Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who Controls the Ring?

Going off of some of the posts I read, and having completed chapters 9-10, I have more questions about the ring. Throughout these chapters, Frodo and the others finally make it to the inn they have been instructed to stay at. While here, Frodo causes some panic and confusion when he 'disappears' in front of the other guests of the inn. Frodo claims that the ring slipped on his finger without his even knowing it.

I believe Rebecca mentioned in a previous note that she questions the power of the ring- whether it is trying to get back to it's owner. My question is, do you think that the ring is gaining more power over Frodo without him knowing it? I mean did the ring actually slip onto this finger without his allowing it to? And if this is true, maybe the panic and confusion was actually caused for the reason that the ring wants people to question Frodo and his friends, so that those hunting for him, might find him quickly.

Or does Frodo use the ring for his own purposes (like disappearing from an embarassing situation like the inn) without even realizing he does so? I have not read the whole trilogy yet, so I'm sure these questions will be answered eventually. But based solely on where we are right now in the book, does anyone have any opinions over who is actually in control of the ring?

5 comments:

Rebecca Siddle (Renaker) said...

Good points- at the same time, it might not matter. Either way- rather the ring slipped on or Frodo purposely slipped it on- the ring is in fact gaining more power over Frodo. I believe it is also clouding his judgement a bit too. I am glad Gandolf says not to use it but I am curious as to if Frodo will, or will be able to, follow directions.

Mike Pilato said...

I agree with you Rebecca that the ring does cloud Frodo's judgement. Also one important aspect of the ring is that it is an autonomous object apart from Sauron. It betrayed Isildur and Smeagol in order to get back to its master. Sauron is the only one who can truly control the ring; this is why when other characters in middle earth possess the ring, they eventually become corrupted. However, I dont think we should confuse control with resistance. Tom Bombadil easily resists the ring, but he showed no ability to use its power, so we can infer that he cannot. Bilbo almost fell into darkness had he held on to the ring longer.

Jeremy Zschau said...

I always thought the Ring had this evil sentience to it. It may be seperate from Sauron, but Sauron definitely poured a bit of himself into it when he made it. I think it acts almost as Sauron's avatar - while it offers its wielder the power of the Dark Lord, it also offers Sauron a window into the wielder's soul. To be touched by evil is to be tainted by it, and ultimately consumed by it. Also of note is the fact that the more one craves power, the more one is vulnerable to the Ring's corruption.

David Le said...

even though this is probable a bit off topic, from what jeremy said about being a little bit of sauron's soul in the ring it kinds of reminds me of harry potter where tom riddle created a book with bits his soul inside in case he was destroyed so there was something left so he can linger in this world. Its amazing how a lot of epic novels of today base a lot of influences from lotr as it did on many mythologies before it.

back on point, i think the ring itself has a power to influence the user no matter how indirectly it causes it. Knowing full well of the commotion it might stir, it caused frodo's rash decision to be in the spotlight and be the center of attention to the crowd at the INN before just vanishing with the slip of the ring.

erin smith said...

in regards to david's post, "the ring itself has a power to influence the user no matter how indirectly it causes it. Knowing full well of the commotion it might stir, it caused frodo's rash decision to be in the spotlight and be the center of attention to the crowd at the INN before just vanishing with the slip of the ring."

Do you mean that it was the Ring that made him jump onto the table? I read that part more as Frodo's first instinct to distract Pippin from finishing his story, than any evil plan of the Ring. Frodo's reaction was spontaneous and not thought out; it would have, however, worked if Frodo had not continued to sing. After finding himself the center of attention now, his plan has backfired, and doing something stupid (like jumping off the table)makes it worse.

We know he's a shy hobbit, and obviously wants less attention to himself, so he's probably wishing he could hide. That's when the Ring (somehow) ends up on his finger, and he disappears. Frodo's weakness, in this case, his desire NOT to be the center of attention, allows the Ring to take control (in correlation with Frodo's emotional state), and it takes advantage of the situation the hobbit created for himself. I think the Ring, on Frodo anyway, only respond to his emotions instead of commanding him directly - sort of, relying on weakness in Frodo's emotions to persuade him to do what the Ring wants, not actually commanding Frodo to do so.