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Topic: Rings of Power

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Rings of Power

I'm surprised that this discussion hasnt began in this forum yet. I hope this question makes it to the advanced section because I think there is more to it than appears:


How many rings of power were forged by the Elves and what was their purpose?


I look forward to your answers.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, by the Mirdain alone, only 3 rings were made, the rings of the Elves
these were:
- Nenya, the White Ring, the Ring of Adamant or Ring of Water; it was used by Galadriel to maintain Lorien
- Narya, The Red Ring or Ring of Fire; it was sent to Gil-galad, who then gave it to Cirdan the Shipwright, who then gave to Gandalf
- Vilya, the Blue Ring, Ring of Sapphire, or Ring of Air, it was considered the strongest of these 3 rings and it was held originally by Gil-galad, and then passed to Elrond at the time of the founding of Rivendell

now their purpose to help maintain the power of the Elves in Middle-earth. But once the One Ring was destroyed, the 3 Rings became immediately useless and powerless, also one of the reasons for the Elves all leaving Middle-earth.
the only other purpose was in the case of Narya, which was also used by Gandalf in his quest with the Fellowship.

and also, all 3 Rings passed into the west on the 29th of September 3021

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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9 for men, 7 for Dwarves, 3 for Elves and 1 for Sauron.


So 18 is the only definate figure but I beleive there could have been many more than that.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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actually only 17 were forged by the Mirdain, as the 18th was forged by Sauron alone.
also Saruman tryed to make a Ring of Power for himself during the War of Ring, but it is unknown what powers this Ring had, and anyway, it was also not made by any Elves

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So there were 20 Rings of Power that were definitely written about. I believe that I read somewhere that there were probably a lot more than that forged. The whole reason I asked the question was to get at the motivation behind their creation.

It is my understanding that Sauron distributed 15 of the rings. I believe one was given by the Mirdain to a Dwarven Lord and that the other 15 had to be captured by Sauron and then he gave them to Dwarves and Men. Other than that one ring that was given to the Dwarves, it doesnt appear that any of the Rings of Power were intended for the other races.

So what desire was Sauron catering to when he convinced the Mirdain to undertake the task of forging the rings in the first place? I've always understood it as the Elves desire to make Middle-Earth "timeless" as Valinor.

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Valar
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The Elven Rings were more of preservation and protection than for a 'power increase' as The One Ring was to Sauron.  TM, has already explained a little bit about the use of the 3 elven Rings.  There is a little bit more that we know.


As TM said Galadriel's ring (Nenya) was used to sustain and keep Lothlorien from fading.


Cirdan's ring, which he would later give to Gandalf (Narya) was more about the preservation of 'hearts.'  For Cirdan gave it to Gandalf foreseeing that Gandalf would need it more than he:


'Take this ring, Master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself.  For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.  But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails.'~Appendix B: Tale of Years.


Cirdan most likely used Narya as well, we aren't told of a particular circumstance.  But we are told that after Sauron's fall at the end of the Second Age the 3 elven bearers (which Cirdan was still one at the time) took their rings out of hiding and began using them.  When Sauron made the One Ring, the Elven bearers had to keep their rings hidden from Sauron, and not use them, because he would then find out who exactly bore them, and be able to control them.  This is why when Sauron had come back after his death at the Last Alliance, Galadriel talks about in The Mirror of Galadriel, keeping Nenya secret and hidden from Sauron.


I don't think we are told much about Gil-galad's, who gave his ring (Vilya) to Elrond, besides the fact that it was the 'mightiest of the three.'  The River Bruinen was under Elrond's power as we are told, and knowing the Elven Rings' nature, it is possible he controlled the River with Vilya to protect Rivendell.


So, the nature of the Elven Rings were not to increase their own inherent power, but to preserve and to protect their lands.  Or in Narya's case, 'preserve' and 'rekindle' the 'hearts of Men.'


