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One Ring

"Ring-bearer" and "The One Ring" redirect here. For the attendant in a wedding ceremony, see Page boy (wedding attendant). For the missed telephone call scam, see Phone fraud § Fraud against customers by third parties.

Magical ring that must be destroyed in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

The One Ring
One Ring Blender Render.png

Artist's representation

First appearanceThe Hobbit
Created byJ. R. R. Tolkien
TypeMagical ring
Power augmentation
Will domination
Control over other Rings of Power
Specific traits and abilitiesPlain gold ring; glowing inscription appears when ring is placed in flames; can change in size by its own will

The One Ring, also called the Ruling Ring and Isildur's Bane, is a central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954–55). It first appeared in the earlier story The Hobbit (1937) as a magic ring that grants the wearer invisibility. Tolkien changed it into a malevolent Ring of Power and re-wrote parts of The Hobbit to fit in with the expanded narrative. The Lord of the Rings describes the hobbitFrodo Baggins's quest to destroy the Ring.

Critics have compared the story with the ring-based plot of Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen; Tolkien denied any connection, but at the least, both men drew on the same mythology. Another source is Tolkien's analysis of Nodens, an obscure pagan god with a temple at Lydney Park, where he studied the Latin inscriptions, one containing a curse on the thief of a ring.

Tolkien rejected the idea that the story was an allegory, saying that applicability to situations such as the Second World War and the atomic bomb was a matter for readers. Other parallels have been drawn with the Ring of Gyges in Plato's Republic, which conferred invisibility, though there is no suggestion that Tolkien borrowed from the story.

Fictional description[edit]


The One Ring was forged by the Dark Lord Sauron during the Second Age to gain dominion over the free peoples of Middle-earth. In disguise as Annatar, or "Lord of Gifts", he aided the Elven smiths of Eregion and their leader Celebrimbor in the making of the Rings of Power. He then forged the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.[T 1]

Sauron intended it to be the most powerful of all Rings, able to rule and control those who wore the others. Since the other Rings were powerful on their own, Sauron was obliged to place much of his own power into the One to achieve his purpose.[T 2]

Creating the Ring simultaneously strengthened and weakened Sauron. With the Ring, he could control the power of all the other Rings, and thus he was significantly more powerful after its creation than before;[T 3] but by binding his power within the Ring, Sauron became dependent on it.[T 1][T 3]


The Ring seemed to be made simply of gold, but it was completely impervious to damage, even to dragon fire (unlike other rings).[T 1] It could be destroyed only by throwing it into the pit of the volcanic Mount Doom where it had been forged. Like some lesser rings, but unlike the other Rings of Power, it bore no gem. It could change size, and perhaps its weight, and could suddenly expand to escape from its wearer.[T 1] Its identity could be determined by placing it in a fire, when it displayed a fiery inscription in the Black Speech that Sauron had devised. This was written in the Elvish Tengwar script, with two lines in the Black Speech from the rhyme of lore describing the Rings:[T 4]

Black Speech
written in Tengwar
Black Speech
One Ring inscription.svgAsh nazg durbatulûk,
   ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk
   agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.
One ring to rule them all,
   one ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all
   and in the darkness bind them.

When Isildur cut the Ring from Sauron's hand, it was burning hot, its inscription legible; he transcribed it before it faded. Gandalf learned of the Ring's inscription from Isildur's account, and heated Frodo's ring to display the inscription, proving that this was the One Ring. Gandalf recited the inscription (About this soundPronunciation) in Black Speech at the Council of Elrond, causing everyone to tremble:[T 5]

The change in the wizard's voice was astounding. Suddenly it became menacing, powerful, harsh as stone. A shadow seemed to pass over the high sun, and the porch for a moment grew dark. All trembled, and the Elves stopped their ears.[T 5]

Internal history[edit]

Further information: Celebrimbor

After forging the ring, Sauron waged war on the Elves. He destroyed Eregion and killed Celebrimbor, the maker of the three Elf-rings. King Tar-Minastir of Númenor sent a great fleet to Middle-earth, and with this aid Gil-galad destroyed Sauron's army and forced Sauron to return to Mordor.[T 2]

Later, Ar-Pharazôn, the last and most powerful king of Númenor, landed at Umbar with an immense army, forcing Sauron's armies to flee. Sauron was taken to Númenor as a prisoner.[T 6] Tolkien wrote in a 1958 letter that the surrender was both "voluntary and cunning" so he could gain access to Númenor.[T 7] Sauron used the Númenóreans' fear of death to turn them against the Valar, and manipulate them into worshipping his master, Morgoth, with human sacrifice.[T 6]

Sauron's body was destroyed in the Fall of Númenor, but his spirit travelled back to Middle-earth and wielded the One Ring in renewed war against the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.[T 6] Tolkien wrote, "I do not think one need boggle at this spirit carrying off the One Ring, upon which his power of dominating minds now largely depended."[T 7]

Gil-galad and Elendil destroyed Sauron's physical form at the end of the Last Alliance, at the cost of their own lives. Elendil's son, Isildur, cut the Ring from Sauron's hand on the slopes of Mount Doom. Though counselled to destroy the Ring, he was swayed by its power and kept it "as weregild for my father, and my brother". A few years later, Isildur was ambushed by Orcs by the River Anduin near the Gladden Fields; he put on the Ring to escape, but it chose to slip from his finger as he swam, and, suddenly visible, he was killed by the Orcs. Since the Ring indirectly caused Isildur's death, it was known in Gondorian lore as "Isildur's Bane".[T 2]

