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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rings of Power

Shawn Daysleeper
Lihan Taifun
Fifi Wickentower
Hojo Warf

In the Second Age, where Sauron captured Eregion, he took all the Rings of Power except the 3 that the Elves hid. He then forged the One master Ring. The Seven and the Nine become corrupted and under Sauron's power at that point.

The Dwarves used their rings to collect wealth, but never fell under Sauron's control the way the Humans did. Possibly the rings increased the Dwarf leaders' greed and recklessness. Partly this is because Dwarves are, by nature, very resistant to control. Possibly the seven Dwarf rings had different power than the Human rings. What exactly would be the “power” in a ring that would bring wealth to its wearer? Some of the seven Dwarf rings were melted by dragons, and Sauron regained possession of the others.

The Nine Human rings presumably caused their nine kingdoms to fall quickly under Sauron's influence, if those kingdoms weren't already. By Third Age, other kings were ruling those of the nine kingdoms still existing. As the One Ring was starting to influence members of the Fellowship – like Boromir – so the Nine might have slowly corrupted the population of the kingdoms.

We guess that the power – the lure to the owners -- of the Nine was to control populations. The power of the Seven apparently was to amass wealth. The Three apparently held back change.

Lihan Taifun: so, you had a question you wanted to start us off with?
Hojo Warf: Me?
Lihan Taifun: sure
Hojo Warf: Well let's start with the rings other than the one ring. They aren't inherently evil are they?
Lihan Taifun: it is implied that, except maybe for the 3 elven rings, they are, at least, corrupted and corrupting
Hojo Warf: Why would the elven rings be an exception?
Lihan Taifun: because the elves held them back from Sauron, and he didn't have a chance to influence them
Lihan Taifun: (in most versions of the story)
Hojo Warf: Okay I just read that :)
Lihan Taifun: you were going to make a case that the rings were not inherently evil?
Hojo Warf: What exactly was their power? I notice the elves kept using them even after the second age and the first downfall of Sauron.
Lihan Taifun: didn't the ringwraiths also use theirs? and the dwarves?
Hojo Warf: Sauron gathered all but 4 of the rings to himself. I guess he had to take them to then dole them out to whomever he wanted to corrupt.
Hojo Warf: That includes the 9
Lihan Taifun: all but 4? The elves held back their 3 -- what was the 4th?
Hojo Warf: One (later known as the Ring of Thrór) was held by Durin III, King of the impregnable Dwarf-city of Khazad-dûm in the Misty Mountains.
Lihan Taifun: oh, you are saying that toward the end of the 3rd Age, he had all but 4
Shawn Daysleeper: I was under the impression that Sauron gathered all the rings of Power other than the 3 elven ones when he captured Eregion,and when he captured those he forged the master ring to control them all. That is when the 7 and 9 rings became corrupted
Lihan Taifun: yes, and then he handed out the 7 and 9
Shawn Daysleeper: these he handed out to dwarves, but they did not become evil, rather they wanted more wealth, but those that received the 9, men, became corrupted by evil
Lihan Taifun: dwarves seem to have been a disappointment to Sauron -- harder to control than he expected
Shawn Daysleeper: but they were not evil when the elves held them in eregion -- the rings
Hojo Warf: so what happened to the six that he did hand out? I see no record of 6 short subterranean ringwraiths.
Shawn Daysleeper: the 7?
Lihan Taifun: he handed out 7 to dwarves, in the second age
Hojo Warf: It doesn't say he ever handed out the seventh though
Lihan Taifun: dwarves turned out to be harder to control than he expected
Shawn Daysleeper: most were accumulated with dwarven wealth, and the wealth were captured by dragons and melted
ya there were 7 dwarven lords at that time, each of the heads of dwarf tribes took a ring
Shawn Daysleeper: but they did not use the rings other than to get richer, so Sauron failed on corrupting them
