An interesting article BUT flawed…

With a fascinating image. But one that fundamentally ignores what Gandalf’s own words on the temptation of the Ring represented. And also how it appeared to Galadriel.

First of all, it was not the corruption of evil, as such, that left Sauron unable to assume a fair face. It was his presence at the Fall of Numenor and the dissolution of his original body, coupled by the loss of power that accompanied the loss of the One Ring in the 1st place.

Second, Morgoth too was able to assume a fair shape for much of the First Age. Indeed, it’s not clear that he lost that ability until Finrod Felegund inflicted the numerous wounds of their duel on him.

Nor was the Ring necessarily defacing of beauty. Rather, it did so to MORTALS, because it elongated their lives, without giving them the benefit of immortality. One lived ever longer as a shade of what they were, until they succumbed to the Ring’s power.

But for those whose native power was greater than the Ring–like Gandalf and Galadriel–the Ring would have had no such inherent corruption. Indeed, she sees herself as even MORE beautiful if she claimed it. Nor would it make them a thrall of Sauron. For they would have the strength with it to cast down the Lord of Barad Dur. Only to put themselves in its place. They would do so out of pity and justice. Love for those they had protected. But the malice of the Ring would turn them ever to darker intents.

My thinking is they would have become Well-Intentioned Extremists.  Beings of near-infinite power, capable of great charity. But the lure of power, would ever entice them to more draconian means of punishing ‘evil.’ They would become what they fought, not through the power of Sauron, but because their acts of judgment would ever become harsher. Until at last none could bear to be ruled by them.  It would be tyranny, but the tyranny of the well-meaning.

The most dangerous kind, according to fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis. And a fact that we might consider the implications of today.

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