LOTR Question: Why did Sauron need the ring?

I know the movies aren’t exactly canon, but they did show part of what happened when Sauron had the ring. Through a combination of armies of different races, he and his hoards were defeated when Isildur chopped off his hand (hand in the books, fingers in the movie?)? His essence was scattered and he could no longer maintain corporeal form, but through his power was still able to maintain his status has head cheese of Mordor

Under these restrictions, he was still able to influence others, control the Ringwraiths, and amass an army that almost defeated the free men of Middle Earth. So had he gotten the ring back, would he have been able to just control people’s minds? Throw fireballs from a hundred miles away? I mean, his last physical battle was lost from a lucky slice of a hand that had the ring. What’s to say that if he got the ring again, they couldn’t just do that again?

What I’m getting at is that with the One Ring, his power supposedly would be magnified, but he’d have a physical target of a humanoid form that can be attacked. That seems much more vulnerable than a floating eye on top of a tower in the middle of Mordor surrounded by thousands of orcs. Couldn’t they give him the ring, wait for him to stroll onto the battlefield, and shoot an arrow into his eye or something?

I’m with you on this one. It’s my understanding that he made a bunch of rings of power and distributed them to the various races. A ring of power gave you some kind of mind control over your people which would allow you to govern most efficiently. Sauron’s ring controlled those rings and those who wore them, effectively letting him easily control thousands of individuals by controlling the few people who controlled them. Only, most of the other rings were useless. The dwarves had theirs eaten by dragons and whatnot, the Humans just turned into wraiths, and the elves got the heebie jeebies when he tried to influence them so they stopped using them. So The One Ring is sort of like an 8-track tape player in mint condition in 2012. Useful, in a very limited sense, for its intended purpose.

But he’d bound up a bunch of his power in The One Ring. Maybe he was going to get it back, and extract his power from it so he could try something else?

Me too, in fact I made this exact same thread before. Several non Sauron characters talk of the ring as if it turns you into a Kryptonian/one man army or something, which as we see simply is not true.

All these people scrambling for a mind control device that is missing the slave rings, WTF?:confused:

My understanding is that with the ring, he would have been able to control the actions of Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond. Which would be, pretty much, game over for elves and humankind.

He also would have vastly amplified magical and mental powers, and most likely been able to manifest a physical form. He’s been a big ball o’flaming magical-eye hate for a long time now, and being able to crush minions beneath his feet and change the channel on the TV by himself would have been worth fighting for.

Not for normal folks, but for folks of great power it’s different. Remember what Galadrial says:

“And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

I think that idea is that it amplifies and magnifies powers, but at a terrible cost. And, of course, it also “binds” the other rings, giving Sauron power over whomever wears them.

The humans who think that possessing the ring would be a great victory are wrong - they’ve either been fooled by stories or corrupted and tempted by the ring itself.

In the books, Sauron is defeated by Gilgalad, Elendil and Isildur. Only Isildur survives, and he cuts the ring of Sauron’s defeated and presumably dead body.

When Sauron first tried to use the One Ring to control the other rings, the three of the Eldar who wore the rings perceived him and that he was trying to dominate them. They understood what was happening and took them off. The nine worked just fine and the Men wore them and were controlled and over time turned into wraiths who were still controlled when not wearing the rings, which by the time of LOTR, Sauron kept at Barad-Dur. The seven rings for the Dwarves didn’t seem to give control over their wearers, but did make the wearers very skilled/lucky at amassing gold and shiny things.

After the One Ring was lost by Isildur, Elrond and Galadriel started using their rings to make and preserve their realms. They had the power to preserve. It is not known if Cirdan used his before giving it to Gandalf when he came to Middle Earth. It is not known if Gandalf used it, although it was associated with fire and Gandalf was handy with fireworks and kindling the spirits of the Allied races, so he may have.

Had Sauron got his nine fingered mitts on the one ring, it was feared that he would corrupt every good work that had been accomplished with the Three. It is not clear that the wearers would be under his control, or could put them aside again.

Which eventually led to them delving too deep and unleashing the Balrog in Moria. Sauron’s pretty good at playing the long game.

I don’t think the movies don’t make it clear, but it’s a LONG time (something like three thousand years) between Sauron falling and the events of LotR itself. In all that time, Sauron’s been corrupting the nations of men, building his own armies, and (most importantly, I think) letting the elves wane and travel West and away from Middle Earth forever.

