Why weren't Elrond and Gandalf receptive to letting the ring stay in Rivendell? My claim is that Western military forces could repel the forces of Mordor and Isengard. The invasion would be like Hitler invading Russia - expensive, lengthy.

  • Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel have the three Elven rings. Nenya in particular would make a land invasion incredibly expensive for Sauron, similar to the Russian winter for Napoleon or Hitler. Elrond could use Vilya to predict the enemy army's movement and Gandalf could use Narya to erect awesome defenses and mount devastating counteroffensives.
  • Elven forces are still formidable, with warriors like Glorfindel and Haldir. Theoretically Elrond's envoy to Helm's Deep proves they still have a standing army.
  • Thranduil and Galadriel could easily have gotten onboard with erecting defenses, striking against Sauron's army, etc. Gandalf and Aragorn could still save Theoden and get Rohan on board.

The main counterpoints I see are that 1) Sauron's army could move West quickly and easily, through the Gap of Rohan without resistance from Galadriel or Theoden. 2) Elven leaders are not receptive to waging war since they're leaving Middle-earth for Valinor en masse.

But these aren't convincing to me. Ostensibly at this point the plan is to send the Fellowship to Mordor (only a fool's hope). I don't understand why forcing Sauron to project power into the heart of Elvendom isn't a much safer bet.

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    They don't want to protect the ring, because a) it attracts unwanted orcs, and b) it would appeal to the baser instincts of all of the above - who would succumb to it's power. – marcellothearcane May 22 '20 at 16:38
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    is there even evidence that the rings work the way you are describing? We've never really seen Green Latern-esque usages of the rings – NKCampbell May 22 '20 at 17:03
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    Reminder that a) Elves at Helm's Deep was an invention of Peter Jackson and b) Sauron did project power into the heart of Elvendom: he attacked Gondor, Thanduil's realm, Lothlorien, Dale, and the Iron Mountain more or less simultaneously. In Mirkwood there was long battle under the trees and great ruin of fire;, and all this was just a "finger" of Sauron's strength, and at least part of it was before he was actually prepared to attack, due to Aragorn's baiting him with the palantir. – Shamshiel May 22 '20 at 17:39
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    @NKCampbell According to both the Tolkien Gateway and LOTR Wiki, Narya's power is able to inspire others to resist tyranny and will hide its wearer from any observation except for direct use of the One Ring, plus it may keep the wearer from aging or feeling the effects of age. Nenya is supposed to have great powers of concealment and protection, which is why Lorien was able to be hidden. Vilya's power is not described that I know of. But I don't see how they could be used in "Green Lantern-esque" ways or how the OP describes. – SpaceWolf1701 May 22 '20 at 19:17
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    I think @Shamshiel's point can not be overstated. LotR only focuses on the Ringbearer and his friends, who end up either in Rohan or Gondor. We only find out in the appendices how powerful Sauron really was and how far reaching. And even then, we only get the merest hint of the wars that took place far, far from Mordor & Gondor. I could envision at least six series of novels (or movies) set in those locations; and this to say nothing of what's going on in Rhun, Harad, Umbar, Khand, Angmar and the Orc infested Misty Mountains proper. Elrond sees the ring for what it is: annihilation if kept! – elemtilas May 23 '20 at 1:10

They did not have the strength to fight Sauron

It is made very clear in the Council of Elrond that there does not exist the strength to withhold the power of Sauron. If they were to attempt to keep it in Rivendell, they would be overthrown in time. The relevant quotes are below.

'but Glorfindel, I think, is right. Power to defy our Enemy is not in [Bombadil], unless such power is in the earth itself. And yet we see that Sauron can torture and destroy the very hills. What power still remains lies with us, here in Imladris, or with Círdan at the Havens, or in Lórien. But have they the strength, have we here the strength to withstand the Enemy, the coming of Sauron at the last, when all else is overthrown?'

'I have not the strength,' said Elrond; 'neither have they.'

'Then if the Ring cannot be kept from him for ever by strength' said Glorfindel
The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2: Chapter 2, The Council of Elrond

I'm not sure where your notion of these rings' power comes from but what powers Nenya has over controlling any land invasion is unbeknownst to me. Similar for Narya mounting defences and Vilya predicting movements.

  1. Elrond didn't believe Rivendell had the strength to resist Sauron.

    What power still remains lies with us, here in Imladris, or with Círdan at the Havens, or in Lórien. But have they the strength, have we here the strength to withstand the Enemy, the coming of Sauron at the last, when all else is overthrown?’

    ‘I have not the strength,’ said Elrond; ‘neither have they.’

  2. Even if Rivendell could resist Sauron, combining the strength of Elrond, Gandalf, Galadriel, the riders of Rohan, and the others, it could not accommodate the people of all the Western lands. Once Sauron knew where the One Ring was, he would be free to lay waste to every other land. A pyrrhic victory at best for the Council of Elrond.

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