What Happened To The Other Rings Of Power In 'Lord Of The Rings'?

- Lord of the Rings -
What Happened To The Other Rings Of Power In 'Lord Of The Rings'?

The Amazon Lord of the Rings series has been shrouded in secrecy, but with the release of a title video, all (well, some) is revealed. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's work, the new TV series is called Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power. The show will take place thousands of years before the events of Lord of the Rings and follow Sauron forging of the Rings of Power... including the One Ring To Rule Them All. Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy extensively showed what happened to the One Ring with it being destroyed in Mount Doom at the end of The Return of the King. But with Amazon's announcement, you might need a refresher on what happened to the other Rings of Power.

Like the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring, Amazon's title reveal video features a female voiceover explaining the forging of the rings during the Second Age with a video of real molten metal (per Amazon). The voice quotes Tolkien's "Ring Verse" and states:

"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."
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The One Ring was made in secrecy by Sauron to control the 19 other rings. Frodo and Sam went to Mordor and helped destroy the One Ring thousands of years later, which was great and all. But what about those other crazy powerful (but not as powerful) rings? Though the Lord of the Rings movies didn't explicitly state what happened to all of them, Tolkien did elaborate in some of his writings. Here's a beginner's guide to the fate of the other 19 "Rings of Power," for movie fans out there who don't consider themselves Tolkien scholars.

Three Rings for the Elves

The rings for the Elves were the most powerful after Sauron's One Ring. In The Silmarillion, Tolkien wrote that the elves were aware of Sauron's deception with the One Ring, so they kept their three hidden and they each had a name.

  • Narya (the Ring of Fire) — While Ian McKellan's Gandalf couldn't possess the One Ring, he was the wearer of this red ring, as shown at the end of Return of the King. He isn't an Elf, but it was given to him in the Third Age by the elf Círdan.
  • Nenya (the Ring of Water) — This was Cate Blanchett's Galadriel's white ring that she used to protect Lothlórien.
  • Vilya (the Ring of Air) —  Hugo Weaving's Elrond was the owner of this blue ring.

At the end of The Return of the King, Galadriel states, "The power of the three rings has ended. The time has come for the dominion of men." She, Gandalf, and Elrond then take the three Elven rings with them when they leave Middle-Earth for the realm of the Undying Lands.

Seven Rings for the Dwarves

Not as powerful as the three Elven rings, the Dwarves were still able to keep their seven rings pretty undercover from Sauron for a long time. But they used the rings to accumulate their wealth, which led to jealousy between the dwarves. And dragons, like Smaug, were attracted to their treasure. By the time Frodo possesses the One Ring in Lord of the Rings, four of the Dwarf rings had been destroyed by dragon fire and Sauron had repossessed the other three. The extended editions of The Hobbit movies do mention the most powerful of the Dwarf rings, the Ring of Thrór.

Nine for Men

Men are the worst — this is not personal opinion, this is just fact... according to the lore established by Tolkien. But they are the most susceptible to the power of the rings. So it isn't any surprise that the nine rings for men turned those men into the invisible Ringwraiths, the Nazgûl, who served Sauron and constantly searched for the One Ring — terrorizing poor Frodo and his Fellowship friends along the way in the Lord of the Rings movies.

As Aragorn (as Strider) told Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin at the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Fellowship:

"They were once men. Great kings of men. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them Nine Rings of Power. Blinded by their greed they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgûl, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the Ring drawn to the power of the One. They will never stop hunting you."

Like I said, men are the worst.

It's unclear if the Ringwraiths still wore the rings or if Sauron held possession of them. But either way, they were under Sauron's control until Frodo destroyed the One Ring in Mount Doom.

So besides Sauron and his One Ring, the title reveal seems to be promising that all 20 of the Rings of Power — and how they corrupted their Elf, Dwarf, and Mean recipients — will get attention when the new Amazon series premieres on Sept. 2, 2022.

Images: Amazon Prime Video, New Line Cinema

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