With a new Lord of the Rings show arriving over the next year, an old pub conversation of ours has been resurrected: how far did they actually travel, and what if they just wanted to pop the ring in the post instead?
In the books and films, they travel huge distances – through mountains and forests, caves and lairs – but that was in a land before one-day deliveries and Amazon drones. The author, J.R.R. Tolkien, didn’t exactly break the journey down into miles for us, either.
So, we did the research and found out how much the ring would weigh, what it’s dimensions are, how far (in miles and kilometres) it would need to travel and how much it would cost you to ship it with some of the most popular delivery companies around. Let’s get started.
Working out the size and weight of the ring.
The Dark Lord Sauron didn’t forge an all-powerful grand piano, which is fortunate as that would be a lot more expensive to post. Instead, he decided on a ring – which is at least a little easier to carry around with you.
Figuratively, the ring is a heavy burden. However, that isn’t something the Post Office would be interested in, so we need to work out the rings actual size and weight; its magical properties make that difficult. That’s because it’s constantly changing. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf reveals that Bilbo once said:
“…(it) did not seem always of the same size or weight; it shrank or expanded in an odd way, and might suddenly slip off a finger where it had been tight.”
– Bilbo Baggins, Hobbit
After people debated the material of the ring for years, the release of the series titled History of Middle Earth cleared it up once and for all. In the book titled Morgoth’s Ring (the tenth of twelve entries), it details how Sauron made the ring out of gold to honour his master, Morgoth, who previously used the metal to control people. The Dark Lord would have wanted to avoid using something like silver or platinum too, which has serious connotations with nicer races like the Elves.
For the size, we decided to base our calculations on the largest size British ring manufacturers currently create just to be safe. Combining that with information from Jens Hansen, official makers of the ring, we deduced that it would weigh 21.5 grams, and measure 68.5 mm in circumference.
As you couldn’t just put the ring in the post, for the final calculations we will add on an additional 35 grams to account for the weight of the protection and packaging that is recommended when shipping jewellery.
Analysing the journey taken.
It’s a shame that Frodo wasn’t tasked with his grave quest in modern times because we probably could have saved him a lot of hassle, to be honest. However, this was long before the Post Office and postmen, so we need to look closely at the exact journey they went on – from the Shire to Mount Doom.
Thankfully, the team over at LOTR Project have made the work a lot easier for us. After reading over each book meticulously, and cross-referencing with other material approved by the Tolkien estate, they have landed on reliable numbers for both how long the entire journey would take, along with how large that distance is in miles.
Comparing it to a similar journey.
To give you a point of comparison for how long that journey is, we decided to ground this in the real world and see what cities are a similar number of miles apart.
On your right are cities which are a distance away from each other that is similar to the path the ring would take when being shipped, to give you an idea of the scale.
No wonder it took them a trilogy of films.
|From this city...||...to this city.|
|England, London||Turkey, Ankara|
|USA, San Francisco||Canada, Winipeg|
|Italy, Milan||Iceland, Reykavik|
|Japan, Tokyo||Russia, Magadan|
|Turkey, Istanbul||Finland, Rovaniemi|
The quoted prices.
We now have all the necessary information needed to work out how much it would cost.
First, we inputted the weight and dimensions of the package based on our working out. Then, we found two postcodes to use as the start and delivery points (the former a postcode from England, London and the latter a postcode from Turkey, Ankara) to accurately duplicate the journey taken by the Fellowship. With all that considered, we got the following prices and delivery dates using our own postage quote generator:
Scroll through the quotes on the left to see the final costs.
There you have it! We don’t know much about the new season coming to Amazon, but we’ve already done the leg work for them if they want to go with our approach. It might make for a brief season of television, though…
We do much more than work out the price of theoretical shipping! Our connections with some of the largest postage companies in the country like DPD and Parcel Force mean that we can negotiate the cheapest rates around for when you’re sending packages – locally or internationally.
This means you get the same high-quality service, but for an even lower price than if you went to them directly. Call us on 01304 202300 for more information, or leave us a message here and our team will be sure to get to you as soon as possible.