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Tolkien "What if" Scenarios

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Erotic Adventures of S, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    I always love "What if" debates when it comes to stories, and Tolkien has some great ones.

    I and others have previously posted a few threads on various ones, but I thought an idea would be to have a mini debate/competition.

    Basically have a scenario "What if Saruman's Orcs had grabbed Frodo and the Ring at Parth Galen and delivered the Ring to him" or similar, anyone who wants can post their likely scenario, not a story, just a summery or even bullet points. And we argue over which is the most plausible. If it works we can do a series of them across a range of stories.
     
  2. James

    James Unspeakable

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    I'll never get over "what if gandalf asked the eagles to give frodo a lift right away".

    Also, the "new thread" information on the main page shows 'Tolkien "What If" Scenarios by Erotic Adventures', and damn if that wasn't jarring.
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I'm not a huge LotR buff, but "What if Bilbo didn't lie to Gandalf about the ring" ?

    I gave this one some thought when I was younger and I sort of decided that things might be exactly the same? Gandalf was suspicious to begin with. Like he knew Bilbo was lying, but he ALSO knew that Bilbo was not the type to lie about something like that if it was *just* a ring.

    But if Bilbo had just told him about it then... we are still left with a suspicious Gandalf. One who probably doesn't want to take the ring for himself for the same reasons as canon, so... it's still safest where it is for now, as in canon. Or would he have been less suspicious and not figured it out?

    Honestly it just struck me as odd the first time I read the Hobbit and I pondered it, though I think this one is covered in canon pretty well itself.

    Otherwise I suspect all of my what-ifs would be fairly boring ones from a reader of Tolkien who never became a 'true' fan of his works for all that I love them to bits.
     
  4. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    I think the Saruman + Ring one is good as it can go several ways.

    What is Frodo had died in Moria. Who would take the ring and what would happen, Again that can run in many ways from Gandalf or Aragorn reluctantly taking it, or Sam being forced to take it on and being escorted in Mordor, likely at the cost of defeat in Rohan and Minus Tirith.

    What is Boromir managed to take the ring from Frodo, is interesting but likely more limited on options.

    Smaller ones are limited but fun as well, what is Elrond hadnt allowed Merry and Pippin to go but sent Glorfindel + other in their place.

    What is Galadrial took up the ring.

    What if Saruman hadnt turned sides and stayed loyal. There are fun but usually have less interesting results.

    Going back in time has some good options as well but likely only accessible to those real Tolkien buffs who absorbed all the additional materials.
     
  5. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    The answer to all of the 'what if someone else had taken the Ring' questions is 'They Lose'. If it's a mortal like Aragorn then they would be turned to Nazgul much like the original human kings were. If it's an Elf then they either fall in a similar manner or become a rival to Sauron like Galadriel would have. Likely dependent on how old they are and whether they were around before the Trees fell. Either way Middle Earth loses. If Gandalf or Saruman takes the Ring then they would overthrow Sauron and take his place as tyrant of Middle Earth, though with differing methodology behind their rule.

    No one is immune to the Ring's corruption.
     
  6. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    Yes almost every scenario has them lose, but the fun comes in how they loose.
     
  7. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Frodo “lost” to the rings corruption. The question is not will you be corrupted but how long will it take and can you get to Mt doom before that happens.
     
  8. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Unspeakable –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Isildur fails to cut the ring from Sauron's finger. The war ends with the last alliance of men and elves defeated, a few escaping in retreat.

    What does the world look like under a fully powered Sauron's rule for the next age? What, exactly, does he accomplish when all mortal threats are conquered? Where does his hubris lead him from that point, to assail Valinor if he could still ascertain the sailing route?
     
  9. Rynonis

    Rynonis Slug Club Member

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    I believe most of Tolkien’s writings reflect that Aragorn was powerful enough that if he had taken the ring he could have defeated Sauron. To say nothing of people like Gandalf or Elrond or Galadriel
     
  10. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    Gandalf, Saruman, Aragorn, Elrond, Galadriel, Glorfindel could of all taken down Sauron if they had committed to use the ring.

    Hell with in a few days of taking the ring and turning the Nazgul to their power, it would take a huge part of Saurons power, as they are the generals of the army. You’d essentially turn His army against him with in days. Add to that you can break his mind domination of his other servant, the fall of Sauron would be almost comically fast.

