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

Reading the February 2005 issue of Smithsonian Magazine, I stumbled across this:
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.
I'd like to be the king of all Londinium and wear a shiny hat.
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:11 PM   #2
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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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Of Narya the Great:
...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:
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
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:
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!

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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......
“But Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees in Eldamar.”

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Old 01-25-2005, 04:42 PM   #5
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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.
"I come from yonder...Have you seen Baggins? Baggins has left, he is coming. He is not far away. I wish to find him. If he passes will you tell me? I will come back with gold." - Khamul the Easterling

Last edited by Keeper of Dol Guldur; 01-25-2005 at 04:46 PM.
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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.
If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.~Henry David Thoreau
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