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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Did the Nazgul wear their rings? (Page 3)
Author Topic: Did the Nazgul wear their rings?
Hamfast Gamgee
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Hate to disagree with Galin! But I have a little sumizing. Only my thoughts without much textural back-ups I fear, but I would have thought that after Sauron was defeated at the end of the second age, he would have been far too weak to have had control over any Nazgul or Rings. I would think that the Nazgul would have been invisible, powerless, possibly without conscience, but would have worn the Rings or had them nearby a bit like Bilbo when he wore the One. At this time, with Sauron defeated and no Nazgul prescence detected they would seem to have no power and would have acted a bit like they did when Sauron was finally defeated. Of course, later in the age when Sauron regained his strength their power would have increased likewise.
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Galin
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I'm not sure all of that disagrees with my opinion however.

My theory is that after Sauron revived in body in the Third Age, he took back the Nine Rings at some point before sending out the Nazgul to find the One. So there was plenty of time in which Sauron was too weak, and the Nine the Nazgul kept, before this point.

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Gollum Gollum
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I must admit that I find Galin's arguments more and more convincing []

However, I still think that my post including this:
quote:
And the Nazgul just serve Sauron, they're neither desperate to do anything nor feel 100% defeated. So I'd say that nobody took their Rings away from them.
makes sense.

I'm curious what you think about it, Galin. (If you find it ridiculous, it's alright - just say it [] )

[ 03-19-2014, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: Gollum Gollum ]

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Galin
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If I take your meanimg correctly [emphasis on if] then I wouldn't say I find the statement ridiculous, but rather not necessarily supporting the larger conclusion that you've drawn.

Emphasis on necessarily too. We arrive at different opinions, yes...

... so far []

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Gollum Gollum
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[] Galin

quote:
but rather not necessarily supporting the larger conclusion that you've drawn.
Well, it means that my abilities to transform thoughts into words don't exist at all [] 'cause I was trying to stick to that line all the time. So, I can't help asking: what was that "larger conclusion that I've drawn [and that I don't know about [] ]" ?
[]

E:another typo...

[ 03-20-2014, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Gollum Gollum ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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I must admit that my post was referring to the millennium at the start of the third age when Sauron was out of things. Though it is an interesting point as to how much Sauron needed the Rings as a physical relay from his mind to the Nazgul's. I don't suppose that anyone studied the Nazgul that much to be sure. Saruman maybe did. But I would have thought possibly that when the Nazgul were using terror as their weapon, their Rings might well have been a potent outlay for it.
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Galin
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Well, as I say, perhaps I misunderstood your statement, but all I'm saying is, that while not ridiculous, even if what you say there is true, I think that it wouldn't necessarily mean that the Nine kept their rings

In other words, in my opinion what you say could still be so if Sauron took the nine rings back, but your larger conclusion seems to be that Sauron did not take the nine rings back.

Or something []

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Madomir
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Sometimes it seems we read too much into Tolkien's writings and find hidden meanings or nuance where there is none, I think this may be the case here.

"... who had no will but his own, being each utterly subservient to the ring that enslaved him, which Sauron held."

It seems to me that this quote means exactly what it says, Sauron literally possessed the Nine. It would be safer that way for Sauron at any rate.

Although it would be exceedingly unlikely that Frodo could command the Nazgul under any circumstances, what if the Ringbearer weren't a hobbit? Remember, Sauron didn't know until Frodo reached Mt Doom that the Ringbearer was a hobbit, he always assumed and feared a more 'formidable' opponent. So what if the Ringbearer (as Sauron feared) were a King (Aragorn) or a Maia (Gandalf), would they, while possessing the One be able to command the Nine? Prob'ly not, at least not right away, but the chances of the Nazgul falling under the sway of a new master would figure to be greater if the Nazgul held their rings themselves while the new Lord of the Rings held the One. Therefore it makes sense strategically for Sauron to keep the Nine, at least until such time as he was able to recover the One.

Also, no Nazgul ring was found on the Pelennor Field after the fall of the Witch-King. Certainly something like that would have warranted mention, and it's completely illogical to think that at least Gandalf and probably Aragorn wouldn't have taken a moment or two to look.