The Ring remained hidden on the river bed for almost two and a half millennia, until it was discovered on a fishing trip by a Stoorhobbit named Déagol. His friend and relative Sméagol, who had gone fishing with him, was immediately ensnared by the Ring's power and demanded that Déagol give it to him as a "birthday present"; when Déagol refused, Sméagol strangled him and took the Ring. It corrupted his body and mind, turning him into the monstrousGollum. The Ring manipulated Gollum into hiding in a cave under the Misty Mountains near Mirkwood, where Sauron was beginning to resurface. There Gollum remained for nearly 500 years, using the Ring to hunt Orcs. The Ring eventually abandoned Gollum, knowing it would never leave the cave whilst he bore it.[T 1]

As told in The Hobbit, Bilbo found the Ring while lost in the tunnels near Gollum's lair. In the first edition, Gollum offers to surrender the Ring to Bilbo as a reward for winning the Riddle Game. When Tolkien was writing The Lord of the Rings, he realized that the Ring's grip on Gollum would never permit him to give it up willingly. He therefore revised The Hobbit: in the second edition, after losing the Riddle Game to Bilbo, Gollum went to get his "Precious" to help him kill and eat Bilbo, but found the Ring missing. Deducing from Bilbo's last question—"What have I got in my pocket?"—that Bilbo had found the Ring, Gollum chased him through the caves, not realizing that Bilbo had discovered the Ring's power of invisibility and was following him to the cave's mouth. Bilbo escaped Gollum and the goblins by remaining invisible, but he chose not to tell Gandalf and the dwarves that the Ring had made him invisible. Instead he told them a story that followed the first edition: that Gollum had given him the Ring and shown him the way out. Gandalf was immediately suspicious of the Ring, and later forced the real story from Bilbo.[T 1][T 8][T 9]

Gollum eventually left the Misty Mountains to track down the Ring. He was drawn to Mordor, where he was captured. Sauron tortured and interrogated him, learning that the Ring had been found and was held by one "Baggins" in the land of "Shire".[T 1]

The Ring began to strain Bilbo, leaving him feeling "stretched-out and thin", so he decided to leave the Shire, intending to pass the Ring to his adopted heir Frodo Baggins. He briefly gave in to the Ring's power, even calling it "my precious"; alarmed, Gandalf spoke harshly to his old friend to persuade him to give it up, which Bilbo did, becoming the first Ring-bearer to surrender it willingly.[T 10]

By this time Sauron had regained much of his power, and the Dark Tower in Mordor had been rebuilt. Gollum, released from Mordor, was captured by Aragorn. Gandalf learned from Gollum that Sauron now knew where to find the Ring.[T 11] To prevent Sauron from reclaiming his Ring, Frodo and eight other companions set out from Rivendell for Mordor to destroy the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.[T 12] During the quest, Frodo gradually fell under the Ring's power. When he and his faithful servant Sam Gamgee discovered Gollum on their trail and "tamed" him into guiding them to Mordor, Frodo began to feel a bond with the wretched, treacherous creature, while Gollum warmed to Frodo's kindness and made an effort to keep his promise.[T 13] Gollum however gave in to the Ring's temptation, and betrayed Frodo to the spider Shelob.[T 14] Believing Frodo to be dead, Sam bore the Ring himself for a short time and experienced the temptation it induced.[T 15]

Sam rescued Frodo from Orcs at the Tower of Cirith Ungol.[T 16] The hobbits, followed by Gollum, reached Mount Doom, where Frodo was overcome by the Ring's power and claimed it for himself. At that moment, Gollum bit off his finger, taking back the Ring, but, gloating, he and the Ring fell into the fires of Mount Doom. The Ring and Sauron's power were destroyed.[T 17]


The Ring's primary power was control of the other Rings of Power and domination of the wills of their users.[T 3] The Ring also conferred power to dominate the wills of other beings whether they were wearing Rings or not—but only in proportion to the user's native capacity. In the same way, it amplified any inherent power its owner possessed.[T 3]

A mortal .. who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness. And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end invisible permanently, and walks in the twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings.

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring[T 1]

A mortal wearing the Ring became effectively invisible except to those able to perceive the non-physical world, with only a thin, shaky shadow discernible in the brightest sunlight.[T 3] All the same, when Sam wore the ring on the edge of Mordor, "he did not feel invisible at all, but horribly and uniquely visible; and he knew that somewhere an Eye was searching for him".[T 15] Sam was able to understand the Black Speech of Orcs in Mordor during his brief possession of the One Ring.[T 18]

The Ring extended the life of a mortal possessor indefinitely, preventing natural aging. Gandalf explained that it did not grant new life, but that the possessor merely continued until life became unbearably wearisome.[T 1] The Ring did not protect its bearer from destruction; Gollum perished in the Crack of Doom,[T 19] and Sauron's body was destroyed in the downfall of Númenor. Like the Nine Rings, the One Ring physically corrupted mortals who wore it, eventually transforming them into wraiths. Hobbits were more resistant to this than Men: Gollum, who possessed the ring for 500 years, did not become wraith-like because he rarely wore the Ring.[T 1] Except for Tom Bombadil, nobody seemed to be immune to the corrupting effects of the One Ring, even powerful beings like Gandalf and Galadriel, who refused to wield it out of the knowledge that they would become like Sauron himself.[T 5]

Within the land of Mordor where it was forged, the Ring's power increased so significantly that even without wearing it the bearer could draw upon it, and could acquire an aura of terrible power. When Sam encountered an Orc in the Tower of Cirith Ungol while holding the Ring, he appeared to the terrified Orc as a powerful warrior cloaked in shadow "[holding] some nameless menace of power and doom".[T 16] Similarly at Mount Doom, when Frodo and Sam were attacked by Gollum, Frodo grabbed the Ring and appeared as "a figure robed in white... [that] held a wheel of fire". Frodo told Gollum "in a commanding voice" that "If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom", a prophecy soon fulfilled.[T 17]

As the Ring contained much of Sauron's power, it was endowed with a malevolent agency. While separated from Sauron, the Ring strove to return to him by manipulating its bearer to claim ownership of it, or by abandoning its bearer.[T 20]

