Who are all the characters in The Lord of the Rings to have touched The One Ring, actually worn it on their fingers, or otherwise had it in their possession (even for a brief period of time)? Please indicate the type of contact, duration, order, and any other pertinent information.


2 Answers 2


This question addresses who wore the ring, but to answer the [pre-edit] question:

From the LOTR Wikia, including momentary 'bearers': enter image description here

  • 1
    @coleopterist At least in the movie, Boromir momentarily held the ring without skin contact. So I think that is what the list is.
    – Izkata
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 7:14
  • 5
    @mort - the question isn't restricted to those who wore it. By the way, somebody probably also touched it in Rivendell - see Many Meetings: "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".
    – user8719
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 14:08
  • 1
    @mh01 assuming Elrond knew what it was at the time, and was overly (sufficiently?) paranoid about it, it's possible he threaded the chain onto the ring in Frodo's pocket without touching the ring itself.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 14:50
  • 1
    @mort I'm pretty sure the Gandalf entry is from when he was showing Frodo the hidden writing on the Ring back at Bag End. You're right that he didn't wear it, but he did touch/hold it for some short period there.
    – user1027
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 17:02
  • 1
    @Izkata the movies are a corruption of the lore, Boromir never touched the ring. He desired to, which is why Frodo fled the company.
    – jwenting
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 14:02

Sauron wore it... though in the movie it is worn over a glove... but that means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Isildur wore it. This was why he could not bring himself to destroy it.

There was never a real list of what might have happened to it After Isildur wore it as the thing was 'lost' and found in the river.

Déagol touched it, since he was a poor river thing I would admit that it was skin contact on the hand and probably why he would not give it up to Sméagol and Sméagol had to kill him for it.

Sméagol wore it and it turned him into Gollum.

Bilbo wore it as that was how he escaped Gollum, and subsequently uses it after that.

Frodo wore it, as that was how the story and movie was based.

and he was wearing it when Gollum bit it off his finger.

Gandalf touched it, more than likely skin contact as to why you see him toss the ring down and recoil from it, to place the ring in something protective to give to Bilbo.

Bombadil wore it, and the ring disappeared rather than Tom disappearing.

Samwise touched it and wore it as a necklace for sometime until Frodo was back. I believe he never wore it on his finger, though I would like to conclude he might have made a better ringbearer.

Gollum touched it again

and died with it when the ring was destroyed.

  • Worthwhile for me to recreate table and edit my answer with short-form versions of this in a sixth column?
    – Solemnity
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 5:49
  • 10
    In the books, Sam did wear the Ring. After the attack of Shelob, when he thought Frodo dead, Sam took the Ring. When the orcs approached, Sam slipped on the Ring and followed them.
    – Jim Green
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 13:25
  • 1
    I was never 100% sure that Gandalf did handle the Ring in Bag End or not. Will have to check the book to find the appropriate passage. Commented May 6, 2015 at 9:53
  • 3
    The Ring didn't disappear while Bombadil was wearing it, he made it disappear later.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 21:06
  • "This was why he could not bring himself to destroy it" - is not confirmed. Better evidence is that he wore it to try to escape the orc attack that killed him.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 10:03

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