retire from the discussion.
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Old 02-12-2004, 02:44 AM   #49
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Lets take a look at this quote that he gives;

Quote:
Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the same order, an immortal spirit taking a visible physical form.
Now even at face value this is not proof that Gandalf would defeat Sauron one on one. Firstly the quote says might, which implies a degree of doubt.

However when you examine the context of the quote it just gets more and more doubtful.

Firstly the quote is comparing Gandalf's chance of beating Sauron to the other non-mortals (i.e. Elves and Istari). Of course his chance is going to be higher. Of course of all of them only Gandalf might be able to do it. We already know that Gandalf the White is now the greatest of his order and so that makes him most likely amongst the Istari and of the Elves only Galadriel even comes close.
So saying that of these Gandalf was the only one who might be expected to master Sauron. Hardly a great leap.

But it gets better yet. The quote is actually also referring to these peoples chances if they had the One Ring to use against Sauron. Thereby tipping the balance considerably.

So in summation the quote indicates that with the One Ring Gandalf might be expected to master Sauron in comparison to the other immortals of Middle Earth.

And this Legolas turns into

Quote:
Tolkien said Gandalf could beat Sauron
Quote:
Tolkien *did* say Gandalf could beat Sauron. It could go the other way too, but the fact remains, Gandalf could beat Sauron. He had the ability to. He could have. Tolkien said so; Tolkien created this world and decides such things. How is this disputed?

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Old 02-12-2004, 03:22 AM   #50
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Whether Olorin might or might NOT have won in one-to-one battle against Sauron, it would not matter anyway becuase he was FORBIDDEN to reveal himself in majesty in ME anyway. So what's the point?
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Old 02-12-2004, 01:57 PM   #51
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Kronos -

Quote:
one side the true allegiance of the Ring to Sauron; on the other superior strength because Sauron was not actually in possession, and perhaps also because he was weakened by long corruption and expenditure of will in dominating inferiors. If Gandalf proved the victor, the result would have been for Sauron the same as the destruction of the Ring; for him it would have been destroyed, taken from him for ever.
Tolkien would not explore the 'possibilities' if it was not 'possible'. Others, maybe - not Tolkien. Note that I've never said that Gandalf would definitely beat him - I've only stated that it's possible. Gandalf might have conquered him; Sauron might've conquered Gandalf. It could go either way. The 'might be expected' is speaking from a reader's point of view - he was the only character an attentive reader would expect, and Tolkien confirms this by even describing the balance (and also how Galadriel and Elrond would have to resort to other means were they even to consider it). If one were to count Gandalf's posession of the Ring as a disadvantage, one would still further note that Gandalf too is at a disadvantage as he is in restricted in his present form (at the time of the War of the Ring).

I don't have any problem with anyone disagreeing, but make posts about your reasoning - not about the other person. Ad hominem attacks aren't welcome here.

Elfstone, you said in your second to last post:

Quote:
I fail to see where
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tolkien said Gandalf could beat Sauron
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
^ This is where I got the notion that you thought Gandalf couldn't beat Sauron. I'm not sure you what else you could've meant by that, but in your last post you said

Quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tolkien *did* say Gandalf could beat Sauron. It could go the other way too, but the fact remains, Gandalf could beat Sauron. He had the ability to. He could have. Tolkien said so; Tolkien created this world and decides such things. How is this disputed?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unless someone else has been posting and deleting before I could read it, no one is disputing that Gandalf could defeat Sauron. Assuming that you mean me, I'm pretty sure that one of the things you didn't quote from my last post was
So if I understand correctly, you think Gandalf could do it, but that it's not definite (i.e. Sauron could also defeat Gandalf).

If this is the case, we're in agreement.
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Old 02-12-2004, 05:26 PM   #52
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It's very flat, two dimensional, black and white. Sure, the ring represents power and the whole story shows how absolute power corrupts absolutely, listing off examples like Saruman, Gollum and Boromir.
I'm sorry, Magician, but his is a hypocritical statement. You can not claim that the lines of good and evil are clearly defined, because ther are several examples of 'shades of grey' , mostly in Smeagol/Gollum. The movies only show him as two different entities, in the book he is just struggling with his addiction to the Ring and its effects on his phsyche, thus giving him an entire spectrum, not just black and white.

In fact, the whole 'magic ring' concept is just a metaphor for the numerous corruptions we as humans face in our lives. There are examples of this throught the book, with a multitude of characters: Gandalf and Galdriel both knew that if they took the ring, they would have been corrupted absolutely, like you said. But Boromir succumbed to the Ring's lure even though he was a good person at heart , which, in my opinion, Tolkien went to great lenghts to describe to the reader.

Frodo is another story. He carries the burden of the Ring through innumerable perils, but when it comes time to rid himself of it, he chooses not to. Gollum is what saves the Free Peoples of Middle Earth from certain descruction, even though he did it without thought for anything but himself.

The Lord of the Rings is not a two-dimensional story, and I think this should be proven to you by the amount and lenght of the replies you have gotten.

