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  1. #1
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    What power did the Elvish rings have, if any?

    If I remember correctly Gandalf, Aragorn, and Galadriel had the three elf rings by the time of the War of the Ring, although I could be mistaken about that. What power did those rings actually have though? Did they do anything in particular for the wearer? I've never read where that was explained, or perhaps I've just forgotten.
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  2. #2
    At the time of the Lord of the rings, the three rings for the Elf Lords were held by Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf.

    Narya was said to have the power to inspire others to resist tyranny, domination, and despair, as well as giving resistance to the weariness of time. This is the ring that Gandal received from Cirdan.

    Nenya's power gave preservation, protection, and Galadriel used these powers to create and sustain Lothlórien.

    I don't think it's said what powers Vilya had, other than it was the mightiest of the three. This is the ring that came to Elrond via Gil-Galad.

  3. #3
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    Shared by all the Elven rings, their powers seem to have all been about hiding, healing, holding a light against the darkness.
    Other than that, consider the names of the three rings:
    • Narya, from Quenya narwa or nar + ya , fiery red or fire/flame + adjective suffix
    • Nenya, from Quenya nén + ya , water + adjective suffix
    • Vilya, from Quenya vilya, meaning sky or air


    One might also consider what sort of actions the bearers of these three have been associated with (these just off the top of my head, so take with a pinch of salt)...
    Gandalf is constantly tied in with fires and flames and (re)kindling.
    Galadriel is hiding and pretending time doesn't flow within Lórien. It's rather curious how much there's imagery concerning water near her, words related to liquids and how they act, used either by her or in association with her...
    Elrond raises the waters of Bruinen against the Nazgûl and is a renowned healer.

    ETA:
    Relevant quote from Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring:
    “The Three were not made by Sauron, nor did he ever touch them. --- But they were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained.---”
    Last edited by Daeross; Nov 22 2012 at 07:40 AM.

  4. #4

    Talking

    The powers of the three elven rings were:

    The power of Grayskull - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8h8snfYidg
    The power of Love - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsFtEqnyWYY
    The power of Reggae - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBsW6hwSvJY



    I'll leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide which ring had which power.
    Therina - Hobbit Guard Rongo - Hobbit Warden
    Frood - Man Minstrel Garmun - Man Captain
    Zorosi - Dwarf Champ Froodaroon - Elf Hunter
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  5. #5
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    I recall somewhere reading that Elronds ring was the reason he was able to summon the 'horses' from the water to wash away the ringwraiths at the Bruinen. I believe he used the power of his ring to keep Rivendell hidden as well.
    [COLOR=DarkOrchid][B]Hi arad na, i anor hilo an le, na pathrannen na vereth a glinn.

    May the sun shine on you this day, and may it be filled with festival and song.[/B][/COLOR]

  6. #6
    On a serious note.

    I don't have the book handy to quote right now, but I recall that after Frodo woke up in Rivendell, Gandalf told Frodo that Elrond had actually made the wave of water which hit the ringwraiths, but he (Gandalf) made the wave look like a herd of horses.
    Therina - Hobbit Guard Rongo - Hobbit Warden
    Frood - Man Minstrel Garmun - Man Captain
    Zorosi - Dwarf Champ Froodaroon - Elf Hunter
    Southern Defenders - Arkenstone (formerly Elendilmir)

  7. #7
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    It's worth noting that one of Sauron's primary objectives with the One Ring was to use the Three Rings against their keepers. At the time of the forging of the Ring, the Three Rings were possessed by Sauron's greatest enemies, Gil-Galad and Galadriel. In fact, Sauron was almost apathetic to the Seven and the Nine.

    Another interesting fact is the similarities between the Three Rings and the three Silmarils.

    1. One Silmaril was thrown into a "gaping chasm filled with fire" (along with Maedhros). This corresponds to Narya, the Ring of Fire

    2. One Silmaril was thrown into the Great Sea by Maglor. This corresponds to Nenya, the Ring of Water.

    3. The most famous Silmaril, which was retrieved by Beren and Luthien, is set upon the brow of Earendil. He voyages the skies, known to us as Venus. This corresponds to Vilya, the Ring of Air, also the most powerful of the three.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maiden_of_Gondolin View Post
    I recall somewhere reading that Elronds ring was the reason he was able to summon the 'horses' from the water to wash away the ringwraiths at the Bruinen. I believe he used the power of his ring to keep Rivendell hidden as well.
    I think the horses were Gandalf's touch, to prevent the water from flooding Frodo and Glorfindel. Elrond commanded Bruinen to flood, using the power of his Ring.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haunt123 View Post
    3. The most famous Silmaril, which was retrieved by Beren and Luthien, is set upon the brow of Earendil. He voyages the skies, known to us as Venus. This corresponds to Vilya, the Ring of Air, also the most powerful of the three.
    Ooh, interesting connection there. Plus, it's probably relevant to note that Elrond is the son of Earendil the Mariner, so he's got a fundamental connection to this element and to the history of that particular Silmaril.
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  10. #10
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    And I would like to add, as J.R.R Tolkien says in one of his letters, the Three Rings were precisely endowed with the power of preservation, (and not of birth). Though unsullied, because they were not made by Sauron nor touched by him, they were however, partly products of his instruction, and ultimately under the control of the Ruling Ring. Therefore, when the One goes, the last defenders of High-elven lore and beauty are shorn of power to hold back time, and finally depart from Middle-earth for the Blessed Realm.

