A/N: This was a strange little project that I did for my literature class in high school. The idea is basically, what would happen if the characters from C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters tried to "win over" Frodo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings using the Ring? Anyway, it was a fun piece to write, and I hope it's equally fun to read. Cheers! – SG


Wormwood's New Patient
by Sauron Gorthaur

My dear Wormwood,

I must admit that I am highly disappointed with your last report. Your last move was indescribably foolish and I would have thought that you'd have known better by now. We do not want to kill the patient as you attempted on Weathertop; he is not yet enough in the Ring's grip for that. You had kept him out of the Ringwraiths' hands pretty well up to that point, but that was close to disaster. I know our dear Brother is eager to get his Ring back, but before that can happen we must manage to win over the patient.

At least things are going smoothly for the moment, although it was touch and go for the last few days and I was afraid that he was not going to make it. He is in safety now and he must now contemplate his next move. The Ring will be growing steadily on his mind now that he doesn't have his own life to worry about. Right now it seems that he has two choices: leave the Ring in Rivendell and go home or keep the Ring and face whatever comes. The first choice is obviously to be avoided, for if he gives it up, we have lost him. No, he must keep it if we are to win him over, but he must be encouraged to keep it out of selfish reasons. Nothing could be worse than if he decided to keep it because he feels it is his duty or because he wishes to help his friends, although if he believes that he is doing it for such reasons, but in truth is not, that will aid us immensely.

I cannot stress the importance of his keeping the Ring enough. If he lets it go, not only will we loose him, but who knows whom it may go to. It will probably end up with someone who will not be taken over by it, such as an elf lord or that dreadfully perfect, power-despising Ranger. However, the patient has proved stronger in resisting the Ring than we had hoped, so let me now give you a few tips on what to do.

It seems to me that there are two ways to steer. The Ring obviously is best at corrupting if its owner desires power. Unfortunately, I do not think that this will do us much good at present as hobbits have no desire for power, at least not in the regular sense. And this particular hobbit seems to have even less of a desire for it than some others of his race that I have dealt with in the past. However, power is not simply ruling the world or controlling others. There is one type of power that may be of help to you: the power of controlling one's own life. He has been through some hard times and doubtlessly wishes to be left in peace. The patient must not be allowed to suspect that his life is controlled by one greater than he, and he must be encouraged to think that he can do whatever he wishes with his life. This brings me to the second way in which you might win him over. (Oh, and see if you can do something about that wizard. He's slowing the process down dreadfully and telling the patient all sorts of things that he shouldn't be hearing.)

Fear. It's a beautiful advantage for us, and I advise that you use it as much as you can. The patient is already quite terrified. By fear, I do not mean a small, trivial fear or a deep respect for something, but a truly deep-rooted terror. No one enjoys fear and once such a terror has been experienced, the victim will never want to be afraid again. Your patient has experienced such fear, and you must keep him always afraid that he will have to go through it again. The more he thinks about it, the more he will want to escape it. This is where the Ring and power come in. At first he will seek only the power to escape his fear, and that is a very good start. He will use the Ring to merely escape, but he will find that it works and he will use the Ring more and more as time progresses. He will learn that the more power he has, the less he has to fear. He will believe that if he is able to control his own life, he will never have to fear again. At this point, you will have won him. Start out slowly though so that he may never suspect what is happening and the results will be stunning.

I fear that I have no more time to write as I am busy currently in the winning of a certain man of the south. I think you will meet him shortly as he is coming to Rivendell and will meet your patient. I suspect that he will be a piece of cake. If you are having trouble, I suggest taking a vacation to Mordor. (I will keep an eye on your patient, don't worry.) Our Brother would be delighted to give you a run down on corrupting as he was an excellent tempter himself before his accident in Númenor and, after all, we are using his Ring. I have faith that you will manage quite well. Remember, fear is our friend and don't let the patient go getting noble or any such abomination as that.

Your affectionate uncle

SCREWTAPE