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What Pop Culture Teaches Us about Objects of Power

By Taylor Ellwood

I recently finished playing the DLC for Shadow of Mordor. In one of the DLC’s you get to play as the Elf Lord Celebrimbor, who according to the mythology of Lord of the Rings, forged the rings of power, and helped Sauron forge his Ring. Celebrimbor gets the Ring of Power at one point and is able to use it for a time., but eventually loses it when it leaves him. Playing the game got me to thinking about objects of power and how such objects might take on their own personality. According to LOTR lore, Sauron invests a significant amount of his own power into the ring, which ultimately leads to his downfall when the ring is destroyed, but in thinking about how the Ring is treated in the books and in Shadows of Mordor, I began thinking that the ring is its own entity.

The reason I think of the ring as its own entity is because of how it seeks to protect itself. It may find various people to wield it, but inevitably it leaves those people when their value is used up. According to the mythology, the ring is trying to get back to Sauron, but nonetheless I think in giving so much power over to the Ring, what Sauron also gave it was its own identity, desire, etc. And you might wonder what all this conjecture has to do with magic, here’s my take: Investing a lot of your own power, personality, etc., into an object is a mistake that will come back to bite you, because it becomes its own being.

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