The elves of Lorien certainly had military strength to fight at Mordor and also would not have been corrupted by the Ring as men would. Wouldn't the destruction of the Ring have gone more smoothly if they had carried it?

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    “The elves of Lorien... would not have been corrupted by the Ring as men would” — er... – Paul D. Waite Jul 3 '14 at 9:15

I disagree with both of your basic premises.

I don't think the Elves of Lorien had much military might at all. They had the border patrols, like the one that found the Fellowship at the borders, but hardly a sizable army. Most elves left Middle Earth by then, at the end of the First Age, and during the Second and Third Ages. In the LotR movie they show an Elven contingent coming to the aid of Helm's Deep, but this isn't based in the books, and caused quite a bit of consternation to fans when the movies came out. :)

Secondly, the Elves certainly are susceptible to the Ring's siren song. Galadriel expressly mentions her fear of being seduced by its power when Frodo and Sam talk to her in Lorien. Remember that the power of the Elves - and they still possessed much power, more than mortal Men - did not make them immune to the Ring's corruption, but quite the opposite. The more powerful they were, the more they would be tempted to use the Ring, to master it with their power, and thus fall. Tolkien specifically focused on the Hobbits' humility as the source of their resistance to the Ring's power.

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    Even Gandalf feared temptation by The Ring. (And Saruman... nevermind, I won't say anything about him.) – Mateen Ulhaq Apr 1 '12 at 3:55
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    +1 Great answer. A few minor points: 1. The reason why the contingent from Lorien at Helm's Deep was disapproved of was probably just the fact that it wasn't in the book—not that they would have been unable to do so. Lorien had quite a bit more than a few border patrols. After they had defeated the attacking forces from Dol Guldur and Moria, and once Saruman had fallen, they set out to destroy Dol Guldur and succeeded, while defending Lorien in the mean time. So they did have sizable offensive capabilities—just nowhere near what Sauron had. – Cerberus Apr 2 '12 at 1:04
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    2. I'm not so sure elves would be more susceptible to the Ring than humans. Consider the Nine: they fell to Sauron, while the Three remained free. If Sauron had been able to subvert the Elven Princes through the rings the was he did the Human ones, he would have done so. Nevertheless, I agree that Galadriel, though capable of using the Ring's power while resisting Sauron's will, would have been corrupted by its evil and turned into a chilling tyrant as bad as Sauron. The reason why hobbits are less susceptible than humans is their stubbornness, says Tolkien, no so much their humility (if any). – Cerberus Apr 2 '12 at 1:09
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    I concede your first point, but not the second. The main difference between them is that the Nine were made by Sauron himself, or by the elves of Eregion under his supervision. But the Three were made after Sauron left Eregion, without his help (but with his teachings). Also, since the elves had just learned of Sauron's identity and role in shaping the rings, they immediately hid them and avoided using them. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Apr 2 '12 at 5:48
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    The elves were not necessarily more susceptible to the ring's influence than any others, but the OP's premise is that they were less susceptible, which is not true. But @Avner's point, if I understand it, isn't that the elves as a species were easier to corrupt, but rather that they have more potential to be corrupted because they had more power with which to wield the ring in the first place. Galadriel wielding the ring could have destroyed the planet; Frodo wielding the ring got stabbed. – KutuluMike Jul 16 '12 at 2:57


'Alas, no,' said Elrond. 'We cannot use the Ruling Ring. That we now know too well. It belongs to Sauron and was made by him alone, and is altogether evil. Its strength, Boromir, is too great for anyone to wield at will, save only those who have already a great power of their own. But for them it holds an even deadlier peril. The very desire of it corrupts the heart. Consider Saruman. If any of the Wise should with this Ring overthrow the Lord of Mordor, using his own arts, he would then set himself on Sauron's throne, and yet another Dark Lord would appear...
(Emphasis mine)


'I pass the test,' she said. 'I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.'

These two quotes show that the Elves aren't immune to the powers of the Ring. If they would've been corrupted, a new powerful and potentially evil force would have risen.

Now contrast this with the hobbits who are pretty much powerless and harmless. The only one who was really corrupted by the One Ring, was Sméagol. But even he was relatively harmless as Gollum; he only became a threat after he had lost the ring.

So the Elves of Lórien or any other being with any power would have been a bad choice as a ring bearer.

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    +1 for finding the relevant quotes. Also, the Council of Elrond discussed sending one or two more elves with the Fellowship, but Gandalf insisted that Merry and Pippin should go instead. I don't have the book to hand, but Gandalf said something to the effect that even the power of a mighty elf-lord such as Glorfindel would not help open the way to Mordor. – Royal Canadian Bandit Jul 3 '14 at 9:27

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