    (Although, Celeborn did not go with Galadriel, instead he stayed for awhile in Lorien and after he went to Imladris, where the sons of Elrond were still there. I dont think there is any mention of Celeborn sailing. He might have had later on, but it isnt said anywhere, I think.)
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haunt123 View Post
    It's worth noting that one of Sauron's primary objectives with the One Ring was to use the Three Rings against their keepers.
    I'm not sure that is the case actually.
    His original idea was to corrupt the Elves and bring them under his will by subverting the Elf lords through the rings, that is true. The three Rings of Power were not known to him at the time he created the One Ring as they had been forged after he returned to Mordor. The instant he put on the One Ring, the Elves sensed his presence and knew his secret intent, and immediately took their rings off. It was this which enraged him and caused him to unleash his armies upon the Free Peoples, particularly the Elves of whom he demanded that they surrender all the rings to him.

    Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel only wear and use the rings at the time of the War of the Ring because Sauron does not have the One Ring in his possession. If he had ever retrieved it, they would have taken their rings off once again and ceased using them. In fact, regardless of the outcome of Frodo's quest, the rings were coming to the end of their use. By destroying the One Ring, the three lose their powers which are still in some way tied in with the power of the One. If Sauron had taken the One back, the three ring bearers would have taken off their rings to prevent being controled by Sauron. Either way, the Rings would not be able to be used again. It is this fact that Galadriel laments since it is only through the power of her ring that Lothlorien is sustained and protected. The rings indeed have a central power of protection and preservation from time and all the effects which follow from the passing of time such as weariness and decay - preservation is a distinctly Elvish motive just as nostalgia for the past and a desire to almost stop time, if such a thing were possible, is a distinctly Elvish vice.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by O'Cathain View Post
    I'm not sure that is the case actually.
    His original idea was to corrupt the Elves and bring them under his will by subverting the Elf lords through the rings, that is true. The three Rings of Power were not known to him at the time he created the One Ring as they had been forged after he returned to Mordor. The instant he put on the One Ring, the Elves sensed his presence and knew his secret intent, and immediately took their rings off. It was this which enraged him and caused him to unleash his armies upon the Free Peoples, particularly the Elves of whom he demanded that they surrender all the rings to him.

    Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel only wear and use the rings at the time of the War of the Ring because Sauron does not have the One Ring in his possession. If he had ever retrieved it, they would have taken their rings off once again and ceased using them. In fact, regardless of the outcome of Frodo's quest, the rings were coming to the end of their use. By destroying the One Ring, the three lose their powers which are still in some way tied in with the power of the One. If Sauron had taken the One back, the three ring bearers would have taken off their rings to prevent being controled by Sauron. Either way, the Rings would not be able to be used again. It is this fact that Galadriel laments since it is only through the power of her ring that Lothlorien is sustained and protected. The rings indeed have a central power of protection and preservation from time and all the effects which follow from the passing of time such as weariness and decay - preservation is a distinctly Elvish motive just as nostalgia for the past and a desire to almost stop time, if such a thing were possible, is a distinctly Elvish vice.
    I am talking about when it was forged. Sauron was well aware of the Three, in fact he raided the Mirdain to find the three, and his primary objective when attacking Lindon was to get 2 of them.

    By the statement "using the rings against them", I was referring to the fact the mind and thoughts of the bearers would have been revealed to Sauron. If the Bearers remove their rings knowing Sauron regained one, Sauron would not even need to do anything, his other servants would easily take care of Rivendell or Lorien.

    Sauron was aware of the three. It's in the books. So is the fact that the Rings of Power most important to him (other than the One) were the Three.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ''Cris''' View Post
    And I would like to add, as J.R.R Tolkien says in one of his letters, the Three Rings were precisely endowed with the power of preservation
    This should be remembered. Generally, however, all of the Rings of Power served to enhance the wielder: "amplify", if you will, the wielder's natural powers, and this ability is limited to the powers native to the wielder, and the native magnitude of those powers (Frodo + One Ring v. Sauron/Gandalf/Saruman/Elrond/Galadriel + One Ring).

    The Three seem to be a little different, and offer additional augmentation consistent with the element of association. None of this is explicitly stated, merely implicitly inferred, but to be inferred from the words of those most-knowledgable, themselves.
    Cirdan and Gandalf both suggest that Narya will serve as a source of energy and determination, and perhaps even wrath; Nenya seems to offer healing, soothing, rest and restoration; Vilya foresight and wisdom.

