12

'Have you got it here?' Bilbo asked in a whisper. 'I can't help feeling curious, you know, after all I've heard. I should very much like just to peep at it again.'

(...)

When he had dressed, Frodo found that while he slept the Ring had been hung about his neck on a new chain, light but strong.

Who had done that?

As the quote shows, it wasn't Bilbo, since he didn't know Frodo had it on him. And as the scene continues we see Bilbo being tempted by the ring, so we can be sure it wasn't Bilbo handling the ring before.

  • 1
    You don't need to touch a ring to thread it onto a chain so any of the elves caring for him could have done it safely. – TheMathemagician Jun 16 '17 at 11:39
  • 1
    @TheMathemagician but I'd still like to know who it was. Did they even know that the ring was the one ring? – SQB Jun 16 '17 at 11:54
  • 4
    The peril of touching the Ring was greatly exaggerated in the movies. I'm not sure it was as big a deal is it seems to be. Certainly, it would have been kind to keep Bilbo away from it, but Elrond or any of his servants should have been fine handling it enough to swap chains. – Quasi_Stomach Jun 16 '17 at 17:05
  • To the best of my recollection, nowhere in the books does it suggest that touching the ring is any more dangerous than simply being in its presence. – Harry Johnston Jun 17 '17 at 7:28
  • Gandalf handles the ring twice in the book to no ill effect, before and after putting it in Frodo's fireplace to reveal the inscription. (FoR, page 59). – chepner Jun 17 '17 at 19:29
8

There's no mention.

The last we hear of the Ring before Frodo wakes in Rivendell is just after he is attacked on Weathertop:

When Frodo came to himself he was still clutching the Ring desperately.

Book I, Chapter 12, "The Flight to the Ford"

At this point, it's still on its chain; during the attack Frodo wears it this way.

Resistance became unbearable, and at last he slowly drew out the chain, and slipped the Ring on the forefinger of his left hand.

Book I, Chapter 11, "A Knife in the Dark"

We see no more of the Ring until the passage you mention, and there is no mention of who provided the "clean garments of green cloth" in which Frodo dressed when he got up. Presumably it was at the orders of Elrond, who seems to have been Frodo's primary caregiver; it seems unlikely he would have told assistants about the Ring. (Even Frodo guessed it was not a matter for casual talk.)

There's no further mention of the Ring in The Shadow of the Past, that part of the History of Middle-earth which discusses early drafts of The Fellowship of the Ring. In fact this particular scene with Bilbo and Frodo doesn't appear in that volume.

So we are left guessing. Perhaps most likely is that it was an assistant of Elrond, an inhabitant of Rivendell who was unaware that this was The Ring.

  • 2
    While they likely wouldn't have known it was The Ring, they would probably have been told it was a perilous object and told to be careful and not touch it. – Werrf Jun 16 '17 at 14:31
  • @Werrf That's certainly plausible. – Matt Gutting Jun 16 '17 at 14:34
6

No idea at all, but we could make accurate assumptions.

  1. Elrond, Lord of Rivendell

    It's likely. Remember that Elrond is the one to care for Frodo after the events of "Flight to the Ford". He's the one that removes the splinter blade from Frodo's shoulder.

    'Good!' said Gandalf. 'It is mending fast. You will soon be sound again. Elrond has cured you: he has tended you for days, ever since you were brought in.'

  2. Gandalf

    Gandalf seems to have been sitting at Frodo's side most of the time.

    'Where am I, and what is the time?' he said aloud to the ceiling. 'In the House of Elrond, and it is ten o'clock in the morning.' said a voice. 'It is the morning of October the twenty-fourth, if you want to know.'

    'Gandalf!' cried Frodo, sitting up. There was the old wizard, sitting in a chair by the open window.

    'Yes,' he said, 'I am here. And you are lucky to be here, too, after all the absurd things you have done since you left home.'

Other possible guesses:

  1. Elvish caretakers of Frodo
  • Samwise could have done it – Doctor Two Jun 16 '17 at 15:05
  • 2
    No, Sam's first dealing with the ring is with Shelob. I believe this is covered somewhere on the site. – Edlothiad Jun 16 '17 at 15:09
  • 1
    Possibly another quote to support Gandalf being at Frodo's side much of the time is "'You have talked long in your sleep, Frodo,' said Gandalf gently, 'and it has not been hard for me to read your mind and memory.'" – Matt Gutting Jun 16 '17 at 17:04
  • Galadriel is the only one who passed the test AFAIK, one which Gandalf was unwilling to take. – Mazura Jun 17 '17 at 1:04
  • Would Gandalf really've wanted to be the one to do that? – can-ned_food Jun 17 '17 at 1:09

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