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Everyone knows that the only place in Arda that the One Ring could be unmade was in the fiery pits of the Cracks of Doom but, as has been asked elsewhere, what was so special about the CoD? I've seen answers that speak to the rarity of volcanoes in Tolkien's legendarium (Mount Doom being the only one mentioned in the Third Age), or that Orodruin had an almost magical essence by dint of being where the One was forged.

So I came up with another thought and after some Googling haven't seen it spoken about. Could the Cracks of Doom be where Maedhros threw himself and his Silmaril into a fiery pit? Could the presence of a Silmaril be what gives Orodruin it's power?

There's obviously not a lot to go on but we know that Maedhros tossed himself and the Jewel into a fiery pit after the ruin of Beleriand so Mount Doom could certainly have been present at the end of the First Age, no?

Thoughts?

  • I am curious as to the reasons for the downvotes? What help center rule was violated? – MikeJRamsey56 Dec 31 '18 at 21:22
  • @MikeJRamsey56 Downvotes aren't for violating rules; they're for a post which someone feels (for whatever reason) is low-quality or poorly researched. A question doesn't have to be off-topic or rule-violating to get downvoted - it just has to be 'bad' in someone's opinion. – Rand al'Thor Jan 3 at 15:18
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    OK. Given the "kinder, gentler" stackexchange that the mods are now promoting, a downvote should include a comment with a suggestion for how to improve the question. Just saying. :-) Thank you. – MikeJRamsey56 Jan 3 at 17:24
  • @MikeJRamsey56 Not really, you can just hover mouse pointer over downvote button to get standard reasons for using it. And I'm pretty sure if comments were forced on downvoting, some of them wouldn't be kind or gentle at all. – Mithoron Jan 4 at 2:16
  • @mithoron thank you. I guess that is better than netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/94q4/vaxnotesreject.html – MikeJRamsey56 Jan 6 at 17:08
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Probably not, but no one can say for sure. The relevant text from The Silmarillion is:

Yet he yielded at last to the will of Maedhros, and they took counsel together how they should lay hands on the Silmarils. And they disguised themselves, and came in the night to the camp of Eönwe, and crept into the place where the Silmarils were guarded; and they slew the guards, and laid hands on the jewels. Then all the camp was raised against them, and they prepared to die, defending themselves until the last. But Eönwe would not permit the slaying of the sons of Feanor; and departing unfought they fled far away. Each of them took to himself a Silmaril, for they said 'Since one is lost to us, and but two remain, and we two alone of our brothers, so is it plain that fate would have us share the heirlooms of our father.'

But the jewel burned the hand of Maedhros in pain unbearable; and he perceived that it was as Eönwe had said, and that his right thereto had become void, and that the oath was vain. And being in anguish and despair he cast himself into a gaping chasm filled with fire, and so ended; and the Silmaril that he bore was taken into the bosom of the Earth,

And it is told of Maglor that he could not endure the pain with which the Silmaril tormented him; and he cast it at last into the Sea, and thereafter he wandered ever upon the shores, singing in pain and regret beside the waves. For Maglor was mighty among the singers of old, named only after Daeron of Doriath; but he came never back among the people of the Elves. And thus it came to pass that the Silmarils found their long homes one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.

Not very specific! All you can say for sure is that Eönwe's camp must have been east of Belierand, since Beleriand to the west had foundered during the War which ended the First Age.

Yet it's very hard to see why his camp would be in what was later Mordor, since it was far to the south and east of where the action was -- Lindon or even the area where the Shire later was would have been much closer to the fighting.

But if you argue that Maedhros may have traveled far from where he stole the Silmaril, and finally gave up at the site of Mt. Doom, it's impossible to say that this is not right.

6

The Cracks of Doom are the only place the main characters assume the Ring could be unmade, probably because it's the only volcano they know of. No magical explanation is necessary, just that all other observed fires had no affect on the Ring.

There's an argument to be made for affinity: the Ring was made in Orodruin, so could only be unmade there as well.

There are more or less explicit hints that one reason Sauron chose Mordor for his stronghold was the presence of Orodruin, but there is no other suggestion that the volcano was special for any reason other than that it was a volcano.

It seems unlikely, given all other writings on the subject, that the power of the Silmaril could have been used directly or indirectly to create something "evil" like the One Ring, whose purpose was to dominate the wills of others.

Sometimes, a volcano is just a volcano.

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Nearly the entirety of the Silmarillion is set in Beleriand. A region west of Middle-Earth as it appears in Lord of the Rings (except for Lindon on the west coast, which had the eastern edge of Beleriand). For a Silmaril to have been thrown into Mt Doom would have required a very long journey east (probably south east), while the Silmarillion does mention that they fled far are taking the Silmarils back from the Host of Valinor, it is hard to believe they fled that far (or that it would not have been specified if they went there of all places).

It was far more likely a temporary opening due to the destruction of Beleriand.

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