Questions tagged [the-one-ring]

The One Ring, created by Sauron, is the most powerful of the Rings Of Power in Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings saga. Imbibed with Sauron's powers, the Ring rules over the lesser magical rings mentioned in its secret inscription. Always use in conjunction with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag.

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480 votes
17 answers
80k views

Would the One Ring even work for anyone but Sauron?

The temptation of the One Ring, we quickly learn, is always tied up with power: each character's fantasies of possessing it seem to be about what they would do with great power. Even Sam, as I recall, ...
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65 votes
7 answers
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Why didn't Sauron find Bilbo when he put on the ring like Frodo?

When Frodo put on the One Ring, both the Nazgûl and Sauron himself found Frodo. However when Bilbo had the ring and possibly used it many times, Sauron sought Gollum to get a hint on where to look for ...
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163 votes
13 answers
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Why didn't Sauron become invisible while wearing the One Ring?

I'm curious as to why Sauron is the only being/person shown wearing the One Ring who does not become invisible? Isildur, Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and Samwise all become invisible while wearing the One ...
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64 votes
4 answers
17k views

What effect would the One Ring have on other people?

We know that for hobbits, the One Ring makes them invisible. But, at least according to the movie, Sauron was not invisible when he was wearing the ring. What effects would the ring have on other ...
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61 votes
5 answers
22k views

Why didn’t they just take the ring to Valinor?

At the end of ‘The Return of the King’, Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf and others boarded a boat and left Middle-earth for Valinor. Is there any canon explanation why they couldn’t just take the ring there in ...
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33 votes
5 answers
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What is the point of Sauron making the One Ring?

Why would Sauron make himself a ring that he invested most of his power in? Wouldn't it be better to keep the power in his physical form and not risk leaving his power in a physical form that could be ...
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38 votes
4 answers
23k views

What would have happened if Saruman had gotten the One Ring?

If the Uruk Army sent by Saruman had captured Frodo and had gotten the One Ring to Saruman, what would Saruman have done with it? Would he have given the Ring back to Sauron or would he have kept the ...
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81 votes
12 answers
63k views

Why didn't Elrond or Círdan take the ring from Isildur by force and destroy it?

'Alas! yes,’ said Elrond. 'Isildur took it, as should not have been. It should have been cast then into Orodruin’s fire nigh at hand where it was made. But few marked what Isildur did. He alone stood ...
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40 votes
6 answers
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Why does the Ring have such an obsessive possessive effect?

In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, we see in Bilbo and Frodo and, to a more extreme extent, Gollum, all bearers of the one ring, that they become extremely possessive of the ring and do ...
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25 votes
4 answers
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What did Sauron mean when he "talked" to Pippin?

When Pippin... um... 'borrows' the Palantir taken from Orthanc, he hears (for lack of a better word) Sauron say the following in his head: Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send ...
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29 votes
1 answer
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Why do Bilbo and Frodo gain access to Valinor?

It's been quite some time since I read the actual books but in the movies at least at the end Frodo and Bilbo are granted passage on the last ship out of the Grey Havens to Valinor. As I understand ...
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75 votes
12 answers
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Why did Sméagol turn into a 'creature' when addicted to the ring, but not Bilbo Baggins?

Why did Sméagol turn into a 'creature', but not Bilbo Baggins? Déagol found the ring in a river, Sméagol stole it and then turned into a weird creature. Bilbo did not turn into a creature when he ...
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44 votes
8 answers
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How did Sam remain unaffected by the ring's power?

There are two characters who seem to be able to handle and wear the One Ring without being affected by its power. One is the mysterious Tom Bombadil. Later in the book, another character seems to have ...
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85 votes
8 answers
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Why did Gollum ever take off the ring in the first place?

Bilbo was able to take the ring because Gollum had taken it off. If you had the ring, and were accustomed to wearing it, why would you ever take it off anyway?
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76 votes
9 answers
17k views

Why does Gollum calling the ring his own not alert Sauron?

This (and others eg: this ) answer states that Frodo claiming the ring alerted Sauron immediately of its position, which makes sense: How else would Sauron realize where the Ring and Frodo were at ...
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58 votes
7 answers
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Without a physical form, what would Sauron have done had he recovered the Ring?

