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returns, having survived his battle with the fearsome Balrog and been made even more powerful by his trial. Nevertheless, even at the height of his powers, Gandalf retains his common touch.AragornAragorn, much like Gandalf, hides an impressive amount of power, greatness, and knowledge under a humble exterior. We first meet Aragorn as Strider, the laconic, worn Ranger at the Prancing Pony inn in Bree. As the action moves forward, we see Aragorn slowly transform into the king he is destined to become. Aragorn also displays Gandalf’s bravery, kindness, and wisdom—indeed, neither of them appear to have any major faults to speak of. At certain moments, however, Aragorn does display a sort of vulnerability. When questioned about why he does not immediately offer proof of his identity to the hobbits in Bree, one of his answers is simply that he wishes the hobbits would count him as a friend without knowledge of his lineage—indeed, he is tired of being constantly wary. Such an admission is a poignant revelation of a somewhat unexpected trait in such an indomitable woodsman and warrior as Aragorn.
Themes, Motifs & SymbolsThemesThemes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.The Corrupting Influence of PowerSauron bound up much of his power in the One Ring when he forged it ages ago, and whoever wields the Ring has access to some of that power. The full extent and nature of the Ring’s power never becomes entirely clear to us, but we get the sense that the Ring symbolizes a power almost without limits, and which is utterly corrupting. It is immensely difficult for many of the characters to resist the temptation to take the Ring for themselves and use it for their own ends. Regardless of the wearer’s initial intentions, good or evil, the Ring’s power always turns the wearer to evil. Indeed, even keeping the Ring is dangerous. The Fellowship of the Ringis strewn with examples of those who are corrupted by the Ring. The power of the Ring transformed the Black Riders, once human kings, into fearsome, undead Ringwraiths. Gollum, once a young boy named Sméagol, killed his friend Déagol for the Ring and then gradually became a wretched, crouching, froglike creature who thinks only of his desire to retrieve the Ring for himself. During the travels of the Fellowship, Boromir grows increasingly corrupted by the proximity of the Ring, wanting to use its power to destroy Sauron rather than destroy the Ring itself, as Elrond and Gandalf have advised; ultimately, the Ring leads Boromir to desire it for himself. For many, the great power offered by the Ring overrides all rational thought. The power of the Ring is by no means the only temptation in Middle-earth—the Dwarves of Moria, for example, coveted mithriltoo much, and they dug so deep that they awakened the Balrog beneath them—but the Ring is the greatest temptation and therefore the greatest threat.