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Old 12-02-2003, 09:09 PM   #1
Tar-Alcarin
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Ring Is there a connection between frodo and sauron?

While read the RoTK for the millionth time i noctice that Sauron is also missing a finger. Not just a finger, but the finger in which the ring was on. This happened to be the middle finger.
When Gollum bites off the finger of Frodo, it also bears the ring on it. Coincidently, or on purpose, this is the same finger that isuldur cut off the ring from sauron.
Is there more evidence to support that there is a spiritual connection between the two ring-bearers?
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Old 12-02-2003, 09:46 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Downs, Tar-Alcarin. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

That is an interesting theory, although I don't know if you could make any case for a "spiritual connection" between a hobbit of the Shire and the Dark Lord Sauron. It seems to me to that there is a good chance that it is a coincidence, since Frodo and Sauron's connections to the Ring are obviously very different and the cirumstances in which each lost the Ring (and subsequently their fingers) were not similar.
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Old 12-02-2003, 11:26 PM   #3
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It's the Ring... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Cheers,
Lyta
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Old 12-03-2003, 12:11 AM   #4
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Maybe Tolkien had this thing with people putting rings on third fingers...you have an interesting theory, but I don't think that there are enough similarities between Frodo and Sauron.
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Old 12-03-2003, 05:11 AM   #5
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and the cirumstances in which each lost the Ring (and subsequently their fingers) were not similar.
But I think they WERE similar inasmuch as they both 'lost' the ring without voluntarily giving it up. This is why we see Frodo in such a state at the end of the book back in the Shire. I think Tolkien purposefully showed the similarity between the two events. Both tried to 'own' and use the ring and were ultimately thwarted. The only difference being that Sauron was defeated by the ring being lost, and Frodo, somewhat, was saved by Gollum biting it off. I think Tolkien is showing us Frodo's redemption in this case. If Frodo had allowed Gollum to be killed, then Sauron WOULD have retrieved the Ring after a short stuggle with Frodo and Middle-earth would have been lost. But he pitied Gollum and let him live, therefore the Quest was achieved.
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Old 12-03-2003, 06:29 AM   #6
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I believe tolkien was trying to show how evil begetts evil rather than put frodo in the same boat as sauron.

I believe it goes a bit like this,

Gollum evil thwarts Sauron very evil to enable the good/confused Frodo to prevail the end result keeping the ring out of saurons hands .


when i say good it could be taken as pitty in the way he allowed gollum to live thus causing the loss of his finger coincedentally the same finger as sauron.

Just a theory with a twist. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 12-03-2003, 12:17 PM   #7
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I think your theory is interesting however if there is a fallacy. If you are going to say that it was taken from both Frodo and Sauron then the same must apply to Gollum and Isildur. Bilbo alone was the only ringbear to give up the ring of his own free will.
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Old 12-03-2003, 01:59 PM   #8
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Lord Elrond: Sam also gave it up willingly.

Mythology is full of parallels like this. A kind of implied symbolism. "Implied" because it can mean whatever you want it to. It's really there to make you think of the possible connections between the two characters. Frodo loses his finger to remind you that Sauron did as well. Whatever you draw from that relationship is up to you.

Consider Maedhros and Beren. Each one lost a hand, but in very different ways and for different immediate reasons, but the ultimate source in both cases was the quest for the Silmarils. By drawing this one parallel, Tolkien points up the difference in their characters and motives.

It's the same with Sauron and Frodo. Each loses a finger, a part of himself in the loss of the Ring. It's the difference in their characters that makes this loss so poignant.

OR: One could draw a parallel in their character. Sauron is what Frodo might have become. "There but for the grace of Eru . . ." Sauron is diminished beyond recovery. Frodo is wounded beyond recovery. The only difference here is Frodo's ultimate redemption by sailing west.

OR: One could assume the most dramatic way to seperate a ring from its wearer is to take the finger with it. Disfigurement has long been a source of high drama. Like how do you kill a Balrog? Tolkien's preference seems to have been to drop them off mountaintops.