To master the Ring's capabilities, a Ring bearer would need a well-trained mind, a strong will, and great native power. Those with weaker minds, such as hobbits and lesser Men, would gain little from the Ring, let alone realize its full potential. Even for one with the necessary strength, it would have taken time to master the Ring's power sufficiently to overthrow Sauron.[T 20]

The Ring did not render its bearer omnipotent. Three times Sauron suffered military defeat while bearing the Ring, first by Gil-galad in the War of Sauron and the Elves, then by Ar-Pharazôn when Númenórean power so overawed his armies that they deserted him, and at the end of the Second Age with his personal defeat by Gil-galad and Elendil.[T 2] Tolkien indicates in a speech by Elrond that such a defeat would not have been possible in the waning years of the Third Age, when the strength of the free peoples was greatly diminished. There were no remaining heroes of the stature of Gil-galad, Elendil, or Isildur; the strength of the Elves was fading and they were departing to the Blessed Realm; and the Númenórean kingdoms had either declined or been destroyed, and had few allies.[T 5]

Fate of the Ring-bearers[edit]

Of the Ring-bearers, three were alive after the Ring's destruction, the hobbits Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam. Bilbo, having borne the Ring the longest, had had his life much prolonged. Frodo was scarred physically and mentally by his quest. Sam, having only briefly kept the Ring, was affected the least. In consideration of the trials Bilbo and Frodo faced, the Valar allowed them to travel to the Undying Lands, accompanying Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf. Sam is also said to have been taken to the Undying Lands, after living in the Shire for many years and raising a large family. Tolkien emphasized that the restorative sojourn of the Ring-bearers in the Undying Lands would not have been permanent. As mortals, they would eventually die and leave the world of Eä.[T 20]


Further information: J. R. R. Tolkien's influences

Norse mythology and Wagner[edit]

Further information: Gollum § Wagner

Tolkien's use of the Ring was influenced by Norse mythology. While at King Edward's School in Birmingham, he read and translated from the Old Norse in his free time. One of his first Norse purchases was the Völsunga saga. While a student, he read the only available English translation,[2][3] the 1870 rendering by William Morris of the Victorian Arts and Crafts movement and Icelandic scholar Eiríkur Magnússon.[4] That saga and the Middle High German Nibelungenlied were coeval texts that used the same ancient sources.[5][6] Both of them provided some of the basis for Richard Wagner's opera series, Der Ring des Nibelungen, featuring in particular a magical but cursed golden ring and a broken sword reforged. In the Völsunga saga, these items are respectively Andvaranaut and Gram, and they correspond broadly to the One Ring and the sword Narsil (reforged as Andúril).[7]

Tolkien dismissed critics' direct comparisons to Wagner, telling his publisher, "Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases."[T 21][T 22] Some critics hold that Tolkien's work borrows so liberally from Wagner that it exists in the shadow of Wagner's.[8] Others, such as Gloriana St. Clair, attribute the resemblances to the fact that Tolkien and Wagner had created works based on the same sources in Norse mythology.[9][8]Tom Shippey and other researchers hold an intermediary position, stating that the authors indeed used the same source materials, but that Tolkien was indebted to some of the original developments, insights and artistic uses of those sources that first appeared in Wagner, and sought to improve upon them.[10][11][12]


Tolkien visited the temple of Nodensat a place called "Dwarf's Hill" and translated an inscription with a curseupon the thief of a ring. It may have inspired his dwarves, mines, rings, and Celebrimbor"Silver-Hand", the Elven-smithwho forged Rings of Power.[13]

Further information: Nodens

In 1928, a 4th-century pagan mystery cult temple was excavated at Lydney Park, Gloucestershire.[14] Tolkien was asked to investigate a Latin inscription there, which mentioned the theft of a ring, with a curse upon its thief:

For the god Nodens. Silvianus has lost a ring and has donated one-half [its worth] to Nodens. Among those who are called Senicianus do not allow health until he brings it to the temple of Nodens.[15]

The Anglo-Saxon name for the place was Dwarf's Hill, and in 1932 Tolkien traced Nodens to the Irish hero Nuada Airgetlám, "Nuada of the Silver-Hand".[T 23] Shippey thought this "a pivotal influence" on Tolkien's Middle-earth, combining as it did a god-hero, a ring, dwarves, and a silver hand.[13]The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia notes the "Hobbit-like appearance of [Dwarf's Hill]'s mine-shaft holes", and that Tolkien was extremely interested in the hill's folklore on his stay there; it cites Helen Armstrong's comment that the place may have inspired Tolkien's "Celebrimbor and the fallen realms of Moria and Eregion".[13][16] The scholar of English literature John M. Bowers writes that the name of the Elven-smith Celebrimbor, who forged the Elf-rings, is the Sindarin for "Silver Hand".[17]

Applicability not allegory[edit]

Tolkien stated that The Lord of the Rings was not a point-by-point allegory, particularly not of political events of his time such as the Second World War.[T 24] At the same time he contrasted "applicability", which he described as "within the "freedom of the reader", and "allegory" as "the purposed domination of the author".[T 24] He stated that had the Second World War "inspired or directed the development of the legend" as an allegory, then the fate of the Ring, and of Middle-earth, would have been very different:[T 24]

Story elementLord of the RingsAllegory in Foreword
The RingDestroyedSeized, used against Sauron
SarumanFails to get the Ring, is killedGoes to Mordor; in the confusion and treachery
learns to make his own Ring,
makes war on the new Ruler of Middle-earth
OutcomePeace, the Shire restoredWar, hobbits enslaved and destroyed

