Would it make a target obfuscation for Sauron? I mean, Sauron only watches the Ring but not lava right?

If lava cools during journey, would it work if they re-melt it before using?

  • 8
    "The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade." - That seems definitive. Not elsewhere.
    – Valorum
    Sep 16, 2021 at 20:20
  • 1
    Hey everyone, I recommend leaving this open; it's a valid question, even if the premise is unfounded; and it can be answered definitively (as @RandAlThor has done).
    – Spencer
    Sep 17, 2021 at 1:24

2 Answers 2


The lava itself doesn't have magical properties; the important thing is the heat which is only found in Mount Doom.

As Gandalf tells Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 2, "Shadows of the Past":

"Your small fire, of course would not melt even ordinary gold. This Ring has already passed through it unscathed, and even unheated. But there is no smith's forge in this Shire that could change it at all. Not even the anvils and furnaces of the Dwarves could do that. It has been said that dragon-fire could melt and consume the Rings of Power, but there is not now any dragon left on earth in which the old fire is hot enough; nor was there ever any dragon, not even Ancalagon the Black, who could have harmed the One Ring, the Ruling Ring, for that was made by Sauron himself.

"There is only one way: to find the Cracks of Doom in the depths of Orodruin, the Fire-mountain, and cast the Ring in there, if you really wish to destroy it, to put it beyond the grasp of the Enemy for ever."

The important thing to destroy the One Ring is not the particular quality of the melted stone at Orodruin; it's the heat of the fires in the Cracks of Doom, which can't be found anywhere else. Transporting some lava (which would obviously cool during the journey) and then re-melting it wouldn't achieve the necessary conditions for destroying the Ring, as the re-melting would be using ordinary mortal fires and forges rather than the awesome heat of Mount Doom.

  • I find this answer acceptable, and it's quite an interesting question. Sep 16, 2021 at 20:27
  • 3
    I don't think it's just a matter of heat, which in theory could be provided. It's rather a matter of loophole in One Ring's protection from fire. Sauron's power was linked to Mount Doom and when he used the place to make the Ring, it couldn't be protected from heat. Because of that, Sauron made a loophole in overall protection from fire and it made an opportunity to destroy it, much like it was made.
    – Mithoron
    Sep 16, 2021 at 21:04
  • Hang on if it's just a matter of heat then what about some nitric and hydrochloric acid chemistry. Now maybe middle earth only has one volcano but it seems to me that there should be like affects like sympathetic magic involved here that links forging and destruction and renders my science moot. Sep 17, 2021 at 3:39
  • 1
    I think that the Ring has to be unmade in the fires in which it was made. Gandalf may know of some magical rule about undoing magic which in some cases means that spell can only be undone in the places and in the ways that they were cast. So evenheat much greater than Mount Doom would not melt the Ring. Sep 17, 2021 at 18:53
  • The melting point of iron is 1538 C, whereas lava is typically 700–1200 C. So any iron smelting civilization could choose to make lava. So the issue is not temperature per se, but rather something magical about Orodruin itself. But NB temperature and heat aren’t synonyms. While the Cracks of Doom aren’t particularly hot compared to various steel Forbes in Middle Earth, they contain a massive amount of heat, due to their volume. Oct 8, 2021 at 5:09

The suggestion in the question has a few fatal flaws and problems.

One) The Hobbits have to find a lava proof container and dip it in the lava and pull up osme heavy lava without falling in, and then carry that lava all the way back out of Mordor and back to the Shire, without being killed by the heat from the lava and being caught by Orcs in Mordor.

Two) Frodo and Sam were just about to lie down and die from starvation, thirst, and exhaustion when they reached the Crack of Doom. Sam had realized days before that they could barely make it to Mount Doom and could never make it back home alive.

The only thing which saved Frodo and Sam was the immediate destruction of the Ring. That caused effects which Gandalf noticed and so Gandalf persuaded some eagles to fly to Mount Doom and rescue Frodo and Sam in the nick of time.

Frodo and Sam could never make it back out of Mordor to a place of safety dragging a container of lava.