Lihan Taifun: the 7 dwarf kings may have become more greedy and more reckless than natural, but certainly not under Sauron's control
Shawn Daysleeper: right. the 7 dwarven rings all were melted or destroyed by dragons I believe. because the dragons melted the hoardes as they captured them sometimes
Lihan Taifun: Sauron may have gotten a couple back, I don't remember. I think Thror's was the last one still out, and Sauron recovered that one when he had Thror imprisoned
Shawn Daysleeper: ya he may had recovered some of the 7, but they proved to be useless for converting the dwarves to evil. ah ok, but the 9 all survived and worked wonderfully for sauron
Lihan Taifun: yes, fairly useless for Sauron's purpose
Shawn Daysleeper: each of the kings acquired something they feared, change, so they never changed or died
Lihan Taifun: as far as we know, the 9 stayed with their original owners, right? although we don't hear anything about their history
Shawn Daysleeper: yes, I think so, the only one named was Kamul the Easterling, but the guy that was king of Angmar had one. So 2 known people. The others were never named I think,or their realms never defined
Lihan Taifun: yes, he was the Head Nuzgul, wasn't he? the King of Angmar
Shawn Daysleeper: ya, the Witch King, whatever his real name was. He just was referred to by his title
Lihan Taifun: yeah, presumably all 9 kingdoms came under Sauron's influence pretty quickly
Shawn Daysleeper: yes. I guess Umbar was one of them
Lihan Taifun: so maybe some of the 9 kingdoms aren't even on the map any more
Shawn Daysleeper: right. There are a lot of blank areas on the map
Lihan Taifun: I'm sure the kings/ringwraiths stopped caring about their populace pretty quickly
Shawn Daysleeper: especially in the eastern areas
Hojo Warf: That might explain some of the more barbaric tribes of men that were around in the third age.
Hojo Warf: Maybe they used to be kingdoms ruled by what were by the third age ringwraiths.
Shawn Daysleeper: I don't think Angmar survived as a kingdom after the witch king accepted his ring
Lihan Taifun: Sauron may have started with some of the barbaric kingdoms, where the rulers were descendants from the bad-Numenoreans
Shawn Daysleeper: right, Umbar was founded by the fallen numenoreans, in response to Gondor founded by the faithful
Hojo Warf: I wasn't even thinking numenoreans
Lihan Taifun: several of the southern kingdoms were at least ruled by fallen numenoreans. I think they conquered the native populations there
Shawn Daysleeper: yes
Hojo Warf: the easterlings or the wild men of Dunland
Shawn Daysleeper: yes, and The Haradrim, the ones with the great elephants. They may had had a king that took one of the 9 rings long ago
Lihan Taifun: although obviously he wasn't involved in ruling there in the 3rd age
Shawn Daysleeper: right. They rebuilt mordor most of the 3rd age, and Dol Guldur
Lihan Taifun: that would make -- an awkward transition of power. What do you do when your king becomes a ringwraith? and then loses interest in running the kingdom and goes off looking for Sauron?
Hojo Warf: I'm picturing a slow transition
Shawn Daysleeper: not sure, but someone likely took over, but then were conquered. There may had been a lot of other countries beyond the margin of the map
Hojo Warf: They don't know he's turned to evil yet he has tremendous power over the population. The people turn evil in that influence and it remains even when the king takes off for Mordor.
Lihan Taifun: probably a whole lot more countries than on the maps we see
Shawn Daysleeper: ya the ring could had influenced their populations. Boromir never touched it and look at what happened to him
Lihan Taifun: true
Shawn Daysleeper: but that was the one ring, so it was likely a weaker influence, not sure
Lihan Taifun: it wouldn't need to work quickly
Hojo Warf: So what exactly do the rings do? I think we can assume that the 9 at least were means of wielding power over populations. Something very attractive to a king and very useful to Sauron. I mean even without the one ring.
Shawn Daysleeper: i think they were control devices of Sauron, to capture large regions and populations without much effort
