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  • Updated 25 May 2019
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Ring of Doom

The Ruling Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron

A name given to Sauron's One Ring, after its destruction, by Sam Gamgee. Stranded with Frodo Baggins on the slopes of Mount Doom, and imagining that they were doomed to perish in the inferno the followed the Ring's unmaking, Sam pondered how bards and tale-tellers might present the story of their quest. He imagined the tale of Nine-Fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom (Frodo had lost the third finger of his right hand, the finger that bore the Ring, when it was bitten off by Gollum).

Beyond hope, Frodo and Sam were rescued by the Eagles and carried to safety. At the Field of Cormallen, they were feted by the people of Gondor, and a minstrel stood forward to sing of their deeds. His song was of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom, a name so closely echoing Sam's imagined tale that the Hobbit burst into laughter and then into tears.


The name 'Ring of Doom' has two possible interpretations, and Sam might have had either of them (or both) in mind when he coined the phrase. At one level, the fate of the One Ring would decide the outcome of the War of the Ring, and hence the fate of the whole of Middle-earth. Had it been recovered by Sauron, it would truly have doomed the Free Peoples. On a perhaps more prosaic level, it was made in Mount Doom, and Sam had just seen it returned to the Fire of Doom from which it had been born. On that level, the 'Doom' of its name referred not only to its dreadful power, but literally to the place where it had been both made and unmade.


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  • Updated 25 May 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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