On a lighter note, thank you for starting such an interesting topic!
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Old 02-14-2004, 01:37 PM   #53
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Hello everyone!
This is a very interesting topic. I just have one comment to make on Sauron being completely evil. Tolkien gave ME certain rules, some rules that he saw in our own world. He believed that in this world, God was the ultimate authority and definition of good. In ME, Eru is the ultimate authority and definition of good. Therefore the definition of evil would logically be "against Eru." Morgoth and the Maia that followed him completely rejected Eru, therefore they completely rejected good and embraced evil. It logically follows that they would be completely evil. If they weren't, it would go against Tolkien's rules for ME. At least that is how I understand it.

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Old 02-15-2004, 06:24 AM   #54
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Originally posted by lathspell
And now the Eagles. Ofcourse Eagles could fly to Mount Doom, there are no geological barriers along the way if you can fly. Yet you would have to pass the Mountains (either Ered Lithui or Ephel Duath) or the Morannon. In any case they would have been spotted there, if not long before. Nazgul would be there to fight them and the Eagles would be the ones that have to save M-e by avoiding or defeating the Nazgul.
I don't think Gwaihir Windlord would do anything to his Eagles to put them in danger except in the greatest need (as in: Bttle of the Five Armies and Battle at Pelennor Fields). As long as it was uncertain if there was another way (or just a way) into Mordor, I believe they wouldn't go freely to Mount Doom, putting themselves to danger. In LotR Gandalf says the mission with the Ring relies on it's secrecy, but with the Eagles secrecy would soon be gone.
So, I guess the Eagles could, but wouldn't fly to Mount Doom except in the greatest need (when Frodo and Sam lay there) and more important: after the destruction of the Ring, thus no more Sauron and no more Nazgul. They had a clear air, which they otherwise would not have had.
[/B]
Did the eagles know of the flying nazgul??? If they did, why did they not tell anyone? If they did not know of this, then I guess you didn't think this subject through. The eagles could not have known of this, and it is therefore no excuse for not carrying the ring to mordor.
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Old 02-16-2004, 12:33 AM   #55
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In the book the Hobbit it says that gandalf lights his "wand" to give them light through the goblin's tunnels, now unless this is a mistake then thats friggin wierd...gandalf with a wand....BAH!!!
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Old 02-16-2004, 06:00 PM   #56
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I thought the whole arguement against the eagles simply chauffeuring the hobbits to Mt. Doom was the fact that they were trying to sneak into Mordor and destroy the Ring unnoticed, which is hard to do while flying around on giant eagles.

Whether or not the eagles knew about the winged Nazgul is a moot point. If they did not, Sauron and his millions of troops would still pose a serious threat when the eagles try to land on Mt. Doom. If so, then they would have been severly outnumbered by nine Nazgul plus ground troops.
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:05 AM   #57
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But would they need to land? They could just drop Frodo into the mouth of the Volcano. Job done.

Seriously though, given the speed at which the Eagles are able to fly from the Black Gate to Mount Doom it is unlikely that Sauron could have mobilised his troops to beat them to Mount Doom. By the time he was aware of their destination it would be too late for that. Remember he could not conceive of someone wanting to destroy the Ring. Even had he received news of the Eagles flight he would have assumed that they were likely to be headed for Gondor, at least until the last minute.

Then once the Eagles veer off towards Mount Doom he would have had very little chance to formulate an opposition. He might have been able to get the Nazgul there first but this would have depended on where the Nazgul where prior to his calling on them. Had the Eagle flight been delayed until Gondor was under attack it is likely that the Nazgul would have been engaged in that battle.
Either way it would have come down to Nazgul versus the Eagles in a race. I suspect the Eagles would have proved faster and even had they not they likely had the greater numbers. Only 1 needed to get through after all.

There may be obstacles to its success but the plan certainly looks no less likely than sending a couple of Hobbits into Mordor by foot. Especially when, as far as anyone knew, the only way in was via the Black Gate. This seems to be the case since it was the only way that Frodo knew of and it would be ludicrous to suppose that the issue of the route they would take would not be discussed in Rivendell, and subsequently.
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:08 AM   #58
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Pipe Re: Eagles taking the Ring to Mt. Doom

All of your observations, however astute, depends on the eagles consenting to take Frodo! Hey, we're not talking about a stray MiG here...wait, let's do that again.

We're not talking about someone's pet here, but arguably the most majestic creatures in Middle-earth, who are probably Maiarin in origin - I don't know; they may not be Maiar, but that's not my point. The point is these are creatures with their own intellect, their own free will, and they are very well a variable in the "Eagles taking the Ring to Mt. Doom" equation.

About Sauron's preparedness - remember Angband? Thorongil ring a bell? Surely Sauron must remember those flying things and has thought of them when making Mordor. You don't just leave the air unguarded, despite the fact that air power projection during this period is quite nascent - Sauron must take into account that eagles do exist and that they are in opposition to him. He might have a company of archers on the stand-by, waiting to take down anything that does not look like a Nazgl's winged steed, or some other form of air defense in Mordor, for all we know. [the last sentence was pure speculation, with no actual evidence from the legendarium]

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He might have been able to get the Nazgul there first but this would have depended on where the Nazgul where prior to his calling on them.
There are few times during Sauron's reoccupation of Mordor when all Nine left - the hunt for the Ring was the last of them. Aside from that, at least one Nazgl is in Mordor - Sauron only needs a few to man Dol Guldur, and a few to patrol the eastern shores of Anduin. So you can say that at least one Nazgl would be flying over Mordor.
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:04 PM   #59
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...Thorongil ...

