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Old 01-25-2005, 11:38 AM   #1
elronds_daughter
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Ring Power of Rings

Reading the February 2005 issue of Smithsonian Magazine, I stumbled across this:
Quote:
We don't need Wagner or Tolkein to tell us how powerful rings can be, though it must be said that those two make the point pretty convincingly.
Of course, the first ring that leaps to mind when mentioned in conjunction with Tolkien is the One Ring; but what of the others? Such as the Three, the Seven, and the Nine.

The Three, of course, Narya, Nenya, and Vilya; the Ring of Fire, the Ring of Water, and Ring of Air, were the Elven rings. Elrond was in possession of Vilya, Galadriel posessed Nenya, and Narya belonged to Gil-galad, then Cirdan, and finally Gandalf. The question on my mind regarding the Three is this: They have their respective powers, yes, but how are these powers manifested? (One example of Nenya's power, I think, would be the Mirror of Galadriel.)

My question regarding the Seven: What were their powers? Since they were given to the Dwarves, it makes sense to me that their powers would be over those things the Dwarves love: metals, jewels, stone, etc.

Regarding the Nine: They ensnared those to whom they were given, but what power did they offer? Command of the wills of men? Or something else?

My opologies to the staff if this has already been brought up, but if it was, I couldn't find it.
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:11 PM   #2
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1420!

The power of the 3 elven rings are fairly easy to spot. Elrond uses Vilya to summon the flood, that drowns the Nazgul's horses, so he uses it as to protect Rivendell. Galadriel uses Nenya to sustain Lothlorien, to keep it "alive." That is why when the one is destroyed, the three lose their powers, meaning Galadriel wouldn't be able to sustain Lothlorien anymore. Gandalf, I'm not quite sure, might have just been able to enhance his physical power, example when fighting the balrog.

The 7 and 9 are a little more difficult.
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:42 PM   #3
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White Tree

Of Narya the Great:
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...Cirdan later surrendered his [ring] to Mithrandir. For Cirdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth, and he welcomed Mithrandir at the Grey Havens, knowing whence he came and whither he would return.

"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."

~ The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
Example: Reviving Theoden from the weariness Grima had inflicted upon him.

Of the Dwarven rings:
Quote:
Years afterwards Thror, now old, poor, and desperate, gave to his son Thrain the one great treasure he still possessed, the last of the Seven Rings, and then he went away with one old companion only, called Nar. Of the Ring he said to Thrain at their parting:

"This may prove the foundation of new fortue for you yet, though that seems unlikely. But it needs gold to breed gold."

~ The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A
Quote:
They [The dwarves] use their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and and over-mastering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts, of which evil enough after came to the profit of Sauron.

~ The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
Of the Rings of Men:
Quote:
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. They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them. They could walk, if they would, unseen by all eyes in this world beneath the sun, and they could see things in worlds invisible to mortal men, but too often they beheld only the phantoms and delusions of Sauron. And one by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thraldom of th ring that they bore and under the domination of the One, which was Sauron's.

~ The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
I hope you find these quotes helpful, elronds_daughter!

~ Saphy ~
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:47 PM   #4
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I think it is appropriate that Gandalf has the ring of fire since he is also wielder of the Seret Flam of Anor (unless that in itself is a veiled reference to Narya) and I wonder if it was a help in his firework making.

Because of Vilya the stars are brightest above Rivendell and this is appropriate for Elrond, son of Earendil, the evening star.

The mirror of Galadriel has already been mentioned......
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Old 01-25-2005, 04:42 PM   #5
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Re:

The Elven rings heal and maintain things.

Rivendell, Lothlorien, Theoden and the spirits of every member of the Fellowship and soldiers of Rohan and Gondor are examples of their healing virtue.

They could also be used for concealing things from evil. Rivendell's location was secret to Sauron's wandering eye. Lorien was right under the nose of the tower of Dol Guldur, and nobody ever seemed to know what Gandalf was up to. His movements were secret, he was veiled from sight by a grey mist, as Celeborn the far seeing mentioned.

I think the only people who knew what he was up to were the other elven ringbearers ... and only if he wanted them to know.

Even the Nazgul couldn't detect the elven ring power until they were on top of it. They didn't know where Rivendell was until they were practically on its doorstep, three of them resided in Dol Guldur and had no idea about Caras Galadhon's power.

Oh yeah ... and Elrond's ring is probably what gave him power over the River Loudwater.

The Dwarven Rings were used in the discovery of precious metals. So, maybe the gems lit up when they approached lodes and veins of gold, silver and mithril. Something akin to that, possibly. It could have just granted some keen mining intuition.

