Is The One Ring not just an object that holds a part(or most of) Sauron's power but rather also a part of his soul? (similar to Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes in Harry Potter). Sauron almost dies when his ring finger gets cut off during his battle with Isildur & Elrond. This may hint towards the Ring not only holding his power but also his lifeforce.

Furthermore in many instances the Ring seems to have intelligence of its own which may indicate a mind (and possibly even a soul).

  • “This may hint towards the Ring not only holding his power but also his lifeforce.” I thought you said soul. Nov 24, 2015 at 12:09
  • Similar to Horcrux? Sigh. I wish people would stop suggesting that. Not only did the Ring want to be found (the Horcruxes hardly wanted that) but even after all of the Horcruxes were destroyed it would take an uncommonly good wizard to kill him. Dumbledore says this directly. And Sauron had already lost his body and he never actually dies. He's reduced to an impotent shadow. Meanwhile Voldemort was mortal after the Horcruxes were destroyed. There are many other ways the analogy is wrong but if anything (to those who say it's Sauron's Horcrux) it should be the other way round at the least.
    – Pryftan
    Feb 20, 2019 at 21:33

3 Answers 3


In an old question about whether Harry Potter was inspired by The Lord of the Rings, I had this to say about the similarities between the works:

Because both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings borrow from folklore and mythology, they would necessarily share many elements. And when we cherry-pick the ones that seem to match, it makes it feel like their structure is similar, when in fact it's just random points of congruence.

"A magical items to transcend death", for instance [is] a common trope in legend and folklore. Lloyd Alexander used a similar one in Taran Wanderer, in 1967, with the sorcerer Morda storing his life in his little finger, and that one borrowed heavily from Welsh myth.

So in the sense that both Sauron's Ring and Voldemort's Horcruxes are magical objects into which a powerful sorcerer transferred a portion of his life essence - yes, they are similar. However, both the One Ring and the Horcruxes carry a lot of other baggage with them, with other powers unrelated, directly, to the storing of the essence, which makes them distinct enough from each other.

  • Wow, I was thinking about Morda's finger too. I was surprised when you mentioned it. Jun 11, 2014 at 14:24
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    The similarities stop beyond a portion of each inside the artefact. Horcruxes didn't want to be found; the Ring did (it abandoned Gollum because it would never be found otherwise). When the Horcruxes are destroyed Voldemort is still a threat but mortal. When the Ring is destroyed Sauron is diminished to an impotent shadow that can never threaten Middle-earth again. The Ring is to dominate others and the Rings of Power themselves. Other things make the analogy poor. Which I’m not saying you're suggesting but it's something that irks me enough I wanted to add some ways they're very different.
    – Pryftan
    Feb 20, 2019 at 21:37

I don't think so.

The problem is that beings in Tolkien and Rowling have a somewhat different spiritual anatomy, so it's hard to draw too close an analogy between the two worlds.

In Tolkien, the Ainur (which Sauron and Melkor both were) were angelic beings who existed before the world was created. They did not have a spiritual part combined with a material part, but were purely spiritual, taking on bodies only for convenience:

...their shape comes of their knowledge of the visible World, rather than of the World itself; and they need it not, save only as we use raiment, and yet we may be naked and suffer no loss of our being. Therefore the Valar may walk, if they will, unclad, and then even the Eldar cannot clearly perceive them, though they be present. But when they desire to clothe themselves the Valar take upon them forms some as of male and some as of female; for that difference of temper they had even from their beginning, and it is but bodied forth in the choice of each, not made by the choice, even as with us male and female may be shown by the raiment but is not made thereby. But the shapes wherein the Great Ones array themselves are not at all times like to the shapes of the kings and queens of the Children of Iluvatar; for at times they may clothe themselves in their own thought, made visible in forms of majesty and dread.

[my emphasis]

When Sauron forged the One Ring,

much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow.

What went into the Ring wasn't Sauron's soul -- his identity -- but the strength that made Sauron a powerful member of the Maiar and not one of the "lesser spirits" that served the Valar. And thus the destruction of the Ring would not destroy Sauron, but would destroy the power he put into the Ring, leaving him diminished:

They counselled [Isildur] to cast [the Ring] into the fire of Orodruin nigh at hand, in which it had been forged, so that it should perish, and the power of Sauron be for ever diminished, and he should remain only as a shadow of malice in the wilderness.

And later, at the Council of Elrond:

If [the Ring] is destroyed, then he will fall; and his fall will be so low that none can foresee his arising ever again. For he will lose the best part of the strength that was native to him in his beginning, and all that was made or begun with that power will crumble, and he will be maimed for ever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but cannot again grow or take shape.

The One Ring contain's much of Sauron's strength but it did not contain Sauron.

In Rowling's world, Voldemort seems to have been an ordinary (if very powerful) human being. The world of Harry Potter is a bit of a mish-mash and I can't tell if Rowling makes a meaningful distinction between "soul" and "life force". It's clear that Voldemort puts his life force into the horcrux -- the mystical whatever-it-is that keeps him alive. If people in Rowling's world have immortal souls which survive death and are judged, then Voldemort would appear to have put his life force and not his soul into the horcrux. If souls are the life force and can be destroyed, then they're something different than the angelic beings that Tolkien was talking about.

