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What does the One Ring represent to you?

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Nichola St. Anthony "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." What does the one ring represent to you? Power, money, fame... or something else? I have always likened it to crack cocaine which, I am told, is addictive and gives the illusion of power. What do you think?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd love fame, if that's what you mean...?


Nichola St. Anthony Fame? Why not? It can be addictive and corrupting.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Sure I guess...

I mean I'd love to have fame, but I mean I wouldn't kill for it or abandon all my friends and family or anything like that. I don't really get what you mean here tho. Like... If the ring meant a lifetime of fame and fortune, would we all want to fight to the death for it? Would it drive us to insanity, just to have it? Is that what you mean?


Cherie I agree that likening it to a drug is probably the best comparison. Power is a big part of it, but the addicting effect it has on the holder is almost immediate. Furthermore, people like to think that the holder is the one with the power, when in reality it is the ring who has the control, same with drugs. The longer you have the ring the less control over yourself and many people can handle it better... Gandalf wouldn't even touch it for fear it would control him immediately, and in smeagol's case it did control him immediately.


message 6: by Ian (last edited Nov 21, 2013 10:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian It represents power. That it is why is called the ring of power. Power is more addicting than any drug and has an extemely corruptive nature. The ring is taken from Norse mythos like most of Lord of the Rings, but the magic ring giving the ability to rule the world came from specifically Wagner's interpretation of Norse Myth. Tolkien denied it, but I don't think Lord of the Rings would exist without Wagner's Ring cycle.


Carisa Holmes I liken the One Ring to the egoic mind and its desire to be in control. Greed, jealousy, fear, anger, lust... all of these arise in the darkness of the ego and allowing it to get in the drivers seat (by wearing the ring) makes you its servant and slave. The longer you allow it to control you, the more you deteriorate. I've always thought of Lord of the Rings as a spiritual allegory for this reason.


Paul to me it represents mysery, slavery, hopelessness...
oh wait, that's my wedding ring, heh


Cherie Lmao! xD


message 10: by Nichola (last edited Nov 25, 2013 06:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nichola St. Anthony Em wrote: "Sure I guess...

I mean I'd love to have fame, but I mean I wouldn't kill for it or abandon all my friends and family or anything like that. I don't really get what you mean here tho. Like... If th..."


All of the above.


Gemma Ramji One onion ring to rule them all...


Felix Ultimate power leads to corruption!


Nichola St. Anthony Do you guys think that Tolkien was making an oblique reference to Fascism which was sweeping Europe at the time he wrote the book?


message 14: by Elentarri (last edited Dec 02, 2013 01:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elentarri Nichola wrote: "Do you guys think that Tolkien was making an oblique reference to Fascism which was sweeping Europe at the time he wrote the book?"

No, Tolkien said LOTR wasn't an allegory. In his letters, he wrote that the ring was just some bauble in the hobbit, but that he had to make it something more because it was the only way of joining The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings together.


message 15: by Stephen (last edited Dec 02, 2013 10:01AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stephen Some suggest that the ring is an addiction of sorts. I prefer to think of it as "knowledge/loss of Innocence" It's a gift that once gotten will linger life-long and yet the more of it you have the harder it is to summon the child-like wonder that the hobbits exhibit in the beginning of the tale.

Even one exposure makes one "world weary" to a degree.

Also, for whatever reason, Tom Bombadil is wholly immune to its effects. He is the epitome of childlike wonder & enjoyment.


message 16: by B. (new) - added it

B. Doane I interpret it as corruption.


Nichola St. Anthony Fascinating. I love hearing all these different interpretations of what the ring means.


brooke1994 I think it represents temptation.


message 19: by PrivateSi (new)

PrivateSi I have no idea if Tolkien knew about the Council of Europe (now the EU) FLAG that was introduced in 1955, not long after TLOR was first publish in 1954..... He's the kind of person who may well have though... For all I know it was quite common knowledge as the proposed flag years before 1955 (at least in intellectual circles)..
Tolkien certainly was a wry character - and I'm sure would have seen the CoE / EEC / EU as a kind of 'Reich', given his anti-german war history....?????? The EU is a FASCIST STATE, afterall, with Big Government and Big Business working together to keep The Little People (nationals) DOWN.........! OK, call me biased, but that IS what it is, essentially....
"Eucatastrophe" (a Tolkien word) made me laugh too, when googling - though The EU came about much later (even if it had been in the pipeline for decades, behind closed doors, to those in 'the know'... An amusing coincidence....


message 20: by PrivateSi (new)

PrivateSi I have no idea if Tolkien knew about the Council of Europe (now the EU) FLAG that was introduced in 1955, not long after TLOR was first publish in 1954..... He's the kind of person who may well have though... For all I know it was quite common knowledge as the proposed flag years before 1955 (at least in intellectual circles)..
Tolkien certainly was a wry character - and I'm sure would have seen the CoE / EEC / EU as a kind of 'Reich', given his anti-german war history....?????? The EU is a FASCIST STATE, afterall, with Big Government and Big Business working together to keep The Little People (nationals) DOWN.........! OK, call me biased, but that IS what it is, essentially....
"Eucatastrophe" (a Tolkien word) made me laugh too, when googling - though The EU came about much later (even if it had been in the pipeline for decades, behind closed doors, to those in 'the know'... An amusing coincidence....


message 21: by Sandor (new)

Sandor Well, I am going to pipe in here, even though this thread is 9 years old. I think the Ring represents Pride or Hubris. It is the origin of every other Human Evil and is the direct cause for a person's desire for Power. In fact, in the Silmarillion, it was Morgoth's pride which made him desire to make his own music, which was in Discordance with the music of Illuvitar and the other Ainur. Morgoth's Pride was that which brought Discordance in creation. Each being which put's on the ring, experiences it's affects differently, because each struggles with pride in their own way. Even Gandalf says as much when he says "Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good" The ring would stoke his pride so that his desire to do good would become twisted and instead turn towards an evil end. Pride always has this affect on every human endeavor. When I say 'pride' I don't mean happiness experienced in a job well done or acceptance of one's value as a human being, this is actually self respect, honor or confidence. Pride means a person's belief that they are more valuable than other person's. Pride is the antonym of Humility, which is the mature self knowledge of personal strengths, weaknesses and limitations. The reason why the Ring had less of an effect upon the Hobbits is that they were very humble to begin with. Tom Bombadil was completely unaffected by the ring because he had no personal agenda other than nature and being joyous, but Tom Bombadil is an entirely different subject all together.


Colin B. Power. They even call them the rings of power. It's easy to give up at first, but as time passes and the wearer continues to use it it becomes harder to give up. People with power are decent folk at first, but since it corrupts, it always ruins them inside, and their well-meaning disposition erodes the longer they possess it and use it. Just as Gandalf say that the Ring would work with his compassion but through him, it would gain a power over him he would not want it to have. But by then, he would not have any choice in the matter.


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