Three) It was theoretically possible for Butterbur to remember to send Gandalf's letter to Frodo and for Frodo to leave much sooner, and have a faster and less dangerous journey to Rivendell, and a much earlier Council of Elrond, and set out ont the quest much earlier, reach Mount Doom much earlier, grab soem lava, make it out of Mordor, and return to Minas Tirith, Lorien, Rivendell, or the Shire, and destroy the Ring, before Sauron's armies or a group of Nazgul reached wherever the Ring was and captured it.

But the odds against that happening would be very high. Very, very, very, very high.

The way it did happen Sauron's troop movements within Mordor and outside of it contributed to the Hobbits making it to Mount Doom. If they had tried to enter Mordor earlier it would have been guarded much better. And it would have been pretty much impossible for the Hobbits to carry enough food and water to get into MOrdor, reach Mount Doom, and get out of Mordor alive even if Sauron didn't have a single warrior there.

Four) As Rand al'Thor's answer says, the lava would cool off on the long journey back from Mordor (possibly scorching or scalding or roasting the Hobbits to death). Then they would have to reheat the lava. And Rand al'Thor claims that the lava would have to be reheated to the temperature within the Mountain of Fire, and that temperature would be far higher than any temperature that could be created by anyone anywhere else on Middle-earth. So that would fail to destroy the Ring.

Five) But I think that the problem is much worse than Rand al'Thor said. I believe that in a world with magic, many items made with magic have magical links to the person who created them and to the place they were made, and to the conditions in which they were made. And we may note the Ring had a constant magical connection to Sauron, maintaining his powers, and that it had a magical connection to the fires of Mount Doom, growing stronger the closer it came to them.

So maybe Gandalf, with his knowledge of Middle-earth magic, so much greater than ours, knew or deduced that the spells which made the ring could only be unmade in the conditions which made them, the hot lava in Mount Doom, and could only be unmade in the place where those spells were made, the Crack of Doom.

Even equally hot lava wouldn't destroy the Ring if the Ring was tossed into some hypothetical other volcano. Only the lava of Mount doom would do, and only in MOunt Doom. Even heat much greater than the lava of Mount Doom - like the heat on the surface of the Sun which they had no way of reaching - couldn't destroy the Ring if it was not at the Crack of Doom.

But if if there were such connections, wouldn't the connection to Sauron also be necessary? Sauron wasn't present, and would never knowingly destroy the Ring. But I think that Sauron unknowlingly caused the destruction of the Ring.

The Ring had some of Sauron's evil will in it, and constantly encouraged the evil desires of people around it. So the Ring's influence, an echo of Sauron's will, made Frodo desire to claim the Ring instead of destroying it, and made Golluem desire the Ring for himself, and so fight Frodo for it and fall into the lava with it.

Sauron's telepathic influence filled his servants (and all other beings who may have received it) with desire for evil and the Ring was spritually linked with Sauron, and naturally and automatically retransmitted Saruon's evil telepathic influence to everyone near it. Thus Sauron's mental influence transmitted through the Ring caused the actions which led to the destruction of the Ring.

The power of the Ring to control people made it impossible for any person to stay good enough to actually destroy the ring when they were standing in teh Crack of Doom in the one place where it could be destroyed, which was also the one place where nobody could possibly have the will to destroy the Ring.

So nobody could reach the crack of Doom and still retain the good desire to destroy the Ring.

By the time anyone could reach the Crack of Doom, even if carried by eagles, the Ring would give them an overwealming evil desire to possess the Ring and become the new Dark LOrd. So either they would be powerful enough to overthrow Sauron and become the new Dark Lord, or Sauron would overpower them and get the Ring back.

A catch 22 situation. It was impossible for anyone to take the Ring to Mount Doom with either good or evil intentions without the Ring ending up on the finger of a Dark Lord, either Sauron or a new Dark Lord.

So the way the Ring was actually destroyed was the only possible way I canthink of that it could have been destroyed. And that chain of events was the result of both good -Frodo's pity and mercy with Gollum - and evil - the evil desires of Frodo and Gollum to possess and use the Ring. And those evil desires whichled to the descrucitn of the Ring were unknowingly caused by Sauron.

So in the end people came to the Crack of Doom not with good desires or evil desires, but with both good and evil desires, and both were necessary for the destruction of the Ring.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.