Bottom line: It looks like what Sauron did and what Voldemort did are similar in many ways, but are not the same. Tolkien makes it clear that after the destruction of the Ring Sauron continues to exist in Middle Earth, but no longer has the power to be more than "a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but cannot again grow or take shape."

  • You didn't include the "and will" part in your analysis of the quotation after "When Sauron forged the One Ring"...OP is vague about whether "soul" might mean "lifeforce" or "consciousness".
    – Spencer
    Feb 20, 2019 at 16:56
  • By soul I did mean "life force" Feb 21, 2019 at 17:46
  • OK, that makes a difference. Not everyone sees them as the same, though.
    – Mark Olson
    Feb 21, 2019 at 20:37

This is a question (or in some cases a blatant statement) I've seen many times. A statement which the ultimate answer to is no. To understand the true nature of these dark objects we must first look at their creators and their intentions:

Mairon (Quenya: The Admirable), later known as Sauron (Quenya: The Abhorred), was one of the immortal spirits known as the Maiar. Mairon was, at most, the most powerful Maia, and at least an extremely powerful one. Mairon was corrupted by the Valar known as Melkor (Quenya: He Who Arises In Might), later named Morgoth (Quenya: Dark Enemy) by Fëanor (High King of the Noldor). Mairon became Melkor's chief Lietuenant (equal only to Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs), which only added to Mairon's already impressive power. However, Melkor was eventually defeated by the Valar and cast into the Abyss. During the battle Mairon was wounded, which lessened the Maia's power. The strongest blow to Mairon's power, however, was the loss of Melkor. Without Melkor's power and influence (in addition to the wounds) Mairon's power grew to a fraction of it's former glory. This sudden weakening prompted a change in form (one of the traits of the Maiar). This new form was known as Sauron. Sauron then took refuge in the land of Mordor, preparing to avenge his master. It was at this point that Sauron crafted the Rings of Power (although the Elven rings were crafted by Celebrimor, an Elf). Soon after that, Sauron was taken prisoner (on purpose) by the Numenorians (very powerful humans). Sauron eventually influced the Numenorians into an attack on Valinor (the undying lands). This attack was thwarted by Eru (God, essentially) and Sauron lost much of his remaining power. Sauron forged the One Ring to make his power threefold that of Mairon's. The Ring DID in fact contain his remaining power and malevolence, although his soul had nothing to do with it. When the Ring was destroyed Sauron was not actually killed. Instead, all of his remaing power was so diminished that he could no longer gain spectral of copereal form. Sauron's spirt was sucked into the Void, where he now drifts aimlessly.

(NOTE: This is not Mairon's entire story. Nay, it is not even close. Even the events I mentioned are heavily snynopsized.

Tom Marvalo Riddle, more often called Voldemort (French- Vol De Mort: Flight From Death) or an array of hyphenated names, was born as the result of a Love Potion endused rape between an incredibly inbred squib (Merope Gaunt) and a muggle (Tom Riddle, senior). If only Merope hadn't married Riddle Sr... Then we could have added bastard to the list as well. Merope died giving birth to Tom Jr. and his father ran off as soon as the potions stopped. Unfortunately for the wizarding world, the Gaunts were the last descendants of Salazar Slytherin. This led to Tom being particularly gifted in area of Dark Magic. When Tom was only sixteen he split his soul for the first time, creating a Horcrux. However, Tom did not do this to become more powerful. Instead, he did it in an attempt to escape death. But there is one small point about the Horcruxes many do not relise. Most would think that his soul resides in equal parts within each object. They would be wrong. Every Tom made a Horcrux, it split the soul currently in his body. The percentages look like this:

Diary: 50% Gaunt Family Ring: 25% Slytherin's Locket: 12.5% Hufflepuff's Cup: 6.2% Ravenclaw's Diadem: 3.1% Harry James Potter: 1.5% Nagini: 0.7% Tom Marvalo Riddle: 0.7

This percentage scale easily explains why some of the Horcruxes had manipulative properties. It is now easy to see how the diary possesed Ginny while Nagini the Cup did not have much of an effect on the 'Golden Trio'. It also explains why the Locket created vivid hallucinations, hostile behaviour, and greed, but did not go so far as to possess the wearer. Perhaps this is also why Voldemort fell in the end. Perhaps he simply could not face the power of a good soul.

Let's do a final Ring vs. Horcux comparison:

Ring: Influnce by malevolence and malice Forged by a Maia Created as a conduit for the multiplication of power

Horcrux: Influnce by an evil soul attempting to assault the mind Made by a mere human Used to avoid death

As you can see, the One Ring is most certainly NOT a Horcrux. This should answer the fated question once and for all.

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    I don't think this really answers the question. The OP isn't asking if the Ring is a Horcrux, as defined in Harry Potter; they're asking if the Ring contains a piece of Sauron's soul Apr 8, 2015 at 23:39
  • @JasonBaker If anyone would know the answer to the following question, it would probably be you - does Sauron even have a soul?
    – Wad Cheber
    May 16, 2015 at 2:24
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    @WadCheber Sort of. Certainly not in the same way incarnate beings do May 16, 2015 at 3:13
  • Creating the ring did not increase Sauron's power; it allowed him, by investing his power in the ring, to exert control over the other rings. Destroying the ring destroyed that power, but the mere loss of the ring did not affect Sauron.
    – chepner
    Nov 24, 2015 at 16:54
  • "snynopsized" should be "synopsized" Feb 12, 2016 at 13:32

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