The intervention of the Valar

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Endril 13/Dec/2006 at 09:59 PM
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I wonder what would happen if Sauron would have captured the ring at the end of the war of the ring in the third age. He would sure defeat all his enemies and eliminated them so they would oppose no resistance. Yet the Valar had the duty to watch over Arda. Would they let Sauron enslave all the races in ME and destroy Arda? Would they interfere with him, attack him like thay did with Melkor?
Brandywine74 14/Dec/2006 at 09:04 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006

I think they would have had to intervene. Would Eru be content to let his creation be ruled by Sauron apart from Valinor? I doubt it. Whenever it seemed that Sauron or Morgoth were getting the upperhand a way was found to stop them, whether it be direct intervention, sending the Istari or allowing the faithful to leave Numenor and thus form the Last Alliance.

If it was an armed intervention then Sauron would be easier to handle than Morgoth.

This does pose an interesting question as to wether any of those who would eventually overthrow Sauron would then be tempted by the ring in the same way Isildur was? Even Sauroman tried to take over though he had been sent to fight Sauron and hadn’t even seen the ring.

Endril 14/Dec/2006 at 09:28 PM
Healer of Imladris Points: 9193 Posts: 9362 Joined: 15/Jan/2006
Brandywine: Would there be someone that would alone overthrow Sauron? If the valar would interfere in an armed attempt to overthrow Sauron, there probably wouldn’t be a certain someone that will destroy him. Also the valars were not tempted by the rings and I think that neither the elves from there armyes.
Qtpie 14/Dec/2006 at 09:49 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Would they let Sauron enslave all the races in ME and destroy Arda?
I suppose the Valar would have to intervene in the matters of Middle-earth, to prevent Sauron from enslaving all the races of Middle-earth. Do you think that the Valar can sit at ease while Sauron goes on enslaving all the Free People? Also Sauron wouldn’t destroy Arda like what Melko sought. Sauron wanted to rule Arda the way he liked and desired. Gandalf would probably try to stop him using his full powers.

[Gandalf the White] is still under the obligation of concealing his power and of teaching rather than forcing or dominating wills, but where the physical powers of the Enemy are too great for the good will of the opposers to be effective he can act in emergency as an ’angel’ – no more violently than the release of St Peter from prison. Letter 156

If Sauron got the Ring back then that would certainly be an emergency, where then Gandalf was allowed to reveal his true power. I don’t know if Gandalf alone could overthrow Sauron, and if he couldn’t then it would most likely be Eonwe or one of the Valar.
Eltara 16/Dec/2006 at 11:09 AM
Forester of Lothlorien Points: 133 Posts: 43 Joined: 11/Dec/2006
Interesting question but a what if!! What if’s always pose a huge debate/discussion, they can go on forever! Anways I think the Valar would interfere somewhat but I think the outcome would become what Beleriand became, sunk beneath the waves.
KingODuckingham 16/Dec/2006 at 08:04 PM
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The Valar did interfere. They sent the Istari. It didn’t exactly work the way it was planned, but then no plan is perfect. The Valar are not inactive in ME. The Eagles are the servants of Manwe, and heaven knows they showed up often enough. And of course, at the very last, Eru himself intervenes, causing Gollum to trip into the lava with the Ring when Frodo is unable to throw it in himself. If there is a question to be posed, it would be something like "If the Valar’s and Eru’s measures somehow failed, what would they do next?" The question has two problems: 1) Eru failing is basically an oxymoron. 2) It is, as Elatara says, a huge what-if, which will not come to very satisfying or conclusive ideas.
Phil_d_one 17/Dec/2006 at 01:40 AM
Shipwright of Umbar Points: 13181 Posts: 12667 Joined: 14/Jan/2004

This particular ’what if’ question can’t be answered for the one reason that Sauron couldn’t have won -- as kingoduckingham points out, Iluvatar was behind the curtains all the time, steering things in the right direction.

i) It is he that causes Bilbo to find the Ring, ensuring that it will eventually come to Frodo, the only person in Middle-earth at the time who could have taken the Ring so far.
ii) It is he who sends Gandalf back, enhanced, when the mission of the Istari has failed.
iii) And it is he who, when the quest itself has failed, intervenes to bring about a succesful resolution.

