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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Does Frodo leave the Shire with the Ring on a pocket-watch chain?

a.s.
Valinor


Jun 11 2016, 2:23pm

Post #1 of 19 (2315 views)
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Does Frodo leave the Shire with the Ring on a pocket-watch chain? Can't Post

Somewhere down the long line of years, this has probably been discussed before. Maybe someone with a better memory (or search term ability!) can help.

From memory, Frodo leaves the Shire with the Ring on a chain attached to his belt. He is referred to as thinking of the Ring in his pocket. He pulls it out from his pocket to put it on at Weathertop.

We know that later in the book, Frodo is wearing the Ring on a chain around his neck. Sam removes it from Frodo's neck after Shelob's sting.

Was the ring on some kind of pocket-watch chain, when Frodo left the Shire? In other words, a chain specifically designed to hold an object in a pocket, not designed to be worn around the neck?

Of course, I have a problem envisioning this when the Ring "somehow" attaches to Frodo's finger at Bree, when he surmises to himself that he must have been inadvertently (sure, Frodo, sure) playing with it during his recitation and it somehow got on his finger when he fell.

a.s.

"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jun 11 2016, 11:24pm

Post #2 of 19 (2276 views)
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Where IS everybody a.s. ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyway, I’m not sure if Frodo left the Shire with the Ring just “in his pocket” or “in his pocket” attached to a pocket-watch chain. But then I don’t recall any mention of a “pocket-watch chain” or a chain attached to his belt.

I do know that someone at Rivendell put the Ring on a neck-chain while Frodo was being operated on by Elrond. I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is the first time a neck-chain has been mentioned. Have to do some double-checking.

Yes, I too have always had a problem with the Ring slipping on his finger at Bree. Tricksy darn Ring! Wink Wink
I think this is one reason that we think the Ring as some kind of sentience of its own??

'Still it might be well for all if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league.'
-Glóin




Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 1:14am

Post #3 of 19 (2271 views)
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Or - And [In reply to] Can't Post

At the Unexpected Party during Bilbo’s speech he just keeps one hand in his trouser-pocket.

And during Merry’s accounting in A Conspiracy Unmasked as he describes Bilbo’s disappearance from the SB’s:

Quote
”I caught a glint of gold as he put something back in his trouser-pocket.”

So it seems Bilbo, for one, just kept it in his pocket. If there was a chain on it wouldn’t he have to take the chain off before doning the Ring?

As for Frodo you got it! Smile
In Shadow of the Past when Gandalf asks Frodo to give him the Ring he takes it from his beeches-pocket, where it was clasped to a chain that hung from his belt.
But I don’t find mention of chain or no chain as the three leave Bag End. Did he bag the chain (ooh, bad, bad pun?) ?
The next mention I can think of is when hiding from a Black Rider in the woods Frodo had a desire to get it out of his pocket. (Hmm! Would it still have been on a chain that hung from his belt? If so, maybe at this point he decided to take it off the chain for possible future disappearances?? But no! At Bombadil’s he drew out the chain from his pocket, and unfastening the Ring handed it at once to Tom.

Then we have the Bree incident; and the Weathertop incident where it seems he didn’t have it on a chain. Unsure
Then of course the neck-chain at Rivendell.

At the Council of Elrond no mention is made of a chain, or no chain.

Quote
[Gandalf]’Hold it up, and then Boromir will understand the reamainder of this riddle.’
. . . The Ring gleamed and flickered as he held it up before them in this trembling hand.
‘Behold Isidur’s Bane!’ said Elrond.

(Has he taken the Ring off the neck-chain at this point?)

And so it goes! Near as many questions as answers (as seems usual). But that’s what makes this so much fun – the research, the quandaries, the suppositions.

For my money it seems it was on a pocket-chain until after Bombadil’s. Then no chain, just kept in his pocket. Then a neck-chain. Then no neck chain – whew is me!!?? ShockedShocked

'Still it might be well for all if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league.'
-Glóin




a.s.
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 2:54am

Post #4 of 19 (2259 views)
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At Weathertop it's on a chain [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
nd the Weathertop incident where it seems he didn’t have it on a chain


Well, actually at Weathertop "he slowly drew out the chain, and slipped the Ring on the forefinger of his left hand".