The point is that by drawing the parallel and then leaving it, all of the above are correct, and many more associations besides.
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Old 12-03-2003, 02:01 PM   #9
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Bilbo alone was the only ringbear to give up the ring of his own free will.
Samwise also gave it up pretty quick when Frodo demanded it back! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

As for your theory Tar-Alcarin (welcome to the Downs, BTW! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] ), I would say that Frodo IS connected to the Dark Lord, but only through the means of the One Ring, just as the Elven realm of Lothlorien owes its continued preservation to the continued existence of the One Ring. But the side effects of the Quest and the way Frodo is beset by the Dark Lord and his minions serve to break him completely down into a being of a "clear light for those to see who can," as Gandalf mused in Rivendell. This transparency and "fading" effect I would put under the heading of "effects of the Ring and its interaction with Frodo and Frodo's response to the challenge," so any connections between the Dark Lord and Frodo would have to be through this intermediary, this part of Sauron that Frodo carries with him physically. Without that, Sauron would still be a far off name, the Necromancer, vaguely feared and never glimpsed but by the trickle-down evil his minions wreak, and Frodo would have no more cares about him than to protect the Shire from him in any way he could.

I think the finger correspondence is merely emblematic of the natural consequence of wearing a ring and the nature of the Ring in its power and the logical way to rid a bearer of a stubbornly held treasure.

Cheers!
Lyta

EDIT: ainur you beat me to the Sam reference! If only I didn't proofread my posts several times...oh well!
[img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Good point about the Balrogs, too! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Another Edit:
Quote:
OR: One could draw a parallel in their character. Sauron is what Frodo might have become. "There but for the grace of Eru . . ." Sauron is diminished beyond recovery. Frodo is wounded beyond recovery. The only difference here is Frodo's ultimate redemption by sailing west.
I actually think that Frodo and Sauron are less akin than they are sort of opposite mirrors, if you posit that Frodo is Gandalf's pupil and Sauron Morgoth's. Sauron had previously served Aule but had been won over to Morgoth. Frodo 'serves' the Valar through Gandalf but it is through strength of character that he is NOT co-opted by evil as Sauron was. Also, we must keep in mind that Frodo is a much lesser being in the scheme of Arda than is Sauron, a Maia who served two Valar. Frodo may be a sort of microcosm if one looked at it this way, a source of light from a source unlooked for in Middle Earth. Like Gandalf, he is humble and willing to be taught, whereas the forces of evil do not admit of showing weakness. (On a side note, I think Pippin taught Gandalf a whole lot! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )


Also, I think Frodo's redemption was constant and ongoing; his selfless behavior throughout the Quest led up to the grace that was given to him in the end and the sailing West was a reward, the only one that could possibly heal him of the inevitable injuries that his fulfillment of the impossible task caused.

[ 3:18 PM December 03, 2003: Message edited by: Lyta_Underhill ]
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Old 12-03-2003, 03:01 PM   #10
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It is my understanding that the thread-starter's intention was to discuss the possibility of a "spiritual connection" between Frodo and Sauron. While, of course, a completely unambiguous parallel can be found in that both Frodo and Sauron had and lost the Ring, the "spiritual connection" is what I was addressing in my first post. There is a connection, I guess you could say, between Frodo and Sauron in that Frodo became attached - even connected - to, a part of the essence of Sauron. I highly doubt, however, that there was any mutual understanding or bond between Frodo and Sauron, which is what a "spiritual connection" would seem to imply.
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Old 12-03-2003, 05:24 PM   #11
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I guess you could say, between Frodo and Sauron in that Frodo became attached - even connected - to, a part of the essence of Sauron. I highly doubt, however, that there was any mutual understanding or bond between Frodo and Sauron, which is what a "spiritual connection" would seem to imply.
I doubt this as well. The fact that the Ring is part of the essence of Sauron makes Frodo an unwilling bedfellow, so to speak, and gives him insights he would not have otherwise had, but I think that is as far as that goes. Their spirits were at odds and built on completely different foundations.

This, of course, begs the question of whether Sauron knew of and felt a connection to Frodo through the Ring. He couldn't pinpoint it, but somehow there must have been backflow. I'd say Sauron's "Eye" was closed to this, though, as it would probably have seemed like a puny bit of interference, such as that he got from any of the unwilling slaves of his realm or anyone who drew back from his presence. Sauron was more tuned to himself than others, to the Ring rather than to Frodo, whose influence would be too weak to make the Dark Lord take notice, viz. his position smack in the middle of the struggle between Gandalf and Sauron at Amon Hen. The great powers vied, and this left Frodo free for an instant. In this sense, I'd say Frodo 'flew under the radar' in almost every relation to Sauron and fought any possible 'spiritual links' with all the strength which arose from his nature.

