I am currently re-reading The Lord of the Rings, taking out, for the first time, my pretty red leather-bound edition that my dad got me years ago.
Reading over the Tolkien’s Foreword, I came across the following:
“The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusion. If it had inspired or directed the development of the legend, then certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annhiliated but enslaved, and Barad-dur would not have been destroyed but occupied. Sauraman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth. In that conflict both sides would have held Hobbits in hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves.
Other arrangements could be devised according to the tastes or views of those who like allegory or topical reference. But I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I must prefer history, true or feigned…”
I love that line, ‘history, true or feigned.’
The Ring used against Sauron?
Sauraman the White making his own Great Ring?
Mordor occupied by the soldiers of Gondor and Rohan?
Dude, sign me up for that game.