What the Rings of Power fairy rings do and who has them from Lord of the Rings

What the Rings of Power fairy rings do and who has them from Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power lives up to its title in the final episode of the first season, but it may also have left fans with a lot of questions about what happens next. What does someone do? to do with a Ring of Power once you have it? How did all this go in the books?

And the most important question of all: who will own these magical jewels? They will have to plan a wardrobe update.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 8.]

Photo: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

The final of Rings of PowerThe first season succinctly dramatizes the forging of the three elven Rings of Power. A little Mithril, a little Valnorian gold and silver, a few gems and boom: you’ve got Vilya, Nenya and Narya, the legendary artifacts themselves.

However, the episode ends soon after, and so does the season. If we want to anticipate the events of season 2 and beyond, we have to go to the source: Tolkien.

What powers do the three fairy rings have?

Galadriel displays her elf ring, worn on the middle finger of her white hand, in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Image: New Line Cinema

There’s a bit of an ace-and-switch with the Elven Rings, at least for modern viewers. Vilya (the ring of sapphire), Narya (the ring of ruby) and Nenya (the ring that was the only one of them all made of mithril) are all named after the “main elements” of the world of the elves: air, fire, and water.

But they have no elemental powers at all.

As Elrond explains in The Fellowship of the Ring“They are not made as weapons of war or of conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them desired not power or dominion or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to keep all things undefiled.”

It’s pretty close to the reasons they forge in it The rings of power: Celebrimbor and Elrond sought a solution to the deadly corruption facing their people in Middle-earth. And, as the Silmarillion says, “those who… [an elven Ring] under their care could ward off the decay of time and postpone the weariness of the world […] where they dwelt there also dwelt mirth, and all things were undefiled by the sorrow of the time.”

But the elven rings had a pretty big drawback. Sauron’s hand in their forging made them vulnerable to his own One Ring. weather from The Silmarillion: “While he was wearing the One Ring, he could perceive all the things that were done through the smaller rings, and he could see and control the thoughts of those who wore them.”

Fortunately, thanks to the power of the elven rings and their bearers, this mistake was realized the moment Sauron put it on to be ringing for the first time, creating a window for the wearers to look into to be intentions to rule over them and all that belonged to them. They solved this problem quite easily by simply taking the rings off.

Once Sauron was defeated and the One Ring was lost, it became safe to use the elven rings again for their intended use: protecting parts of Middle-earth from the waste of time and the slow decay of the world. (Why did the world fall into decline? Tolkien was Catholic.)

How were the fairy rings in the books made?

Forging a ring, in the first shot of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Image: New Line Cinema

Early in the Second Age, after Morgoth’s defeat, Sauron appeared to the elves of Lindon and Eregion in an “honest-seeming” guise, calling himself Annatar and claiming to be an emissary of the Valar – so you can already see that this is a little different than Rings of Power.

In fact, in Tolkien’s The SilmarillionBoth Gil-galad and Elrond immediately distrusted Annatar and refused him entry to Lindon. Unfortunately, Celebrimbor absolutely loved it. Sauron hunted the Noldorim elves’ love for Middle-earth, the land they had defended for so long, and their conflicting desire to return to the splendor and bliss of their homeland. The Silmarillion says he argued, “Why should Middle-earth remain forever deserted and dark, when the Elves could make it as beautiful as Eressëa, nay, even as Valinor?” and encouraged them to think of ways to convert and preserve their environment.

As Elrond tells it in The Fellowship of the Ring, the smiths of Eregion received his help and became mighty in craft, while he learned all their secrets and betrayed them, and secretly forged in the Mountain of Fire the One Ring to be their master. But Celebrimbor was aware of him and hid the Three he had created.”

Yes, you read that right: by the time the elven rings were forged, Celebrimbor had already discovered that he didn’t trust Sauron. The Silmarillion states quite clearly that the rings “were forged only by Celebrimbor, and Sauron’s hand had never touched them.” Still, Celebrimbor had learned enough of his craft from Sauron that the elven rings were inevitably subject to the One Ring.

When the bearers of the elven rings took them away in defiance of Sauron’s will, he gathered the armies of Mordor to conquer Eregion and take them by force, and when that didn’t work, he made the Seven and the Nine and distributed them to the dwarves and men.

Rings never really worked with the dwarves, as they proved to be “strong and difficult to tame”. The Silmarillion. “[Dwarves] ill endure the domination of others, and the thoughts of their hearts are hard to fathom, nor can they be turned into shadows.” It did not allow Sauron to control the seven dwarf bearers, only to increase their basic emotions, such as greed, and indirectly aid the great dwarf civilizations in doom and dragon fire.

Men, however, proved much easier to corrupt and control; we all know what a nazgul is.

Who keeps the fairy rings?

When Sauron started his war against the elves for the elven rings, Celebrimbor split the rings for safekeeping. He sent Nenya to Galadriel, Vilya to Gil-galad and Narya to Círdan (the leader of the elf group that lived on the west coast of Middle-earth, nearest to Valinor, and built all the boats that sailed west and never came back) . But with the exception of Galadriel’s Nenya, the rings wouldn’t stay with those owners.

Gil-galad eventually gave his ring to Elrond, before perishing with Elendil in Sauron’s defeat, and Círdan eventually gave his ring to Gandalf for reasons you can read here.

“So it was,” The Silmarillion says, “that in two domains the bliss and beauty of the Elves still continued unabated, while that Age continued: in [Rivendell]; and in Lothlorien […] where the trees bore flowers of gold and no orc or evil ever dared come.”

But Sauron’s hand in making the elven rings means that their power depended, at least in part, on Sauron’s existence. This was one of the reasons Bilbo’s mere rediscovery of the One Ring was a kind of death knell for elves on Middle-earth. Whether Sauron found the ring or the ring was destroyed, the elven rings would have been rendered useless.

This is why Elrond and Galadriel at the end of The Return of the King – they sacrificed their power to hold back the tides of time and keep Middle-earth as it was during their youth, to preserve at least two places in Middle-earth where elves can live unburdened, to prevent Sauron from gains total dominion.

What does this mean for Rings of Power Season 2?

If things follow the progression of Tolkien’s lore – which one? Rings of Power not always done! – what happens next is a period of tense calm, as Sauron entrenches in Mordor to gather his armies and forge the One Ring. In the books that takes a decade, but with Rings of Power condensing Sauron’s manipulation of Celebrimbor into forging the elven rings into a mere three weekswe can probably expect it to happen sooner.

Then, once the One Ring is on Sauron’s finger, the elves defy him and throw Middle-earth back into war with a dark lord, with the men of Númenor at their side. And that certainly seems to me Rings of Power will want to have its own cinematic take.

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