LOTR: The good guys "use" the Ring. How?

Council of Elrond:

Boromir: “It is a gift, let us use it against the enemy”
Elrond & Gandalf: “Not a good idea, but we’re curious: How do you plan to use it?”
Boromir: “We’ll ___________.”

Boromir (and Faramir) want to use the Ring against Sauron’s forces. What does he plan to do with it?

Yes, I know the answer is “greed would overcome him and he’ll turn into a new Dark Lord”. Let’s set that aside, since they didn’t know that. They genuinely believed they could make a use out of it to defend their homeland. They appeared sincere, neither was thinking “Heh-heh, those fools, the ring will be mine.” How did they think would it help Gondor? What would they have done with it?

For some reason, I’m picturing him on that diving board in Minas Tirith shooting a beam through the ring at the orcs below.

JRRT expands on the idea in a number of his letters.

More elaboration on this at FAQ of the Rings

So, Gandalf vs. Sauron, Maiar a Maiar, as it were, with Gandalf drawing on the ring’s power to strengthen his own powers. JRRT went on to write that noone else in Middle Earth would have stood a chance doing it one on one.

JRRT also posited that a few folks might have used the ring to raise vast armies by dominating the wills of other powerful men, and defeated Sauron that way.

sam’s plan was best: turn mordor into garden paradise.

And Sam’s plan was even better, in that he was able to see that it wouldn’t work.

I got the impression that the ring was calling to them to use it, but not necessarily providing an instruction manual. I don’t think Boromir knew what his plan was either, just that he wanted it.

The Ring would have given it user the ability to dominate the Nazgul as well, wouldn’t it?

yes, but depending on your own grand scheme and stature, their usefulness might be limited. gollum didn’t need anyone. the limited bilbo didn’t inlfuence anyone outside the shire. frodo, being a bit deepr, might have influenced the hobbits, elves, dwarves, and allied men. had aragorn or boromir done it, they would have gone to the power centers dominated by men.

I thought that was a force of will thing. I mean, it didn’t seem like Frodo had any powers to control them. Then again, I still haven’t gotten my hands on the books. :frowning:

But Frodo is deliberately not using the Ring for most of the time that he’s carrying it. The few times he does use it, he uses it to escape, not to fight. That doesn’t tell us anything about what he might be able to do if he ever tried to use the Ring in an offensive manner.

The closest to offensive use that I recall is when Sam is carrying it at the Tower of Cirith Ungol and the Orcs believe that he is a powerful Elf Lord come to kill those that are still alive.

One of the prime abilities of all the Great Rings is to amplify the innate abilities of the wielder; the Seven for example made the Dwarven Kings even better at gathering wealth. So a charismatic leader and warrior would presumably become superhumanly so. “All will love me and despair”, to quote Galadriel.

However, in the very act of mastering the Ring they’d accomplish one major goal, that of eliminating Sauron. Mastering the Ring would have the same effect on him personally as destroying the Ring did. Then the new Ring Lord gathers an army and destroys leaderless Mordor with military force.

Eventually, not right off since Sauron had the Nine Rings.

Sam’s plan was redundant, the plains of Nurn in southern mordor were already fertile. Nothing grows better than in a combination of volcanic soil and orc manure.

disagree. the misty mountains and mt gundabad are not famous for lush greenery. as described, the most fertile regions are the shire, bree and dunland.

Something occurs to me: Aragorn basically tried to bluff Sauron into thinking that this was what he, the newly discovered heir of Gondor, was trying to do with his newly acquired Ring.

But as Aragorn and his army marched up to the Black Gate, wouldn’t Sauron have been able to “see” that Aragorn didn’t actually have the Ring on him? (And then immediately conclude . . .)

Not in, or near, Mordor.

My comment about orc manure wasn’t entirely serious, I was just making the point Mordor wasn’t a complete desert.

of course you weren’t. just a small pit as a geologist. very few volcanoes rise above a plain. they’re usually huddled with “peaceful” fellow-mountains.

side-question: who was your favorite orc tandem: grishnak and ugluk? shagrat and gorbag? or that tandem in mordor but only the smaller one, snaga, was named?

I remember being confused by several orcs being called “snaga,” thinking it was all the same guy who coincidentally got around all over the LOTR-verse like Vorenus and Pullo. But then I read in the appendix that “snaga” means “slave” in orc-speak, so apparently it was just an abusive nickname for underlings.

But this was 30 years ago, reading it as a kid, so YMMV.

I sometimes think Gandalf should have used the One Ring. What is the result of the way things happened? Magic faded out of the world, the Elder races left, and we are left with technology and gadgets. So we would have had an overlord for a while. We already did, didn’t we?

Weenies. Wusses.
Sitting their horses in the middle of the river, white wave horses come charging at them. What do they do? They gallop downstream, not across the river.
I wouldn’t hire them to rob a 7-11.

But I digress.

I think it was mentioned in the book that it was Gandalf’s plan to fool Sauron into thinking Aragorn has the ring, and has overstretched himself when he led the assault on the Black Gate. Overconfidence is probably Sauron’s backup plan if someone else claimed the ring; that fellow will be so full of himself that Sauron can easily defeat him and claim the ring. A MacGuffin delivery service.

So, if Denethor or Boromoir was to claim the Ring, I think that would happen. They dominate the will of their men to fight, had some initial successes and got so full of themselves that they marched into Mordor only to be ambushed or be betrayed by the Ring. After all, having the ring doesn’t grant invincibility. Islidur was slayed by arrows while wearing it.

Gandalf would probably pull a one on one with the Dark Lord. It isn’t like him to build up armies like Saruman.