Anne C. Petty, writing in The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, notes that Tolkien was all the same quite capable of using "allegorical elements when it suited his purpose", and that he agreed that the approach of war in 1938 "had had some effect on it": Lord of the Rings was applicable to the horror of war in general, as long as it was not taken as a point-by-point allegory of any particular war, with false equations like "Sauron=Satan or Hitler or Stalin, Gandalf=God or Churchill, Aragorn=Christ or MacArthur, the Ring=the atomic bomb, Mordor=Hell or Russia or Germany".[18]

One aspect of such applicability, that the Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey notes is rarely picked up by readers, is that Tolkien chose dates of symbolic importance in Christianity for the quest to destroy the Ring. It began in Rivendell on 25 December, the date of Christmas, and ended on Mount Doom on 25 March, a traditional Anglo-Saxon date for the crucifixion.[19]

Parallels with Plato's Republic[edit]

Further information: Ring of Gyges

A source that Tolkien "might have borrowed"[20] from, though there is no evidence for this, is Plato's Republic. Its second book tells the story of the Ring of Gyges that gave its owner the power of invisibility. In so doing, it created a moral dilemma, enabling people to commit injustices without fearing they would be caught.[20] In contrast, Tolkien's Ring actively exerts an evil force that destroys the morality of the wearer.[T 25]

The scholar of humanities Frederick A. de Armas notes parallels between Plato's and Tolkien's rings, and suggests that both Bilbo and Gyges, going into deep dark places to find hidden treasure, may have "undergone a Catabasis", a psychological journey to the Underworld.[21]

Story elementPlato's RepublicTolkien's Middle-earth
Ring's powerInvisibilityInvisibility, and corruption of the wearer
DiscoveryGyges finds ring in a deep chasmBilbo finds ring in a deep cave
First useGyges ravishes the Queen,
kills the King,
becomes King of Lydia
Bilbo puts ring on "by accident",
is surprised Gollum does not see him
Moral resultTotal failureBilbo emerges strengthened

The Tolkien scholar Eric Katz, without suggesting that Tolkien was aware of the Ring of Gyges, writes that "Plato argues that such [moral] corruption will occur, but Tolkien shows us this corruption through the thoughts and actions of his characters".[22] In Katz's view, Plato tries to counter the "cynical conclusion" that moral life is chosen by the weak; Glaucon thinks that people are only "good" because they suppose they will be caught if they are not. Plato argues that immoral life is no good as it corrupts one's soul. So, Katz states, according to Plato a moral person has peace and happiness, and would not use a Ring of Power.[22] In Katz's view, Tolkien's story "demonstrate[s] various responses to the question posed by Plato: would a just person be corrupted by the possibility of almost unlimited power?"[22] The question is answered in different ways: Gollum is weak, quickly corrupted, and finally destroyed; Boromir begins virtuous but like Plato's Gyges is corrupted "by the temptation of power"[22] from the Ring, even if he wants to use it for good, but redeems himself by defending the hobbits to his own death; the "strong and virtuous"[22] Galadriel, who sees clearly what she would become if she accepted the ring, and rejects it; the immortal Tom Bombadil, exempt from the Ring's corrupting power and from its gift of invisibility; Sam who in a moment of need faithfully uses the ring, but is not seduced by its vision of "Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age"; and finally Frodo who is gradually corrupted, but is saved by his earlier mercy to Gollum, and Gollum's desperation for the Ring. Katz concludes that Tolkien's answer to Plato's "Why be moral?" is "to be yourself".[22]

Object of the quest[edit]

The scholar of the humanities Brian Rosebury noted that The Lord of the Rings combines a slow, descriptive series of scenes or tableaux illustrating Middle-earth with a unifying plotline in the shape of the quest to destroy the Ring. The Ring needs to be destroyed to save Middle-earth itself from destruction or domination by Sauron. The work builds up Middle-earth as a place that readers come to love, shows that it is under dire threat, and – with the destruction of the Ring – provides the "eucatastrophe" for a happy ending. The work is thus, Rosebury asserted, very tightly constructed, the expansive descriptions and the Ring-based plot fitting together exactly.[23]

Addiction to power[edit]

Main article: Addiction to power in The Lord of the Rings

The Ring offers power to its wearer, and progressively corrupts the wearer's mind to evil.[24][25] The Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey applies Lord Acton's 1887 statement that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men" to it. He notes that the opinion is distinctively modern, and that other modern authors such as George Orwell with Animal Farm (1945), William Golding with Lord of the Flies (1954), and T. H. White with The Once and Future King (1958) similarly wrote about the corrupting effects of power. When the critic Colin Manlove described Tolkien's attitude to power as inconsistent, arguing that the supposedly overwhelming Ring was handed over easily enough by Sam and Bilbo, and had little effect on Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, Shippey replies in "one word" that the explanation is simple: the Ring is addictive, increasing in effect with exposure. Other scholars concur about its addictive nature.[24][25][27][28]


In the 1981 BBC Radio serial of The Lord of the Rings, the Nazgûl chant the Ring-inscription; the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's sound effects for the Nazgul and the Black Speech of Mordor have been described as "nightmarish".[29][30]

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the wearer of the Ring is portrayed as moving through a shadowy realm where everything is distorted. The effects of the Ring on Bilbo and Frodo are obsessions that have been compared with drug addiction; the actor Andy Serkis, who played Gollum, cited drug addiction as an inspiration for his performance.[31] The actual ring for the films was designed and created by Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith in Nelson, New Zealand, and was based on a simple wedding ring.[32][33]Polygon highlighted that "the workshop produced approximately 40 different rings for the films. Most expensive were the 18 carat solid gold 'hero' rings, sized ten for Frodo’s hand and 11 for the chain. [...] To save money — though not time — the workshop used gold-plated sterling silver for most of the rings. [...] For many fans, the ring used in close-ups — like the scene where the Ring slips away from Frodo to lure Boromir in the snow at Caradhras, or when arguing participants in the Council of Elrond are shown reflected in the Ring’s surface — is the real hero ring. In order to capture the ring’s sheen in high definition, that prop was a full eight inches wide — too big even for Hansen’s tools. Instead, a local machine shop made and polished the shape that Hansen’s team then plated".[34]