The other Rings not much of their powers are known.  Sauron had hope giving the 9 Rings to Men, and 7 to the dwarves that he could ensnare them and control them.  This worked with the 9 men, but not so well on the dwarves.  After receiving the 9 Rings, we are told that the Men who got them:


Men proved easier to ensnare.  Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old.  They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing...~Of The Rings of Power and the 3rd Age


So, as we know they became the Ringwraiths, and Sauron achieved his goal, his purpose for giving the 9 Rings to Men.  He was able to ensnare them and make them total thralls to his will.


The 7 Rings he gave to the dwarves, didn't work out exactly as he planned.  The Rings drove the dwarves into greediness and a desire for more and more wealth, but he was unable to take full control of them, as he was able to do with the Ringwraiths:


The Dwarves indeed proved tought and hard to takel they ill endure the domination of others, and the thoughts of their hearts are hard to fathom, nor can they be turned to shadows.  They used their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and an overmastering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts, of which evil enough after came to the profit of Sauron.~ibid


Sauron did end up profitting off the Dwarven Rings, but it wasn't to the extend that he had hope for, which was complete control over the Dwarves, as he had over his Nazgul.  As far as the Three Elven Rings go, Sauron never was able to control them, or their bearers.



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Celethil wrote:


So what desire was Sauron catering to when he convinced the Mirdain to undertake the task of forging the rings in the first place? I've always understood it as the Elves desire to make Middle-Earth "timeless" as Valinor.




Sauron's desire was for the Noldor (the smiths of Ost-in-edhil) to make the Rings, in which he would then control the Elven race by means of his own Ring...


"Men he found the easiest to sway of all the peoples of the Earth; but long he sought to persuade the Elves to his service, for he knew that the Firstborn had the greater power; and he went far and wide among them, and his hue was still that of one both fair and wise."
The Silmarillion


Sauron knew he could sway men to his will be he wanted the Elves.


Now if you meant 'What did The Elves want the Rings for' then that is also easily answered:


"It was in Eregion that the counsels of Sauron were most gladly received, for in that land the Noldor desired ever to increase the skill and subtlety of their works. Moreover they were not at peace in their hearts, since they had refused to return into the West, and they desired both to stay in Middle-earth, which indeed they loved, and yet to enjoy the bliss of those that had departed."
The Silmarillion


So the main reason was the Noldor's desire to increase the cunning of there work (an inheritance of Feanor perhaps). Therefore with the aid of Sauron they could accomplish something which they have not before, the Rings of Power.


But the secondary reason as you said is that they wanted to stay in Middle-earth, yet enjoy the peace and bliss of those that had deaparted received.



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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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The Rings of Power

This essay will help to explain the basics of the Rings, what powers they had, and other such matters. To begin with, some basic facts:

The Rings were made in Eregion, right next to the mines of Moria, on the west side, around 1500-1600 of the Second age. They were made by the Gwaith-i-Mirdain (People of the Jewel-smiths), and they were most cunning things ever wrought, except for the simarils, of course. The leader of this group was Celebrimbor, son of Curufin. We don’t know how they were made, but we do know that they contained powerful magic “The power of the Elven-Rings was very great” (Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power, page 297). The 19 were made originally because the elves of Eregion wanted to live both in Middle-earth, and yet have the bliss and wonder of Valinor. The One, however, was made because Sauron wanted to eventually bring the elves under his rule by deceptive means.


Now, to understand why everyone considers the Rings to be dangerous, we first have to look at what powers they had:

All Rings = One power I believe that all the Rings had was being able to work on the desires/greed of the race/person in question. For example, the elves wanted to have Valinor, but not leave Middle-earth, therefore the Rings preserved and slowed down decay, whilst the dwarves wanted gold and mithril, therefore, they found massive gold and mithril hoards. Finally, Men wanted power, whether for good or evil, so their Rings enlarged that power.

3 Rings = The powers that they had was that they didn’t turn the person invisible, as well as being able to kindle hearts, as “With it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill” (Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, page 1122). But the main power that they had was to preserve and prevent decay, e.g. Lorien, Rivendell.

