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From The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past", we know that Gandalf told Frodo:

there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough [to melt the Rings of Power]

So my question is this:

Can Smaug melt the One Ring?

If he breathed fire on Bilbo while they were talking, would the One Ring have been destroyed?

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I can't help but appreciate the irony! i.imgur.com/jVu780S.png –  Jacob Raccuia Apr 11 at 16:14
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@JacobRaccuia - that is pretty much opposite of irony. –  Davor Apr 12 at 7:09
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2 Answers 2

up vote 49 down vote accepted

No, he can't. While some dragons had breath hot enough to melt the lesser rings of power, Gandalf says:

[...], nor was there ever any dragon, not even Ancalagon the Black, who could have harmed the One Ring, the Ruling Ring, for that was made by Sauron himself.

Adding source and larger quote for context.

It is established that Mount Doom is the only practical possibility. LOTR I.2 (when Gandalf verifies that Frodo's ring is the Ring and tells Frodo what that means):

But there is no smith's forge in this Shire that could change it at all. Not even the anvils and furnaces of the Dwarves could do that. It has been said that dragon-fire could melt and consume the Rings of Power, but there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough; nor was there ever any dragon, not even Ancalagon the Black, who could have harmed the One Ring, the Ruling Ring, for that was made by Sauron himself. There is only one way: to find the Cracks of Doom in the depths of Orodruin, the Fire-mountain, and cast the Ring in there.

(Several of the Seven were destroyed by dragons.)

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About the last sentence: where is it described that other rings were destroyed by dragons? –  Bruno Kim Apr 11 at 13:32
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In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf also says "Seven the Dwarf-kings possessed, but three he has recovered, and the others the dragons have consumed." –  Mike Scott Apr 11 at 16:01
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Of course, all that is just what Gandalf and Elrond think. The dragons were created by Morgoth himself, so I can't really see from what Gandalf deduces Sauron's Ring would necessarily be immune. –  leftaroundabout Apr 11 at 18:39
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@einpoklum: nope, the dragons were not Maiar. You may be confusing them with Balrogs. –  leftaroundabout Apr 12 at 10:03
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@James Christopher - nope, in The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf says "The Ring contains neither proton nor neutron, and is bound not by particle physics as we understand it.". –  Brad Werth Apr 13 at 6:18
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It's mentioned multiple times throughout the story that The One Ring can only be destroyed in the 'fires from whence it was forged'. I believe that perhaps other Rings of Power may be melt-able by Smaug, but likely NOT the One Ring.

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