It’s not clear to me from my memory that the ring caused them to delve too deep, thus releasing the balrog. You may be correct. They would have kept after mithral regardless. This raises an interesting question. Did the balrog of Khazad-dum obtain a ring of the dwarves? Did it wield a ring? Did Sauron have control over the demon? Also, did Saruman’s making of his own ring put him in any way under Sauron’s control?

I don’t think the rings directly made the dwarves dig too deep, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that it magnified their greed and hubris and helped push them to act recklessly.

Wikipedia says that Sauron recovered three of the dwarven rings and that dragons destroyed the other four.

Sauron wasn’t able to maintain his status as head cheese after he lost the ring. He was cast down and it took him 3000 years to return to full power. In fact, by the time of “The Hobbit”, Gandalf still wasn’t sure that the Necromancer was Sauron returned. Sauron didn’t operate openly as Dark Lord in Mordor until after leaving Mirkwood.

Sauron wanted the ring because it contained a great deal of his magical essence, and he was weaker without it. But he was still more magically powerful than any Wizard or Hero or Elf Lord in Middle Earth, or any group of them. If Gandalf, Aragorn, Galadriel, Elrond, Imrahil, Thranduil, Glorfindel and Saruman teamed up to fight Sauron face to face, he would have crushed them.

While the movie doesn’t make it clear, Sauron can assume physical form if he wishes, not just a disembodied eye–Gollum says he was brought before Sauron and Sauron had 9 fingers. Sauron as a lesser god can take any form he wishes, he used to appear as a beautiful young man, but after the fall of Numenor (this is long before the battle where he lost the ring at the beginning of the movies) he was injured and could only take hideous forms.

The ring would not turn the bearer into a one man army. It would amplify the bearer’s power, and especially his ability to dominate and control others. Frodo barely used this power to dominate Gollum. If he had tried to use to to dominate someone powerful, he would have failed unless he had spent years training his will for the domination of others. Someone like Gandalf or Aragorn could have used the ring to order people around, and amass an army, to dominate their allies and bring fear to their enemies. Of course, the use of these powers would inevitably turn them into a new Dark Lord.

The Necromancer fled from the White Council, which was apparently Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, Elrond and Galadriel 60 years before LOTR. Sauron fell before the combined might of Gilgalad, Elendil and Isildur. Gandalf the White was uncertain whether he could defeat Sauron alone, and it was against his orders anyway. Fear and domination seem to have been the weapons of the Dark Lords.

At some level, it seems to be;

If not SAURON then

Make others covet it
Illusion of great power to be had (Covet + 10)
Corrupt Moral Compass
Phase Shift Appear Invisible + Increase Visibility to Sauron and Servants
Find Better Owner when needed

Obligatory link to FAQ of the rings.

These two excerpts probably give the best answer to the OP.

Here’s my question: Why did Gandalf straightaway reject the mouth of Sauron’s terms at the gates of Mordor and chose instead to retrieve:

  1. the mithril coat,
  2. the elvish cloak, and
  3. the westernesse sword?

Did Gandalf believe Frodo was still alive since the sting was missing? Or, dead or alive, Sauron’s terms were unacceptable?

He refused Sauron’s terms because Gandalf serves Ilúvatar and Sauron serves Melkor and wants to destroy creation/prevent the inevitable destruction of Melkor. Sauron isn’t the Prime Evil of Middle Earth, he’s just the “right hand” of the Prime Evil.

Just to be clear: the three Elven rings were not made by Sauron, and he never even touched them. As noted in the first of the specific links to FAQ of the Rings which Alka Seltzer provided, the Elven rings were created by Celebrimbor. Because they were created using, in part, the knowledge which Sauron had given to the Elves, the power of the Three was still tied to the One, and when the One was destroyed, the power of the Three faded.


The Rings of Alka Seltzer!

Gandalf rejected the Mouth of Sauron’s terms because they were ridiculous. They would rather go down fighting than even pretend to accept them. Also, even if the gear indicated Frodo were dead, Gandalf knew that Sauron obviously didn’t have the ring yet, & there was no indication Sam was taken - ergo Sam & ring were probably continuing the mission with Frodo dead. That’s what Gandalf & Aragorn are assuming at the Black Gate.

Another factor to consider is that the free people of ME were a lot weaker in the Third Age. That is, they simply didn’t have the power to mass the sort of army that could lay siege to Mordor and confront Sauron. That power had long since left ME.

Of course, even if Sauron won couldn’t the Maia have just come down and beaten him like they did to Melkor?

And once we figure this out this pressing question, I really want an answer to the question: what does God want with a starship!?!?