HASA Resources

Timeline Event

Bilbo finds the One Ring

Event Type: Artifacts

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Date: July 19, 2941

Description:

An event in the Quest of Erebor; see that entry for more information:
Then ... the foreboding of Elrond was proved true, and the One Ring was indeed found again, by a chance more strange than even Mithrandir had foreseen; and it was hidden from Curunír and from Sauron. For ... it was brought beyond search into dark hiding under the roots of the mountains.

The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

[Said Gandalf,] '... it was in the year that the White Council drove the dark power from Mirkwood, just before the Battle of Five Armies, that Bilbo found his ring. A shadow fell on my heart then, though I did not know yet what I feared.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 2, The Shadow of the Past

... Bilbo was lost for a while in the black orc-mines deep under the mountains....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Of the Finding of the Ring

... neither Bilbo, nor the dwarves, nor even Gandalf heard [the goblins] coming. ...

Quite suddenly Dori, now at the back again carrying Bilbo, was grabbed from behind in the dark. He shouted and fell; and the hobbit rolled off his shoulders into the blackness, bumped his head on hard rock, and remembered nothing more.

The Hobbit, Ch 4, Over Hill and Under Hill

When Bilbo opened his eyes, he wondered if he had; for it was just as dark as with them shut. No one was anywhere near him. ... He could hear nothing, see nothing, and he could feel nothing except the stone of the floor.

Very slowly he got up and groped about on all fours, till he touched the wall of the tunnel; but neither up nor down it could he find anything: nothing at all, no sign of goblins, no sign of dwarves. His head was swimming, and he was far from certain even of the direction they had been going in when he had his fall. He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. ... He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at the moment.

The Hobbit, Ch 5, Riddles in the Dark

It seemed then like mere luck.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Of the Finding of the Ring

'A Ring of Power looks after itself, Frodo. It may slip off treacherously, but its keeper never abandons it. ... It was not Gollum, Frodo, but the Ring itself that decided things. The Ring left him.'

'What, just in time to meet Bilbo?' said Frodo. 'Wouldn't an Orc have suited it better?'

'It is no laughing matter,' said Gandalf. 'Not for you. It was the strangest event in the whole history of the Ring so far: Bilbo's arrival just at that time, and putting his hand on it, blindly, in the dark.

'There was more than one power at work, Frodo. The Ring was trying to get back to its master. It had slipped from Isildur's hand and betrayed him; then when a chance came it caught poor Déagol, and he was murdered; and after that Gollum, and it had devoured him. It could make no further use of him: he was too small and mean; and as long as it stayed with him he would never leave his deep pool again. So now, when its master was awake once more and sending out his dark thought from Mirkwood, it abandoned Gollum. Only to be picked up by the most unlikely person imaginable: Bilbo from the Shire!

'Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 2, The Shadow of the Past


Notes
The year is canon, but the date is an estimate from Fonstadt.

The Atlas of Middle-earth, Revised Edition, by Karen Wynn Fonstad, Section 5, The Hobbit: Introduction

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 19Sep05, 24Sep05, 26Sep05, 4Oct05, 6Jan06, 25Jul06

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