In Fellowship of the Ring, were those at the Council of Elrond aware that destroying the One Ring would defeat Sauron? I'm guessing that they must have known this because nobody seemed surprised that Sauron just fell apart once the Ring was cast into Mount Doom, so why did no one mention this at the meeting?

Boromir advocated using the Ring to defeat Sauron head on so it would seem perfectly appropriate to bring up that destroying the Ring would achieve the same outcome.

I don't remember much about the scene from the book so this is about the movie. However, I would also love to hear answers based on the book and other written sources.

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    Uh, wasn't this the whole reason for taking it to Mount Doom in the first place? Destroy The Ring, destroy Sauron? Why else would they take the ring there? Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 21:13
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    I always thought the implied purpose was so that Sauron would't be able to get his hand on it: there was nowhere safe to store it and it was not meant to be used.
    – yurnero
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 21:17
  • Sauron created all of the other rings to fool the Elves/Dwarfs/Humans, with His ring, the One ring to rule them all. In doing so, he, with the ring, ruled all of the other rings and those who bore them. Destroying the ring provided a dual purpose. The main purpose was to get rid of it so that no-one had it, but secondarily, by destroying it, you also destroy all of Sauron's power along with it. Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 21:21
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    @Paulster2 I agree with you, that's why I was a bit puzzled that people didn't talk about the second purpose you mentioned.
    – yurnero
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 21:25
  • Since someone tries to destroy the ring during the meeting, the council must be aware that normal forces can't destroy it. Since the point of Frodo's mission is to take it to the one place where it can be destroyed, they must know destruction is possible, if perilous.
    – matt_black
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 14:23

4 Answers 4



Gandalf, a member of the White Council, discusses this in the books:

"If it [the One Ring] is destroyed, then he [Sauron] will fall, and his fall will be so low that none can foresee his arising ever again. For he will lose the best part of the strength that was native to him in his beginning, and all that was made or begun with that power will crumble, and he will be maimed for ever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but cannot again grow or take shape. And so a great evil of this world will be removed."

Return of the King, ch. 9 The Last Debate

H/T Adam V on Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

  • Pedantically, that states that it doesn't kill him, it just makes him irrelevant.
    – Flater
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 22:22
  • @flater But OP is asking about Sauron's 'defeat' or 'vanquishing'. Did anyone mention 'killing'..? Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 8:06
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    My mistake, I understood vanquish to imply death.
    – Flater
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 9:09

I don't believe that there was any mention in the books that destroying the Ring would destroy Sauron and no mention at the Council of Elrond. The goal was to prevent Sauron from obtaining the One Ring, which he would use to conquer middle-earth. In The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter 2 - The Shadow of the Past, Gandalf tells Frodo that the only way to destroy the ring is "to find the Cracks of Doom in the Depths of the Orodruin, the Fire-mountain, and cast the Ring in there"


The one ring was the only thing that kept him alive after he lost his physical body in the first great battle at mt. doom. Since the Istari knew Sauron was only banished, not dead, but Elrond didn't kill Isildur for walking away with the ring, they knew that his spirit could be vanquished destroying the one ring.


It's said that Sauron put al his power and evilness into the ring so it was known that te ring and sauron's coming back were deeply related and that his power depended on his proximity to the ring. So, in my opinion, cause it really isn't written is that they knew it because of the clues that they left when they told the story.

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