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What are the Rings of Power, how many are there and what are they made of?

The films and series focus on “the one ring to rule them all” but how did all the other rings of power come into existence?

The Rings of Power JRR Tolkien

Let’s focus on the objects that gives the works their name, the rings of power. How many are there? Who made them, what powers did they give and how did they use them? All that we are going to answer in this article, in which of course we will start with the poem from The Lord of the Rings that is still able to make our hair stand on end...

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

The One Ring

The power of the other rings depends on the survival of the One Ring, for whose creation Sauron needed all his power. Part of the soul of the master sorceror resides in it and when worn it corrupts its wearer and increases the power of Sauron. Forged in the fires of Mount Doom, it can only be undone in them and getting there is not easy. Unlike the rest it is an unadorned band of gold, though it bears Sauron’s incantation and the Verse of the Ring written upon it in the Black Tongue, being only visible when heated or when in the Dark Lord’s hand.

Among the powers of the One Ring there invisibility, the extension of the wearer’s life, control over it by Sauron and knowledge about the location of the rest of the rings linked to it.

The Three Rings of the Elves

The rings “for the Elven kings under the sky” are three and are named after the three elements of nature. We have Narya, the Red or Fire Ring. Nenya, the Water Ring, also known as the White or Diamond Ring. Finally there would be Vilya, the Blue or Air Ring. They were forged by Prince Celebrimbor in the Kingdom of Eregion, near the Misty Mountains, a character already introduced into the Rings of Power series.

Sauron tricked him into making them, destroyed Eriegon and forced Celebrimbor to confess where the rings were and linking them to the One Ring.

After the fall of Sauron and the separation of the One Ring from his finger, beginning the Third Age, the Elves used them again to heal and stave off the decay that comes with the passage of time. The Ring of Narya ended up in Gandalf’s possession; the Ring of Nenya is the one that Galadriel uses to protect and preserve the Kingdom of Lothlórien; and Vilya lies in Rivendell, guarded by Elrond.

The Seven Rings of the Dwarves

Each of the great Dwarven clans had its own: the House of Durin, the Firebeards, Broadbeams, Ironfists, Stiffbeards, Blacklocks and Stonefoots. They were forged by Elves, possibly with Celebrimbor again involved, and Sauron could only get hold of three of them. Gandalf told Frodo that the rest were eaten by dragons.

In addition to increasing life expectancy, the Seven Rings bring wealth and power, though they eventually corrupt and lead to greed and rage.

Nine for the race of men

Sauron forced Celebrimbor to forge nine rings and gave them to the great leaders among men. Like the rest, they gave their wearers a longer life, invisibility at their mercy and even allowed them to influence the will of their subjects through terror. On the other hand, they corrupted more than any other. Eventually, their owners would become the Nazgul, also known as the Ringwraiths. At this moment when they were at the complete mercy of Sauron and became his most loyal servants.