What are the Rings of Power? Magical items in Lord of the Rings series explained - what is the One Ring

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The Rings of Power and the One Ring are magical artefacts in the Lord of the Rings Amazon series

The Lord of the Rings; The Rings of Power is an Amazon Prime fantasy series set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films, but they feature important objects from both triologies. The series is based on the appendix of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels which explains the lore of the fantasy setting.

Part of the appendix explains how and why the Rings of Power and One Ring were created in the Second Age. The One ring is an evil object seen in both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy and has a crucial role in the latter, as Frodo Baggins and the fellowship embark on a quest to Mount Doom to destroy it. But what are the Rings of Power, what abilities do they have, and how many are there? This is everything you need to know:

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What are the Rings of Power?

The Rings of Power are magical artefacts which first appeared in Tolkien’s children’s novel The Hobbit, before being expanded on in The Lord of the Rings.

They are seen as a metaphor in Tolkien’s work for how power corrupts, like the Elder Wand in J.K. Rowling’s later Harry Potter novels.

Several characters in the Lord of the Rings, including Isildur, Boromir, Gollum, Bilbo, and Frodo are all negatively affected by the power of the ring to some degree.

Sauron, known as the Lord of the Rings, tricked the elves into making the Rings of Power thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings.

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Sauron taught the elf-smith Celebrimbor how to forge the rings, but deceived him as to their true nature.

Celebrimbor was tricked by Sauron into forging the Rings of PowerCelebrimbor was tricked by Sauron into forging the Rings of Power
Celebrimbor was tricked by Sauron into forging the Rings of Power | Amazon

In total 20 rings were created - three for the elves, seven for the dwarves, and nine for men. The last ring, the One Ring, Sauron kept for himself.

The rings gave the elves the power of healing, while they enabled the dwarves to gain wealth and have an extended lifespan, they also enabled men to live longer and to turn invisible when wearing the ring.

The elves quickly realised that they had been tricked by Sauron and removed their rings and destroyed them.

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The Rhyme of the Rings, which many fantasy fans will be familiar with, and which is spoken in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring, reads:

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 the,

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie

What is the One Ring?

The One Ring is the ring that appeared in the Hobbit where it was found by Bilbo Baggins.

It is the most powerful of all the rings and able to draw the wearers of the other rings to its will.

The men who were corrupted by the nine rings became the Nazgûl, shadowy servants of Sauron who searched for the One Ring.

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In The Lord of the Rings, Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron’s fingerIn The Lord of the Rings, Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron’s finger
In The Lord of the Rings, Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron’s finger | Amazon

Sauron was first defeated when Isildur cut the ring from Sauron’s hand at the Battle of Dagorlad - but rather than destroy the ring himself, Isildur became corrupted by it.

Eventually, the One Ring became lost, and millenia later was found by Smeagol, a hobbit, who killed his friend to get it. Smeagol became obsessed with the ring, turning into a sickly creature known as Gollum as he hid away with it in a cave.

During the events of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins took the ring from Gollum, and in The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo’s nephew Frodo, travels on an epic quest to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, and bring down Sauron for good.

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