LOTR

All the Rings of Power: what they were, what powers they gave and what each one was used for

We revisit Tolkien's mythology ahead of the upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series and reminisce about the history behind the rings of power.

The premiere of The Rings of Power is just around the corner. The Prime Video series has less than a month left for its premiere, scheduled for September 2, and these days we are dusting off Tolkien's Legendarium and revisiting part of its world and mythology. Today we are going to continue focusing on the object that gives the series its name, the rings of power. How many are there, who made them, what powers did they give and how did they use them? We will answer all these questions 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 the hair on the back of our necks 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 rest of the rings depends on the survival of the One Ring, for whose creation Sauron needed all his power. Part of the soul of the shapeshifter resides in it and when used it corrupts its wearer and increases Sauron's power. Forged in the fires of Mount Doom, it can only be undone in them and getting there is not easy, you know that eagles are not cabs. 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 Speech, being only visible when heated or when in the Dark Lord's hand.

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

The Three

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 Ring or Ring of Fire. Nenya, the Ring of Water, also known as the White Ring or Ring of Adamant. And finally, there would be Vilya, the Blue Ring or Ring of Air. They were forged by Prince Celebrimbor in the Kingdom of Eregion, near the Misty Mountains. Sauron tricked him into making them and when he finished he destroyed his kingdom and forced him to confess where they were, taking them and linking them to the One Ring.

After Sauron's fall and the separation of the One Ring from his finger in the Third Age, the Elves used them again to heal and fight the decay that comes with the passing of time. The Ring of Narya (Fire) ended up in Gandalf's possession; the Ring of Nenya is the one used by Galadriel to protect and preserve the kingdom of Lothlórien; and Vilya lies in Rivendell, guarded by Elrond.

The Seven

We move on to the Seven Rings "for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone." Each of the great Dwarven clans had their own: the House of Durin (Durin's Fok), 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 span, the Seven Rings bring with them wealth and power, although they end up corrupting and leading to greed and rage.

The Nine

The Last Ones. "For mortal men doomed to die," Sauron forced Celebrimbor to forge nine rings and gave them to the great leaders among men. Namely: kings, sorcerers, famous warriors and even Black Númenóreans and a Man of the East. 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 wear out and fade away to become the Nazgul, the Ringwraiths, the moment when they were at Sauron's complete disposal and became his most loyal servants.

This week we have reviewed them even more in-depth in features such as the one on the fall of the Nazgul. We have also shared the theories about the mysterious black sword in the trailers, which could be a Morgul blade and belong to Sauron's servants. They will surely be the great protagonists of the series, as its showrunners have insisted a lot on knowing how the Nazgul originated, but we will have to wait until September 2 to find out for sure.