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 Post subject: What does the One Ring represent?
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2006, 4:16 pm 
Gondorian
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As I have read LotR it seems that the One Ring represents something bad , something that must be destroyed out of our lives if we are to become people of honor, integrity and nobility.
Just interested in you ideas on this.

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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2006, 4:39 pm 


It seems to me to represent the equivalent of 'temptation'. Something that can corrupt even the purest and most innocent people, and the strongest, most valiant. Tolkien, being a devout Catholic, may have included it for this reason. It could also represent evil. not like that of a living being, an inanimate object, outwardly beautiful, but full of all the bad things of the world...


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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2006, 6:07 pm 
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I have always thought of the Ring as a source of power, which creates temptation for people. Sauron created the Ring to overpower the others. With this new kind of power, temptation beyond anything people could have imagined was created. I mean, who wouldn't be able to resist something so powerful as that ring. With the One Ring you could have power over some of the most influential and wisest people in the whole of Arda.

The Ring is constantly calling out to you. It wants to tempt you, it wants to be taken. We all saw the way it tempted Smeagol the first time he saw it. It tempted him so much that he even killed his best friend to have it.

Later, we see Frodo offer the Ring to Gandalf, even Gandalf has an almost weak moment, before he forcefully says no.

Even later on than that, Boromir shows signs of temptation, though he tries to hide it. His words are ones to be listened to, they almost seem to be a warning: "It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing... such a little thing." The fear and doubt he speaks of leads himself further into temptation for the Ring.

The Ring even goes so far as to tempt one of the most powerful sorceresses in all Middle-Earth, Galadriel. She reacts in an alarming way compared to the others. Once calm and serene she becomes other-worldly and severe.

To much want to something is not good for a anyone, it leads people to do terrible things. Just think what might have happened had Sam become tempted by the Ring. He may has killed Frodo for all we know. In the end, by destroying the Ring, temptation of power was somewhat lessened in the world.


Last edited by Larael on September 4th, 2006, 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 4th, 2006, 4:07 am 


^*cough* Larael, Sauron created the ring, not Saruman*cough* :P

It took the greatest people in Middle-earth to resist the temptation. And you wrote them all down... :D


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PostPosted: September 4th, 2006, 1:25 pm 
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Oh gosh :duh: How did I manage to mess that up? Every Ringer knows that. I guess I got a little bit carried away and didn't even notice. Thanks for pointing that out Darrell.


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PostPosted: September 4th, 2006, 2:24 pm 
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^ LOL. Don't sweat it Larael. We all have those moments. That's why we have the edit feature. :)

I agree with what has already been said, and I can't really add much to it. The Ring represents temptation, and I also think lust, things that can turn even the best and wisest of Men into the most corrupt and blindest. I think it's kind of like the ultimate evil, because both the weakest and the strongest succumb to it's power. As you said, not even Gandalf and Galadriel could fully resist the Ring. That's something that is very prevalent into today's world. Temptation. Lust. The youngest and the oldest, the most pure of heart and the most evil give in to both. Temptation and lust drive peope to do terrible things, even kill your own friends as Gollum did. They can also completely take over your self , as it did to Gollum and even to Frodo towards the end. Like the Ring, they are not easy to destroy, in fact, it is almost impossible. However, the fact that Tolkien wrote that the Ring was destroyed is kind of like a message of hope for today's world. Temptation and want can be overcome, though it seems that they cannot, though it be almost impossible. Also, that even the smallest and weakest among us can overcome, that even if you feel you are insignificant and any attempt you make will fail, you can still succeed, maybe were chosen to succeed, even greater than the strongest people. That's an amzing message.


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PostPosted: September 4th, 2006, 5:04 pm 
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^Thanks Tinuviel. :hug: You gotta love the edit button. :P

Lust was something else I intended to touch upon in my earlier paragraph, but I couldn't for the life of me decide on a correct term for the word lust. Lust can mean many different things. I am assuming in this case, it takes the meaning of want.
As you said, temptation and want go together. When you want something it only increases your risk of temptation more. Finally, when you are actually tempted you give in.


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 1:57 am 
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I always felt the One Ring was just the negative aspects everyone had in them put together to create an innocent-looking piece of jewelry.

I feel, when people see the One Ring, they see themselves in it, whether they realise it or not.

For Boromir, it was greed, and fear, put together and the Ring was able to draw him, using his own aspects against him.

For Frodo, at the end, it was temptation, and the power that came with it. The same was with Gollum.

Again, with Isildur, it was temptation and power.

For others who may or may not have chanced on the Ring, it could have been lust, desire, hatred, anything that was impure which the Ring could feed off of and use to pull you in.

Am I making any sense?

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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 11:32 am 
Gondorian
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Yep, Tolkien thought a ring was a example of power. Like a marriage, the ring shows power and love
...

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 Post subject: Lust for power
PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 2:34 pm 
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I appreciate all of your great insights. As usual they make me think....

Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, made the observation that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. He said, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

So I think I am with you on what many of you are saying—I think power (or the temptation of power) is at the root of it. Held out before each of us, on different levels, are the prospects of power—power to make our lives all that we ever dreamed of or to solve our problem quickly and miraculously—but this power comes at a tremendous price. I think this temptation to possess personal power at the expense of integrity and self-sacrifice and/or the enslavement of our fellow man, is at the heart of our tendencies to evil. Perhaps I should use the word “weakness” instead of evil.

In this we are deceived to our ruin for the end never justifies the means. This dark side of personal power may often work to good ends for Eru states that even “he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined". But good is what conquers evil, hope is what defeats despair. Weakness is what perfects strength. Light is both the primal and the final reality—not the night that seeks to quench it. A single flickering candle at once penetrates and defines the darkest gloom. I believe the brilliance of Tolkien’s work is the convincing fictional life he gives to this most significant and penetrating of all truths—that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”

As Tolkien portrays again and again in LotR, the ring offered power—a short cut to man’s fondest dreams—which was so very tempting to almost all the protagonists. But this power came at a horrible cost.
Our choice here determines our destiny in life. Certainly it will predicate whether the evil will overtake and possess us or not. In Boromir’s own words, “What have I said?” he cried. “What have I done? Frodo, Frodo!” he called. “Come back! A madness took me, but it has past. Come back!” Don’t you think that same madness would have taken Galadriel, Gandolf or Aragorn if they had made the same dark choice for power in their lives? Don't you think the same madness would take us?

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PostPosted: September 7th, 2006, 9:25 pm 


to me the one ring represents that one thing that can split close friends apart...like that one thing that can really set the apart from eachother..like when they set out to destroy the ring their valor and friendhsip were severaly tested and even a few of them failed they were consumed by greed and the desire to have power over his friends that would be thete for him, to me it's one thing that everyone wants and so it can split them apart at any time, because of the desire of power, power that can easily corrupt them, just basically the ultimate friendship tester..even tho it was not their fault, they could still somehow control themselves for their friends and for all the sake of the entire world, nothing much but they are my thoughts...

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PostPosted: September 15th, 2006, 11:58 am 
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To me it represents weakness, you know. Men can hardly face it, it's almost impossible to destroy it and men cannot fight the attraction it makes on them. You have to be so so so strong to defeat it, and even the strongest person could fail. That's why I think it's linked to weakness, it's a ring, it's supposed to be a beautiful thing, a reason for happiness, but it shows how weak those that touch it or are influenced by it are
:)

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PostPosted: September 15th, 2006, 3:02 pm 
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I'd say the Ring definately represents temptation, and also power, and it (being 'sentient') plays off of your weaknesses, and your greatest desires. I can't really imagine Sam desiring to rule Minas Tirith, but if you remember in RotK, when he is carrying the Ring, and is on the edge of Mordor, and sees a vision of what will happen if he claims the Ring.....it definately plays off of a person's desires, which are also their weaknesses.

Good points, everybody.

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PostPosted: September 17th, 2006, 1:07 pm 
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I believe the Ring represents everything people have said here. In a broader, more sweeping sense, the Ring is a device that creatures use to make their own version of Providence and creation...well, power, I suppose, but it more than just power I think.

When Eru created Middle-earth, it was beautiful and uncorrupted. It was orderly and creative.

The Ring was pseudo-creative. The fallen creatures of Middle-earth believed they could create something great through the use of force and willpower. It went completely against the plan for Middle-earth, which was created through song and beauty. It is the creature trying to be something it is not. It is the creature attaining to be god. Saruman destroyed what was 'rightfully' created--the trees, the natural world.

I think this mirrors our world, and the world in which Tolkien lived. Humankind delights in its towers and armies, in its power and dominating nature. Is this the way it is supposed to be? Compare mankind's 'creations' to the Elves' magic--the Elves were ones who truly understood nature--creation that was not meant to be dominating, but natural and organic, free-flowing and beautiful. Mankind takes this and twists it to his will, calls it beautiful...but sadly it misses the mark. I think the Ring was an agent of this..of humankind trying to create for himself his own sense of Providence.


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 Post subject: You hit is dead on!
PostPosted: September 18th, 2006, 12:53 am 
Gondorian
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I am still awestruck by what you just said Vikingmaiden. For me your words were (and still are) penetrating and thrilling. It is what I knew to be true but I don't think I could have said it so clearly and beautifully. I may ask your permission to quote it someday soon. =)

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 Post subject: ...
PostPosted: September 18th, 2006, 1:27 pm 
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I would say that the One Ring represents the Greed and Hunger of Men and the idea of Sin and how it corrupts people. All throughout the Lord of the Rings, The Ring appears very heavy, for example when Bilbo drops the ring in Bag End and it hits the floor solidly. The heaviness is a representaion of the burden of sin.

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