Lihan Taifun: they must have had some value to the owners
Hojo Warf: There must be a reason why the king would accept the ring. He wants to use it for something and he is unaware that it will be controlled by Sauron.
Lihan Taifun: the 7 helped the dwarves "amass great hordes of gold", however you do that, manipulate the stock market maybe
Shawn Daysleeper: they had great desire
Shawn Daysleeper: I have read that
Hojo Warf: What about the 3? I see that Elrond used his ring to found Imladris.
Shawn Daysleeper: not sure what is meant by that
Lihan Taifun: controlling the populace, or even influencing specific people, would be a very useful thing for a king
Lihan Taifun: Elrond and Galadriel seemed to be using their rings to somehow keep Sauron's power out of Rivendell and Lothlorien, however that was accomplished
Lihan Taifun: and it was said that after the One Ring was destroyed, Rivendell and Lothlorien were now going to fade and be subject to decay
Lihan Taifun: but I don't really know how that was supposed to work
Shawn Daysleeper: maybe the elven rings kept "change" from occurring in their areas
Lihan Taifun: it sounds like something like that
Shawn Daysleeper: The fellowship members remarked on how time did not pass in Lothlorien
Hojo Warf: Rings of creation, of preserving
Lihan Taifun: and maybe part of the fact of the elves not being corrupted was that, in the end, they were willing to risk change, in order to have the One destroyed
Hojo Warf: the 9 would be rings of control. the 7 would be rings of wealth and gathering riches.
Lihan Taifun: true, they wouldn't all need to have the same powers
Shawn Daysleeper: Sauron likely imbued some of his magic into the 9 and 7 when he first captured them, so and tailor make them to fit his needs in individual situations
Hojo Warf: and it would seem that since the power of the 9 were the closest to Sauron's intentions they were the easiest to manipulate.
Lihan Taifun: or humans are the easiest of the races to manipulate?
Shawn Daysleeper: ya
Hojo Warf: Didn't the elves sense something when the one ring was forged and they removed their rings?
Lihan Taifun: yes, and didn't put them on again until after the One Ring was lost
Shawn Daysleeper: nods
Lihan Taifun: and two of the three rings changed hands after that, so maybe Sauron was only sure where one of them was. That would be Galadriel's. Originally, the 3 belonged to Gilgalad, Galadriel, and Cirdan
Shawn Daysleeper: yes, Cirdan gave his to Gandalf when he and the other wizards arrived, but it was a secret to all that he had it
Hojo Warf: Good thing he didn't give it to Saruman
Lihan Taifun: wooo, yes, good thing he didn't
Shawn Daysleeper: lol
Lihan Taifun: yes, and somewhere Elrond ended up with Gilgalad's
Shawn Daysleeper: ya
Hojo Warf: why didn't he give it to Saruman? Saruman outranked Gandalf.
Shawn Daysleeper: good question, Cirdan is a very smart guy I suppose
Lihan Taifun: yes, he seemed to have some sort of prophetic insight there
Hojo Warf: More insight than Gandalf had apparently
Lihan Taifun: oh?
Hojo Warf: Well it certainly was a surprise to Gandalf when he found out that Saruman had thrown in with Sauron.
Lihan Taifun: true, although I'm not sure Saruman himself realized it until the very end. He seemed to have quite an ability to delude himself about his own motives
Hojo Warf: That seems to happen to anyone who Sauron can influence through the palantirs. So it really wasn't a character flaw in Saruman that changed him. It was direct contact with Sauron which Gandalf never had. Hmm but you could say Saruman's pride was his character flaw. He thought he could use the seeing stone with impunity while Gandalf didn't dare look in it.
Lihan Taifun: and he thought he could control Sauron
{People need to leave. Farewells}
Lihan Taifun: continue from this point next week?


Elben -ring: You him give me voluntarily? I do not deny that my heart has the very sought after. Instead of a Dark Lord you would have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the morning!
Elben -ring: Treacherous as the sea, stronger than the foundations of the earth! All will love me and despair of!