You mean Thorondor, don't you? Last time I checked, Aragorn couldn't fly.
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Old 02-18-2004, 08:10 PM   #60
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Just setting up my sister's account...

Sorry about that... I meant Thorondor. *blushes*
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:16 AM   #61
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We're not talking about someone's pet here, but arguably the most majestic creatures in Middle-earth, who are probably Maiarin in origin - I don't know; they may not be Maiar, but that's not my point. The point is these are creatures with their own intellect, their own free will, and they are very well a variable in the "Eagles taking the Ring to Mt. Doom" equation.
The viewpoint that because these are independent creatures, maybe Maiar, they cannot just aid the Ring quest is a nice one but prone to one overwhelming flaw. They aid Gandalf whenever it suits the author. Whenever it is necessary to resolve problems in the plot that cannot otherwise be resolved.

Why did the Eagles save Gandalf, Bilbo and the Dwarves from the Wargs? Was this reason below their status as Maiar?

Why did they rescue Gandalf from Orthanc?
Why did they rescue Gandalf from the summit of the mountains?
Why did they rescue the Ringbearer from Mordor?
Why did they intervene against the winged Nazgul?

It appears to me that there are no hard and fast rules about their participation. And nothing to uggest that they could not and indeed would not fly the Ring to Mordor. It appears that they are ok to be Deux ea Machina but just not too much.
The real reason they are not used is because then we would have no book.


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About Sauron's preparedness - remember Angband? Thorongil ring a bell? Surely Sauron must remember those flying things and has thought of them when making Mordor. You don't just leave the air unguarded, despite the fact that air power projection during this period is quite nascent - Sauron must take into account that eagles do exist and that they are in opposition to him. He might have a company of archers on the stand-by, waiting to take down anything that does not look like a Nazgl's winged steed, or some other form of air defense in Mordor, for all we know. [the last sentence was pure speculation, with no actual evidence from the legendarium]
They can fly so high that Archers would be useless. Only at the point of flying to Mount Doom itself would there be danger. The archers would not know which bird carried the Ring and only that one would need to get through. Still seems a vastly more reasonable method than sending 2 hobbits through the Black Gate.

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There are few times during Sauron's reoccupation of Mordor when all Nine left - the hunt for the Ring was the last of them. Aside from that, at least one Nazgl is in Mordor - Sauron only needs a few to man Dol Guldur, and a few to patrol the eastern shores of Anduin. So you can say that at least one Nazgl would be flying over Mordor.
Given the Eagles willingness to engage the Nazgul, all remaining eight, above the Black Gate I would not expect them to have much of a problem simply holding off one whilst the Eagles carrying the Ring progressed to Mount Doom.
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Old 02-21-2004, 08:37 AM   #62
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Pipe The Great Eagle Courier Service

It seems to me that too much is made of the potential use of the Eagles to carry the Ring, and the use of increasingly elaborate scenarios to explain how they could have done it still leaves me unconvinced. A similar sort of approach was taken by Mr. Zimmerman's film treatment of The Lord of the Rings, in which the Eagles were extensively overused, and Tolkien wrote in response to this:
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The Eagles are a dangerous 'machine'. I have used them sparingly and that is the absolute limit of their credibility or usefulness. The alighting of a Great Eagle of the Misty Mountains in the Shire is absurd; it also makes the later capture of G. by Saruman incredible and spoils the account of his escape.
I think that the point is that Tolkien's use of the Eagles is as help that comes unlooked-for and at the right moment, reinforcing the very strong possibility that they were conceived throughout The Lord of the Rings as messengers and servants of Manw, who can be supposed to be under similar restrictions to Gandalf himself. If this is the case then to ask them to carry the Ring to the Sammath Naur would be no different from asking Gandalf to do so, which would be a clear violation of his mission. Of course this also raises the point that the Eagles were no more immune to the Ring's influence than were Gandalf, Elrond or Galadriel. It would take some time even to fly from the Misty Mountains to Mordor, in which time it would have an opportunity to work on its bearer and his companions, possibly even being able to bring about discord between them similar to that in the Fellowship of the Ring.

