Does the One Ring change size with its bearer?

Being that the ring is magical, does it conform to the ring bearer's hand size?

In the very first battle scene Sauron get his fingers cut off, then Isildur picks up the ring and it lays in his palm.

In this scene the ring is huge, even in the hand of a human:

The One Ring in the hand of Isildur

But then you see Bilbo Baggins hold the ring, it is much, much smaller. BUT, remember, Bilbo is a halfling and is supposed to be half the size of a human:

The One ring in the hand of Bilbo

There is a distinct size difference in the ring, does it change size with its carrier? Being that it is magical I can see that this could happen.

  • 9
    Yes, it does. (I think this question has been asked here before, but can't find it now.) For instance, it enlarged itself in order to slip off Gollum's finger before Bilbo first found it in The Hobbit.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 10, 2016 at 12:13
  • 23
    I'm 99% sure the ring actually changes size on-screen when Isildur picks it up, I'm not sure what else you want to know?
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 10, 2016 at 12:16
  • 5
    Is the question about the movie, the books, or both?
    – Hypnosifl
    Jul 10, 2016 at 15:01
  • 3
    Related question: Why doesn't the "One Ring" make itself impossible to remove?
    – Molag Bal
    Jul 10, 2016 at 17:49
  • 27
    One size to fit them all.
    – Möoz
    Jul 11, 2016 at 2:17

2 Answers 2


Yes. At the very least, it seemed to.

‘Bilbo knew no more than he told you, I am sure,’ said Gandalf. ‘He would certainly never have passed on to you anything that he thought would be a danger, even though I promised to look after you. He thought the ring was very beautiful, and very useful at need; and if anything was wrong or queer, it was himself. He said that it was “growing on his mind”, and he was always worrying about it; but he did not suspect that the ring itself was to blame. Though he had found out that the thing needed looking after; it did not seem always of the same size or weight; it shrank or expanded in an odd way, and might suddenly slip off a finger where it had been tight.’

‘Yes, he warned me of that in his last letter,’ said Frodo, ‘so I have always kept it on its chain.’

(LotR, Fellowship of the Ring, Shadows of the Past)

‘A Ring of Power looks after itself, Frodo. It may slip off treacherously, but its keeper never abandons it

(LotR, Fellowship of the Ring, Shadows of the Past)

Isildur also reported that it shrank:

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.

(LotR, Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond)

  • 26
    Well, in my mind, the confirmation that it does change size together with the fact Sauron, Isildur, Gollum, Frodo, and Sam all had it fit on their finger is pretty good evidence of such. But for all we know, they all had the same ring size. (Unlikely, of course.) :)
    – Shamshiel
    Jul 10, 2016 at 12:17
  • 3
    Clip from the movie of Isildur's account: youtu.be/X1WWCCHM9d8?t=4m6s
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 10, 2016 at 14:20
  • 2
    I knew size mattered! Jul 10, 2016 at 21:24
  • 1
    @Shamshiel - Kylo Ren was apparently more interested in the film version than the books (see the comments thread on the original question), but if you want to put that clip KutuluMike linked to in a comment into your answer to show that the movie also depicts the ring as being able to change size, I bet your answer would get accepted.
    – Hypnosifl
    Jul 11, 2016 at 1:46
  • 2
    @Hypnosifl I was confused until I realized that by "Kylo Ren" you meant OP. Jul 11, 2016 at 17:13

Clip from the movie of Isildur's account showing the ring adapting its size:

The ring isn't shown changing size in the opening, but in the later scene where Gandalf goes to Minas Tirith to research the ring in the library, and he finds an account by Isildur discussing it.

  • This video appears to be dead, due to copyright issues.
    – Valorum
    Oct 17, 2020 at 20:52

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