Could Frodo or Bilbo had destroy the ring sooner?
#1
Does anyone besides me wonder about this?
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#2
No. Neither Frodo nor Bilbo had either the power or the strength to destroy the One Ring. That is clear from "The Council of Elrond".

However, if you re-phrase your question slightly, to "could the Ring have been destroyed before it ever came to Bilbo or Frodo" then the answer is, provisionally, yes. Isildur could have destroyed it.

But, as we know, he didn't.
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#3
Considering that Frodo couldn't even bring himself to throw the Ring into his tiny little fireplace, it was a bit of weak point of Gandalf's plan to expect that Frodo would be able to toss the Ring into the Cracks of Doom.
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#4
King Elessar 8 Wrote:Considering that Frodo couldn't even bring himself to throw the Ring into his tiny little fireplace, it was a bit of weak point of Gandalf's plan to expect that Frodo would be able to toss the Ring into the Cracks of Doom.
I don't agree with this at all. Frodo had no idea what was at stake when Gandalf threw his Uncle's ring into the fireplace. His response to Gandalf's mad act was entirely in keeping with Frodo's character at that time.
If some Disney-princess can do it, why not Sauron?
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#5
Well, if there had been no Balrog then Gandalf might have got Frodo to Mordor sooner. That would have been an interesting story.
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#6
How would not encountering a Balrog have gotten Frodo to Mordor any sooner? Would the Fellowship have bypassed Lothlorien? Spent less time there? Why?
"Never ask an Elf for advice, for he will say both 'Yes' and 'No'." - Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion
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#7
It would have made for a shorter movie because Gandalf could have zapped Gollum and left him inside Moria. Smile
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#8
Michael Wrote:Well, if there had been no Balrog then Gandalf might have got Frodo to Mordor sooner. That would have been an interesting story.


I have to assume that Gandalf would have avoided Cirith Ungol (note his expression when told of Frodo's plan by Faramir). So I cannot see how Gandalf would have gotten to Mordor sooner. Perhaps he would have shaved some time wandering in the hills and circumnavigated the Dead Marshes differently. However its seem clear that Gandalf had no plan past the point where the Fellowship broke up.
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#9
Travis Stephens Wrote:I have to assume that Gandalf would have avoided Cirith Ungol (note his expression when told of Frodo's plan by Faramir). So I cannot see how Gandalf would have gotten to Mordor sooner. Perhaps he would have shaved some time wandering in the hills and circumnavigated the Dead Marshes differently. However its seem clear that Gandalf had no plan past the point where the Fellowship broke up.

Agreed. The Fellowship basically started South in hopes a means of success would become apparent as they approached Mordor.

Furthermore, Gandalf could not be allowed to go to Mordor with Frodo, or to remain close to the Ring much longer. The closer he approached, the greater the temptation he would face to accept the Ring (which would be all too easy once Frodo faltered) and ultimately to claim and use it. Gandalf the White, in Rohan, later all but admitted as much. It was necessary that Gandalf die and be removed temporarily so that
(a) the members of the Fellowship would go on to Lorien and Parth Galen where they could receive Galadriel's counsel and help without him, then make their own necessary choices and go where the Hand of Eru determined they were most needed. (rough on Boromir, of course)
(b) he could come back as Gandalf the White and in turn go where he was most needed rather than where he himself thought he should have gone as a member of the Fellowship.
© there would be no question of his going on further with Frodo and the Ring, which would be perilous and disastrous.
Many Defeats & Many Fruitless Victories Memoirs Gateway
For I was talking aloud to myself...the old...choose the wisest person present to speak to...
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#10
Elenmir Wrote:I don't agree with this at all. Frodo had no idea what was at stake when Gandalf threw his Uncle's ring into the fireplace. His response to Gandalf's mad act was entirely in keeping with Frodo's character at that time.

No, not the part where Gandalf throws it into the fire to read the (potential) Ring Inscription. I was referring to the scene where - in response to Frodo saying he would have destroyed the Ring much earlier if Gandalf had warned him about it - Gandalf suggests he try to unmake it by throwing it into the fireplace. Frodo finds himself utterly unable to do this and puts it back into his pocket.
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#11
King Elessar 8 Wrote:No, not the part where Gandalf throws it into the fire to read the (potential) Ring Inscription. I was referring to the scene where - in response to Frodo saying he would have destroyed the Ring much earlier if Gandalf had warned him about it - Gandalf suggests he try to unmake it by throwing it into the fireplace. Frodo finds himself utterly unable to do this and puts it back into his pocket.
OIC. Well, I withdraw my objection, then. LOL!
If some Disney-princess can do it, why not Sauron?
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#12
I think Gandalf had already rejected the Ring and he was probably "good to go", even though he later told Denethor he did not trust himself with it.

But if Gandalf had survived Moria -- if there had been no Balrog -- he would have gone to Mordor with Frodo and Sam for sure, maybe Merry and Pippin as well. So one has to ask if the Ents would have been moved to take down Saruman, or if Rohan could have recovered from Isengard's assault (Theoden was no longer giving orders, but his marshals including Eomer were taking matters into their own hands).