The flight to Mordor raises other questions. Sauron had in his possession a Palantr, the Ithil-Stone, with which he could see events far beyond the confines of his own territory, even as far away as Isengard. Bearing in mind that the Eagles were not in the habit of aiding Gondor or Rohan in their wars, nor of travelling far from the Misty Mountains, the natural reaction of the Dark Lord on learning that they were travelling in his direction would be to devise some strategy against them. With his affinity with the Ring and his ability to see far events it would not be difficult for him to work out what was being done (an Eagle has no pockets for hiding a Ring), and to place strong forces at likely landing points, completely negating the advantage of flight. Although he has not considered the possibility that his enemies would try to destroy his weapon, once they come at him carrying it, all of his force and thought would be turned towards taking it back from them. At the time of the Ring's coming to Rivendell, Mordor is still full of Orcs: Sauron and his armies are within, preparing their final stroke and the Plateau of Gorgoroth is swarming with his troops, which we know can travel quickly and shoot straight. This situation only changes when Aragorn takes up the Palantr of Orthanc, and Sauron becomes convinced that his enemies are taking the Ring to Minas Tirith; and even then only the army of Morgul goes there. The reason for attacking the Morannon is as a diversion to clear the path between the Ephel Dath and Orodruin of enemy forces. Eagles may fly high, but if their mission is on the ground then they have to give up that advantage sooner or later, and there were enough archers in Mordor to make them pay dearly for any landing they made. Gandalf seems convinced that if he were to fortify Mordor and turn his mind to finding the Ring then Sauron would be unassailable, and I do not see why this should not include the Eagles. The Nazgl are a small part of the equation, since weight of numbers is required to defeat a small force of strong fighters, and they cannot provide this. There is, of course, always the possibility that Sauron himself would come out to take the Ring from its bearer personally, and with his mind not distracted by wars elsewhere, I would think his chances of success quite good.

I have touched on the Ring's influence on its bearers above, and it seems to me that this is a central point. Tolkien was quite clear that nobody could resist the Ring in the place of its creation, and Frodo's mission was successful only because he had Gollum with him, whose lust for the Ring compelled him to take it. Not only would there be nobody to take the Ring from a corrupted Eagle, but there's also no certainty that anyone actually could at the critical moment. What an Eagle would do with the Ring is something about which I'm not prepared to speculate, but throwing it into the Cracks of Doom is not the first probability that I would consider. Even if it were carried back to the eyries in the Misty Mountains, this would only be the same as throwing it into the sea or hiding it in someone's treasury. It would still exist, and even without it Sauron had the power to take over Middle-earth and take his time searching for the Master Ring.

Gandalf's plan to send a small force into Mordor under the cover of larger events relies entirely on its complete insanity to work. To send few people into the middle of the enemy's kingdom with the very weapon that he wants is unpredictable, but they must be inconspicuous; they must blend in with the usual events of the war, and the flights of the Eagles are only normal close to the Misty Mountains. Gandalf's rescues from Zirakzigil and Orthanc both occur in their usual territory, so that Gwaihir's chance arrivals on both occasions are, although unlikely, still credible (the suggestion of divine intervention that this introduces is far too obvious to warrant another explanation here). Even the rescue from the Goblins in The Hobbit takes place because the Eagles happened by at that moment, spying on their enemies close to their homes. Their help is then given on request to do relatively minor favours, and on every occasion at Gandalf's request. It is a different matter to seek out the Eagles and ask them to carry the Ring, and besides the relationship was clearly between Gandalf and Gwaihir and did not include the White Council in general.

The narrative role of the Eagles is more complicated than a simple "there wouldn't be a story if they did the job": throughout they are portrayed as free agents, whose help cannot be relied upon . Like the Ents they come into the story unexpectedly and do only as much as they are prepared to do. Note that they turn up at the Morannon as part of the diversion from the Ring-quest, and that nobody had asked them to be there. I'm sure that in this there is a hint of their being controlled by a higher authority, which sends them when they are needed to the place where they can be of most use. That same authority would be able to restrain them from any action that was considered beyond their jurisdiction, and such a case is the destruction of the Ring, which is a matter for the Free Peoples. If the Eagles really are conceived as Manw's messengers, then this is as likely a reason as any for their not carrying that burden.

Since I can explain the fact that the Eagles do not carry the Ring in terms of Tolkien's narrative setting, it seems to me that this is more of a potential 'what if?' than a flaw. It takes no greater stretch of the imagination to work out what could have been wrong with this tactic than to think up the strategy itself, and to my mind having the Eagles do the job would result in a book that was simply anticlimactic, in other words a bad book that nobody would now remember. That people can think of imaginitive ways that something could have been done differently does not prove a flaw in the work: it only proves that they have been trying too hard to find one.
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Last edited by The Squatter of Amon Rdh; 09-11-2006 at 07:12 AM. Reason: It was, of course, the Ithil stone that Sauron possessed, not the Stone of Osgiliath, which had been sunk in Anduin
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Old 02-23-2004, 03:34 AM   #63
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Who thought of these scenario? It clearly shows our weakness as humans--which Tolkien portrayed quite well--, the need for a dazzling shortcut; to savour the taste of victory without having to suffer, to face evil with no real danger, and to enjoy freedom without the sacrifice needed on its altar. The Eagles may be marvellous creatures, but their decreasing stature indicates that they, along with the diminishing Elves, are not the one to watch over Middle-earth forever. It is the race of Men--and Hobbits, if I may add--that must protect what they cherish, and they will not learn it by handing responsibility over to what Tolkien called "the Wise."

