Because, in Middle-earth, all evil originates in goodness, there are no wholly good or bad people, only shades of corruption. ‘I do not deal in Absolute Evil...’ Tolkien wrote. ‘I do not think that at any rate any ‘rational being’ is wholly evil’. The line between good and evil ‘is not just external, between the white chess pieces and the black, but within every single piece on the board’. The corrupting process of power is therefore potentially at work in every person, and the Ring magnifies and accelerates it – proving too great a test for Boromir, who aches for ‘power of Command’ and is overcome by visions of great alliances and glorious victories under his banner. Even Hobbits, who are generally protected from the libido dominandi by their native lack of strength and ambition, can be twisted: Sam sees Gorgoroth turned into a garden; and Sméagol drools over his puny fantasies of Gollum the Great eating fish ‘every day, three times a day, fresh from the sea.’
From the 'Afterword'
To be published by Oloris Publishing on the 18th November.