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THE LORD OF THE RINGS. One Ring to Rule Them All ' ... Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings.Boston.Houghton Mifflin Co. 1994 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • One Ring to Rule Them All

  • A good person always enjoys one advantage over
    an evil person, namely, that, while a good person
    can imagine what it would be like to be evil, an
    evil person cannot imagine what it would be like
    to be good. Elrond, Gandalf, Galadriel, and
    Aragorn are able to imagine themselves as Sauron
    and can therefore resist the temptation to use
    the Ring themselves,

  • but Sauron cannot imagine that anyone who knows
    what the Ring can accomplish, his own destruction
    among other things, will refrain from using it,
    let alone try to destroy it.
  • - W. H. Auden

Objective To show how Tolkien uses motive and
circumstance in relation to free-will and
individuality to demonstrate the corrupting power
of the ring over different people(s) in his
Middle Earth. More specifically, how does
free-will and individuality allow the ring to
interact with characters in order to try to
dominate Middle Earth?
Students will research and chart the the history
of the ring and the progression of ownership
from Sauron to Mt. Doom.
  • Sauron
  • Isildur
  • Water (2500 years)
  • Deagol
  • Smeagol/Gollum
  • Bilbo
  • Frodo
  • Sam
  • Frodo
  • Gollum
  • Mt. Doom

Students will determine circumstance and
motivation of the ring-bearer and evaluate the
level of influence and power of corruption over
each ring-bearer.
  • Sauron (he creates the ring to Rule Them All)
  • Isildur (battle in which he can easily grab the
    ring to have all power over men of Middle Earth)
  • Deagol (found the ring while fishing wants to
    keep it)
  • Smeagol/Gollum (fishing with Deagol selfishness)
  • Bilbo (finds it in a cave thinks it is precious
    and wants to keep it)
  • Frodo (given to him by Bilbo to get it out of
    the Shire)
  • Sam (thinks Frodo is dead to finish the

Students will study the Fellowship (9 entities)
to evaluate and prove the theory that the length
of time and motive for desiring the ring
increases the rings corruptive power.
  • Fellowship
  • Four (4) Hobbits (Frodo, Sam., Merry, and Pippin)
  • Two (2) Mortals ( Aragorn and Boromir)
  • One (1) Drawf (Gimli)
  • One (1) Elf (Legolas)
  • One (1) Wizard (Gandalf)

Student will study other non-Fellowship entities
who were (1) unaffected by the ring, (2)
somewhat interested in the ring, (3) possessed
the ring, or (4) became obsessed with the idea
of ownership.
  • Non-Fellowship entities reactions to the ring
  • (1) Tom Bombadil
  • (2) Faramir, and Galadriel
  • (3) Sauron, Isildur, Smeagol/Gollum
  • (4) Saruman


Ring has Some Effect
Ring Corrupts
Ring has no Effect
  • The Ring As Its Own Entity

The Shadow of the Past (The Fellowship of the
Ring, Ch. 2)Students will use the following
passages from the text to discuss and then create
an essay onThe Ring As Its Own Entity
  • Clearly the ring had an unwholesome power that
    set to work on its keeper at once. Gandalf
    (pg 47)
  • A Ring of Power looks after itself, Frodo. It
    may slip off treacherously, but its keeper never
    abandons it. Gandalf (pg54)
  • It was not Gollum, Frodo, but the Ring itself
    that decided things. The Ring left him.
    Gandalf (pg 54)
  • The Ring was trying to get back to its master.
    It had slipped from Isildurs hand and betrayed
    him then when a chance came it caught poor
    Deagol, and he was murdered and after that
    Gollum, and it had devoured him. It could make
    no further use of him he was too small and mean
    and as long as it stayed with him he would never
    leave his deep pool again. Gandalf (pg54)

  • Addictive Power of the Ring

On Gollum
  • During the many years he possessed it, its
    possession brought him no pleasure.
  • And after losing the Ring, his life becomes one
    long torment, mental and physical. In part his
    very wretchedness is due to the fact that he has
    not become wholly evil.
  • W. H. Auden