Think about it! Had the Council acceded to the eagles' mission of bringing the Ring to its destruction, they could have founded Sauron's defeat and the return of peace in Middle-earth not on two little hobbits, weary and lost in the land of the Enemy, but on a swift display of might, a victory devoid of all hardships and lessons that would make future generations avoid the same mistakes, or face the same problem should it sprout anew. Imagine what would have happened if a new evil does arise and the Eagles and the Wise are no more? Men are bound to inherit Middle-earth sooner or later, so it would be better for them learn the ropes of this saviour thing.

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Old 02-23-2004, 05:33 AM   #64
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Saying that the Eagles would be affected by the Ring is no different than saying that Frodo would. If no-one could resist the Ring at Mount Doom then Gandalf is effectively taking an even more risky bet since he could not be sure that Gollum would be accepted as companion by Frodo, would not be killed by him, would fall into Mount Doom. Any of it in fact.
Also as originally envisioned the intention was for many of the rest of the Fellowship to go to Mordor with Frodo. How would having any of them present at Mount Doom, especially Gandalf, be any less risky than having an Eagle?
The plains being full of Orcs is not a problem. They can just delay the flight from Rivendell until Sauron has launched his war against the West. Problem solved.

Like it or not they are an example of Deux ea Machina, they turn up where and when Tolkien wants them to in order to further the story. If we are to assume that it is the Valar who tell them when to intercede then what are we to make of Gods such as they?
(I might also ask exactly why they needed to intercede at the Battle of the Five Armies)

They intercede at the Black Gate, to fight off the Nazgul. What about the havoc the Nazgul have wreaked prior to that? At exactly what point does it suddenly become valid to intercede. Exactly how many people of Middle Earth can die fighting an un-defeatable foe before the Gods decide to intervene?
Why are the lives thus saved worth more than those sacrificed previously?

Which brings me to this;

It clearly shows our weakness as humans--which Tolkien portrayed quite well--, the need for a dazzling shortcut; to savour the taste of victory without having to suffer, to face evil with no real danger, and to enjoy freedom without the sacrifice needed on its altar.

I find that kind of viewpoint myopic in the extreme. Put yourself in the situation. With your children sacrificed on the altar to save Middle Earth. Sacrificed until such time as the Valar decide to intervene and give events a little nudge. I pray you never have to discover that cure for weakness.
Wanting a peaceful world is not weakness.
Wanting not to have to die for it is not weakness.

Within Middle Earth it appears fine for the Valar to make countless innocent lives pay for their inability to deal with one of their own.
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:09 PM   #65
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That people can think of imaginitive ways that something could have been done differently does not prove a flaw in the work: it only proves that they have been trying too hard to find one
My thoughts exactly, Squatter .

Of course the eagles would have been tempted by the Ring. *smacks head* If one of the Eagles had taken the ring, it would have been almost as difficult to take it back from him as Gandalf.

The Eagles were definitely not the servents of the White Council, and would have recognized the struggle as one for the inhabitants of Middle-Earth to solve. The Valar knew this, and had instructed the Istari, and thus probably the Eagles, to aid in indirect ways only, and flying the Ring straight to Mt. Doom would have been the pretty much the most direct thing they could do, short of the Istari and Co. attacking Sauron in Dol Goldur.

People suffer and die on a daily basis. It is impossible to prevent that from happening, and to say that the Eagles didn't care about the other inhabitants of Middle-Earth would be like saying the neutral countries in WW II didn't care about the people who died in the war.

The Eagles were worried about their own lives, and thier own species. Not exactly the most noble thing, but they turned the tide in two very important battles and saved Gandalf twice. This showed that they do indeed care about others, they just don't want to add unnesessary risk to themselves.
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Old 02-24-2004, 02:41 PM   #66
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Of course any effect that the Eagles felt from the Ring would also be felt by Frodo. However, Tolkien does remark in Letter #181 that those of greater native power are in more danger from the Ring. If we think of the Eagles as Maiar (and this does raise serious questions about the reconciliation of their portrayal in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), then we might argue that the danger was as great for them as it was for Gandalf, who did not trust himself even to touch it. Even if they are not Maiar, however, there are serious considerations to be made regarding their suitability to resist the Ring. Their evident pride and policy of open confrontation with Orcs are clear weaknesses against its temptations: the promise of a quick and easy solution, personal power and glory and the chance to fight Sauron on his own terms. Frodo, being relatively powerless and with very little will to control others, was a perfect choice for the task of carrying the Ring, since in him it had so little on which to work. The fact is, though, that deus ex machina or no, the Eagles are not portrayed as a group that can be relied upon to turn up whenever they are needed. In fact, if they were open and committed allies of the Wise then the epithet would no longer be applicable, since the advent of a deus ex machina must by definition be unexpected. I have not been arguing that Tolkien does not use the Eagles in this way, but that not asking them to carry the Ring is consistent with the narrative situation that Tolkien had created. I would argue that if we regard them as instruments of the divine will, then their interference at the Battle of Five Armies was necessary because the combined forces of Men, Elves and Dwarves were still outnumbered; and also because they had already fought and won the moral battle and were fighting with all their strength against the Goblins, which had earned them the right to assistance. However, since I regard the integration of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as problematic to say the least, I usually accept Tolkien's explanation that the Eagles followed their old enemies to the battle hoping with help to inflict a defeat, which is still consistent with the recurrent theme of divine providence taking a hand through the medium of apparent coincidence.