A tabletop roleplaying game set in Middle-earth and called "The One Ring" was manufactured by Cubicle 7;[35] a new edition is planned by a partnership of Sophisticated Games and Free League Publishing from 2020.[36][37]



This list identifies each item's location in Tolkien's writings.
  1. ^ abcdefghijThe Fellowship of the Ring, book 1, ch. 2 "The Shadow of the Past"
  2. ^ abcdThe Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  3. ^ abcdeCarpenter 1981, #131 to Milton Waldman, late 1951
  4. ^A drawing of the inscription and a translation provided by Gandalf appears in The Fellowship of the Ring, book 1, ch. 2 "The Shadow of the Past".
  5. ^ abcdThe Fellowship of the Ring, book 2, ch. 2, "The Council of Elrond"
  6. ^ abcThe Silmarillion, "Akallabêth"
  7. ^ abCarpenter 1981, #211 to Rhona Beare, 14 October 1958
  8. ^The Hobbit, ch. 5 "Riddles in the Dark"
  9. ^The Fellowship of the Ring, Prologue "Of the Finding of the Ring"
  10. ^The Fellowship of the Ring, book 1, ch. 1 "A Long-expected Party"
  11. ^The Fellowship of the Ring, book 2, ch. 2 "The Council of Elrond"
  12. ^The Fellowship of the Ring, book 2, ch. 3 "The Ring goes South"
  13. ^The Two Towers, book 4, ch. 1 "The Taming of Sméagol"
  14. ^The Two Towers, book 4, ch. 9 "Shelob's Lair"
  15. ^ abThe Two Towers, book 4, ch. 10 "The Choices of Master Samwise"
  16. ^ abThe Return of the King, book 6, ch. 1 "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"
  17. ^ abThe Return of the King, book 6, ch. 3 "Mount Doom"
  18. ^Tolkien (1954), book 4, ch. 10 "The Choices of Master Samwise"
  19. ^The Return of the King, book 6, ch. 4, "The Field of Cormallen"
  20. ^ abcCarpenter 1981, #246 to Mrs Eileen Elgar, September 1963 drafts
  21. ^Carpenter 1981, #229 to Allen & Unwin, 23 February 1961
  22. ^Carpenter 1977, p. 206
  23. ^J. R. R. Tolkien, "The Name Nodens", Appendix to "Report on the excavation of the prehistoric, Roman and post-Roman site in Lydney Park, Gloucestershire", Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 1932; also in Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review, Vol. 4, 2007
  24. ^ abcdThe Fellowship of the Ring, "Foreword to the Second Edition"
  25. ^Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, book 1, ch 2, "The Shadow of the Past".


  1. ^Byock 1990, p. 31
  2. ^Carpenter 1977, pp. 71–73, 77
  3. ^Morris, William; Magnússon, Eiríkur, eds. (1870). Völsunga Saga: The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, with Certain Songs from the Elder Edda. London: F. S. Ellis. p. xi.
  4. ^Evans, Jonathan. "The Dragon Lore of Middle-earth: Tolkien and Old English and Old Norse Tradition". In Clark & Timmons 2000, pp. 24, 25
  5. ^Simek 2005, pp. 163–165
  6. ^Simek 2005, pp. 165, 173
  7. ^ abRoss, Alex (22 December 2003). "The Ring and the Rings: Wagner vs Tolkien". The New Yorker.
  8. ^St. Clair, Gloriana (2000). Tolkien's Cauldron: Northern Literature and The Lord of the Rings. Carnegie Mellon University. OCLC 53923141.
  9. ^Shippey, Tom (1992). The Road to Middle-earth. Allen & Unwin. p. 296. ISBN .
  10. ^Wickham-Crowley, Kelley M. (2008). "Roots and Branches: Selected Papers on Tolkien (review)". Tolkien Studies. 5 (1): 233–244. doi:10.1353/tks.0.0021. S2CID 170410627.
  11. ^Manni, Franco (8 December 2004). "Roots and Branches: A Book Review". The Valar Guild. Translated by Bishop, Jimmy. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  12. ^ abcAnger, Don N. (2013) [2007]. "Report on the Excavation of the Prehistoric, Roman and Post-Roman Site in Lydney Park, Gloucestershire". In Drout, Michael D. C. (ed.). The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. pp. 563–564. ISBN .
  13. ^Shippey, Tom (2005) [1982]. The Road to Middle-Earth (Third ed.). Grafton (HarperCollins). pp. 40–41. ISBN .
  14. ^"RIB 306. Curse upon Senicianus". Roman Inscriptions of Britain. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  15. ^Armstrong, Helen (May 1997). "And Have an Eye to That Dwarf". Amon Hen: The Bulletin of the Tolkien Society (145): 13–14.
  16. ^Bowers, John M. (2019). Tolkien's Lost Chaucer. Oxford University Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN .
  17. ^Petty, Anne C. (2013) [2007]. "Allegory". In Drout, Michael D. C. (ed.). The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. pp. 6–7. ISBN .
  18. ^Shippey, Tom (2005) [1982]. The Road to Middle-Earth (Third ed.). HarperCollins. p. 227. ISBN .
  19. ^ abRadeska, Tijana (28 February 2018). "The idea of "the Ring" existed centuries before Tolkien's epic saga". The Vintage News.
  20. ^ abde Armas, Frederick A. (1994). "Gyges' Ring: Invisibility in Plato, Tolkien and Lope de Vega". Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. 3 (3/4): 120–138. JSTOR 43308203.
  21. ^ abcdefKatz, Eric (2003). Bassham, Gregory (ed.). The Rings of Tolkien and Plato: Lessons in Power, Choice, and Morality. The Lord of the rings and philosophy : one book to rule them all. Open Court. pp. 5–20. ISBN . OCLC 863158193.
  22. ^ abRosebury, Brian (2003) [1992]. Tolkien : A Cultural Phenomenon. Palgrave. pp. 1–3, 12–13, 25–34, 41, 57. ISBN .
  23. ^ abPerkins, Agnes; Hill, Helen (1975). "The Corruption of Power". In Lobdell, Jared (ed.). A Tolkien Compass. Open Court. pp. 57–68. ISBN .
  24. ^ abRoberts, Adam (2006). "The One Ring". In Eaglestone, Robert (ed.). Reading The Lord of the Rings: New Writings on Tolkien's Classic. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 63. ISBN .
  25. ^Sommer, Mark (7 July 2004). "Addicted to the Ring". – Pop Culture From A Spiritual Point of View. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  26. ^Yell, David M. (2007). The Drama of Man. Xulon Press. p. 108. ISBN .
  27. ^"Nazgul.wav". 25 October 2009. Archived from the original(WAV) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  28. ^"Audiobook Review: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers(1981)". The Orkney News. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  29. ^"Andy Serkis BBC interview". BBC News. 21 March 2003.
  30. ^"The Replica Ring or The One Ring". Jens Hansen - Gold & Silversmith. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  31. ^Murphy, Sara (6 October 2021). "The jeweler who forged the One Ring never got to see it". Polygon. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  32. ^Murphy, Sara (6 October 2021). "The jeweler who forged the One Ring never got to see it". Polygon. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  33. ^"The One Ring 2nd Ed Character Customisation". Cubicle 7. 12 September 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  34. ^"Free League Signs Deal to Publish RPGs in Tolkien's Middle-Earth". Free League. 9 March 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  35. ^Jarvis, Matt (10 March 2020). "Tales from the Loop studio becomes new publisher for Lord of the Rings RPGs The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth". Dicebreaker. Retrieved 4 November 2020.


