How Many Beings Found and Used the One Ring in The Lord of The Rings?

How Many Beings Found and Used The One Ring in The Lord of The Rings?

In this article, we will tell you about all the beings that have found and used the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings world.

There where seven beings that found and used the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings. They are Sauron, Isildur, Sméagol and Déagol, Bilbo Baggins, Frodo, and Sam.

Let us tell you about all the beings that found (and how they did it), used the One Ring, their life, and how they lost it.

The One Ring

The One Ring was one of the most powerful artifacts ever created in Middle-earth. It was crafted by the Dark Lord Sauron in the fire of Orodruin, also known as Mount Doom, during the Second Age.

Sauron’s intent was to enhance his own power and to exercise control over the other Rings of Power, which had been made by Celebrimbor and his people with Sauron’s assistance. In this way, he hoped to gain lordship over the Elves and all of the other races in Middle-earth.

The One Ring was also known as the Ruling Ring, the Master Ring, the Ring of Power, and Isildur’s Bane.

Beings That Found and Used The One Ring in The Lord of The Rings?

Seven beings have found an used the One Ring, and they are Sauron, Isildur, Deagol, Smeagol/Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam.

We will sort them out chronologically as the ring was in their possession. So let’s start from the beginning.


The Ring was forged around the year SA 1600, within Sammath Naur upon Mount Doom. To accomplish his goal of bringing the peoples of Middle-earth under his dominion, Sauron knew that the One Ring would need to contain an extraordinary amount of power.

As such, he concentrated within the Ring a great part of his own fëa (soul). In this way, Sauron’s fate became bound to that of the Ring. If it were damaged or destroyed, so too would be Sauron’s strength and power.

Soon afterward, Sauron attempted to use it first to subjugate the Elven wielders of the other Rings. However, when he placed the Ring on his finger, the Elves were immediately aware of him.

Correctly assuming that his attempt to gain lordship had been thwarted, Sauron marshaled his armies to seize the Rings of Power by force. The conflict, which became known as the War of the Elves and Sauron, began in SA 1693.

Initially, the war went very well for Sauron. He captured Eregion in short order and took back the Nine Rings that were kept there, and captured Celebrimbor, the maker of the Elven Rings of Power. He tortured Celebrimbor until he divulged the location of the Seven Rings. Celebrimbor died under torment by Sauron, refusing to reveal what he had done with the Three Rings, which he valued most.

After the destruction of Eregion, Sauron was able to conquer most of the western Middle-earth fairly quickly, driving the Ñoldor under Gil-galad to the Havens and besieging Imladris. But in SA 1700, as the Elves were nearing defeat, Tar-Minastir of Númenor led a great armada to Middle-earth and, together with Gil-galad, completely destroyed Sauron’s armies, forcing Sauron to return to Mordor to regroup.

In SA 3261, Ar-Pharazôn, the last and most powerful of the Kings of Númenor, landed at Umbar at the head of an even more gigantic army to do battle with Sauron, in contention of Sauron’s self-proclaimed title as Overlord of Middle-Earth and King of Men.

The sheer size and might of the Númenórean army were enough to cause Sauron’s forces to flee. Understanding that he could not overcome the Númenóreans through martial might, Sauron surrendered to Ar-Pharazôn and was taken back to Númenor as a prisoner. However, Sauron’s surrender was both “voluntary and cunning”, allowing him to gain access to the people of Númenor.

The Elves had not revealed to the Númenóreans the existence of the Rings of Power, and so Ar-Pharazôn was unaware of the One Ring’s existence and capabilities. Ascending rapidly to become the King’s most trusted counselor, Sauron was able to use the Númenóreans’ fear of death as a way to turn them against the Valar, and toward the worship of Melkor.

Although Sauron’s body was destroyed in the Fall of Númenor, his spirit was able to bear the Ring back to Middle-earth and he wielded it in his renewed war against the Last Alliance of Elves and Men between SA 3429 and 3441.


