What Are the Rings of Power? Powers, Purpose, and Everything We Know

If you like them, and want to dominate their kingdoms, you have to put a ring on them.

by J.R. Waugh


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is rapidly approaching its release date, and fans are excited to see the Second Age of Middle-earth and its peoples rendered in this new, gloriously high-budget series. The show promises glimpses at battles, epic moments depicted in legend and stories by the time of the Third Age, and characters who previously didn’t get nearly as much screen time. Some of the most intriguing components of the show are its namesake, the Rings of Power, and how they will play into the plot. But What Are the Rings of Power, their abilities, and their Purpose? Read on to find out!

What Are the Rings of Power? Powers, Purpose, and Everything We Know

The Rings of Power were Sauron’s tools with which he intended to corrupt and dominate the rulers across Middle-earth, their powers being superficial and concealing their true role as tethers to his own, the One Ring. Disguised as Annatar, Sauron had these rings forged by Elven smiths, chiefly their leader Celebrimbor, at Eregion, teaching them their craft along the way. Three were made for the Elves, 7 for the Dwarves, and 9 for the Men, all 19 bound to the One Ring, totaling 20. They were forged in the Second Age, the central focal point of The Rings of Power, so we’ll be seeing plenty of coverage of this plot element.

The Rings of Power | Bearers, and Powers


Possible Spoilers ahead!

“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 them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

This is the poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien, depicting the bearers of these rings and ultimately how they are seen by Sauron. Men wound up being easily the most corruptible, their rings giving them wealth and power, but turning them invisible, twisting and transforming them into the Nazgûl. The Dwarves were able to resist Sauron’s corruption, but the increased longevity and pronounced wealth provided by these rings bloated their greed, leading them to their ruin. The Elves were also wise to resist the corrupting effects, the rings themselves having the capability to turn invisible, never ultimately even being touched by Sauron.

Notable Ring-bearers


Narya (The Three)

  • Celebrimbor
  • Gil-Galad
  • Círdan
  • Gandalf

Nenya (The Three)

  • Galadriel

Vilya (The Three)

  • Celebrimbor
  • Gil-Galad
  • Elrond

Dwarven Rings (The Seven)

  • Bearers unconfirmed

Rings for Men (The Nine)

  • The Witch-King of Angmar
  • Khamûl the Easterling
  • 7 other kings of Men, names long forgotten, possibly of Númenórean origin.

The One Ring

  • Sauron
  • Isildur
  • Déagol
  • Sméagol/Gollum
  • Bilbo Baggins
  • Frodo Baggins
  • Gandalf (briefly, technically)
  • Samwise Gamgee

The Rings of Power are some of the most potent relics in all Lord of the Rings lore, with their seductive power as a fearsome influence on many characters, to the point of fear when their names are invoked. They will surely be an excellent component of the show and get far more exposure than ever before.


This concludes our coverage of The Rings of Power, their Purpose, and Abilities! Be sure to prepare yourself with more info like this in our entertainment column!

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on September 1, 2022, on Amazon Prime Video.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2022

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