|This 32mm scale figure is unpainted.
Isildur was the son of Elendil, the High King of Gondor and Arnor. Isildur and his brother Anarion jointly ruled Gondor in the South, while their father dwelled in the North. During the War of the Last Alliance, Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand, but he refused to destroy it. Isildur was later killed by Orcs and the Ring was lost in the Gladden Fields for nearly 2,500 years.
The War of the Last Alliance began in 3434. Sauron's forces were defeated in the Battle of Dagorlad on the plain outside Mordor, and the army of the Last Alliance entered Sauron's realm and laid siege to Barad-dur. The siege lasted seven years and many Men and Elves were killed, including Isildur's brother Anarion who died in 3440.
At last in 3441, Sauron himself came down from his tower. He fought with Gil-galad and Elendil on the slopes of Mount Doom. Sauron's body was cast down, but Gil-galad and Elendil died in the struggle. Elendil's sword Narsil broke beneath him as he fell.
Isildur took up the hilt of Narsil and used the broken blade to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand. Sauron's spirit fled from his body, but as long as the Ring that held much of his power survived so would his spirit. Elrond and Cirdan counselled Isildur to destroy the Ring immediately in the fires of Mount Doom. But Isildur refused, saying:
"This I will have as weregild for my father's death, and my brother's. Was it not I that dealt the Enemy his death-blow?"
The Silmarillion: "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," p. 295
The power of the Ring was such that no one could willingly destroy it. The lure of the Ring began to act on Isildur as soon as he took it. The great heat of the Ring burned Isildur's hand, but he still thought it was beautiful and precious.
It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede, and my hand was scorched, so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of it. ... But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing: of all the works of Sauron the only fair. It is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain.
The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Council of Elrond," p. 266
Isildur noticed that there was writing on the Ring that showed when it was still hot, but disappeared when it had cooled. He wrote a description of the Ring on a scroll which he left in the archives of Minas Anor for future generations.