The Nine rendered their wearers invisible, just like the One Ring. Of course, it seems like Sauron tweaked the invisibility spell into a 'permanently invisible and endless life, hahaha, you are my wraith now' spell.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:38 PM   #6
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The Nine rendered their wearers invisible, just like the One Ring. Of course, it seems like Sauron tweaked the invisibility spell into a 'permanently invisible and endless life, hahaha, you are my wraith now' spell.
Actually the One Ring would do the same thing to a mortal who bore it for to long. Presumably all of the Rings of Power would make a mortal who wore them invisable because they pass partly into the "other dimension". The Ainur and those Elves who beheld the light of the Two Trees existed at once in both worlds and were visable in both, but mortals don't seem to have this ability (Dwarves being an exeption because they are both mortal and not mortal if you take my meaning). Both the Nine and the Seven were originally created for the Elves, not Men or Dwarves. Being created by both the Elves and Sauron these Rings would be more "multi-purpose" than the One or the Three. Therfore the Dwarves could use them to get riches and Men could use them to gain power. The Dwarves however could not "fade" and become wraiths, nor could Sauron tamper much with their thoughts. The best he could manage was to awaken greed in their hearts which, in the end, did quite enough damage.
If anyone wants to argue with me I can supply quotes, but right now I don't have time.
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:16 PM   #7
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Silmaril

Thanks for the quotes, Saphy, and thanks everyone for the insight! I read your posts and think: Why didn't I think of that?? Once again, I have overlooked the things directly under my nose.
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Old 01-26-2005, 12:04 AM   #8
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Pipe <- No Smoking.

Quote:
The Dwarves however could not "fade" and become wraiths, nor could Sauron tamper much with their thoughts. (Neithan)
Quote:
Dwarves resisted the power of the Three [remaining Dwarven Rings] otherwise they would have become wraiths as well, but they only became somewhat greedier. (lathspell)
(From Infinite Nazgul Combo by Me.)

I think Sauron's plan was to create Dwarven Nazgûl. He was using the same lure as for Men: it'll give you what you most desire in the world (in exchange for your will). Only it failed, due to the Dwarves' ill enduring of the domination of others.


Quote:
I think it is appropriate that Gandalf has the ring of fire since he is also wielder of the Seret Flam of Anor (unless that in itself is a veiled reference to Narya) (Mithalwen)
For more references to the Secret Fire and Narya, see Wielding the Flame of Anor by Keep'.
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:19 AM   #9
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Narya was said to "kindle a flame in the hearts" of people the wearer came in contact with - ie. the wearer became a motivator, a lord of people resources as it were. Cirdan presented to Gandalf the ring, as his foresight saw the need for it in the Maia's future.

This brings up the questions of how strong the power of motivation is, and in what cases Gandalf used the powers - generally over the course of the story of LOTR, but also in select instances - the reawakening of Theoden for instance?

And of course the wearer had a profound ability to harness the forces of fire - seen through the example of Gandalf's fireworks, and his use of fire against the Wargs in both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:16 AM   #10
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Question

Quote:
Originally posted by Neithan:

(Dwarves being an exeption because they are both mortal and not mortal if you take my meaning).
Actually, I don't. Could you explain this? Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2005, 01:58 PM   #11
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Actually, I don't. Could you explain this? Thanks.
Basically what I was saying was that true mortals leave Arda entirely when they die but Dwarves do not. Dwarves stay in the Halls of Mandos until the end of the world. Elves are said to be "immortal" because they come back from the Halls. Men are mortals because they leave from those Halls to go wherever. Dwarves do neither of these things and that is what I was getting at. The fact that they (appearently) are not turned invisable by the Rings is probably due to the manner of their creation (the same reason that their fate is different).
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Old 01-30-2005, 04:59 PM   #12
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Thanks! I didn't know that.
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Old 01-31-2005, 12:27 AM   #13
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Pipe The Nine.

The concept of Dwarves being unaffected because of their dissimilar origin and fate got me thinking.

In the Nine Rings, Sauron bounds the Nazgûl's existence on Arda to the One. He was just playing on Morgoth's original plans (making Men fear the outside dark--i.e. beyond the walls of Eä). Of course, considering how he brought about the Downfall of Númenor, he must have been using it for the longest time. But the Nine was the consummation of this plan.

With this said the Nazgûl become more fallen than anything I could comprehend. They must have done evil things, and feared the fate that awaits them when they die. So they allied themselves to Sauron, and they became his greatest servants. They had to protect the One to protect themselves from what they truly fear.

Sorry for disjointed thought--just thinking and typing as I go.
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:45 PM   #14
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A question about gandalf's ring:

If Gandalf had fought the Balrog... were not the Balrog able to melt the rings of power like the dragons can? And if indeed the Three enhanced the natural powers of the wearer... why then when Gandalf the white admitted that he was afraid of the Witch King of Angmar? After all, he's been enhanced by cemoning the white plus the powers of Narya.
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:43 PM   #15
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Are you sure that Ganalf was afraid of the Witch King in the books? I can't remember him saying so, but it has been a little while since I read RotK. Obviously he was afraid of him in the movies but they often stray from the books.
As far as the Balrog goes, I doubt it could destroy the Ring while Gandalf was wearing it without destroying him as well.
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