All the volcanoes in middle earth are a throw back to Melkor trying to trash middle earth (executive summary of this answer).

Would any other volcano contain enough 'power' from Melkor to do likewise? Or was mount Doom merely the closest?

  • A quick search says that volcanoes are quite sparse in Middle earth, but I don't have the Atlas of Middle Earth. I know there were some in the Iron Mountains but how far away they are, I'm not sure. – AncientSwordRage Jan 5 '14 at 13:21
  • Logically speaking, if it was possible, surely the Gandalf would choose to travel to any OTHER volcano that is NOT in the middle of Sauron's domain? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '14 at 13:29

The One Ring was forged by Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom itself - probably at the very spot that Frodo and Sam (and Gollum) were standing in, above the fiery pit. Thus, I think it's safe to say that the destruction of the ring isn't linked to a specific temperature or melting point, or even to some mystic energy left over from Melkor's spiteful attempts to mar Arda, but to a much simpler case of closing a circle - where it was forged, there it shall be undone. It's a symmetrical correspondence that works well both on a thematic/narrative level, and also on a metaphysical/mystical level.

Of course, this does leave us with Gandalf's (Or was it Elrond's?) comment about dragonfire destroying Rings of Power, but I think that this is mostly speculation, and idle speculation, at that, even by Gandalf's reckoning - he noted both that the ancient dragons are long gone, and that even if they were, the One Ring itself would probably be too powerful even for them to destroy. Gandalf knows that it's Mount Doom or Bust, but allows himself the brief luxury of remembering Ancalagon the Black as the lesser evil.

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    Didn't Gandalf very explicitly note that dragonfire can destroy other Rings but NOT The One Ring? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '14 at 13:42
  • Well, he explicitly speculated, yes. I'll address that. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jan 5 '14 at 13:43
  • @DVK - no, he didn't; he said "It has been said that dragon-fire could melt and consume the Rings of Power" - pure speculation, and noted at second-hand too. But yes to "NOT the one". – user8719 Jan 5 '14 at 13:45
  • Also Gandalf's "for that was made by Sauron himself" suggests that the power of the maker is an important factor in how a Ring can (or cannot) be destroyed. – user8719 Jan 5 '14 at 13:48
  • @JimmyShelter - I meant the "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" line – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '14 at 13:48

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