The Ring was cut from Sauron’s hand by Isildur at the end of the Siege of Barad-dûr in SA 3441, and he in turn lost it in the River Anduin (at the Gladden Fields) just before he was killed in an Orc ambush (TA 2). Since it indirectly caused Isildur’s death by slipping from his finger and revealing him to the Orcs, it was known in Gondor lore as Isildur’s Bane.

Sméagol and Déagol

The Ring remained hidden in the riverbed for almost two and a half millennia until a Stoor named Déagol discovered it while on a fishing trip.

His friend and cousin Sméagol stole the Ring and murdered Déagol. Sméagol was changed by the Ring’s influence over several centuries into the creature known as Gollum. Gollum, after being exiled from his home, sought shelter far beneath the Misty Mountains.

There he and it remained for nearly five hundred years until the Ring abandoned him and fell off his finger. This is thought to be an example of one of the more noticeable powers of the ring; the ability to change size at will. It also displays the fact that the ring is sentient, having part of the spirit of Sauron inside it.

We can’t be exactly sure if Déagol has ever really worn the One Ring, but we sure know he found it before Sméagol.

Bilbo Baggins

As is told in The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins found the Ring while he was lost in the caverns of the Misty Mountains. Shortly after discovering it, Bilbo came upon Gollum himself, who had intended to eat the lost Hobbit. Bilbo managed to get Gollum to agree to a riddle game to determine his own fate; if he lost, Gollum would get to eat him, and if he won, Gollum would have to show him a way out of the caves.

Gollum lost the game but had no intention of letting Bilbo leave. He went to retrieve the Ring in order to use its powers of invisibility to help him kill Bilbo but flew into a rage when he found it missing. Deducing that Bilbo had it from his last question— “What have I got in my pocket?”— Gollum chased him through the caves, not knowing that Bilbo had discovered the Ring’s powers of invisibility and was following him to the cave’s exit. At one point as he neared the exit, Bilbo was presented with an opportunity to easily kill Gollum but relented out of pity for Gollum’s wretched condition.

Bilbo escaped Gollum and the Orcs that inhabited the Misty Mountains by remaining invisible, and told a falsified account of his adventures to Thorin’s company and Gandalf, claiming he had been very agile in the dark and escaped the goblins. Gandalf, who was also travelling with the Dwarves, was suspicious of Bilbo’s story and of the Ring itself, which he immediately recognized as one of the Great Rings of Power due to the retarding effects it had had on Gollum’s aging process.

Some few years after Bilbo’s return to the Shire, Gandalf managed to coerce from Bilbo the real story of how the Ring had come into his possession. The truth, as it turned out, had been quite innocent and was so similar to Bilbo’s fabrication that Gandalf saw no real reason why Bilbo would have lied about his story in the first place, save perhaps to put his claim to the Ring beyond any possible doubt.

Gandalf quickly came to believe that the Ring had an “unwholesome” effect on its owner that set to work almost immediately, as it was not in Bilbo’s nature to lie, particularly regarding something so apparently trivial. However, he saw no real danger in letting Bilbo keep the Ring despite the Hobbit’s strangely possessive attitude towards it.

In TA 3001, Bilbo concocted a plan to leave the Shire for Rivendell, and both he and Gandalf had initially intended for Bilbo’s nephew and adopted heir Frodo to inherit both Bilbo’s estate and the Ring.

As the time came for Bilbo to give it up, however, he became extremely reluctant to pass the Ring to his nephew, and his obstinacy over the issue led Gandalf to confront him directly about the Ring. At this point, though Gandalf did not yet know exactly what the Ring was, he could tell that it was both evil and gaining a great deal of influence over his old friend. As such, he advised Bilbo in the strongest terms to give the Ring to Frodo. After a short, angry debate, Bilbo calmed down and managed to give up the Ring of his own free will. He then departed from the Shire, and Frodo came into possession of the Ring.