    It is interesting to speculate, and interesting to speculate also on a connection to the Silmarils, in terms of invocation (the Mirdain were Noldor craftsmen, Celebrimbor Feanor's grandson, possessing fresh memories of the loss of the Jewels). It is unfortunate that there is not more canon information extant.

    HoG

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haunt123 View Post
    I am talking about when it was forged. Sauron was well aware of the Three, in fact he raided the Mirdain to find the three, and his primary objective when attacking Lindon was to get 2 of them.

    By the statement "using the rings against them", I was referring to the fact the mind and thoughts of the bearers would have been revealed to Sauron. If the Bearers remove their rings knowing Sauron regained one, Sauron would not even need to do anything, his other servants would easily take care of Rivendell or Lorien.

    Sauron was aware of the three. It's in the books. So is the fact that the Rings of Power most important to him (other than the One) were the Three.
    Do you have any quotes? I was under the same impression that he did not see them as the Three, the Seven, and the Nine and just saw the whole group of rings as one whole thing.

    I also thought that Gil-Galad did not receive Narya and Vilya until after Sauron made the one, since he didn't trust Annatar to begin with.

    I haven't read the material in awhile, but I was pretty sure Sauron didn't know the Three even existed until after he tortured it from Celebrimbor.

  15. #15
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    My memory was playing tricks with me as I tried to recollect the details of this. The problem is that the primary canonical material (I am not going into anything in Unfinished Tales etc!) is divided between the Tale of Years in Return of the King and 'Of the Rings of Power' in The Silmarillion; the latter is much fuller and more important however.

    Gilgalad and Elrond rejected Annatar/Sauron, but he found a willing audience among the Noldor in Eregion - 'for in that land the Noldor desired ever to increase the skill and subtlety of their works. Moreover they were not at peace in their hearts, since they had refused to return into the West, and they desired both to stay in Middle Earth, which indeed they loved, and yet to enjoy the bliss of those that had departed. Therefore they harkened to Sauron..' - JRR brilliantly ties in the creation of the rings to the pride of the Noldor.

    Now on the specific matter...'As soon as Sauron set the One Ring upon his finger they (the Elves) were aware of him; and they knew him, and perceived he would be master of them, and of all that they wrought. Then in anger and fear they took of their rings'. It was at this point that Sauron went to war with them and laid waste Eregion. But the Elves fled with the three.....

    'Narya, Nenya and Vilya, they were named, the Rings of Fire, and of Water, and of Air, set with ruby and adamant and sapphire; and of all the Elven-rings Sauron most desired to possess them for those who had them in their keeping could ward off the decays of time and postpone the weariness of the world. But Sauron could not discover them, for they were given into the hands of the Wise, who concealed them and never again used them openly while Sauron kept the Ruling Ring. Therefore the Three remained unsullied, for they were forged by Celembribor alone, and the hand of Sauron had never touched them; yet they were also subject to the One'.

    There is, of course, masses more but I think this covers the main points . The Three were given to Cirdan who passed Narya to Gandalf, Nenya to Galadriel and Vilya to Gilgalad which came to Elrond after his death.

    The comparison with the individual Silmaril was a brilliant post btw and very convincing! A last point to add is that I don't think Elrond's control of the Bruinen had anything to do with Vilya - it was part of his control of the natural environment around Rivendell (I am sure there is a quote to this effect in Fellowship but I have done enough research!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mychemguy200 View Post
    Do you have any quotes? I was under the same impression that he did not see them as the Three, the Seven, and the Nine and just saw the whole group of rings as one whole thing.

    I also thought that Gil-Galad did not receive Narya and Vilya until after Sauron made the one, since he didn't trust Annatar to begin with.

    I haven't read the material in awhile, but I was pretty sure Sauron didn't know the Three even existed until after he tortured it from Celebrimbor.
    Sorry for late response, I was out on vacation

    I'm sorry I won't be able to quote, as I don't have a digital copy of the Unfinished Tales (and don't have the time at the moment to type the text).

    In the chapter about Galadriel and Celeborn, IIRC it is told how Sauron raided the House of Mirdain in hope of retrieving the rings. There he found the Seven and the Nine, but was angered at the fact that 3 had been given to the Elf-Lords (and was almost apathetic to the gain of 16 out of the 20 Great Rings).
    He attempted to torture Celebrimbor for info on where the 3 rings are, but Celebrimbor did not reveal them.
    But Sauron guessed that there was at least 1 Ring in Lindon, and gaining it was one of his primary objectives when he attacked.

    Also, when Sauron wore the One Ring, the Elf-Lords became aware of him. So I guess Sauron became aware of the 3 Elven Rings as well.

    I can see why Sauron wanted the 3 Rings so badly, as Gil-Galad and the Noldor were his chief enemies at the time of the forging of the One Ring (as he did not expect an attack from the Numenoreans, his soon-to-be chief enemies).

    Again, I could be wrong somewhere as I don't have the book atm, but I'm sure of most of it.
    Last edited by Haunt123; Jan 07 2013 at 01:48 AM.

  17. #17
    The three Rings of the Elves are used for healing and purity, unlike the other Rings.

 

 

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