But you know what I just noticed (and I should not be just noticing something in a book I somehow feel I know every word of, lol): that word "clasped": he wore the ring clasped to one end of the chain. The other end of the chain was attached to his belt So of course, the Ring was easily removable.

That works very well for a pocket watch tyoe chain, AND it makes sense that he can take the ring out of his pocket clicking by slipping it through the clasp.




Quote
For my money it seems it was on a pocket-chain until after Bombadil’s. Then no chain, just kept in his pocket.


No, because on Weathertop he drew it off the chain from his pocket. Smile

But why the powers that be decided be needed to wear it on a neck chain after Rivendell, I don't have a clue.

a.s.

"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 3:14am

Post #5 of 19 (2255 views)
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Right a.s. [In reply to] Can't Post

I missed/forgot the Weathertop chain. Crazy
And I like your observation that the Ring was clasped to one end of the chain (for a quick removal).

And yes, it does seem that he wore it on a neck chain after Rivendell. Even at the exit from Shelob’s lair it’s narrated that Sam: “Very gently he undid the clasp at the neck and slipped his hand inside Frodo’s tunic . . .”

Hard to keep up with it all from pure memory eh? (or impure as the case may be Wink).

'Still it might be well for all if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league.'
-Glóin




Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jun 12 2016, 7:24am

Post #6 of 19 (2246 views)
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Someone at Rivendell [In reply to] Can't Post

That fascinates me, because Gandalf so prominently avoided handling it at Bag End. I think we've always assumed it was Elrond, but I think he deserves some recognition for handling it so discretely and without being affected, afaik.








InTheChair
Lorien

Jun 12 2016, 8:01am

Post #7 of 19 (2238 views)
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It's the rings schtick. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I too have always had a problem with the Ring slipping on his finger at Bree. Tricksy darn Ring! Wink Wink
I think this is one reason that we think the Ring as some kind of sentience of its own??



Something similar happened to Bilbo didn't it?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 12 2016, 11:56am

Post #8 of 19 (2226 views)
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The Will of the Ring [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes, I too have always had a problem with the Ring slipping on his finger at Bree. Tricksy darn Ring! Wink Wink
I think this is one reason that we think the Ring as some kind of sentience of its own??



Something similar happened to Bilbo didn't it?


Yes, when Gollum concluded that Bilbo had stolen the Ring and was coming to murder him. It also slipped OFF of Bilbo's finger, revealing him to the goblins at the Back Door.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, the "Gossiper of the Gods"


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 11:59am

Post #9 of 19 (2228 views)
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Yes, we’ve always assumed [In reply to] Can't Post

that it was Elrond. But it could have been someone else. Maybe he/she used a pair of tongs- Laugh. Naw, we push trepidation too far.

But, but, Gandalf did handle it at Bag End – twice.

'Still it might be well for all if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league.'
-Glóin




Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 12:15pm

Post #10 of 19 (2221 views)
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If memory serves Bilbo had the Ring ON [In reply to] Can't Post

as he was squeezing through the Back Door (it had ‘slipped back on’), and the goblins saw just a shadow.


In Reply To
It also slipped OFF of Bilbo's finger, revealing him to the goblins at the Back Door.


'Still it might be well for all if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league.'
-Glóin




Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 12 2016, 12:16pm

Post #11 of 19 (2221 views)
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Was it Frodo? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes, we’ve always assumed that it was Elrond. But it could have been someone else. Maybe he/she used a pair of tongs- Laugh. Naw, we push trepidation too far.

But, but, Gandalf did handle it at Bag End – twice.


Are we sure that the Ring did not remain in Frodo's possession when the chain was fashioned for it and attached? No one else needs to have physically handled it at that time.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, the "Gossiper of the Gods"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 12 2016, 12:29pm

Post #12 of 19 (2219 views)
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Yes, but... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If memory serves Bilbo had the Ring ON as he was squeezing through the Back Door (it had ‘slipped back on’), and the goblins saw just a shadow.


Yes, I had not forgotten that. However, it had to have slipped OFF of Bilbo's finger first in order for them to spot him before that.


Quote
They saw him sooner than he saw them. Yes, they saw him. Whether it was an accident, or a last trick of the ring before it took a new master, it was not on his finger. With yells of delight the goblins rushed upon him.