Cheers,
Lyta
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Old 12-03-2003, 07:49 PM   #12
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I have a funny question about the fingers lost: Was Sauron's the middle finger? I recall Frodo losing his "third" finger, which I understood to be the traditional ring finger (the one between the middle and the pinky). Do the British use third finger to mean the middle? How do they count fingers? In the US, we say thumb, pointer, middle, ring (or third), and pinky.

Anyway, unless I am mistaken, I think they lost non-corresponding fingers.

Lyta, nice post (I mean, your first one above). But to reply to your other post...
Quote:
This, of course, begs the question of whether Sauron knew of and felt a connection to Frodo through the Ring. He couldn't pinpoint it, but somehow there must have been backflow.
I would say so, but primarily when the bearer "put on the ring."
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I'd say Sauron's "Eye" was closed to this, though, as it would probably have seemed like a puny bit of interference....
I think there is something in the LotR somewhere about the use of the ring by someone other than Sauron that made me think that you would have to have an already developed strength or power to be able to do any great feats with it. (Maybe I am recalling discussion of the use of the palantir.)
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Sauron was more tuned to himself than others, to the Ring rather than to Frodo, whose influence would be too weak to make the Dark Lord take notice, viz. his position smack in the middle of the struggle between Gandalf and Sauron at Amon Hen. The great powers vied, and this left Frodo free for an instant.
I wonder if you are mischaracterizing the Amon Hen experience. I thought it was more like the following.

Frodo was checking things out that he could only see while wearing the ring (great distances, for one). He was being quite lackadaisical. Then suddenly he sensed the Eye of Sauron turning eagerly in his direction. Frodo began freaking out, and wanting to take off the ring before it was too late. Didn't he feel powerless to do so?

Then Gandalf sensed Frodo with the ring on, perceived what was about to happen between Sauron and Frodo, and jumped--figuratively--to Frodo's defense, intercepting Sauron's searching and dominating mind/thought just as it was about to latch on to Frodo--and probably turn his mind into jelly. That was what enabled Frodo to escape Sauron for the time--and that was without a direct pinpoint of Frodo by Sauron.
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:01 AM   #13
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I wonder if you are mischaracterizing the Amon Hen experience.
Perhaps so, and also I was probably just being overhasty and inexact in my description, but I'm always open to other interpretations.

Quote:
Frodo began freaking out, and wanting to take off the ring before it was too late. Didn't he feel powerless to do so?
I do believe he was nearly caught, but my description was more of the character of Frodo's position between the two combatants-Sauron and Gandalf, at the instant that he was freed to take the Ring off. Perhaps I should just say that Sauron was well-distracted at that point!

Cheers,
Lyta
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Old 12-04-2003, 02:15 AM   #14
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Let's not be hasty Hoom-Hom [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]. I believe that the parallel in between the fingers lost in LotR and also the hands lost in the Silmarillion were parallels intentionally put in the stories by JRRT, these parallels would be put in there to bring a type of closure to the story and cause thought on the part of the reader. Also, Tolkien was a huge proponent that History tendsto repeat itself, first demonstrated in the parallel im between Beren-Luthien and Aragorn-Arwen and continued through much of the mythology of ME. It seems that this was a way to end the story in a way like it began, with the loss of teh ring and a finger.
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Old 12-04-2003, 11:01 AM   #15
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This transparency and "fading" effect I would put under the heading of "effects of the Ring and its interaction with Frodo and Frodo's response to the challenge," so any connections between the Dark Lord and Frodo would have to be through this intermediary, this part of Sauron that Frodo carries with him physically. Without that, Sauron would still be a far off name, the Necromancer, vaguely feared and never glimpsed but by the trickle-down evil his minions wreak, and Frodo would have no more cares about him than to protect the Shire from him in any way he could.
Lyta, I would agree with this, but for one thing. Don't you think the Ring changed Frodo to the point where some spiritual connection to Sauron would have been there anyway? When he first met Gollum, he felt pity for him, and a connection of some kind. A kinship, if you will. Mightn't there have been something similar for Sauron? Not pity, I mean, but a kinship, an understanding between them beyond any reasonable thought? Certainly, Frodo understood the burden of his addiction to the Ring, and saw it in Gollum. Would he not also have seen it in Sauron, if circumstances would have brought them together?
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Old 12-04-2003, 01:38 PM   #16
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ainur, I think not. The pity Frodo felt for Sméagol was of fellow-victimhood, both being captive of the ring and the ill effects invested in it by its Lord. His was a pity flowing from mercy and non-judgment. Perhaps it even developed into an unexpressed hope or desire to save the creature.