Assuming one of Sauron's servants managed to recover the Ring, what exactly would Sauron do with it? He had no physical body to manipulate it and no finger to put it on. I guess he would have ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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If one of the Ringwraiths found the One Ring, shouldn't they be able to break free from Sauron's control?

We are told that Sauron achieved control over the nine men because they wore the nine rings of power and the ruling ring controls the other rings and their wearers. So, if a Nazgûl would find the One ...
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44 votes
7 answers
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Why was Bilbo not discovered by Sauron during his extended stay with the Wood Elves? [duplicate]

Currently reading The Hobbit to my daughter, and we came to the Barrels out of Bond chapter where the Dwarves are captured and imprisoned by the Wood Elves. Bilbo sneaks in with his magic ring of ...
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41 votes
6 answers
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Is the One Ring only loyal to Sauron or would it serve any powerful being? [duplicate]

I had this exchange on What would have happened if the Balrog of Moria had taken possession of The One Ring? with Jeremy French. Jeremy French: But how would he have got it to fit? ...
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36 votes
1 answer
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Sauron, Gollum, and the ring

How did Sauron know to torture Gollum on the whereabouts of the ring? We know that Gollum said "Baggins" and "Shire" while being tortured, but why did they think he might know in the first place?
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31 votes
2 answers
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Can the One Ring change in size?

Does the One Ring change size with its bearer? Being that the ring is magical, does it conform to the ring bearer's hand size? In the very first battle scene Sauron get his fingers cut off, then ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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Would the One Ring created by Sauron make a mortal creature immortal?

The One Ring extended Gollum/Sméagol's life and vitality by 478 years and Bilbo's vitality by 60 years. Did it have the power to make them truly immortal if they had kept it, or did it just grossly ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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Why does the One Ring make the wearer's clothes invisible?

The One Ring turns invisible the person wearing it. Is there an explanation for how it does this? It seems that direct contact with the skin activates the Ring's invisibility effects; why would it ...
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39 votes
9 answers
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What does Galadriel mean by "All shall love me and despair"?

In Fellowship of the Ring, when Frodo offers Galadriel the Ring, she loses control of herself and exclaims: And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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Why was the One Ring such a problem?

According to the poem: 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 ...
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  • 365
13 votes
3 answers
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How many times did Gandalf touch the One Ring in the books?

Inspired by this question here, not sure about the LOTR novels (no copy of my books with me) but, in the movies Gandalf touches the Ring once after Bilbo drops it, and gets a vision immediately of ...
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102 votes
9 answers
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Why is invisibility the power granted by the One Ring?

Why is non-optional invisibility the one active supernatural power granted to non-Sauron wearers of the One Ring? I'm looking for an answer explaining authorial intent, not an in-universe answer. ...
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69 votes
1 answer
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What would have happened if the Balrog of Moria had taken possession of The One Ring?

As we saw here, the Balrog of Moria was a fallen Maia, as was Sauron, a being on the same level as Gandalf and Saruman. If he ever had captured the One Ring when he encountered the Fellowship in ...
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46 votes
4 answers
22k views

Why did Sauron die when the Ring was destroyed in Mount Doom?

When Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand, he returned again. But when Frodo went to Mount Doom and accidentally Gollum cast the Ring along with himself, Sauron was defeated and never came back ...
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32 votes
5 answers
14k views

What was JRR Tolkien's inspiration for the One Ring?

I was recently reading The Republic, by Plato, and when we came to the section about the ring of Gyges, my teacher claimed that this was the inspiration for the One Ring. I doubt he had any real ...
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45 votes
5 answers
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Why did Sauron keep Mount Doom alive after forging of the One Ring?

Sauron knew that the One Ring could be destroyed only in Mount Doom, where it was forged. From Sauron's perspective, no one would think about destroying the One Ring. But if someone did, then Mount ...
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37 votes
3 answers
3k views

Could the ring have intended to be picked up by Bilbo?

In the Fellowship of the Ring movie, during the prologue, it explains how Bilbo got the ring. She says: Its time had now come. It abandoned Gollum. But then something happened that the Ring did not ...
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35 votes
3 answers
9k views

Would Gandalf be invisible if he wore the One Ring?

