May 18, 2001

The Ring
Andrew B.

I've read the Lord of the Rings too many times to count as well as the Silmarillion, and for some reason a very obvious question escaped me until now. That is, how is it that Isildur was able to chop the ruling ring from Sauron's finger in the fist place? I know how it was done -- he cut it. But not how he was able to do it. If we are meant to believe that the Ring has absolute power, and certainly would in Sauron's hands, how did this happen? We are led to believe, in LOTR, that the ring has a certain mind of its own, and that it wills certain things to happen, ala passing from Gollum to Bilbo. But at the same time, there is a sense that the ring belongs to Sauron, and that "he must not get it." Obviously, then, the ring willing itself to go to Isuldur doesn't make much sense. Is this a hole in the story? Am I missing something?