The ring as a cognitive dissonance eraser.


New Member
There's always a lot of discussion about what the ring is.

Does it have agency? Intent? Will? Mind? If the ring was filled with Sauron's will, that is has some kind of mind seems quite plausible. We see smart birds, wolves, cats, etc. Why not a ring?

The anti smart ring faction thinks of the ring more like magnetism or the light of a simaril. It just is, MacGuffin like.

That's not satisfying. The ring makes things happen. "Rule them all" means ruling which means some sort of agency. What sort?

The ring apparently induces a kind of megalomania. This wars with the self conception people have of themselves as good people. This creates a cognitive dissonance. The ring induced monologues we hear are the usually subconscious process of people trying to become consonant with the rings induced new self-image. The ring is a dissonance reduction machine. What we hear is the justification process for the new behaviors the ring is trying to induce.

What's amazing is that the ring is generally unsuccessful. Even Frodo only fails at the very end. That says something about the strength of character and the power of good in the world.