Other than the four characters mentioned in the title, did anyone ever have the ring in their possession for an extended period of time?

Long enough that it began to affect them mentally or physically, however long that would take - a year or longer, years or decades possibly.

  • 4
    Possibly related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/31610/…
    – TGnat
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:02
  • @TGnat is touch the same as possession for an extended period of time?
    – Ingu Shama
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:08
  • @InguShama Don't know... That's why I haven't nominated it as a duplicate. Let the community decide!
    – TGnat
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:14
  • 1
    @TGnat we should be careful throwing up possible dupe comments any time a question shares even partially similar context or topic as another.
    – Ingu Shama
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:20
  • 1
    @JasonBaker - I took the liberty of editing the title to better reflect the content of the question. VTC as dupe retracted.
    – Wad Cheber
    Sep 18, 2015 at 23:44

2 Answers 2

  • Isildur Although he only actually possessed it for a relatively short period of time (only two years), Isildur possessed it for long enough to be strongly affected by the Ring's addictive properties (bold is my emphasis, italic is Tolkien's):

    'Alas! yes,' said Elrond. 'Isildur took it, as should not have been. It should have been cast then into Orodruin's fire nigh at hand where it was made. But few marked what Isildur did. He alone stood by his father in that last mortal contest; and by Gil-galad only Círdan stood, and I. But Isildur would not listen to our counsel.

    '"This I will have as weregild for my father, and my brother," he said; and therefore whether we would or no, he took it to treasure it. But soon he was betrayed by it to his death; and so it is named in the North Isildur's Bane. Yet death maybe was better than what else might have befallen him.


    The Great Ring shall go now to be an heirloom of the North Kingdom; but records of it shall be left in Gondor, where also dwell the heirs of Elendil, lest a time come when the memory of these great matters shall grow dim.

    'And after these words Isildur described the Ring, such as he found it.

    It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede, and my hand was scorched, so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of it. Yet even as I write it is cooled, and it seemeth to shrink, though it loseth neither its beauty nor its shape. Already the writing upon it, which at first was as clear as red flame, fadeth and is now only barely to be read. It is fashioned in an elven-script of Eregion, for they have no letters in Mordor for such subtle work; but the language is unknown to me. I deem it to be a tongue of the Black Land, since it is foul and uncouth. What evil it saith I do not know; but I trace here a copy of it, lest it fade beyond recall. The Ring misseth, maybe, the heat of Sauron's hand, which was black and yet burned like fire, and so Gil-galad was destroyed; and maybe were the gold made hot again, the writing would be refreshed. But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing: of all the works of Sauron the only fair. It is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

  • Sam It has been argued on this site before (particularly in Tony Meyer's answer) that, despite only possessing the Ring for a day or two, Sam had begun to fall under its influence. I argue in an answer to a similar question that whether or not Sam is actually being affected by the Ring is ambiguous in the text. I think you can make a case for it, though, so I'm including it

  • 2
    I completely forgot about Isildur! Great answer Jason, thanks.
    – Daft
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:18
  • @Daft Always happy to help Sep 17, 2015 at 16:04

No. The other ring-bearers (Tom Bombadil and Isildur and Sam) didn't wear the ring that long.

Isildur comes close and would be a "yes" eventually if he wasn't killed (I will use a part of the quote by @Jason Baker's answer to refute his conclusion):

Yet death maybe was better than what else might have befallen him.
(Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond")

The following post has an amazing graphic that shows all the ring-bearers AND the timelines.


enter image description here

  • 2
    That's a pretty incredible graphic alright, I must study it!
    – Daft
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:09
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    Damn, that is an amazing combination of time and space! However, you are incorrect about Isildur: he was indeed mentally corrupted by the ring, as the chapter "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields" in Unfinished Tales makes plain. I recommend editing your answer to reflect this, since the OP specifically asks about "Long enough that it began to affect them mentally."
    – Lexible
    Sep 17, 2015 at 18:45
  • 14
    @TylerH Yes, the timeframe is much longer in the book. The first chapter of Fellowship is Frodo's 33rd birthday (somewhat overshadowed by Bilbo's 111th), but he doesn't leave Bag End until his 50th birthday; he actually makes a point of leaving on his 50th birthday, because that was how old Bilbo was during the events of The Hobbit Sep 17, 2015 at 19:35
  • 1
    Frodo had the ring in a box for over a decade though. He did not wear it in that time nir claim it
    – user001
    Sep 18, 2015 at 7:15
  • 2
    @BartekChom "touch"!="wear" :) Sep 18, 2015 at 14:34

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