  • Byock, Jesse L. (1990). The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer. University of California Press. ISBN .
  • Carpenter, Humphrey (1977), J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography, New York: Ballantine Books, ISBN 
  • Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 
  • Clark, George; Timmons, Daniel, eds. (2000). J. R. R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-Earth. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN .
  • Hammond, Wayne G.; Scull, Christina (2005). The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion. HarperCollins. ISBN .
  • Shippey, Tom (2002). J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. HarperCollins. ISBN .
  • Simek, Rudolf (2005). Mittelerde: Tolkien und die germanische Mythologie [Middle-earth: Tolkien and the Germanic Mythology] (in German). C. H. Beck. ISBN .
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (1937), Douglas A. Anderson (ed.), The Annotated Hobbit, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 2002), ISBN 
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), ISBN 
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), ISBN 
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (1955), The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), ISBN 
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 
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"Lord of the Rings" Wins 11 Oscars

March 1, 2004 -- -- The epic journey of a raggedy gang of humans, hobbits, wizards, dwarves and elves hoisted the fantasy genre to Oscar glory Sunday as "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" won a record-tying 11 Oscars, sweeping every category in which it was nominated, including best picture.

The directing Oscar went to Peter Jackson, overlord of arguably the biggest undertaking in cinema history, the simultaneous filming of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth trilogy: "The Fellowship of the Ring," "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King."

"I'm so honored and relieved that the academy and the members of the academy that have supported us have seen past the trolls and the wizards and the hobbits in recognizing fantasy this year," said Jackson, who just a few years ago was an obscure New Zealanderknown mainly for one admired art-house film ("Heavenly Creatures"), a run-of-the-mill Hollywood horror tale ("The Frighteners") and a scattering of cult splatter flicks ("BadTaste" and "Meet the Feebles").

Other top Oscars played out predictably, with front-runners claiming all four acting trophies — the first for each.

Sean Penn took the best-actor prize as a vengeful father in "Mystic River," and Charlize Theron won for best actress as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in "Monster."

Oscars for supporting performances went to Tim Robbins as a man emotionally hamstrung by childhood trauma in "Mystic River" and Renee Zellweger as a hardy Confederate survivor in "Cold Mountain."

Penn Drops WMD Remark

"Return of the King" matched the record 11 Oscar wins of "Titanic" and "Ben-Hur" and became only the third movie to sweep every category in which it was nominated, following "Gigi" and "The Last Emperor," which both went nine-for-nine.

Jackson also shared the adapted-screenplay Oscar with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

The 42-year-old writer-director thanked "our wonderful cast who just got their tongues around this rather awkward text and made it come to life with such devotion and passion and heart."

"Return of the King" also won for song, musical score, visual effects, editing, makeup, art direction, costume design and sound mixing.

Penn, who skipped the Oscars when previously nominated for "Dead Man Walking," "Sweet and Lowdown" and "I Am Sam," showed up and accepted graciously — although he made a crack about there being no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Dismissive of awards in the past, Penn missed last month's Golden Globes but made a point to attend other Oscar and awards functions.

"If there's one thing that actors know, other than there weren't any WMDs, it's that there is no such thing as best in acting. And that's proven by these great actors that I wasnominated with," said Penn, who received a standing ovation.

Coppola Thanks Dad for Lessons

In "Monster," Theron was virtually unrecognizable, packing on 30 pounds and concealing her cover-girl beauty behind false teeth, splotchy makeup and dark contact lenses.

"I know everybody in New Zealand's been thanked, so I'm going to thank everybody in South Africa, my home country," said Theron, who had been generally regarded as a lightweight actress before "Monster." Her earlier credits include "The Cider House Rules,"last summer's heist caper "The Italian Job" and such flops as "Reindeer Games" and "Sweet November."

