In My Humble Opinion - the truth about the One Ring

Since the year it was created by the Dark Lord Sauron, the One Ring has been the subject of close scrutiny and - dare I say it - perhaps even deliberate fraud. From among the many obscuring wreaths of legend and myth, I have attempted to bring you the indesputable Truth. Our story begins in the land of Mordor, in the Fire of Orodruin, as the Ring is forged by Sauron.

"Well, you see," explains Sauron, looking relaxed in half a pair of sunglasses, "I wanted to take over the world. Still do, as a matter of fact. But back then when I was just starting - you know, noobie status - not many people took me seriously, with all these other more established Dark Lords around. Melkor, Voldemort, you know. So basically, I didn't have much firepower. I needed something sudden. Something strong."

His eye becomes wistful with the memory. "I'd already bought the Nine Kings of Men with the rings - some nicotine arrangement, I believe - and you know how much the Dwarves love gold. But the Elves were refusing to go along with my 'taking over the world' plans, and they'd already made some rings of their own, so I needed some way to make them bow down to me."

That something came in the shape of the One Ring. I found Snaga, one of Sauron's Orcs, happy to explain.

"Y'see, the Boss was gettin' worried, an' the other evilnesses was musclin' in on 'is patch," Snaga explains. "An' ee knew the blokes down in Gondor an' that was all supersticious. So what ee does is, ee makes yet another Ring, an' what ee sez is, ee sez, 'this 'ere Ring's magic, see, so y'all better bow down t' me or y'all be sorry.' An' all the blokes in Gondor an' that were all scared, hah, an' they tries to fight the Boss t' get It offa him."

This was the great battle of the Last Alliance. I met Hailen, an Elf of Mirkwood who fought there.

"We were called into battle with the Men to fight against the dark shadow of the East," she says gravely. "That's what the generals all said. And I was enlisted because I'm good at close combat."

I can see what she means. She carries several long, ornate daggers at her belt, and her short bow alone would make a deadly club. But Hailen seems to know, or suspect, much of what goes on behind closed doors. "I don't think there was any reason to go to war," she bursts out abruptly. "The claim was, Sauron had armies many hundreds of thousands strong. He obviously had armies, yes but where were the hundreds of thousands? Where was this terrible Ring with its fabled powers? Of course, that human Isildur was wrapped up in the whole scam. He took the Ring away so that no-one would see it for what it was: a useless piece of gold!"

She slaps the table with her fist, as if to emphasize her point. "Then Sauron or someone had him killed to stop him talking, spilling the beans."

But this assassination had an unforseen setback. The Ring was lost for many decades, at the bottom of the River Anduin. Lost, that is, until one day, a hobbit found it. A hobbit who was not in on the scam. A hobbit called Deagol. His cousin, Smeagol, tells of that fateful day.

"We was fishing, yes Precious, fishing for nice fisshesss," he grimaces. "It was our birthday, our birthday, Preciousss! He should have given it to uss!"

I tell him he can ssstop - sorry, stop - talking like that. "Sorry," he apologises. "We's been on our own so long, we's started talking to ourselfs, Precious!" He tries to laugh, but he seems out of practice. "Anyways, we was fishing and he caught a fish, Precious, a fish big like a wagon! it pulled away and he fell in. We was trying to see him, Precious, but he was under the water... and he came up, and he had the Precious! We couldn'st let him keep the Precious..."

So he strangled Deagol to keep the secret? "It was our birthday, our birthday, Precious! He should have given it to us! Our birthday present, it's ours it is! And the Bagginss, he stole it from uss! The thief, the filthy -"

Unfortunatly, the phone line went dead about that point, so putting away my scissors I went to meet this "Baggins". He turned out to be a short hobbit, by the name of Bilbo, but was unavailable for interview. I did, however, meet the wizard Gandalf.

"What? The Ring is a thing of terrible power!" he cries. "It must be destroyed, for if it is recovered by Sauron, it will-"

He's obviously in league with the conspirators.

So there you have it: The Truth!!

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