So would Faramir have died as well? The story would have proceeded differently in many ways. Aragorn would not have recovered the palantir and so he could not have challenged Sauron and drawn out the angry assault on Minas Tirith.

And yet Tolkien did not figure out all these plot elements at one time. He felt his way through the story. I think he wanted to remove Gandalf from Frodo's journey for several reasons, not least of which was to force Frodo to take on some responsibility for making decisions. He's a better character for having to choose on his own. A story has to show some growth in the lead character, some change from the beginning, or else the reader is left feeling like nothing is accomplished.
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#13
Michael Wrote:I think Gandalf had already rejected the Ring and he was probably "good to go", even though he later told Denethor he did not trust himself with it.

Mmmm, okay, I just took GtW at his word. IIRC we're also told that the Ring's temptation grows stronger as (a) it approaches the Sammath Naur (b) a given person is more capable of taking and wielding it. Therefore it would appear at some point Gandalf could have succumbed on one or another justification, perhaps when Frodo fell. Furthermore I doubt he could have "snuck" into Mordor without raising an alarm.

Quote:But if Gandalf had survived Moria -- if there had been no Balrog -- he would have gone to Mordor with Frodo and Sam for sure, maybe Merry and Pippin as well. So one has to ask if the Ents would have been moved to take down Saruman, or if Rohan could have recovered from Isengard's assault ...
So would Faramir have died as well? The story would have proceeded differently in many ways. Aragorn would not have recovered the palantir and so he could not have challenged Sauron and drawn out the angry assault on Minas Tirith.

And yet Tolkien did not figure out all these plot elements at one time. He felt his way through the story. I think he wanted to remove Gandalf from Frodo's journey for several reasons, not least of which was to force Frodo to take on some responsibility for making decisions. He's a better character for having to choose on his own. A story has to show some growth in the lead character, some change from the beginning, or else the reader is left feeling like nothing is accomplished.

IMO for the story that ended up being written, it was particularly important Gandalf be absent from the critical cusp of Parth Galen. Had he been there he might have fried the attacking Orcs, and then given wise advice Frodo and everyone else would have listened to deferentially, even presumably Boromir at 1st. Instead, not only as you said Frodo had to make his choice (with a bit of prompting) but every Fellowship member still present had a choice to make and then to be sent off in a direction they probably wouldn't have anticipated beforehand, but where they could facilitate all the things that you point out needed to occur later.

Aragorn's actions were particularly critical because if he had not gained the Palantir and challenged Sauron, whoever went to Mordor would have been basically walking into a hopeless deathtrap. Frodo, Sam, and Gollum were able to get thru only because the whole country was being mobilized for war and Sauron's attention was so focused on Minas Tirith he apparently disregarded his underlings at least until the mithril coat was brought to the Dark Tower.

Also, if anyone else had gone with Frodo they might have killed Gollum out of hand - not IMO unthinkable even for Gandalf - or at least prevented him doing his part. We have the word of JRRT on how critical that was.

Apparently, much like the events in the War of the Ring he chronicled, the crucial apparent divine intervention at Parth Galen gradually became the plot pivot for the whole story.
Many Defeats & Many Fruitless Victories Memoirs Gateway
For I was talking aloud to myself...the old...choose the wisest person present to speak to...
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#14
I think you're right that Gandalf had to be removed from the story before Parth Galen. However, as Tolkien envisioned the Ring (in the final stages of developing the story, if not necessarily early on) it concentrated its efforts on Frodo toward the end. But taking Gandalf further toward Mordor may also have forced yet another self-sacrificing scene on the author. After all, Aragorn's use of the palantir to provoke a response from Sauron was self-sacrificial in a way. The attack on Gondor came much sooner than everyone expected.

Once you build up this image of Mordor possessing overwhelming military strength you have to give the characters a way to sidestep that power. Aragorn's ruse was not just clever but necessary in order to maintain a realistic sense of political maneuvering and uncertainty. The reader is led to believe (by Aragorn's explanation to his companions and by Gandalf's deduction) that everything hinges on attracting Sauron's attention away from his own borders. So as I think about this more I suspect Tolkien would eventually have felt compelled to have Gandalf do something bold in order to distract Sauron.
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#15
I'm pretty sure that Tolkien implies that no-one could destroy the Ring (Letter 191). Perhaps not even Sauron himself.

Playing 'What If...' is a good way of appreciating the necessity of some of the story lines. It's funny how so many of such changes pivot around Parth Galen.
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#16
It's true that he set the Ring up as capable of defending itself. It forced Frodo into submission at the very end, and might have attempted the same thing with Gandalf. The story is in many ways about the conflict between the Ring and whomever has it. At least, that is one of its sub-themes (Tolkien always said it was about "death and the search for deathlessness").

A fair amount of literary criticism has been written about the Ring as Antagonist (and I think this is a popular topic in classes that discuss The Lord of the Rings). No matter who you put at Frodo's side, the Ring is going to attack whomever is most likely to succeed, either in getting it to the fire or taking it back to Sauron.

When the choice was just three hobbits (Frodo, Sam, and Gollum) it was easier for Tolkien to show the Ring overwhelming Frodo at the end (although he was criticized for that). Had Gandalf been there people might have been less satisfied with the story no matter how Tolkien wrote it.
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