Sauron wouldn’t have won, and so the question of what the Valar would have done had he done so is of little consequence. For what it’s worth, it is unlikely that they would have intervened. When they intervened to defeat Melkor, the resultant battle destroyed Beleriand, probably killing thousands. It was then justified because Melkor, as a nihilist, would have destroyed it anyway, in the end; and also because Melkor was an undefeatable enemy, even when all the people of Beleriand joined forces in the Nirnaeth, they were completely incapable of defeating him. But Sauron on the other hand was a defeatable enemy, and so the intervention of the Valar would have brought far more harm than good.

halfir 17/Dec/2006 at 06:15 PM
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And it is he who, when the quest itself has failed, intervenes to bring about a succesful resolution.

I have taken issue many times before with this somewhat ’ bald’ statement in many people’s posts. Eru does not ’intervene’  in isolation to bring about a successful conclusion. He intervenes because Frodo - through an act of  free will- has demonstrated mercy and compassion towards Gollum which becomes the rationale of Eru’s intervention.

Eru is not a puppet-master- he intevenes because at that final point Frodo has created the context in which such intervention is acceptable. If that were not the case we would simply have a mechanistsic puppet-master who pulled strings- which is the last thing that Tolkien actually protrays.

I suggest that those who keep repeating this unqualified comment about Eru’s final intervention read letters # 153, 181, 191, 246  rather more carefully.

And I defy anyone to show textually from LOTR where Eru explicitly intervenes at this point. And I am not referring to inferential implications, which I suspect are letter-driven anyway! The comments on intervention  are - as far as this point is concerned- in Tolkien’s letters, not in his LOTR text.

Brandywine74 21/Dec/2006 at 05:14 AM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006

Legolas, wouldn’t there have to be some actual person who would deal the death blow or near-to-death blow to Sauron, and wouldn’t they then be tempted to take the ring as Isildur was. I think the elves might have taken the ring as it was they that started making the rings in the first place. Perhaps they might take it to prevent the three from losing influence.

You also say the Valar would not be tempted but Melkor was akin to the Valar and Sauron wasn’t far beneath them so they may have desired the ring if they had a chance to take it. Does anyone know if Tolkien addressed this issue anywhere?

Phil_d_one 21/Dec/2006 at 09:13 AM
Shipwright of Umbar Points: 13181 Posts: 12667 Joined: 14/Jan/2004
halfir: And?

Did I anywhere suggest that Iluvatar’s intervention (his undeniable intervention) was an act in isolation?
You have contributed in many threads in which I commented at further length on the matter, there also making clear the point you raise here. As such I think it is more than clear that I do not hold this belief, and that I am completely aware of the fact that it is indeed Frodo’s mercy, and the very fact that he spent all his strength and will in bringing the Ring to the Sammath Naur at all (where nobody else would have succeeded) that prompted (and enabled?) this, yes, intervention on Iluvatar’s part.

I’d also add Letter 192 to the list of letters you so kindly provide -- whjch states most clearly the intervention and also shows that this does not make Frodo a puppet, or anything of the like.

Frodo deserved all honour because he spent every drop of his power of will and body, and that was just sufficient to bring him to the destined point and no further. Few others, possibly no others of his time, would have got so far. The Other Power then took over: the Writer of the Story (by which I do not mean myself), ’that one ever-present Person who is never absent and never named’ (as one critic has said).
(Letter 192)

I do not take back my ’unqualified comment’. This thread was not based on Iluvatar’s intervention, or not, during the War of the Ring, but on the possibility of the Valar intervening. I went off on a tangent in my reply, and was not willing to take this thread too far off topic with the far more lengthy reply that would have been required to ’qualify’ my comment.