Cite mental and physical changes in
Smeagol/Gollum as he continues to remain obsessed
with getting the ring back.
  • Students should find examples (mental and
    physical ) in all three novels which support
    Gollums increased degeneration up to the point
    on Mt. Doom where he takes the Ring into the

Find examples of physical descriptions and
actions Tolkien gives Smeagol/Gollum to support
the idea of degeneration.
  • Smeagol inquisitive and curious-minded,
    interested in roots and beginnings, dived into
    pools, burrowed under trees and growing plants,
    tunneled into green mounds starts to lie, keeps
    secrets, put knowledge to crooked and malicious
    uses, sharp eyed and keened eared, became
    unpopular and was shunned, kicked and bit people,
    took to theiving and muttering to himself,
    wandered in lonliness, weeping, found a cave,
    wormed his way like a maggot into hills

ContinuedSmeagol/Gollum transformation
  • Gollum loathsome little creature, pale luminous
    eyes, heart was black, covered with slime,
    cunning, lurking in Moria, hiding in the woods,
    creepy down on sticky pads, like some large
    prowling thing of insect-kind, like a nasty
    crawling spider on a wall, pawing at him, seeming
    in great distress, wringing his hands and
    squeaking, groveled on the ground in a pitiable
    state, hissed, crouched down, huddled himself
    together like a cornered spider, whiffling and

On the Ringwraiths
  • They are thus the undead, specters who should
    be dead, but who are held in existence by the
    cruel will of their master, Sauron, and an
    undying lust for the Ring. They pursue Frodo
    because he possesses the Ring and their
    existence is consumed completely by the desire to
    get it. At the Ford of Bruinen a watery torrent
    washes away the horses they are riding, but the
    Nine are not drowned. The horses are lost, but
    the undead cannot die, and that is part of their
    punishment for their greed.
  • Bill Davis

Find examples of the physical description Tolkien
gives the Ringwraiths and discuss their
shadow-like appearance.
  • In addition, students should notice the verb
    choices Tolkien uses when he describes their
    entrances into an area. What connotations are
    associated with the verbs?
  • Students might discuss some of the following
    descriptions as leads into an elaborated essay on
    the Ringwraiths

Possible descriptions and actions for discussion
  • crossed secretly, a cry faint, but
    heart-quelling, cruel and cold, shadowed and
    invisible, sniffing to catch a scent, long-drawn
    wail, evil, lonley creature, high piercing note,
    black specs moving slowly, shadows black like
    black holes in the deep shade, threatening
    statues, stood up menacing, a black cloud, grown
    to a vast menace of despair, shadow of despair,
    presence could be felt as a deepening shadow and
    dimming of the sun, rending the clouds with a
    ghastly shriek, cry of woe and dismay

  • What was J.R.R. Tolkien trying to show his
    readers about virtue and integrity?
  • How does our character either help or hinder us
    when we are faced with a difficult task?
  • How do you think J.R.R.Tolkien viewed loyalty and
  • How do you actively use your free-will to make
    the world a better place ?

In The End
  • On the edge of the crack of Doom, Gollum
    wrestles with the Hobbit. Finally, he overcomes
    the weakened Frodo. He viciously bites off the
    Hobbits ring finger. Then, seizing the One
    Ring, Gollum topples backward into the fiery
    abyss. The One Ring is destroyed. In the end,
    it is not the power of the mind nor the strength
    of the body but the instincts of the heart that
    save the world. It is the simple human capacity
    for mercy that finally allows evil to be
    overthrown. -David Day

Never the End
Works Cited
  • Auden, W.H. Good and Evil in The Lord of the
    Rings. Critical Quarterly 10 (1968) 138-142
  • Bassham, Gregory and Eric Bronson. The Lord of
    the Rings and Philosophy One Book to Rule Them
    All (2003)
  • Davis, Bill. Choosing to Die The gift of
    Mortality in Middle- earth. The Lord of the
    Rings and PhilosophyOne Ring to Rule Them All
  • Day, David. Tolkiens Ring. New York. Barnes and
    Noble. 1999
  • Shippey Tom. J. R. R. Tolkien Author of the
    Century. London Harper Collins, 2000
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the
    Rings.Boston.Houghton Mifflin Co. 1994