Tolkien establishes the perils of greed through Sauron, Gollum, Boromir, Thorin, and many other characters. In his world, beside treasure hoards and Silmarils, the ultimate temptation appears in the golden ring that offers ultimate power. The characters who seek it contrast with generous, royal Aragorn and Galadriel as well as the humble hobbits. Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a similar message, as the villains, great and small, construct talismans to focus their magic. Buffy and her friends find these to destroy them, never to use them. In fact, they fight with an assortment of unnamed weapons and simple spell ingredients from the corner store. Still, they discover more powerful tools and sometimes succumb to their worst urges. In both series, ordinary people remain quite vulnerable to temptation, with lessons that teach them to rise above it to find heroism.
Frankel, Valerie Estelle
"Why Do Villains Insist on a Ring? Greed and Fetishism from Sauron to Spike,"
Journal of Tolkien Research: Vol. 10
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/vol10/iss1/4