Sauron, though, was the creator of the ring, not its victim. I don't see that there would be any parallel between the feelings or relationship between Frodo and Sméagol and Frodo and Sauron.
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Old 12-04-2003, 03:05 PM   #17
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About the connection between Frodo and Sauron- what? like Harry/Voldemort? ah, now we know where Rowling got her best-selling ideas...
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Old 12-04-2003, 03:31 PM   #18
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It may be possible, however, that Smeagol and Frodo would have a better understanding about how Sauron thought and worked because they were inexhorably bound to him by the fact that the ring was a part of Sauron. We can see this when Smeagol talks about the working of the eye and how it watched more places than others. I am not saying that Frodo and Smeagol could read people's thoughts as Gandalf and Galadriel could, but that in their own way, according to the power of its host, the ring bestowed them some insight into how Sauron thought. We can also see a difference in Frodo's thought processes as he moves closer to Mordor, going from the simple, carefree hobbit plunged into a quest to Frodo the Great, (paraphrase mine) who could control the thoughts and actions of others, he was corrupted by the deception of the Ring and its promises to give him power and respect, much as it gave Sam the vision of his large, beautiful Mordor with countless gardeners doing his bidding. The ring promised what it could not give to them much as Sauronpromised the Elves of Eregion when the rings were originally formed.
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Old 12-04-2003, 06:05 PM   #19
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About the connection between Frodo and Sauron- what? like Harry/Voldemort?
Indeed! And indeed it is also as Prof. Dumbledore tells Harry, "you can speak parseltongue because Lord Voldemort can speak parseltongue." And it doesn't make Harry think any more like Voldemort or have any spiritual connection with him beyond the curse effects and the fact that he killed Harry's parents.

Just as with Frodo, the Ring is the connection and the changes in Frodo come about from its influence and the circumstances brought on by the Quest. He grows, Sauron gropes. I just don't see any spiritual connection beyond that.

Quote:
he was corrupted by the deception of the Ring and its promises to give him power and respect,
I think that Frodo was, as Tolkien puts it, "in an apparently complete trap." This is probably because his dearest wish was to save the Shire and live with Bilbo and be happy. I don't see him craving respect, but being rather embarrassed by it, feeling that he was not worthy of it. His exchanges with Faramir commanded respect and showed him to be worthy of respect in Faramir's eyes, but I don't think he craved such a thing; the Ring had a more ironic and terrible fate in store for him, I think. At least that is how I see it.

Cheers,
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Old 12-04-2003, 07:24 PM   #20
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About the connection between Frodo and Sauron- what? like Harry/Voldemort?
Oh, how I worried about bringing up that similarity.... call me crazy, but I'm not altogether fond of being stoned to death.

Anyhow, I think the term we've all been dancing around is foil. A character's foil is another character who demonstrates similar actions/thoughts, or are put under similar circumstances. I believe that the term comes from the foil put around a jewel to make it shine all the brighter- a foil is there to show the different possiblilites for the main character.
For example, Sauron and Frodo are obviously foils, from the bearing of the Ring to the severed fingers. Even their ultimate decisions on the side of pride and selfishness reflect ("Even Sauron was not so once").
Personally, I love this activity. How many foils can you find? (Aragorn/Boromir, Boromir/Faramir, Eowyn/Arwen, Galadriel/Arwen, Saruman/Gandalf... the list goes on!)

