After Sauron finished crafting the One Ring and placed it upon his finger the elves knew of his treachery, and his intentions. But how did the elves know where Sauron crafted the One Ring? And how did they know that throwing the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom would destroy the One Ring? How did they know that there was no other way in existence to destroy the ring?

No one ever tried to destroy the One Ring before. Isildur took it shortly after cutting it free from Sauron's hand. The ring corrupted him and Isildur would never allow it to be handled by anyone else. From there he lost the ring when it betrayed him in the river. After that it came into the possession of Gollum / Sméagol. We know Gollum never tried to destroy it. Then Bilbo found it. Other than when Gandalf threw the ring into the fireplace no one ever tried to harm the ring.

And this leads me back to the beginning. How did the Elves know where the One Ring was forged, and how did they know that the fires of Mount Doom were the only way to destroy the One Ring?

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    Minor point, but was Gandalf really trying to harm the ring? He was trying to identify it (metal doesn't melt unless the fire is very hot) Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 7:05
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    Another point : In the movie , Gimli tried to destroy the Ring as well. Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 8:42
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    @marcellothearcane He tried to identify it, after reading texts by Isildur in Gondor. Isildur wrote something along the lines of "the markings are already fading, only the flame can bring them back". I don't recall the exact quote (or maybe that was the movie only), but supposedly Isildur had also documented the runes.
    – Amarth
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    There are three separate questions here. You can break this up into 3 separate posts. 1. How did the elves know where Sauron made the ring? 2. How did they know that throwing it into Mt. Doom would destroy it? 3. How did they know that was the only way to destroy it?
    – RichS
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 23:44
  • Could they learn this with the palantir stones?
    – user89104
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 5:25

3 Answers 3


Possible Answer;

When Sauron put on the One Ring, the Elves were "aware" of him. There was a connection between the Rings, and the elves might have been aware of him through this.

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    I think this is half the answer. The other half is that the Elves -- Celebrimbor particularly -- were nearly as learned in the lore of ring-making as Sauron. They were taught by Sauron -- why he did so is an interesting question -- and were able to craft the Three independently of him. At that level of expertise, it's plausible that as soon as they knew what Sauron had done, they also could infer much about how he did it. And because of the need for immoderate fire in the casting, also could say where.
    – Mark Olson
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 1:21
  • How were they "aware" of him? How did this awareness allow them to know the One Ring must be destroyed in Mount Doom? Your answer doesn't even answer the question.
    – user89104
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 5:27
  • @MarkOlson - Sauron taught the Elves to make Rings of Power as part of a failed project to control them. See my answer to the question "Was Frodo able to see that Gandalf wore Narya and Elrond wore Vilya?" -- scifi.stackexchange.com/a/260387/144448
    – Lesser son
    Commented Feb 28, 2022 at 23:57

In "The Return of the Shadow," it's stated that Sauron:

made many rings, and he dealt them out lavishly, so that they might be spread abroad to ensnare folk.

Although he forged the One Ring in secret, according to "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age", he was in Mordor, wherein lies Orodruin, when he did his forgings.

Indeed for that reason Sauron had set there his dwelling long before, for he used the fire that welled there from the heart of the earth in his sorceries and in his forging; and in the midst of the Land of Mordor he had fashioned the Ruling Ring.

So, as others have alluded to and as discussed in the "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age,"

As soon as Sauron set the One Ring upon his finger they [the elves] were aware of him; and they knew him, and perceived that he would be master of them, and of all that they wrought.

By the time of the third-age and the Fellowship, it had been handed down in verse:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

As for how they knew that that throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom would destroy the ring? This is speculative, but the elves were supreme craftsman and it may be that knowing about forging, they figured the fires of Mount Doom were hot enough to forge the ring and to undo it, as well. This may not have been the only way, but perhaps they thought it the surest way.

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    Please don't use code markdown for quotes, there's quote markdown for that
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 10:21

Another Possible Answer:

In LoTR the general understanding is that forging the Great Ring involved a heat level greater than or equal to that of Ancalagon the Black. The only thing hotter than Ancalagon is Mount Doom; since Ancalagon wasn't available, the Ring had to have been forged there.

  • That would just establish Mount Doom as a lower bound on the heat necessary.
    – chepner
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 14:53
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    If I remember correctly, this understanding came from experience: several of the dwarven rings had been destroyed by dragons. Who probably didn't have the same "firepower" as Ancalagon, but perhaps similar to Mount Doom. There's some part where they ironically regret killing Smaug iirc.
    – Amarth
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 15:11
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    @chepner Mount Doom is the lower bound of heat necessary and there was nothing hotter than Mount Doom available to Sauron, ergo the Ring must have been forged there. Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 15:52
  • That assumes whatever "magic" went into the production didn't up the melting point of the original material.
    – chepner
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 16:06

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