In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Elrond tells Isildur to throw the ring into Mount Doom, but when he doesn't do so, he doesn't try and stop him by force or any other means. Why is this? He could have destroyed the ring with one arrow to the heart of Isildur.

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    See this question on scifi
    – Michael
    Jan 25, 2017 at 18:01
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    @michael Great answers, main difference in book they were at battlefield so matter of being corrupt during travel, chance of war between man & elf. However, movie they were that mount doom already so just one arrow would have worked
    – Panther
    Jan 26, 2017 at 4:06
  • Then: (a) because it didn't happen in the book, and/or (b) because then there wouldn't have been a movie. Jan 27, 2017 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


In Universe

First of all the answer mentioned in the comments from SciFi SE covers in-universe why Elrond wouldn't want to risk taking the ring from Isildur

Summary - The ring is dangerous and has destroyed everyone who has tried to take it from another individual (Smeagol, Boromir, etc)

So why didn't Elrond just shoot him and make him fall into Mt Doom

Well here are a few of reasons I can think of:

  • Elrond can't just kill the High King of Gondor without major fallout.
  • Elrond is the epitome of righteousness and justice, but he's still not perfect
  • Don't underestimate the power of the One Ring - even when it finally did get destroyed, it wasn't simply because Frodo decided to toss it in. It required the death of Smeagol and even Frodo came to the point of decision and chose not to destroy it, even after having given up his own will and deciding to make the entire journey across the marshes and into Mordor all at the risk of total peril and facing certain failure and death. And Sam was powerless to force him to do so, not only because of his love for him but Frodo would have destroyed him had he tried.

Out of Universe

The movie is based on the book and must follow the story at least enough for there to still be a story. In the books, they are not in Mount Doom when Isildur refuses to destroy the ring so it would not have been as easy for Elrond to simply push him into the flames.

From a story persepctive:

Destroying the One Ring isn't supposed to be easy

The characterization of The One Ring was meant to make it seem invincible and nearly impossible to destroy due to its ability to influence the hearts of men, elves, wizards, dwarves, etc. This scene is a part of that character development of The Ring and making it seem impossible to destroy.

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    A slight addition: the Ring has destroyed everyone who has tried to take it from another, except Isildur. Now having the Ring, it's unfathomable exactly how much power Isildur now wields on top of already having been able to best Sauron with the Ring. That's not something Elrond can easily overcome.
    – Flater
    Feb 25, 2020 at 12:59

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