Notes on The Fellowship of the Ring Themes

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The Fellowship of the Ring Topic Tracking: Power

Book 1, Chapter 1

Power 1: Bilbo is about to leave the Shire for an indefinite amount of time. For a reason unknown to him, the ring makes him very anxious. When Gandalf wants him to leave it behind, he gets very angry with his old friend and draws his sword. His desire for the ring is so strong, he considers attacking Gandalf.

Book 1, Chapter 2

Power 2: The ring is powerful. Before one who holds it knows what it can do, he desires it. Gollum is an example of this desire. He has only eyes to see it - the rest of his body has deteriorated. The ring is so powerful that Sauron's success in taking over Middle Earth rests on its retrieval. With the ring, one can conquer and control all things. This power, becomes the ultimate evil. Eventually, the bearer is consumed by the need for power and control.

Book 1, Chapter 3

Power 3: Tom Bombadil is intrigues by the power of the ring, yet he cannot be swayed by it. He makes a joke of it and Frodo becomes very intense. He must test the ring because he fears that Tom stole it from him and replaced it with a replica. He is under the influence of the ring and does not realize it.

Book 1, Chapter 10

Power 4: The ring puts them in danger at all times. Everywhere they go the servants of Sauron search for some clue that will lead them to the ring. Sam thinks that Strider is only after the ring and does not trust him, even after Strider insists he could have taken the ring from them already, with very little trouble.

Book 1, Chapter 11

Power 5: The power of the ring extends beyond its bearer. It draws the riders like a beacon on a foggy night. They can sense it; they can feel it. It is the only reason that they can keep following the group. Frodo puts it on when they are near and can see them clearly from a distance. This may or may not be the reason he survived their attack.

Book 1, Chapter 12

Power 6: When the black riders wound Frodo, it is no simple wound. Their steel bears an evil power. When it strikes, it does not heal. Unless magically altered, the wound gets worse with each passing day. Frodo must bear this pain, amplified by the burden of the ring he wears around his neck.

Book 2, Chapter 1

Power 7: The power of the ring brought a terrible wound upon Frodo that could only be healed by the extraordinary abilities of Elrond. The elves have other powers besides this. Their song takes away Frodo's worries and puts him in a dream world where he can rest.

Book 2, Chapter 2

Power 8: The ring has far-reaching effects. It has had an impact on men from all regions of the known world. So great is its power, that Gollum still seeks it even after losing it eighty years earlier. Saruman falls to a desire for evil without ever even seeing the ring; he has only read of it. This is the true power of the ring; those who have only heard of it desire it. The Council feels that the ring is too dangerous to exist (except for Boromir, who suggests that they use the ring to attack and defeat Saruman). Gandalf and Elrond are the wisest: allowing such an evil power to exist can only have dire consequences. The ring must be destroyed.

Book 2, Chapter 4

Power 9: the ring forces them below ground. Wargs are creatures of evil, out in numbers only because the lord of darkness, Sauron, wills it to be so. The dwarves' downfall in Moria came from a lust for wealth, a different type of power. Frodo wishes in earnest that he could have led a simple life, having heard nothing of the ring or Moria.

Book 2, Chapter 7

Power 10: The power of the ring is so great that when Frodo looks into the mirror, Sauron can sense him. The evil leader looks for him and reaches through the inconceivable distance for the power. Galadriel bears the elf ring that makes Lothlorien lush and green. At first, she is enticed by Frodo's offer to give up the ring. She reconsiders; her will is too strong to give in to the sudden lust for power. Frodo's spirit trusted her so much that he was willing to lay the fate of the world in her hands.

Book 2, Chapter 10

Power 11: In the end, Boromir cannot fathom the destruction of so mighty a power as the ring. He is blinded by a lust for it and thinks that he would be able to wield it even though stronger men have been denied that ability. He tries to convince Frodo that he is right and when Frodo does not agree with him, he tries to forcibly take the ring. Frodo uses the ring to become invisible and escape from Boromir.

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