    But as said, if you ever committed to using it’s power properly, you commit to being Sauron 2.0
     
  11. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Death Eater

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    This is not borne out by Tolkien's own writings.

    In his Letters (specifically 246) he states that what you suggest really cannot happen:
    Indeed, he even addresses Aragorn. I've seen people claim that Aragorn beating Sauron in the contest of wills over the Palantir means he'd be able to best Sauron for the Ring. This is not so:
    He then goes on to talk on Galadriel, who at least believed herself to be capable of using the Ring. The only problem is that "It was part of the essential deceit of the Ring to fill minds with imaginations of supreme power.":
    He specifically states that only Gandalf might have a chance. The others are simply lured into believing they do by the temptation of the Ring. It is only because of her strength of character, and the fact that she had already made up her mind to turn down any such opportunity that Galadriel was able to do so.

    Even had they taken the Ring, they would not have competed with Sauron for mastery of it. Not truly. They would have built up armies and empires to battle Sauron on the field:
    Even Gandalf's chances lie upon a knife's edge:
    Regarding the Ringwraiths and their allegiance to the Ring, he also had this to say:
    Frodo, at least, is unable to take sufficient command of the One to do anything against the Nazgul, for they know where the true mastery lies. In addition, Sauron controls them through their own lesser Rings, which he took from them in days past:
    Indeed, this is part of an answer to a question Tolkien himself asks:
    And his answer is immediate:
    Ultimately, the only way to break Sauron's power is to take mastery of the Ring from him, but the only ones who might have stood a chance are Gandalf and Saruman. In some ways I think Saruman might fare better than Gandalf, for he has already far more comfortable with the idea of exercising his power over others, while Gandalf has always been reticent about it. Though this is rather muddied by the fact that Saruman is, by that point, already largely in thrall to Sauron. It is quite possible that the Ring would stoke his pride into confronting Sauron directly for mastery of all his works, which may simply result in him delivering the Ring to Sauron.

    What would not happen is taking full control of the Nazgul, or pulling Sauron's armies away. If you have sufficient mastery of the Ring to do that, then:
    He would have been left utterly diminished, and largely powerless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  12. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    That’s muddled.

    It says that yes the holder of the ring can infect command the Nazgul, even if They may not be loyal and try to find ways around it. Their loyalty to Sauron through his holding of the 9 should be muted my the 1’s domination of the 9. That is the whole point of the 1 ring.

    So no one aside from maybe Gandalf could fully claim the ring, thus destroying Sauron.

    But it does seem many could use it, and cripple ability to wage war.
     
  13. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Death Eater

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    Anyone may command the Nazgul, but there is nothing to say that they must listen. I could command them to stab me, and surely they would, but it would not be because they wish to see my will completed. They would feign loyalty to the one wielding the Ring because it would provide them a better way of seeing Sauron's will completed. In this case, they might feign loyalty to Frodo, but only so that they can remove him from the Cracks, and the Ring from the danger they represent.

    Thus, someone else wielding the One might indeed expect to command the Nazgul as their own servants (the delusions of lust and power which the Ring feeds into all minds would make sure of it) but to do so would be incredibly unwise. They are still in the control of Sauron and have no will but his:
    They would lead the new wielder of the One into a trap, and Sauron would destroy them utterly.

    The only way to get around this is to fully wrest the power of the Ring from Sauron, so that the new wielder can claim mastery over all its creations, but if you can do that there's no need to use them to fight Sauron as you've already won as it would be for him as if the Ring had been destroyed.
     
  14. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    When steelbadger enters a LOTR thread:

    "Why do I hear boss music playing?"
     
  15. Oruma

    Oruma Order Member

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    My "what if" idea was, that Frodo gave in to the ring at Mount Doom, and that it was Sam who had to pushed him (with Gollum as Frodo's Plus One) off the edge.

    The day is still saved, evil is defeated, and Sam became one super bitter hobbit dude.

    Bilbo would try to bring the ring to its destruction. Sauron's forces would be weaker, but having newly been casted out of Dol Guldor, would be more alert on the defence of the Mordor, making it impossible to sneak in as was the plan with the canon!Fellowship. The two sides stalemated in a long war.