Sofia Coppola's Oscar victory for original screenplay for "Lost in Translation" made her family the second clan of three-generation Oscar winners, joining Walter, John and Anjelica Huston. Her father is five-time Oscar winner Francis Ford Coppola, who was an executive producer on "Lost in Translation." Her grandfather, Carmine Coppola, won for musical score on "The Godfather Part II."

"Thank you to my dad for everything he taught me," Coppola said. "Thank you to my brother Roman and all my friends who were there for me when I was stuck at 12 pages and encouraged me to keep writing."

Only a handful of fantasy films have been nominated for the top Oscar — "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" among them — but none had won until now.

At best the genre was viewed as high camp, not the stuff of Oscars, which usually go to grand dramas with their feet firmly planted in recognizable reality.

The people behind "The Lord of the Rings" changed that, approaching Tolkien's mythical realm with dead seriousness. Jackson sought three-dimensional humanity all around — compassion, nobility and self-doubt in heroic hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood), wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and human Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), covetousnessand Shakespearean malice in villains Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Gollum (a computer-generated creature voiced by Andy Serkis).

Audiences received Jackson's fantastical creation with equal seriousness, with global ticket sales of $2.8 billion for the three films. "Return of the King" has topped $1 billion alone, the No. 2 box-office draw behind Titanic at $1.8 billion.

Crystal Cracks Aramaic Joke

Jackson labored for seven years to adapt Tolkien's trilogy — first persuading Hollywood bankers to stake him to the tune of $300 million, then marshaling a cast and crew of 2,000 to shoot the three films and land them in theaters just a year apart.

The result was a 9½-hour saga — more than 11 hours once all three extended home-video versions are available — that seamlessly blended live action and computer animation. Real actors credibly shared the screen with flying beasts, hulking trolls, and walking, talking "tree shepherds."

Other "Return of the King" winners included composer Howard Shore, who took his second Oscar for writing "Lord of the Rings" music, having won two years ago on Part 1 of the saga, "The Fellowship of the Ring."

"Into the West," the wistful tune of farewell from "Return of the King," won the best-song Oscar. The song was written by Fran Walsh, the film's co-screenwriter; Howard Shore, its music composer; and Annie Lennox, who sings the tune.

The Oscars returned to full-glamour mode after two years in which Hollywood's prom night was muted by world events — the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and the Iraq war in 2003.

With the passage of time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences figured it was safe to make merry again for the 76th annual Oscars.

Billy Crystal, returning as host for the first time in four years, opened with his usual montage of nominees, having himself inserted into spoofs of key Oscar contenders, including Diane Keaton's screeching nude scene in "Something's Gotta Give."

He joked that for the first time, the show was being simulcast in Aramaic, a poke at "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's divisive religious film that took in $117.5 million in its first five days. The movie was done in Aramaic and Latin, with English subtitles.

With all the awards for "Return of the King," produced in New Zealand, Crystal joked: "It's now official. There is nobody left in New Zealand to thank."

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Bryony Gordon: For monarchists, the world just got happier

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To the naysayers, news is only proper news when it is about murder, war or politics. But many of us are quite thrilled to hear more about the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy.

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We had known about the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy for all of 30 seconds when the naysayers appeared online, whingeing and whining about the wall-to-wall coverage of a stranger’s womb. The gist of their gripes was along the lines of: “WOMAN OF CHILD-BEARING AGE IS PREGNANT SHOCKER!” I suspect that when the Queen Mother passed away it was boiled down to “SCANDAL AS ELDERLY WOMAN DIES!” and that when Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles got hitched, it was reduced to “SENSATION AS MIDDLE-AGED DIVORCEE REMARRIES!”


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[np_storybar title=”Royal pregnancy news makes a welcome change from Ukraine, ISIS, etc.” link=””] Today: Woman gets pregnant, throws up — and the world’s media go into a tizzy.

Well of course they do, if she’s the Duchess of Cambridge, the world’s yummiest mummy. It also makes a welcome change from Ukraine, ISIS, Vladimir Putin, etc., etc.

The scarcely surprising news has commentators casting around for new things to say about the royal pregnancy — or recycling what they have already said ad nauseam. Literally. We’re being given a crash course again on hypremesis gravidarium, which is what the Duchess is suffering from again — here and here. Grandparents are beaming and saying grandparently things.


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Continue reading…

Anyway, the naysayers didn’t like that their Twitter timelines were suddenly filled with excited tweets about potential names, genders and oh-my-god-I-hope-it’s-a-girl-and-they-call-her-Diana, so they added to the volume of #royalbabytweets by saying so. To the naysayers, news is only proper news when it is about murder, war or politics, and anyone who is interested in anything else is vacuous and not worthy of an invitation to eat organic quinoa at their townhouse.

But of course it is news that a woman who might one day be Queen is pregnant again. Did the naysayers really think that the 24-hour news channels would mention it briefly and then go back to talking about Scotland? Speaking of which, I love the cynical naysayer theory that the Duke and Duchess might have been marched into a bedroom by the Queen and told to lie back and think of England, not forgetting Scotland, too. I don’t want to put you off your breakfast, but I can’t imagine this being a useful part of any young couple’s baby-making plans.


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Plus, I’m trying to imagine the conversation between Kate, William and little Diana in five years’ time. “Mummy and Daddy, that beastly George says that you love him more than me and that I was a mistake.” “Quite the opposite, darling. You were planned meticulously, so that the announcement of your existence would boost support for the unionists. Without you, baby, we would be ruling over a less-than-united kingdom!”

I am not a staunch monarchist by any stretch of the imagination; I don’t collect souvenir plates that mark royal births, deaths and marriages and I’ve never been able to get over seeing those pictures of the Duchess of York having her toes sucked (I was 12, OK? It was an impressionable age). But on weeks like this one, I think the Royals sum up all that is great — and bonkers — about Britain.