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Old 12-05-2003, 12:15 AM   #21
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I think the term we've all been dancing around is foil. A character's foil is another character who demonstrates similar actions/thoughts, or are put under similar circumstances.
Sorry Lindril, a foil is not a character who has actions/thoughts similar to another, but one whose actions/thoughts are opposite another character's actions/motivation/thoughts. The example you gave that I can see coming into effect here is Sarmon/Gandalf.
Dictionary.com defines a foil as One that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another: “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me." Another foil apparent, however, could be Denethor/Theoden.
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:08 AM   #22
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Okay I just caught up on all the posts since yesterday and I guess it all comes down to exactly what you define as a spiritual connection. Yes I believe the ring corrupted Frodo to have more things go on inside him that have characteristics of the dark Lord because the ring was controlling him. So it wasn't actually Frodo and Sauron who had a spiritual connection but the ring through Frodo and Sauron that had the connection. I think once the ring was destroyed there were afteraffects that took a while to go away but more of it was Frodo's senses having a hard time controlling his mind after having little to no control for so long.
As far as Frodo having connections with Gollum yes I believe the pity he had toward him was due to them both being of an estranged and far removed kindred and Frodo and Gollum both posessing the ring but as far as sharing that feeling with Sauron absolutely not. Sauron and the ring were one. The ring did not control Sauron it was him. Sauron came then put himself into the ring so there were no feelings of control over Sauron. He needed the ring to live. The ring overpowered all other bearers mind wanting them to need it and be enslaved to it(for all basic purposes). Frodo and Gollum didn't need the ring to live Saurons life force itself was bound to the ring. They are two totally different connections.
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:50 AM   #23
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Dictionary.com defines a foil as One that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another
In that case, I suppose Gollum would be more a foil to Frodo than would Sauron. It is through interaction with Gollum and the ultimate difference in their outlooks and reactions to their adventures that the essential nobility of Frodo and the entrenched "fallenness" of Smeagol/Gollum is underscored. Also Gandalf/Saruman qualifies in this way, since the two are similarly positioned and their actions underscore the fact that one is fallen to evil and the other a crusader against it. I wonder if Sauron's incorporeal form means something in this regard, since he then would be placed as the lurking, yet unseen evil over Middle Earth. Would then the unseen forces for Good be his foil? Perhaps Eru in his grace, remains unseen, yet protects through providential goodwill the errand of Gandalf and the Fellowship and those who seek Him...just a thought anyway!

Cheers,
Lyta
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:47 PM   #24
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Sorry Lindril, a foil is not a character who has actions/thoughts similar to another, but one whose actions/thoughts are opposite another character's actions/motivation/thoughts.
Dammit! My English teacher is gonna have hell to pay!

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Old 12-11-2003, 06:01 PM   #25
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Another foil apparent, however, could be Denethor/Theoden.
Just my unenlightened opinion, but I believe that two foils would have to interact with each other. In the book we never see these two even meet, and I question the nature of their relationship (since they have none!) as being that of each other's foil.

As for Gollum, I think that comparisons with Bilbo work better than with Frodo. As for the initial question, is there a connection between Frodo and Sauron? Yes. The One Ring. Are there any further connections? No.
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Old 12-11-2003, 08:12 PM   #26
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I'd say that they are connected, but only throught the ring. if it weren't for the ring, They would not. It is that simple [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-12-2003, 12:59 PM   #27
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Secret Fire said,
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It may be possible, however, that Smeagol and Frodo would have a better understanding about how Sauron thought and worked because they were inexhorably bound to him by the fact that the ring was a part of Sauron. We can see this when Smeagol talks about the working of the eye and how it watched more places than others. ...in their own way, according to the power of its host, the ring bestowed them some insight into how Sauron thought.
Smeagol had been searching throuhgout M-E for decades for his preciousss, including in and around Mordor. He had practical experience hiding from and being found by that Eye. Not, I would think, a spiritual connection or knowledge, but one from practice and experience.

If there were some spiritual connection, I think Sauron would have invaded and dominated the (relatively) puny mind of Frodo, and Frodo would have gone straight to the nearest Nazgul for spoiling and torture.
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Old 12-12-2003, 03:22 PM   #28
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that is a very good theory, and a genius such as tolkien must have had some method behind it. very well done. all you disbelievers, jrr tolkien was a genius and all godd stories have strong links between good and evil, hero and villain. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 12-12-2003, 03:49 PM   #29
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As for the initial question, is there a connection between Frodo and Sauron? Yes. The One Ring. Are there any further connections? No.
That just about sums it up.
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Old 12-12-2003, 09:06 PM   #30
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Just my unenlightened opinion, but I believe that two foils would have to interact with each other. In the book we never see these two even meet, and I question the nature of their relationship (since they have none!) as being that of each other's foil.
Actually, it is not necessary for two characters to interact in order to be a foil for eachother. Simply the fact ahtt they are in the same work is enough.
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