    The very cynical answer is that the Hobbits take up the ring one by one, and got killed as they came to each crisis point. In the end, the quest barely succeeded, with a very traumatized Sam the sole Hobbit survivor.

    Gandalf returned to broken Rohan, and rallied what forces he could from the fighting Uruk-hai. After a long, bitter war, the army of the Mark challenged the White Hand of Saruman in open battle. A battle lasting three days ended with heavy casualties on both sides, but most importantly the death of both wizards on the battlefield.

    Aragorn, having stayed with the Fellowship to the end, gained Arwen's hand but not the Reunited Kingdom; without he and Gandalf, Minas Tirith has fallen, and Aragorn went on to found a smaller kingdom a fraction of Gondor's size, consisting of the remnants of Gondor and the survivors of Rohan.
     
  16. Vulcan

    Vulcan Groundskeeper

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    What if Bilbo refused to join Thorin despite Gandalf's manipulations and the dwarves had to find a new Burglar?
     
  17. Alistair

    Alistair Seventh Year

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    I think it'd be interesting to see what becomes of Gollum if he hadn't fallen when the ring was destroyed.

    How deep does his corruption go, would he be truly free of it's influence or still tied to the mere memory of it, would he be 'redeemed' fully enough to be allowed into the West with Frodo as another bearer of a ring? There's some interesting commentary on the nature of the ring, corruption, power and redemption that'd be really interesting to explore within Tolkien's framework.
     
  18. Vulcan

    Vulcan Groundskeeper

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    I think it'd be interesting to see what becomes of Gollum if he hadn't fallen when the ring was destroyed.

    We saw what happened to Bilbo after The Ring was destroyed. Given Gollum's unnatural long life, without the Ring he'll quickly wither and die.
     
  19. Alistair

    Alistair Seventh Year

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    That's one option, but Bilbo survived at least 2 years after the ring was destroyed, despite having already having lived an 'unnaturally long life'. You could say that Gollum would have died faster as he'd lived longer, or you could say that it's a function of the memory of the ring fading from the world that defines how long people or items sustained by its power last. Barad dur collapsed immediately, but Lothlorien and Rivendell still lasted quite a while even after the power of Galadriel and Elrond's rings faded and no longer stopped the decay of time, so you could argue for either approach I guess.

    Either way, I think Gollum would last long enough for us to observe what happens to things corrupted by the ring when its power is broken, leading to some interesting plot and characterization options.
     
  20. Skeletaure

    Skeletaure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think for me, the most interesting what-if scenario is if Second Age events had not ended so conclusively or dramatically. No Last Alliance where Elves and Men spend their vitality in a last ditch attemt to completely rid the world of evil, but rather take a more defensive stance.

    I enjoy the idea of a Middle Earth where Sauron has the One Ring and rules Mordor but, even with the Ring, lacks the power to outright assault the Numenorean-colonised West as well as the various Elven and Dwarvish realms in the West which remain strong. But Sauron rules in the East, directly in Mordor, and through puppets/nominally independent Tributaries in Rhun and Harad.

    So you end up with a much more populated world in which competing kingdoms simply co-exist, often times at peace and maybe even conducting trade, at times fighting border wars. The West and the East are always trying to out-manoeuvre the other, but it never really ends in "total war" which results in complete victory or complete defeat, just an endless tide back and forth as the balance of power alters slightly this way or the other. Basically - something more like real history.

    You could even take this one step further back and still have Numenor exist, never quite falling as far as it did, but also very much not a beacon of light and friendship to the Elves - its own independent power, suspicious of the Elves but equally wary of Mordor and willing to side with one or the other to keep the two in balance.

    Ultimately, it should be remembered that even when in possession of the One Ring, Sauron's power was in the temporal kingdoms which the Ring assisted him in mastering and building up - his armies and fortresses and lands and industry. When it came to direct confrontation, Gil-galad and Elendil were capable of challenging him on relatively even terms - great warriors and powerful in mind and spirit, but by no means unique in those regards among the kingdoms of Men and Elves. Which means so long as Men and Elves retained great kingdoms of their own, even a ring-bearing Sauron is not some end-of-the-world threat. He was only so in the Third Age because all his enemies were in civilisational decline.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2022
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