The growing burden of carrying the One Ring to its destruction is represented by the Corruption of the Ring-bearers, a numerical score that starts at zero points but can increase to 12.

Upon reaching 12 Corruption points, the Ring-bearers are immediately assumed to have failed in their mission, succumbing to the power of the One Ring, and the game is won by the Shadow.

The Free Peoples player keeps track of the Corruption of the Ring-bearers by moving the Corruption counter along the Fellowship Track on the game board (which also contains the Fellowship Progress counter), placing it upon the corresponding numbered space.