7 + 9 Rings = They made a person invisible, put them both in the spiritual world when worn, and corrupted because they were made under the guidance of Sauron. Around 550 years after the nine were given, the nazgul first appeared. However, this only happened to men, because dwarves were too tough, and so it didn’t affect them. An interesting question to ask would be: Could an elf become a slave to Sauron if he wore one of the seven or nine? I believe the answer to be yes, because in their own way, elves are as weak as men, and the ring would work on that elf’s desire, and eventually, hello elf nazgul.

The One Ring = Its powers are that it controls the other Rings of Power, it seems to understand the Orc language (unless they were speaking the common speech in the first place, of course). It can sense its surroundings, and even influence them to suite its own needs, e.g. Gollum in cave in Hobbit, Frodo in Prancing Pony, and Sam in Cirith Ungol, and finally, it corrupts, controls, and abandons the person that has it. (The last one only happens if that person isn’t heading towards Sauron).


A question to ask is: How did Sauron manage to corrupt the Rings in the first place? There are two possible answers to this. 1) Sauron planned the whole business with the One Ring from the start, and so when he helped those fateful elves, he left himself a kind of ‘back door’ that he could use to ensnare them. 2) A less likely possibility is that once he helped make the Rings, and the Ruling Ring, he did some powerful spell to add the ensnaring part to them. I personally believe 1).

Of course, the ultimate question we have to ask ourselves is: Why, when they realized that Sauron had control of the Rings, didn’t they destroy them as soon as possible? The simple answer is that “They failed to find the strength” (Unfinished Tales, History of Galadriel and Celeborn, page 237).

So I hope you like it, and that there is lots of discussion about it. I also hope that it help answers questions newbes might have about them.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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That was excellent Jammi, well worth the read. Must of taken long to post.
I agree with what was said therein.

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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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yeah, it did a bit. but i did it ages ago, and simply copied and pasted it from another forum.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I also agree though I am not so sure about the elf nazgul part, I guess it would depend on the elf that has the ring.
Anyway, just wanted to add that the other 19 rings keep their power as long as the One exists
and also, the rings are invisible to anyone except the person who wears them as long as the One exists
it is interesting for example that Frodo saw that Galadriel was wearing her ring, but this might have something to do with the mirror he looked in.

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but what about when frodo's about to leave middle earth, and he sees the rings, but the one rings was destroyed 2 years previously.



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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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I read somewere (I think it was "the rings of power and the third age" in the Silmarillion) that the elves made loads of rings but only the three most powerful ones survived the onslought of Sauron.

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ohhh, yeah, i would think that they made loads of practice rings before they made the rings of power.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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"and also, the rings are invisible to anyone except the person who wears them as long as the One exists"
once the One was destroyed it was normal for anyone to see the rings.
We are told for example that it was the first time people noticed Gandalf was wearing the Ring of Fire, and Frodo saw the Ring of Adamant glowing in the distance on Galadriel's hand as they departed after the crowning of the king.

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that's true, i guess.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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yozuu can look it up if you want
anyway, there is some debate going on whether Saruman's Ring should be considered a Ring of Power as well.
I know there is a thread here somewhere on the forums called Saruman's Ring where we talked about this matter, but I can't seem to find it.

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i'm fine, thanks.


Personally, i don't think it is a ring of power, because it doesn't appear to do anything for him. He still tried to act the crafty ****, who, along with sauron, was a pupil of Alue. He taught them everything they needed to know to be truely crafty.



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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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You don't think Sarumans ring did anything? I was under the impression that Sarumans voice was caused or helped by his ring. Don't ask me where I read this. I can't remember. Sorry.

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this was the guy who persuaded wise and knowledgeable elves and maiar that they shouldn't attack dol-guldor for around 2,000 years, despite the fact that there was an evil presence there for all that time, at least.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I still can seem to find the thread I was talking about earlier...however I am sure there was much more detailed information about Saruman's ring there...I'll post the link when I'll find it


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ok, that would be intesting reading.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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SARUMAN'S RING

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tried the link, and saying that it can't be disblayed.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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strange, it sends me to wikipedia
let me try again:
HERE

if it doesn't work just copy paste this link: http://tolkienforums.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=77580&p=3&topicID=7144777

if this doesn't work either go to Main Forums Page, choose General lore discussion, and then scroll down the page and you will find the thread.