I might argue, moreover, that if we are to criticise authors for using devices to move their plots forward, then we will be condemning more authors than Tolkien to the dustbin of hackdom. The very presence of a plot entails the presence of plot devices, some used more often than others in the pursuit of the author's narrative ends. Tolkien uses the Eagles only in situations where their presence is plausible within his narrative reality, and they appear en masse only twice, at major battles. We may dislike his use of the Eagles, but I do not regard that as a flaw any more than I regard Pip's unlikely inheritance as a flaw in Great Expectations. Further on the subject of flaws in The Lord of the Rings, which is the subject of this thread, I would exclude from that flaws in Tolkien's notes for the book, or indeed any of the material that he rejected from it before submitting it for publication. The fact that he intended to send several of the Fellowship to Mordor at some stage in the book's development seems to me irrelevant, since he may have changed his mind precisely because he did see certain flaws in sending the plot in that direction. It seems to me grossly unfair to criticise someone for something that they chose to exclude from a work as though they had included it after all.

There was, of course, no way of predicting what would happen once the Fellowship of the Ring left Rivendell; but the failure of their quest was a certainty from the outset without the intercession of Eru, whoever carried the Ring. The Eagles are, however, less likely to undertake the Quest and are in any case not present at the Council. Frodo has volunteered, as have the remainder of the Fellowship, and to request the help of someone else is therefore unnecessary. Certainly I think that the main chance of success lay in getting the Ring to Mount Doom in such a way that Sauron was unaware that his enemies were in Mordor at all, since there is no way that he would empty his lands of troops if he believed that there was any danger of an incursion. Indeed he only sent out any of his forces when he believed that he knew the location of his Ring, the possession of which was, I think, a condition of his launching a full assault on Middle-earth. This policy renders futile any attempt to wait for his first stroke. In fact the very act of sending out the Fellowship sets in motion a chain of events that eliminates the threat of Saruman, prompts Sauron to make some very bad decisions and allows those decisions to destroy his plans. The Eagles could get to Mordor quickly, but on the way they would not prompt the Ents to rise; they would not look into Saruman's palantr, nor show Aragorn to Sauron in such a way that he appeared to have the Ring. They would not, therefore, cause Sauron to play his hand too early and empty his country of troops, whilst at the same time Rohan would be completely overwhelmed by Saruman. In this situation, sending a strong force to the Morannon as a diversion would not be a possibility: Gondor would need all of its troops to watch the borders against Saruman's forces, and in any case there would have been no reason for Sauron to believe that one of his enemies had the One Ring in his possession. Now, those present at the Council of Elrond have no way of knowing that any of these things will happen, but they can be sure that Mordor is too well defended for a frontal assault; they know the danger of the Ring to powerful individuals and they know that Sauron would never send his weakest servants into his enemies' country with a weapon that could ensure their victory, nor even consider such a policy. They have no history of planned collaboration with the Eagles and no reason to presume on their aid based on a few relatively minor favours for Gandalf, but they do have a number of volunteers. Given the choice between two impossible plans, one of which can be put into effect then and there, and the other of which requires the agreement of a group that has to be contacted by sending a force up into the mountains in winter, and whose assent cannot be guaranteed, the Council chooses the former. They choose the greater act of faith instead of the lesser, and are rewarded with success.

A lot has been said here about the refusal of the Valar to fight on the behalf of the people of Middle-earth. Firstly I should like to point out that they are no kind of gods, but have more in common with archangels. They are neither omniscient nor omnipotent, and there are certain decisions that are beyond their authority. In the case of Sauron, it is not an inability to 'deal with' him that holds them back, but the knowledge that if Men are to take up their dominion responsibly they must learn to fight their own battles. The help that is sent is understated not because the Valar are too frightened or too weak to provide something more substantial, but so that the majority of people in Middle-earth will be unaware that it was given at all. They are allowed to grow up instead of being tied to the Valar's apron strings for eternity, knowing that they can always rely on help from the Powers whenever things get difficult. There is also probably a hint here of lessons learned from the Elves, who eventually came to regard Valinor as a prison and the Valar as gaolers when the original intention was to provide them with a haven. Besides, that which is hard-won is usually valued more and preserved longer than that which simply comes as a matter of course. Naturally given that premise it becomes valid to intercede once the speaking peoples have already done their utmost to achieve victory, but are faced with a situation that it is beyond their abilities to overcome. This brings me back to the act of faith implicit in sending Frodo with the Ring. He does his utmost to destroy it, and because he does his best, at the final crisis there is someone present to take the Ring from him and save him from an ultimate fall. When the Eagles rescue him he has exhausted his strength and is unable to escape on his own, so again this is a valid intervention given the paradigm; and since the Eagles have been present at the Morannon, Gandalf's request that they rescue Frodo (whose actions have saved their lives) is also plausible within the narrative structure. Like it or not, this sprang from Tolkien's world-view, which was naturally a strong influence on his writing. If writing a story that reflects one's philosophical and theological opinions is a flaw then clearly one ought to set aside one's beliefs when writing so as to eliminate such failings. I would not expect reading to be much fun if this became standard practice.
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Old 02-26-2004, 02:30 AM   #67
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i want to add a fault in this book
its grammatical maybe.

the song of the elves about the one ring goes:-
three HE made for the elven kings under the sky
seven for the dwarf lords in their halls of stone
nine for the mortal men doomed to die
and one for the dark lord on his dark throne.

