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<   No. 2305   2009-05-19   >

Comic #2305

1 Adam: You've become separated from the dwarves and you're now lost in the tunnels.
1 Jamie: I grope around in the darkness.
2 Adam: Your hand falls on what feels like a ring.
2 Jamie: I pick it up and put it on.
3 Adam: What?! You don't want to put it in your pocket?
3 Jamie: Why would I do that? It's a ring; it belongs on a finger.
4 Jamie: What's the worst that could happen?
4 Adam: You've never read any fantasy fiction, have you?

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I remember when I first read The Hobbit, I was really bothered by the fact that Bilbo found this ring, and he put it in his pocket instead of trying it on. It seemed obvious that if you find a ring, the very first thing you would do is try it on.

2022-06-04 Rerun commentary: When Bilbo opened his eyes, he wondered if he had; for it was just as dark as with them shut. No one was anywhere near him. Just imagine his fright! He could hear nothing, see nothing, and he could feel nothing except the stone of the floor.

Very slowly he got up and groped about on all fours, till he touched the wall of the tunnel; but neither up nor down it could he find anything: nothing at all, no sign of goblins, no sign of dwarves. His head was swimming, and he was far from certain even of the direction they had been going in when he had his fall. He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. He put the ring on his finger almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem that there was anything else sensible to do with a ring.

Immediately Bilbo was assailed by horrific visions and voices as the dark attention of Sauron turned to gaze through him and into his deepest and most secret terrors and fears. Unable to resist the incredible power of The One Ring - for that is what it was! - Bilbo descended into darkness, only metaphorical this time for he was still in quite literal darkness. With a fresh mind to corrupt, Sauron's influence drew Bilbo to the depths of Mordor to the deliver the Ring unto him, thus sealing the fate of Middle-earth and ending our story somewhat prematurely.

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