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 Post subject: If you live by the sword....
PostPosted: June 16th, 2007, 11:10 pm 
Gondorian
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It has always impressed me that Gollum kills to obtain The Ring and ends up dying to keep it. It has been said, “If you live by the sword, you will perish by the sword.” Could it be a law of the natural world that what you do to others comes back to you?

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PostPosted: June 17th, 2007, 12:02 am 
Ent
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^some call it karma.what goes around comes around and all that.

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PostPosted: June 17th, 2007, 6:48 pm 
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I'ts not true, Aragorn lived by the sword, and died from age :)

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PostPosted: June 17th, 2007, 9:59 pm 
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^You take it far too literally, I think. :)

Not meaning to branch off a bit on the topic, but it has always surprised me that the Ring had such an instant and powerful draw on Smeagol/Gollum. As soon as he saw the Ring, he wanted it, and he wanted it badly enough to kill his best friend for it. No other character was so drawn as that. No other character desired the Ring enough to kill for it upon first sight. I wonder what Tolkien was trying to say about Gollum's character there. I've never quite been able to figure it out.

Concerning the whole "live by the sword, die by the sword" idea, I think it applies in some cases and certainly in Gollum's. It's probably just another of those valuable underlying messages scattered subtly throughout LOTR that you come across as you read and analyze.

Thank you for pointing that out though, Sinbearer. Interesting thoughts. It's nice to have you back again. Your talent for starting thought provoking discussions has been sorely missed. I used to be Tinuviel's Tears, if you remember me at all, which I dareday you don't. :)


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PostPosted: June 18th, 2007, 10:00 am 
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I waqs joking... :)
But I think i'ts not so....

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PostPosted: June 18th, 2007, 10:06 am 
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I don't know about that, but I do think what you do to others comes back to you. The bible does say you'll reap what you sow. Though not everyone lives by the bible, it does seem to work out that way a lot.

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 Post subject: Conditions of the heart....
PostPosted: June 19th, 2007, 1:32 pm 
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Starlight wrote:
....No other character desired the Ring enough to kill for it upon first sight. I wonder what Tolkien was trying to say about Gollum's character there. I've never quite been able to figure it out.


My dad and I have had interesting conversations about that. Some people just seem to be drawn to an evil, or at least dark, path. And conversely, others seem to have an inner light that draws them to being good people that bless others. But who can read the human heart? My grandma used to tell me not to judge too quickly--and she would quote the saying from the indians about walking two moons in anothers moccasins. I really don't know either.

Telcontar wrote:
I'ts not true, Aragorn lived by the sword, and died from age.


I understand where you are coming from and, on the surface, it appears that way. The ancient King David is another great example of what you are saying. But I guess my question would be: What does it mean to "live by the sword"? I feel that it is refering to the condition of one's heart more than a physical action, like Starlight implied.

In a beautiful display of his character, I think Faramir defines it pretty well when he says, "War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom." The whole of Aragorn's life was given for such a cause and, as I have talked about in another thread at length, he truly was a tender warrior--a servant king.

I feel like there is a huge and striking difference between a sword that is picked up at need to protect ones family and friends and one that is weilded for brutal domination. But Starlight's response was shorter and perhaps as good.

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 Post subject: Re: Conditions of the heart....
PostPosted: June 19th, 2007, 4:17 pm 
Vala
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Sinbearer wrote:
My dad and I have had interesting conversations about that. Some people just seem to be drawn to an evil, or at least dark, path. And conversely, others seem to have an inner light that draws them to being good people that bless others. But who can read the human heart? My grandma used to tell me not to judge too quickly--and she would quote the saying from the indians about walking two moons in anothers moccasins. I really don't know either.


Perhaps, we can never really know for sure, but I think your idea is at the very least on the right track. Maybe Gollum's instant attraction to the Ring did have something to do with the fact that his heart was naturally drawn more to evil. I do remember something of Gandalf's description of him saying something about him being sneaky and a liar, and as a result hated and scorned by his family, but I believe that was after he had got the Ring. That too though could be an indicator of his naturally bad character. He had no desire to use the Ring for good, such as Boromir did. He desired to do michief with it and use it for his own gain. So yes. I like your idea, and I think I'll go with that for an explanation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: June 26th, 2007, 4:43 pm 
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I think to live by the sword means more than just using one regularly. It is if you live by cutting people, both physically and non-physically, eventually someone will want to get you back for it. And as for gollum's instant infatuation with the ring. I believe the ring shows the quality of its owners heart. In the end it will always do bad but those with weak or dark hearts are more inclined to do anything to get an object that can give them power.

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PostPosted: August 23rd, 2007, 3:00 am 
Vala
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Well.....I would say something, but there doesn't seem to be much to say except that I agree with your point 100%, Sinbearer. You covered that pretty well.

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 Post subject: As the twig is bent....
PostPosted: September 19th, 2007, 4:29 pm 
Gondorian
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Aerlinniel ó Eressëa wrote:
...In the end, it's all about chosing. Not olnly the choice Gollum makes when he kills Deagol to get the ring, but also the choices he made before that, in his heart. I mean...the little choices that all together make someone either "dark" as a whole, though not completely. (like, once again the horrid example of Adolph Hitler and his friends and fam.) I think Smeagol is the "light side" that remains...


Ah yes- I like the way you put that! As the twig is bent, so grows the tree!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 21st, 2007, 1:54 pm 
Vala
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Ooh, what a cool quote, Sinbearer. I like that line.

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PostPosted: October 27th, 2007, 11:51 pm 
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Wow, Sinbearer, you have some great insights! It's very interesting what's been said above, and I think I agree with most of it. I'd rather believe that we can choose what kind of person to be, good or bad, rather than just being born one way or another, like a few of hou said. Destiny is such an interesting concept though. How much of the lives of Tolkien's characters were just destiny and how much was free choice. And which is it if the free choice coincides with the destiny? Turin's story seems completely governed by destiny, but LOTR seems to be much more based on free choice...

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2007, 5:18 am 
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If you live by the sword... you are shot by those who don't. :)

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 Post subject: In cooperation.....
PostPosted: November 6th, 2007, 12:05 pm 
Gondorian
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Iritarimel Noramírë wrote:
....I'd rather believe that we can choose what kind of person to be, good or bad, rather than just being born one way or another...


I'd rather believe that too Iritarimel Noramírë. Michellee Jean said, "It's choice--not chance--that determines your destiny.” I certainly believe in destiny in that all things are guided by Providence but not outside our choice. Rather, in cooperation with our choice.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2007, 5:12 pm 
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This is an interesting topic. Gollum's death is certainly ironic.

I do believe that people get what they deserve either in this life or the next. Karma most definently exists.

And on the subject of destiny, I agree with Sinbearer's above comment.

And I know it's been said already, but Aragorn did not live by the sword. He may have utilized the sword for purposes - good purposes, but he did not live by the sword.

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