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Gollum Gollum
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quote:
the chances of the Nazgul falling under the sway of a new master would figure to be greater if the Nazgul held their rings themselves while the new Lord of the Rings held the One
Not necessarily IMO. Sauron controlled the Nine through the Nine (no matter who wore them), and not through the One. When Frodo declared himself the Lord of the Ring, the Nazgul still answered to Sauron.


From: RotK, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields:
quote:
Then tottering, struggling up, with her last strength she drove her sword between crown and mantle, as the great shoulder bowed before her. The sword broke sparkling into many shards. The crown rolled away with a clang. Eowyn fell forward upon her fallen foe. But lo! the mantle and hauberk were empty.
Mantle and hauberk. No pants mentioned [] . So some of the Witch-King's accessories disappeared with him. Maybe the Ring too...

And now:
quote:
But lo! the mantle and hauberk were empty. Shapeless they lay now on the ground, torn and tumbled; and a cry went up into the shuddering air, and faded to a shrill wailing, passing with the wind, a voice bodiless and thin that died, and was swallowed up, and was never heard again in that age of this world.
[] [] []
IMO it's a clear statement that the Witch-King isn't really dead and that one day he'll return. But this "one day" will be long after the annihilation of Sauron and the One. But what else could give him the necessary strength (apart from the fact that he's called Witch-king, so he definitely has some power of him own)? My answer is: a Ring of Power. But if Sauron wore Witch-kings's Ring, then it would have vanished together with Sauron. So I'd say that Sauron didn't have it physically...


thanks for explanation&patience, Galin. []

quote:
Sometimes it seems we read too much into Tolkien's writings and find hidden meanings or nuance where there is none
I also had this thought a few days ago [] [] . But I like this discussion []
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Aiwrendel
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quote:
Sometimes it seems we read too much into Tolkien's writings and find hidden meanings or nuance where there is none
Of course! And it’s fun. []

I need to see if I correctly understand what I thought I knew well.

Sauron recovered the Seven and Nine from the elves and distributed them to Dwarves and Men. Those rings gave the users power (some of Sauron’s power that he put in them?) But he added a trap that enhanced the user’s greatest desire (greed for money (Dwarves) or power (Men)) and slowly consumed them. In time as the users fade the rings gain full control of them and Sauron controls the rings. But he needs the One to control the other rings and see all that has been made with them.
quote:
...Nazgul or Ringwraiths, slaves of the Nine Rings...
- Appendix B, The tale of Years
.......... .......... ..........
One ring to rule them all...
.......... .......... ..........
He only needs the One; for he made that Ring himself, it is his, and he let a great part of his own former power pass into it, so that he could rule all the others [the other rings]. If he recovers it, then he will command them all again, wherever they be, even the Three, and all that has been wrought with them will be laid bare, and he will be stronger than ever.
- FotR, The Council of Elrond

When Sauron fell in the Second Age he lost all of his power except that which he put in the One. At the same time the Nazgul became powerless because the One no longer controlled them (and channeled power to them?) through their rings.
quote:
Sauron overthrown by Elendil and Gil-galad, who perish. Isildur takes the One Ring. Sauron passes away and the Ringwraiths go into the shadows.
- Appendix B, The tale of Years

Sauron is gone, no one is using the One to control the other rings, so the Nazgul lose their power (or at least direction or guidance) but they still have their rings.

A reason why Sauron has the Nine in his possession in the Third age:
Sauron slowly regains his power and as he does so do the Nazgul. How? They are consumed by their rings, Sauron can’t use the One to “channel” power to their rings, so the Nine are useless. But if Sauron possesses the rings they will gain some of his power and as they do so will, being slaves to the Nine, the Nazgul.

A reason why Sauron does not have the Nine in his possession in the Third age:
The Nazgul are slaves to the power of the Nine but that power came from Sauron. When they completely faded they became his slave regardless of their rings. As Sauron’s power grew in the Third age so did the power of the Nine rings which the Nazgul wore.

Edit: Thanks, Madomir for pointing out my mistake.

