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  • Updated 4 December 2012
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Tale of the Ring

The history of the Ruling Ring

A name used at the Council of Elrond to describe the long history of Sauron's Ruling Ring, also called the One Ring, and many other names besides. Its story was recounted at that Council from its forging in the fires of Orodruin in about the year II 1600, nearly five thousand years earlier. Sauron bore the Ring throughout the later part of the Second Age, until he was defeated in the War of the Last Alliance. Isildur then took the Ring for himself, but in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields Isildur was slain and the Ring was lost in Anduin.

Long afterwards it was recovered from the river by Déagol, but Déagol was murdered and the Ring stolen by Sméagol, who would become corrupted over the centuries into the creature called Gollum. Abandoning the sunlight, Gollum lurked in the darkness beneath the Misty Mountains, until he lost the Ring to a travelling Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. After Bilbo's return to his home in the Shire, it remained hidden there for sixty years, until Bilbo set out from the Shire again and passed the Ring to his heir, Frodo Baggins. It was Frodo who carried the Ring to Rivendell and the Council of Elrond, and that formed the end of the Tale of the Ring as far it was known at that time.

At that Council it was decided to attempt the Ring's destruction, and so the Tale carried on. Frodo the Ring-bearer carried it through many perils to the heart of Mordor and into the Fire-mountain of Orodruin. At the brink of the Fire it was stolen again by Gollum, but he held it for just a few moments before falling with it into the flames, bringing about the end to the Tale of the Ring and thus the fall of its master Sauron.


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