If Gandalf wears the One Ring, will he be invisible? Or will he master it and be visible? Maybe I should ask: is there a chance that the "invisibility" effect of the Ring is a side effect of weakness?...
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25 votes
2 answers
3k views

How was Boromir going to use the One Ring? [duplicate]

During the course of the Lord of the Rings, many people suggest using the One Ring against Sauron, for example Boromir, who proposes using it to defend Gondor. Likewise, more knowing characters such ...
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36 votes
9 answers
39k views

What was in the One Ring that made it so powerful?

In the movie version of Fellowship of the Rings, at the beginning of film, we're shown all the rings being forged, including Sauron's One Ring of power. However, there's no indication as to what ...
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28 votes
6 answers
15k views

Why Did Boromir Succumb to the One Ring?

Why was Boromir corrupted by the One Ring when the other members of the Fellowship of the Ring were not? What was it about Boromir that he was so susceptible to the evil powers of the One Ring and ...
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15 votes
2 answers
5k views

Who are all the characters to have touched The One Ring?

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 ...
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17 votes
2 answers
2k views

How much did Tolkien write about the worshippers of Sauron? The Easterlings, the Harad, the Khand

Watching The Lord of the Rings movies I was really captivated by the elephant riders and the men in brazen scale armor who aided the orcs against the forces of Gondor and Rohan. From what I know ...
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17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was Gandalf ignorant of the effects of Frodo having the ring for 17 years?

In an answer of mine for the question 'Who are all the characters to have touched The One Ring?', someone astutely asked 'how come?' Was Gandalf aware of the Rings' effects on a holder before ...
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8 votes
3 answers
1k views

What was Boromir or his father thinking about the One Ring?

How could the One Ring help them? Leaving aside the evil inside the One Ring, how could the One Ring bring any help to Gondor? It seems that one of the useful powers of the One Ring is that it could ...
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7 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why was Frodo not allowed to wear the Ring before Rivendell but was allowed after?

Following on from "Why didn't Sauron find Bilbo when he put on the ring like Frodo?" and its (possible) duplicate "Why was Bilbo not discovered by Sauron during his extended stay with ...
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4 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why didn't Gandalf carry the Ring in Maia form?

I understand that the Istari - the only other Maiar besides the Balrog to come into close proximity to the Ring - are constrained within a mortal body and subject to its mortal weaknesses, which ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Was Sam ever affected by the Ring? [duplicate]

Of the Ring-bearers since Isildur, we have: Gollum, on whom the Ring's influence was strongest: it caused him to murder his best friend almost as soon as they found it, and turned him into a wretched ...
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78 votes
8 answers
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Why did the One Ring betray Isildur?

First of all, let me point out that I know of this question, about how the Ring betrayed Isildur. I believe it is undisputed that the Ring caused itself to fall off Isildur's finger and into the river....
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80 votes
2 answers
13k views

Why not encase the One Ring in solid metal?

In the Lord of the Rings, the One Ring corrupts the people near it, and it seems to have a stronger effect on anyone who sees it or touches it. Sauron and the Ring Wraiths also seem to be able to ...
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69 votes
5 answers
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When Frodo offers her the ring, is Galadriel really tempted, or just making a point?

(Question sparked by discussion on Why does Frodo follow Galadriel and offer her the ring?) When Frodo suggests that Galadriel should take the ring, she appears tempted: she gives a vision of the ...
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  • 1,860
50 votes
6 answers
15k views

Could Gandalf not have made his own One Ring?

Sauron created The One Ring to gain control over the other ring-bearers, but it also amplified his power. Since it's a bad idea for anyone to claim The One Ring, wouldn't it be possible for Gandalf to ...
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48 votes
3 answers
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Why did Sauron react the way he did when Frodo put the Ring on inside Mount Doom?

As I have mentioned before, I am only reading the LotR books for the first time right now, and I am only halfway through the second book at the moment, so my knowledge of the third book is based ...
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46 votes
3 answers
8k views

Is the One Ring sentient?

This question about the Ring's betrayal of Isildur brought up many different interpretations of the nature of the Ruling Ring and the extent of its ability to influence or even directly control events....
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35 votes
4 answers
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In the inscription of the One Ring, what or who does "them all" refer to?

Recall that Sauron has inscribed the One Ring with the following words. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In this ...
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