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Yes, it is mad to invest any interest at all in the reproductive system of a woman you will probably never meet, but it’s a madness that grips people of all ages, ethnicities, religions and nationalities. The otherness of the Royals is one of the few things nowadays that has the power to bring we Brits together: Witness the boost to the nation’s collective mood when everyone got a day off in 2011 for the Royal Wedding; remember the lusciously long weekend to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee a year later; don’t pretend you didn’t feel even a smidgeon of excitement when they wheeled the easel out of Buckingham Palace to announce the birth of Prince George last summer.

Republicans think that the Royals are a ludicrously expensive affront to democracy, but I think they are worth every one of the 56 pennies that I am charged in tax for them each year. Right now, people around the world are going mad for “Princess Kate”; they will come and they will pile in to the endless tourist shops near Buckingham Palace and they will spend their dollars and their yuan on postcards and key rings and other tat bearing the image of the newest member of the Royal family. America’s television networks will bus in their most glamorous news anchors to stand outside the hospital. The economy will get a boost, but the republicans and the naysayers will be cross because they want to be able to sit miserably in front of their televisions watching the proper news, without being disturbed by anything as trivial as good news.


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Well all I can say is thank the Lord and little baby Jesus that Catherine has got another bun in the oven. After a summer of Ebola and gruesome ISIS beheadings and terrible tensions in the Ukraine, and with the prospect of the country falling apart in just under 10 days, it’s a relief to finally have something to smile about.

Royal baby number two may not save the Union — it might be a tall order for a ball of cells probably no bigger than a raspberry — but it has given us a much-needed reason to be cheerful. Plus, by my calculations, it will be born around the time of the UK general election campaign, and boy-oh-boy will we need a distraction from that.

So thank you, Catherine, for your pregnancy. It’s reminded me that news doesn’t always have to be bad.

The Daily Telegraph

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Washington Capitals need the Alex Ovechkin who dominated against the New York Rangers in Games 1, 2 to re-emerge

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He terrorized the city like he was King Kong, scoring twice on goals that had even New York fans shaking their heads at in disbelief

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Michael Traikos

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ARLINGTON, VA. — The distance between New York City and Washington, D.C., is not very long. From take-off to landing, you’re looking at about an hour. Of course, that does not include the drive to the airport, passing through security or going through baggage claim.


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[np_storybar title=”Rangers score late, then beat Capitals in overtime to avoid elimination” link=””]

“It seems longer all the time,” said Capitals head coach Barry Trotz. “It’s not that long … but when you’re older, it always seems long.”

After Friday night’s overtime loss to the Rangers in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden, in which the Capitals were less than two minutes away from booking a trip to the conference final for the first time in 17 years, the trip back home must have felt like forever. But the morning after, the players insisted they were not carrying any baggage from what could have been.


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Instead, they came to the practice rink and focused on what they needed to do in Game 6 on Sunday in order to avoid making another long trip back to New York for a possible Game 7 on Wednesday.

Yes, goaltending will be important, as it has been all series. So, too, will be the power play and the penalty kill. And the defensive miscue that the Capitals made in overtime, which left Ryan McDonagh alone in the slot for the winner, cannot happen again.

But most of all, Washington needs Alex Ovechkin, who taunted Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist by shouting “all series long!” after scoring in the series opener but has gone silent in the last three games, to back up his words.

“You can’t keep a guy like that down too long,” said Capitals forward Jason Chimera. “When he’s getting his looks and he’s playing hard, you’re not going to stop him. You can limit his looks, but they’re eventually going to go in for him.


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“I have no doubts that he’s going to score a big goal for us tomorrow.”

This was not Mark Messier promising a series win. But it was as close to a guarantee as you will find. Then again, Chimera was just playing the odds.

Ovechkin, who has four goals and eight points in 12 playoff games, did score 53 goals and 81 points in the regular season. He only went more than three consecutive games without a goal three times this season — a five-games span in October and two four-game spans in November. He is due.


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To that list, you can also add Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom (no goals and one assist in the series), as well as New York’s Rick Nash (no goals and two assists) and Martin St. Louis (no goals and two assists).

You need players of all shapes and sizes and salary structures to make contributions in the playoffs. As Trotz continues to say during this post-season, “we’re looking for a new hero every night.” And yet, every year, the same cliché rings true: you only go as far as your best players will take you.

In Games 1 and 2, Ovechkin was a monster in Manhattan. He terrorized the city like he was King Kong, scoring twice on goals that had even New York fans shaking their heads at in disbelief, and setting up a game-winner right before the buzzer. But since then, the Rangers defence has tamed him.


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Ovechkin, who has 11 shots in the past three games, has not exactly been invisible. Far from it, actually. Every time he is on the ice, like when he uncorked a wrist shot that handcuffed Lundqvist on Friday night, there is the possibility that something special will happen, that he will change the course of the game with a get-them-out-of-their-seats goal.

“He’s been dangerous the whole series,” said Rangers centre Derek Stepan. “He’s been really good for them. His two goals in Games 1 and 2 were something that we have to try to continue to limit, because he’s going to get his looks.”

Ovechkin is getting his looks. But with no points in Games 3, 4 and 5, he is starting to mirror the performance he had two years ago against the Rangers, where he stormed out of the gates with a goal and an assist in Games 1 and 2, and then went missing in action as the Capitals were shutout in Games 6 and 7.

The plan is quite simple: stop Ovechkin (and Backstrom) and you stop the Capitals’ offence, a practice that worked in the regular season when the team lost 20 of the 36 games when the top-two snipers went without a goal.

“That’s why you need everyone to contribute,” Trotz said of the Capitals, who are 4-3 in the playoffs when Ovechkin and Backstrom do not score. “You’re going to have some matchups where your best players are going to have to be your best players — every coach will say that — but you need everybody.”

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