[ 03-26-2014, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: Aiwrendel ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Well, there is no mention of the Rings on the Nazgul when Frodo sees them wearing the Ring on Weathertop, so I assume they didn't have them on then. Perhaps they left Minas Morgul in a hurry. But I wouldn't mind betting that the Nazgul possessed them in the assault upon Minas Tirith been in full battle cry and wanting to spread as much terror as they possibly could.
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Madomir
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quote:
Sauron controlled the Nine through the Nine (no matter who wore them), and not through the One. When Frodo declared himself the Lord of the Ring, the Nazgul still answered to Sauron.
Frodo was just an ordinary hobbit. Hobbits' biggest asset in regards to the One was simply their resiliency towards it. Frodo didn't have it in his makeup to be a Dark Lord with or without a magic ring. BUT, if it were a Maia (Gandalf) or a Numenorean King (Aragorn) who declared themselves as Lord of the Ring, their inherent power and ability to rule could lead to a very different end result in time. Sauron feared them for a reason.

quote:
JRRT: a voice bodiless and thin that died, and was swallowed up, and was never heard again in that age of this world.

Gollum x 2: IMO it's a clear statement that the Witch-King isn't really dead and that one day he'll return. But this "one day" will be long after the annihilation of Sauron and the One. But what else could give him the necessary strength (apart from the fact that he's called Witch-king, so he definitely has some power of him own)? My answer is: a Ring of Power. But if Sauron wore Witch-kings's Ring, then it would have vanished together with Sauron. So I'd say that Sauron didn't have it physically...

You've made a flawed leap in your logic here, possession of the Nine has no bearing on whether the Witch-King can 'return'. Simply put, the Witch-King can't return AFTER Sauron is gone. Sauron can only be truly defeated via the destruction of the One. Therefore, if Sauron is gone, the One must also be gone and when the One dies, the 3 7 & 9 all become powerless and those consumed by them (Nazgul) will also die. So in the end, No Sauron = No Nazgul, possession of the Nine makes no difference

Also, at the time of the Witch-Kings defeat, your interpretation of JRRT's quote could be possible, maybe the WK could return, but remember, at that time Sauron & the One still existed. But when the One fell into Mt Doom, the viability of JRRT's quote went with it. Remember, the Nazgul, Witch-King included, were just men, not immortal. Their long existence was due to the rings and Sauron's influence. so once again No Sauron = No Nazgul, possession of the Nine makes no difference.

Sauron was no dummy, he was smart and would always do what he deemed was in his own best interest and it still seems that there is less risk to Sauron, at least while the One is not in his possession and still "at large", if he physically holds the Nine himself. I see no upside for Sauron if the Nazgul possess the Nine.

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Gollum Gollum
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Hmmm, I think you're right, Madomir. []


*depression* []
* [] [] [] [] [] *

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Madomir
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[] I don't know, Gollum Squared, my case for actual possession of the Nine is just conjecture, just like everyone else's. I think Sauron held them, that makes sense to me, but I can't prove it. So let the theories fly, as you said before, that's the fun of this after all.


quote:
Aiwrendel .. Sauron made the Seven and Nine and distributed them.
Actually, if memory serves, it was an elf, Celebrimbor, who made the Seven & the Nine although Sauron, in disguise, did "have a hand in their making". The Three, Sauron never touched and the One he made on his own in secret. Sauron then revealed himself and took the rings from Celebrimbor by force and later distributed them to dwarves and men. Unfortunately I have no citation for this info but no doubt someone will correct me if I'm off base.

As for your other assertions, I believe, and all it is is a belief, that the Nazgul had their rings at the beginning of the 3rd age. As Sauron recovered, they became drawn to him because the Nine are linked to him as they are to the One because part of Sauron's strength went into the One upon it's making. At some point in the 3rd age the Nazgul actually possessing their own rings became unnecessary and redundant since they were so enslaved by Sauron's uncontested will, so Sauron took them to hold himself because strategically it was safer to do so until he recovered the One... at least that's the way I see it.

[ 03-24-2014, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: Madomir ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Yes, I would agree that somewhere in Barad-dur or Dol Guldor, Sauron possessed a big chamber of evil were the Nine Rings were lodged. But it was in Sauron's interests to make the Nazgul as powerful as he could. And it is of course just a guess, but I would guess that wearing their Rings helped as some kind of a transmitter to Sauron.
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Madomir
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Actually Hamfast the closer the Nazgul were to Barad Dur, the stronger they became. Could it be because that's where their rings were held?
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