“All that glisters is not gold”: The Ring of Power and the Deception of Simile


  • Sara Brown


Tolkien, Alchemy, One Ring


Tolkien's Ring of Power resonates throughout 'The Lord of the Rings'; indeed, its presence is felt even when it is not explicitly 'on stage'. Tolkien presents the Ring as cunning and manipulative, luring its victims both with the false promises of power and the sheen of its golden beauty. It should come as no surprise, then, to discover that Tolkien was equally crafty in his depiction of this most deceptive of objects. This essay aims to show how, by carefully referring to it through description that conceals more than it clarifies, and always employing the disguise of simile, Tolkien ensures that the Ring is an object of seeming as much to the reader as it is to those it seeks to ensnare within the narrative.



How to Cite

Brown, S. “‘All That Glisters Is Not gold’: The Ring of Power and the Deception of Simile”. Mallorn: The Journal of the Tolkien Society, vol. 63, Nov. 2023, https://journals.tolkiensociety.org/mallorn/article/view/446.