Much of the common lore
regarding the rings of power is already known, for the story of Sauron and his rings has been and will continue to be told throughout the ages of this world. However, there is much that has been lost to us from ages past, much that is of merit and nobility of the rings has been lost to us. Many things that once were known of them has been forgotten because there are no longer any who know it. However not all shall be lost for here is the tale told by one who remembers well.
Gandalf the Grey who is also well known by the people of this world for having played such a large part in the destruction of The One Ring; once said of the them:
"In Eregion long ago many Elven-rings were made, magic rings as you call them, and they were, of course, of various kinds: some more potent and some less. The lesser rings were only essays in the craft before it was full-grown, and to the Elven-smiths they were but trifles - yet to my mind dangerous for mortals. But the Great Rings, the Rings of Power, they were perilous."
There is much however about these rings that is not widely known. To begin with not all know how many were made. On this topic it was written:
Nine were given to Mortal Men, seven for Dwarf Lords, three for Elven Kings, and one made by the Dark Lord Sauron. These are the Rings of Power made in the Second Age and concern the events of the Third Age.
Even less widely known however is that the Elves were responsible for the creation of all but the Ruling Ring, which was forged by the Dark Lord in the fires of Mount Doom. Of the creation of these rings it is said:
After the defeat of Morgoth in the First Age, some of the remaining Noldorin Elves settled in Eregion and built a city called Ost-in-Edhil around the year 750 in the Second Age close to the west gate of the Dwarven kingdom of Moria. About the year 1200, Sauron came among the Elves in a fair form using the name Annatar (Lord of Gifts), but with a dark plan to ensare them. Sauron greatly desired to "persuade the Elves to his service, for he knew that the Firstborn had the greater power." He taught them secret lore, and with this knowledge their craftsmen (a guild called the Gwaith-i-Mirdain, the People of the Jewel-smiths) created the Rings of Power which included the Seven and the Nine. But Sauron had a part in the creation of these rings and he guided the Elves in their making. However, the Three Elven Rings were conceived and made by the Elven-smith, Celebrimbor, alone, and Sauron never touched the Three.
Of the Three:
This is where the tale of the lineage of the Rings of Power begins, where I will speak to you of the powers and pains of the Lesser and the One ring, of power. First to speak of the three that were received by the Elven kings. Few know in this land, that not only were the Elven rings mastered for the purposes of good, but that they were also named and their powers well documented in the realm of Middle-earth. The Elves used the Three Rings to create islands of timeless beauty and guard them against the passage of time and evil. It was written of the three Elven rings of power:
NARYA (Fire); also known as the Ring of Fire or the Red Ring, and by one obscure reference as the Kindler. Of what material it is made is not known, but it is documented that it is set with a Ruby.
NENYA (Water); also known as the Ring of Adamant or the White Ring, also called chief of the Three. Made of the finest Mythril it bore a single white stone that flickered like a frosty star called Adamant."
VILYA (Air); also known as the Ring of Sapphire or the Ring of Air, also called mightiest of the Three at the end of the Third Age of the Sun. Made of the finest gold and bore a great perfect sapphire
What is not well known about the three is that they are still borne to this day by two great masters of the Elves, Lord Elrond, and Lady Galadriel. What is known by very few indeed is that the third is borne by an Istar, called Gandalf the Grey. Also it is known to me that all of the three were used in the Great War of the Ring at the end of the third age.
Lord Elrond used the power of his ring, Vilya, to cause the flood of the river Bruinen when the Nazgul tried to capture Frodo.
Galadriel used the power of her ring, Nenya, to keep a guard on Lothlorien so that none could enter without her leave.
Gandalf used the power of his ring, Narya, to kindle the hearts and spirits of the enemies of Sauron to do great deeds.
Also it is important to that it be noted that the Elven kings and Gandalf were the only ones to ever fully master their rings of power, except of course for the Dark Lord. It should also be noted that when the Dark Lord called the rings to him the Elves instantly felt his presence and removed their rings. It should also be noted that they were only able to be effectively used as long as Sauron couldn’t appear in physical form.