AND SO ON
so the question is who was the HE the elves reffered to?
was it celebrimbor or the dark lord?
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Old 02-26-2004, 04:36 AM   #68
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rutslegolas, the text is actually:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:47 AM   #69
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The Three Rings were not made by Sauron you know?

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But Celebrimbor was aware of him, and hid the Three which he had made; and there was war, and the land was laid wate, and the gate of Moria are shut.
You know, when you come to think of it, the battle between Evil and Good is not really absurd, just absurdly difficult to comprehend in these days of labels and suggestions. I do not doubt that in Prof T's days, there had been sufficient propagandas and fanatism. Yet the professor was sufficiently acute to define his version of Evil, biblical though that sounds.

Let's take Melkor, the original Satan:
1. Proud? Yes, pride had been the fall of many more historical men. If pride is not a vice, than I can't think of much else to describe what is evil. Melkor was the greatest of the Valar, and is full of pride.
2. Envy? Othello, anyone? Melkor was envious of his peers for creating wonderful stuff on Arda. Which brings the next vice.
3. Malice. It is written everywhere in the Silmarillion and the LOTR and even some sections of the Hobbit. Acts of malice are caused by envy and hatred. Approval for acts of malice is also an act of malice.
4. Greed and Lust. Melkor is a Jewel thief and a lecher. Just look at the way he is smitten by Luthien!
5. Treachery. Et Tu, Brute?

If one is to take all these and many others into consideration, Evil is really quite clearly defined here. Sure, you may not be able to find all of these characteristics in a single person, but to be tainted with even one of these characteristics would have made a person unsavory and in some cases, downright wicked. One might argue that this is not realistic, but can any person be honest with himself/herself and say that vices can be good?

Sauron is just as evil. Let me list his vices:
1. Pride. Sauron is P-R-O-U-D. His servants are the embodiment of wicked pride. Look at the Mouth of Sauron.
2. Envy. Sauron is jealous of the Eldar and the Numenorean for being so powerful, and so...
3. Malice. Sauron is known as Gorthaur the Cruel in his remote youth.
4. Greed. No, the world is not enough.
5. Treachery. Like Master, like servant.

Breaking all these down and digesting, one would realise that the servants of Sauron had his characteristics and are therefore E-V-I-L. One does not have to break a written law in order to be evil, and in these days of mass acceptance, it is definitely difficult to pin-point wickedness. This morning I read in the papers that a movie goer felt that LOTR is too two-dimensional. But hey, to be in the so-called 'grey' area would mean acceptance of some vices. And you know what they say about standing on quicksand...
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Old 02-27-2004, 11:16 PM   #70
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Pipe Re: Two-dimensional?

There's a wonderful article on the Barrow-downs main page - here it is.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:22 AM   #71
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oh i am so soory didnt read it very carefully did i?
so soory my mistake
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:25 PM   #72
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dude, about the eagle thing......Gwahir only bore Mithrandir because Mithrandir saved him from an arrow wound.....he wouldn't have bore the entire Fellowship....i thought you coulda figured that out *scratches his head*
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:39 PM   #73
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Here's a curious...ummm...flaw, relating to the building of Lugburz.

In The Tale of Years, Second Age, it is stated:
Quote:
-1000 Sauron ... chooses Mordor as a land to make into a stronghold. He begins the building of Barad-dur.

-1600 Sauron forges the One Ring in Orodruin. He completes the Barad-dur. Celebrimbor perceives the designs of Sauron.
Now, that's fine, except for one thing.
In FotR, Elrond states very clearly and firmly:
Quote:
"The Dark Tower was broken, but its foundations were not removed; for they were made with the power of the Ring."
Ok, something's wrong here. The One was forged in 1600 of the Second Age. How could Sauron have been building Barad-dur for 600 years without any foundation. So, he built the whole tower like a log on the ground, then put up the foundation instantly with the ring forging in 1600 and put up the Dark Tower over it like some crazy giant architect? That could be some metaphor for ring power, but Elrond is being awfully specific.
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:18 AM   #74
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Pipe Re: The Foundations of Barad-dr

How could a ring be a literal foundation of anything, much less a mountain of iron, as Barad-dr is described? It has to be metaphorical.

Quote:
"The Dark Tower was broken, but its foundations were not removed; for they were made with the power of the Ring."
"they" is ambigious; it could refer to the Dark Tower or the foundations. The entries from the Tale of Years that you quoted points to the latter. He built the actual tower first, with an actual foundation, but it had no foundation for domination and terror until the completion of the One. Didn't you notice that Sauron did not attack his enemies in the Second Age before the forging of the Master Ring?
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:40 AM   #75
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Tolkien

Maybe Elrond thought at that time the foundations were indeed made with the power of the One Ring, but that they later found out that this was not exactly the case. It's a possibility they later found out Sauron already around the year 1000 SA began building Barad-dr, hence the reference in the Tale of Years.