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it works now. interesting points made.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I think so too
however, if you wish to continue discussing about this topic, feel free to do so, but since the other thread already exists I say that we should continue talking about Saruman's Ring there

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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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I agree.

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okay. in that case, is there anything in my long post above that disagrre with, agree with but improve on etc?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I guess not. Perhaps someone else has something to add.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I would disagree on one point:


I very much doubt Elves could become Nazgul. They only listened to Sauron when he was fair seeming - the moment he tried to master the lesser Rings with his One Ring, the knew and so did not succumb. Therefore I would deem it immpossible even for the most devious Elf to enter into the wraith world as a Nazgul.



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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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that's true, but to put it another way: imagine a random elf was given one of the seven or nine, and they didn't know anything about it. Would they turn into a nazgul? 

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Highly doubtful simply because the Elves are immortal, even if enthralled they would not become 'wraiths'. I would imagine that an Elf with a ring of power and enthralled by Sauron would be quite a formidable evil.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Allow me to quote:

"The feasting people were Wood-elves, of course. These are not wicked folk. If they have a fault it is distrust of strangers. Though their magic was strong, even in those days they were wary. They differed from the High Elves of the West, and were more dangerous and less wise. For most of them (together with their scattered relations in the hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient tribes that never went to Faerie in the West. There the Light-elves and the Deep-elves and the Sea-elves went and lived for ages, and grew fairer and wiser and more learned, and invented their magic and their cunning craft, in the making of beautiful and marvellous things, before some came back into the Wide World. In the Wide World the Wood-elves lingered in the twilight of our Sun and Moon but loved best the stars; and they wandered in the great forests that grew tall in lands that are now lost. They dwelt most often by the edges of the woods, from which they could escape at times to hunt, or to ride and run over the open lands by moonlight or starlight; and after the coming of Men they took ever more and more to the gloaming and the dusk. Still elves they were and remain, and that is Good People."
The Hobbit

So as you see, the characteristics of Elves can change depening on there lifestyle. The WoodElves were not as wise or mighty as the Elves from beyond the sea but they were more perilous becuase they distrusted strangers.


But no matter which Elves you are refering to Tolkien says that 'Elves they remain,m and that is Good People' - this is obvious that all Elves are just simply Good. And though they might be swayed into doing an evil (like Feanor) they are still on the whole Good People.



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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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but what if one of the elves got one of the rings twisted by sauron, then?

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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I just re-read this thread and the answer to this is posted above. The seven rings given to Dwarves were not able to completely enthrall them, so it is likely that the same failure would occur in an attempt to enthrall Elves.

One of the above quotes also mentions that Dwarves cannot be turned into shadows (wraiths), and I would assume the same is true of the Elves.

All this does not mean that they could not be subverted by the one ring, but as we have seen it is difficult to get them to keep one of the ring on long enough to be dominated.

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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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Celethil wrote:


I just re-read this thread and the answer to this is posted above. The seven rings given to Dwarves were not able to completely enthrall them, so it is likely that the same failure would occur in an attempt to enthrall Elves.

One of the above quotes also mentions that Dwarves cannot be turned into shadows (wraiths), and I would assume the same is true of the Elves.



But then, the dwarves were made to be resiliant to evil, and such like.

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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There is nothing in the Silmarillion that states the Dwarves are more resilient to evil, but rather that they resist domination.

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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies:


Dwarves were made physically sturdy and psychologically stubborn to resist Melkor's evil




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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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This is known as playing with words. My previous statement was that the Dwarves were resistant to domination, which is the same as saying that they are psychologically stubborn.

Aule made them this way to help them resist the evil of Melkor. Now let's go back and see how that turned out.

They used their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and an overmastering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts, of which evil enough after came to the profit of Sauron.~ibid

When you say they were made more resistant to evil, that is a more metaphysical thing than saying they were made physically and mentally tough in order to resist the evil of an entity.

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