Did Isildur ever put on the Ring more than once?

Steve Melisi

New Member
This is a bit of a larger question -- how does anyone who is not a Ringwraith know what a Ringwraith experiences on that side while wearing their rings? Can we take for granted that Isildur put on the Ring more that one time while trying to escape the Orcs at the Gladden Fields. We have to think it would, to know that it made him invisible and thus would allow him to escape the Orcs. If so, he might have been able to share what the experience was for others on this side, in a similar way that he shared what the fiery letters on the Ring were. Not to say that this is the same experience as the Ringwraiths who have completely faded, but at least it might be intel that could be extrapolated from. Or could it be that the Nine, when they were not yet Ringwraiths, were relating their experiences over there as they slowly went from men to wraiths? Again, the earliest levels of ring usage might not be the same as when they are full-blown wraiths, but it could be something that the Wise could work with in figuring out what it would be like.

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
Can we take for granted that Isildur put on the Ring more that one time while trying to escape the Orcs at the Gladden Fields.
Since it is, as you say, "a larger question", I will note that in Unfinished Tales we have The Disaster of the Gladden Fields, where Isildur puts on the Ring to escape and it betrays him by falling off his finger and he is killed.
During the battle, his son Elendur asks him "what of the power that would cow these foul creatures and command them to obey you? Is it then of no avail?"
And Isildur replies "Alas, it is not, senya. I cannot use it. I dread the pain of touching it. And I have not yet found the strength to bend it to my will."

So he apparently has tried it before, but just can't handle it. I think it is implied that it still retains the heat of Sauron's hand and burns him when he puts it on. He goes on "It needs one greater than I now know myself to be. My pride has fallen. It should go to the Keepers of the Three."

Interesting that he knows all about the Three, isn't it? They're still hidden, as they have been since the forging of the One, but apparently the top commanders in the Last Alliance were all considered to have a "need to know" about them.

Ah, and a couple paragraphs later: "he set it upon his finger with a cry of pain, and was never seen again by any eye upon Middle-earth." So it hurts. Hurts a lot.

I don't think there is any evidence on the questions you ask in The Lord of the Rings itself, though. The scroll, written by Isildur, that Gandalf finds in Minas Tirith could not have included the story of the Gladden Fields, as it was written by Isildur before that happened, but perhaps it contained other clues that Gandalf could decipher. . . All speculation, alas.