Would the One Ring have stayed hidden if Bilbo hadn't turned up?

Ganesh Ujwal

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Gollum managed to keep the One Ring safe in his possession for over 600 years. His cave is very well hidden, the goblins living nearby appear to be unaware of it and aside from Bilbo's visit there doesn't seem to have been any threat to him continuing to hold onto it indefinitely.

Did Tolkien highlight what would have happened if Bilbo hadn't recovered the Ring (or if Gollum had somehow died in his cave)? Would the Master Ring have simply remained undetected for the foreseeable future?
 

JIM

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the ring has a will of it's own. it would have found a way
 

Overread

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Gollum didn't keep the Ring safe and hidden, the Ring kept Gollum safe and hidden along with itself. The ring needs a host, a body to carry and move it and perform its desires, so it sought out a creature that it could control.

Gullum was that creature and for many years the Ring hid because whilst there was evil around it was pretty weak and disorganised and the Ring alone hasn't the power to manipulate whole nations of creatures as such. When it heard its masters call, Sauron returning to the world, it then shed itself of Gollum - hoping for an orc to pick it up. Bilbo was an unforseen element by the Ring. Had he not been there chances are an orc, who infested the tunnels, would have picked it up and been swayed to take it to Mordor and its master.
 

Midnattblod

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Honestly the best chance of it staying hidden was lost when Deagol found it in the river. This still wouldn't have kept it hidden, because when Sauron cane back to Middle-Earth, he would've probably forced an orc to retrieve it for him, or just move the course of the river just enough to walk up and get it himself. So I don't think it would've stayed hidden in any circumstance. One way or another, it would've found its way back to its master.
 

Overread

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One reason the Ring stayed hidden for so long is that Sauron thought the Ring lost/destroyed after the battle. He had no idea it still existed until much later.
 

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