Knowing that Sauron would use every means at his disposal to get it back, Gandalf instructed Frodo to flee to Rivendell with it, as it was the closest safe haven.

Gandalf had intended to accompany them but was lured to Isengard and imprisoned by Saruman, who wanted the location of the Ring so that he could take it for himself. Before he had departed, however, he had given a letter to Mr. Butterbur, the innkeeper of the Prancing Pony in Bree with instructions that it was to be delivered to Frodo immediately. The letter contained a warning to Frodo that he needed to leave the Shire at once and had also contained a bit of information about Aragorn, whom Gandalf had instructed to watch for the hobbits and aid them if he could.

However, the letter was never delivered, and as such, Frodo delayed his departure in the hopes that Gandalf was simply late. Eventually, however, Frodo decided that he could no longer wait, and with his companions, Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin Took, and Meriadoc Brandybuck set out without him for Rivendell.

Following their adventure through Moria, during which Gandalf fell, and their time at Lothlórien, the Fellowship was scattered when Frodo and Sam split off from the rest of the group after an Uruk-hai attack. They continued on from Nen Hithoel to Mordor alone, without any clear sense of how to reach Mordor.

Frodo and Sam soon became lost in the Emyn Muil, where they encountered Gollum, who had been shadowing them ever since Moria. Frodo and Sam managed to capture him, and after swearing an oath to serve the Ring’s owner (in the immediate case Frodo), Gollum was ordered to lead them to Mordor, as he had been there before and knew the way.

Passing through the Dead Marshes, the hobbits came to the Black Gate and prepared to enter Mordor. However, Gollum, learning only upon their arrival of Frodo’s intent to actually enter Mordor, revealed that there was another way in; the pass of Cirith Ungol.

On their way to the pass, the hobbits encountered Faramir and a group of Ithilien rangers. Learning of their goal, Faramir acquiesced to aid them, providing stores of food and water, instead of taking the Ring as his father would have wished.


Reaching Minas Morgul, the hobbits began their climb up the winding stair to a long tunnel. Here, Gollum betrayed them, for inside the tunnel dwelt the monstrous spider Shelob, who sought to consume the two hobbits. Sam and Frodo nearly escaped, but Frodo was stung by Shelob and captured by her.

Sam managed to drive the gigantic spider off, but believing that Frodo was dead, he took the Ring and resolved to finish the quest himself.

However, Frodo had simply been paralyzed by Shelob’s venom, making him appear dead. He was captured by a group of Orcs while he was unable to move but Sam, who had overheard the Orcs discussing Frodo’s condition, followed them to the Tower of Cirith Ungol.

Shortly thereafter, Sam rescued Frodo in the aftermath of a mutinous battle among the Orcs who had captured him, which had resulted in nearly the tower’s entire garrison killing each other. Returning the Ring to Frodo, the two began the arduous trek towards Mount Doom.

Destruction of The One Ring

After a few days, Frodo and Sam reached the volcano but were ambushed by Gollum. Fending him off, Frodo continued to the Crack of Doom. But throughout his quest, the Ring had continued to tighten its hold on Frodo’s mind.

Entering and coming to the Crack of Doom, Frodo claimed the Ring for his own and put it on. Sauron immediately spotted him and, realizing the magnitude of his folly, sent the Nazgûl on winged mounts to retrieve it. As fortune would have it, however, Gollum, who had been spared moments before by Sam, attacked Frodo and bit the Ring and most of the finger it had been on-off of Frodo’s hand.

Then, dancing with joy over retrieving the Ring, Gollum took one misstep and toppled over the side of a cliff into the Crack of Doom (it is said that this was one of Eru’s few interventions on the events of Middle-earth). There, the Ring was swiftly unmade, undoing Sauron’s power and vanquishing him indefinitely.

  • Robert is the co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a lifelong fan of movies, TV shows, comics, and video games. Especially fascinated by Marvel, he enjoys every aspect of the franchise.