Of the Nine:
There were also the Nine rings of power held by the great kings of the Race of Men. It is of these rings that I shall now speak. Little is known as to their craft or their names; as men in their search for power, saw no merit in recording such things. However this is known of the Nine rings:
Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth...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 men, as I have said before desire only power and were therefore the most easily turned by the dark powers of all of the rings. In being turned they found themselves quickly under the control of the Dark Lord Sauron. When this happened they were transformed into the Nazgul, the most powerful servants of the Dark Lord.
Of the Seven:
The Seven were, as I have said, given to the Dwarf lords. Little is known of what they were used for or how they were attained as the Dwarves (as is well known is this world) spent most of their lives underground, keeping to themselves and out of the affairs of Middle-earth. However this much is known from the pen of Sauron himself:
They ill endure the domination of others, and the thoughts of their hearts are hard to fathom, nor can they be turned to shadows. They used their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and an overmastering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts.
This shows us that there is no mortal race that can contain the evil of the rings. Even the Dwarves, the hardiest and least involved in the ways of other races, were consumed by the evil nature of greed.
Of what became of the Seven little is documented other than that Suron was eventually able to draw them to himself. However, even how that was accomplished is not known to the peoples of Middle-earth.
Of the One:
Sauron planned to dominate of all of Middle-earth and he needed to control the Elves to complete this plan. This was the reason for the forging of the One Ring. Sauron went to Orodruin, Mount Doom, to forge the Ruling Ring, and by putting a large part of his own inherent power into the Ring he created a ring with which he could enslave the users of the rings. Of the one ring this was written:
And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow. And while he wore the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them.
This is called only the One Ring, or the Ruling Ring. It has shaped the lives of countless thousands on the world of Middle-earth, not the least of which are its bearers. When borne by Sauron its powers were as follows:
Yet while Sauron wore the One his powers on earth were actually enhanced. Its powers were primarily of domination and control. He used the power of the Ring to rule whole peoples who worshipped him as a God-king. Through its use he could control the Orcs, the Trolls, the Haradrim, Wargs, and his most feared servants the Ringwraiths. Because Sauron could already control the weather and the Fires of Mount Doom, these too would have been further enhanced to truly frightening levels if he had regained the One. With the One, his Eye would have seen every thought or action anywhere in Middle-earth; no secret could have been kept from him and no one could have withstood him. With the One, Sauron would have captured the Three Elven Rings and he would have used them to create Timeless evil in Middle-earth; all under the control of the One.
However while borne by Smeagol-Gollum and Bilbo it gave only the power of invisibility without control. To Frodo the ring gave also the power to see things unseen to men. It should be noted that to all of them it did give unnaturally long life, so much so to Smeagol that it changed his body to fit his new home.
As the differences in power from creature to creature it was once said by the Lady Galadriel:
Did not Gandalf tell you that the rings give power according to the measure of each possessor? Before you could use that power you would need to become far stronger, and to train your will to the domination of others.
However it should be noted that at the descruction of this ring all others were said to lose potency or to vanish entirely. When speaking of Vanishing I refer to the Nine and the Seven, for they were never recovered. It is of small debate as to weather or not the Nazgul continued to bear their rings. If one examines the facts one will see that that no ring was recovered when the head of the Nazgul was slain, thus he wore no ring.
Of the Ringbearers:
The bearers of the Three sailed to Valinor with the Elves, as for Frodo, it is known that he also sailed to Valinor with the Elves. As for Smeagol he perished along with the One Ring after wrestling it from the true Ringbearer, Frodo. As for Bilbo, it is suspected that he also made the trip to Valinor, although it is not specifically published as so, it was suggested in a letter written by Tolkien himself.
That is all I have to say on the Great Rings of Power. I write this only to assure that they may never go again from History, to legend, to myth. So that these very important truths are not again forgotten.
This write up is dedicated to infinite patience of Gritchka, thanks.