I guess Sauron began building his tower and later reinforced the fundations with the power of the Ring.

Another possibility is, that Sauron was at the same moment studying the arts of ring-making whilst building Barad-dr and already used something of the lore he learned in the creation of its foundations.

A last thought occurred to me while writing all this: as the power of the Ring was in essence Sauron's power concentrated in an object, maybe we should view also Elrond's reference thus: Sauron's concentrated power in an object. As Elrond both could feel the power of the Ring and the power in Barad-dr's foundations, I think they were the same to him: Sauron's concentrated evil power.
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:01 AM   #76
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Eye Re: Sacrifice

[Kronos said,]

At exactly what point does it suddenly become valid to intercede. Exactly how many people of Middle Earth can die fighting an un-defeatable foe before the Gods decide to intervene?

It's not a matter of quantity: the peoples of Middle-earth must show that they would stand and resist, and offer whatever they can to stop the seemingly unstoppable Shadow, no matter what the costs. Only then could the higher powers intervene.

And yes, if I had children, if they will be the cost of freedom, so be it. It is way better than sitting on my hands and doing nothing, dying all the same.

There's a saying for this, and it goes like this:

Without God, man cannot.
Without man, God will not.


Or think of it this way: The Eagles may be pretty tough, but on their own, without support, flying into the heart of Sauron's realm, they could have done nothing more than die spectacularly.

[Kronos said,]

Wanting a peaceful world is not weakness.
Wanting not to have to die for it is not weakness.

At any cost? Wow! That is scary!

Why? Think of this: Gandalf wants a peaceful world. What if he had then taken the Ring for himself? He could surely have done that. But would he stop there? No. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as was said. The power would go to his head, and he would have done anything he wanted.

It's like having a world with many robots and one controller.

I think it would be better to die for freedom than live without it.
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Old 03-05-2004, 08:38 AM   #77
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Er, people, I don't know whether this had come up before, (this is becoming a habit of mine) but I think Prof T made another Glitch with the name of the Mines of Moria.

Moria is supposed to mean 'Black Pit' or 'Dark Chasm' in Quenya.
The name the Dwarves had for the Mines of Moria before the Balrog woke up is Khazad-dum: meaning something like 'Halls of the Dwarves' in their language.

Why is it that Celebrimbor of Hollin drew the Sindarin Runes on the Door of Moria with the name of 'Moria'?

Quote:
"'The words are in the elven-tongue of the West of Middle-earth in the Elder Days,' answered Gandalf. 'But they do not say anything of importance to us. They say only: The doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak friend, and enter. And underneath small and faint is written: I, Narvi, made them. Celebrimbor of Hollin drew these signs."
Did Prof T, intentionally wrote this with the name of 'Moria' already in his thoughts? Obviously he must have thought that Moria is a putrid black pit anyway, and nobody would notice...

Gimli: It was not the fault of the Dwarves that the friendship waned.
Legolas: I have not heard it was the fault of the Elves.
Prof T: No comments
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Old 03-14-2004, 09:33 AM   #78
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Hand of an Istari?

Hiya fellows! I don't know whether this count as a mistake!

Quote:
'Don't try!' said the old hobbit, turning around and slapping him on the back. 'Ow!' he cried. 'You are too hard now to slap!'
Remember Bilbo giving Frodo a friendly slap after presenting him the Mithril waistcoat? Well, the waistcoat is too hard to slap, but soft enough not to restrict motion. But that is not all! Remeber Bilbo wearing that coat in the original Battle of the Five Armies?

Quote:
'Well done! Mr Baggins!' he said, clapping Bilbo on the back. 'There is always more about you than anyone expects!' It was Gandalf.
Gandalf sure had a hand that is harder than Mithril... or do all Istaril have them?
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:37 PM   #79
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I would have to assume it is a general pat on the back, even with the toughest armour you would be moved forward slightly by a pat on the back... or Maybe i am wrong, as i have never worn chain male of any sorts let alone mithril i cannot say from experience.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:21 AM   #80
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MIGHT I SAY that a while ago we went through this whole eagles could fly Frodo to mount doom thing. And just to save you digging out old forum stuff we came up with this: The Eagles do not want to endanger their kind as has already been stated and that they carry people in their Talons and from that respect it is quite a long ride. A giant eagle flying into the most High security fortress of its time(no i havent forgotten Angband)wouldent exactly go unnoticed and within munutes the nine Nazgul would be on to them. However two Hobbits (or Nine walkers) Going into Mordor is somwhat more discreet.

But what saddens me most is this whole black and white thing. Lord of the rings is a complex story and has ups and downs. It is possibly the greatest work of our time.
P.S. If you want a good opinion on the Black and white thing(i don't know if this has already been said) there is and interesting letter from C.S. Lewis on the matter in the Essays about J.R.R. Tolkien (or som similar title)
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