Quest of the Ring
Event Type: Artifacts
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Dates: December 25, 3018 ~ March 25, 3019
The mission devised at the Council of Elrond to journey from Rivendell to Mordor and destroy the One Ring in the fires of Orodruin; also called the Quest of Mount Doom.
'Then if the Ring cannot be kept from [Sauron] for ever by strength' said Glorfindel, 'two things only remain for us to attempt: to send it over the Sea, or to destroy it.'....
[Said] Elrond gravely... '[It] seems to me now clear which is the road that we must take. The westward road seems easiest. Therefore it must be shunned. It will be watched. Too often the Elves have fled that way. Now at this last we must take a hard road, a road unforeseen. There lies our hope, if hope it be. To walk into peril — to Mordor. We must send the Ring to the Fire.'....
'Thus we return once more to the destroying of the Ring,' said Erestor,... 'What strength have we for the finding of the Fire in which it was made? That is the path of despair. Of folly I would say....'
[Said] Gandalf. 'It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity..., though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy! For he... weighs all things... in the scales of his malice. But the only measure that he knows is... desire for power.... Into his heart the thought will not enter that... we may seek to destroy it. If we seek this, we shall put him out of reckoning.'
'At least for a while,' said Elrond. 'The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond
It is resolved to attempt the destruction of the Ring by sending it to the fire of Orodruin in Sauron's despite. Frodo the Halfling accepts the perilous office of Ring-bearer.
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 8, The Tale of Years of the Third Age
At that moment Elrond came out with Gandalf, and he called the Company to him. 'This is my last word,' he said in a low voice. 'The Ring-bearer is setting out on the Quest of Mount Doom. On him alone is any charge laid: neither to cast away the Ring, nor to deliver it to any servant of the Enemy nor indeed to let any handle it, save members of the Company and the Council, and only then in gravest need. The others go with him as free companions, to help him on his way. You may tarry, or come back, or turn aside into other paths, as chance allows. The further you go, the less easy will it be to withdraw; yet no oath or bond is laid on you to go further than you will. For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 3, The Ring Goes South
Yet in that hour was put to the proof that which Mithrandir had spoken, and help came from the hands of the weak when the Wise faltered. For, as many songs have since sung, it was the Periannath, the Little People, dwellers in hillsides and meadows, that brought them deliverance.
For Frodo the Halfling, it is said, at the bidding of Mithrandir took on himself the burden, and alone with his servant he passed through peril and darkness and came at last in Sauron's despite even to Mount Doom; and there into the Fire where it was wrought [was] cast the Great Ring of Power, and so at last it was unmade and its evil consumed.
The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Elena Tiriel 25Jul06