It has also been suggested more than once that Gollum losing the Ring might have been an expression of its own will and not an accident. It might have become somehow aware of all the activity caused by the company in the tunnels above and had sensed an opportunity to return to its Master.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, the "Gossiper of the Gods"

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 12 2016, 12:32pm)


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 12:40pm

Post #13 of 19 (2213 views)
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Had to look this one up [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Are we sure that the Ring did not remain in Frodo's possession when the chain was fashioned for it and attached? No one else needs to have physically handled it at that time.


Frodo swooned at the Ford (he fell from Asfaloth and heard and saw no more.) Then four days later he woke and found himself lying in bed.

Then in Many Meetings:

Quote
When he had dressed, Frodo found that while he slept the Ring had been hung about his neck on a new chain, light but strong.


Indicates that someone other than Frodo physically put the Ring on a neck chain.

'Still it might be well for all if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league.'
-Glóin




Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 12 2016, 12:52pm

Post #14 of 19 (2206 views)
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Okay [In reply to] Can't Post

That one I'll give you! Wink Thanks for doing the research.

I will further guess that the influence of Elrond and his Elven Ring in the valley of Rivendell made it relatively safe to briefly handle the One Ring. It may indeed have been Elrond himself who performed the task.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, the "Gossiper of the Gods"

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 12 2016, 12:58pm)


a.s.
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 12:59pm

Post #15 of 19 (2198 views)
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There they are :-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



(This post was edited by a.s. on Jun 12 2016, 12:59pm)


a.s.
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 1:14pm

Post #16 of 19 (2201 views)
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"...when he stuck out his hand with a jerk to save his fall" [In reply to] Can't Post

Well. Thinking this through.

After his.unnatural disappearance at Bree, Frodo muses on how this could have happened:

How it came to be on his finger he could not tell. He could only suppose that he had been handling it in his pocket while he sang, and that somehow it had slipped on when he stuck out his hand with a jerk to save his fall.

I think, on reflection, this is Tolkien explaining a ring attached BY A CLASP to a chain hanging from belt but tucked into a pocket. If you had your fingers near enough to the actual ring and then jerked your hand out involuntarily, it would (or could) possibly be forcibly jerked off the clasp and end up on your finger, even without magic.

Add in the Ring's evil nature, I think I can buy that.

Smile

a.s.

"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



a.s.
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 1:25pm

Post #17 of 19 (2195 views)
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"...he held it before them in his trembling hand" [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
... The Ring gleamed and flickered as he held it up before them in this trembling hand.
‘Behold Isidur’s Bane!’ said Elrond.

(Has he taken the Ring off the neck-chain at this point?)



Since we saw it last on a chain around his neck, and when asked (commanded, really) by Elrond to "bring out the Ring", he expresses a thought that he has a loathing to touch the thing, I believe he's pulling out a longer chain (long enough that the Ring is hidden inside his shirt, or he wouldn't have to be commaded to show it) and dangling the Ring to show it.

a.s.

"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 3:54pm

Post #18 of 19 (2184 views)
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A hard sell [In reply to] Can't Post

but ok... Smile


In Reply To
I think I can buy that.


'Still it might be well for all if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league.'
-Glóin




noWizardme
Valinor


Jun 12 2016, 4:48pm

Post #19 of 19 (2180 views)
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I'd assumed that Frodo was - at some level - unconsciously co-operating [In reply to] Can't Post

In his careless mood he's fiddling with the Ring - possibly he even puts it on before realising, but then reasons that no, he couldn't possibly be manipulated in such a way.

Certainly Strider is very sceptical about Frodo's explanation that it was an 'accident'.

Back in Flight to the Ford we discussed Frodos curious decision to stop on the far side of the Ford rather than to let his horse gallop to Rivendell. There too http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=841963#841963 I argued that Frodo post-rationalises, but misses the first thing that happened.
That would make sense if he was still in denial about the effects the Ring is having on him.


Presumably its incidents like the Bree one that make eh elves decide a necklace chain is better. Also, I supose, a pocket watch chain is only anchored to clothing (with a clasp or a toggle) so could be ripped away. Harder for anyone to get at Frodo's neck-chain.

~~~~~~
volunteers are still needed to lead chapters for our upcoming Book VI ROTK read-through (Book V is all signed up, thanks!) http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=904377#904377


A set of links to our Book III discussions can be found here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=886383#886383

A set of links to the Book IV discussions are here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=899201#899201

A wonderful list of links to Boook II, Book I and previous read-throughs is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm

 
 

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