Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alliances and the Council of Elrond

Our class exercise made me realize exactly how critical of a turning point the Council of Elrond is within the narrative of The Lord of the Rings. The Council had many options in regards to the Ring; so why choose the most risky and unlikely? Why did some of the most revered, regal, and wise minds in Middle-Earth decide to put power in Frodo's hands instead of their own?

I view the Council as neutral ground for the races of Middle-Earth, in which representatives of different races have to put aside their cultural quarrels and even their individual desires to actively fight against one source of evil. In this sense, "alliances" are loosely formed, or at least tolerated. The Fellowship that is assembled consists of hobbits, men, an elf, a dwarf, and a wizard-- representatives of each race, forced to work together towards one goal. For me, this draws an interesting parallel to the Last Alliance, which can be seen as the first defeat of Sauron. For the War of the Ring, then, Middle-Earth has to come together again, with each character bringing something necessary to the journey, in order to accomplish the final defeat of Sauron.


Luthien said...

The exercise helped me out a lot, too, and I totally agree with you on this! Your first paragraph/point was really interesting to me - it shows just exactly how desperate a plan, how much of a "fool's hope," that all the free people of Middle Earth have to hang on. I just love the theme that comes from this - that against all hope and all odds, the smallest, seemingly most insignificant race of people save their entire world.

Aredhel said...

I think the fact that the people at the Council were so revered, regal, and wise plays a part in why they chose to send the Ring with Frodo. These powerful men realized that if one of them possessed the Ring, as Gandalf said, "With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly." These wise men realize the great temptation they would succumb to if they possessed the Ring. They understand that the Ring will be much safer and that the quest to destroy it will have a higher chance of success if they send it with the smallest and "weakest" of creatures.