Why did Sauron create the One Ring and What Were Its Powers?
From: Erik Tracy
It was part of Sauron's scheme to ensnare and enslave the users of all the rings of power and
so control the Noldor of Middle-earth. Sauron planned for the domination of all of Middle-earth
and he needed/wanted to control the Elves to complete this plan. This was the reason for the
forging of the One Ring. Sauron went to Orodruin, Mount Doom, to forge the Ruling Ring, and by
putting a large part of his own inherent power into the Ring he created a means by which he
could enslave the users of the rings:
"And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the
Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing
potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow. And while he wore
the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and
he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them."
Sauron took quite a risk in placing a major portion of his own power into an item that could be
taken from his control. This is exactly what happened at the end of the Second Age when the
Last Alliance of Elves and Men defeated Sauron and Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand.
Separated from his power, Sauron was vanquished and seemingly disappeared from Middle-earth.
Tolkien's view on the use of power is revealed in another one of his Letters:
"The Ring of Sauron is only one of the various mythical treatments of the placing of one's life,
or power, in some external object, which is thus exposed to capture or destruction with
disastrous results to oneself. If I were to 'philosophise' this myth, or at least the Ring of
Sauron, I should say it was a mythical way of representing the truth that potency (or perhaps
rather potentiality) if it is to be exercised, and produce results, has to be externalised and
so as it were passes, to a greater or less degree, out of one's direct control."
Yet while Sauron wore the One his powers on earth were actually enhanced. Its powers were
primarily of domination and control. He used the power of the Ring to rule whole peoples who
worshipped him as a God-king. Through its use he could control the orcs, the trolls, the
Haradrim, wargs, and his most feared servants the Ringwraiths. Because Sauron could already
control the weather and the Fires of Mount Doom, these too would have been further enhanced to
truly frightening levels if he had regained the One. With the One, his Eye would have seen
every thought or action anywhere in Middle-earth; no secret could have been kept from him and no
one could have withstood him. With the One, Sauron would have captured the Three Elven Rings
and he would have used them to create Timeless evil in Middle-earth; all under the control of
[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien #121)
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