What Are The Three Rings Of The Elves Forged By Calebrimbor?

“Three rings for the elven kings, under the sky

Seven for the dwarven lords, in their halls of stone

Nine for mortal men, doomed to die

One for the Dark Lord, on his dark throne…”

Amazon Prime’s Ambitious Show – Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power recently culminated its long (somewhat slow) 8-episode run for its first season. The latest episode (entitled ‘Alloyed’) was filled with many surprises. Some big questions have been answered: What is the identity of the Stranger, or who and where is Sauron? However, the only thing we’re going to focus on here is the three Elven Rings that Calebrimbor crafted. What are they and what is their role in the history of Middle-earth? Let’s see.

(This article contains spoilers for Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Episode 8)

Calebrimbor’s creations

Calebrimbor and Elrond about to forge the three rings

One of the greatest Elven smiths in Middle-earth (as Elrond himself mentioned earlier), Calebrimbor even struggled to forge Mithril. Mithril – one of the rarest elements mined by the Dwarves in Khazad-Dum (check out our elaborate article on Mithril here). Sauron, however, disguising himself as Helbrand, helped him forge the element. Galadriel, Celebrimbor, Helbrand and Elrond come together to forge Mithril into something more powerful. They wanted to create something that could further strengthen the Elves and their powers. Combining the mithril with the gold and silver of Finrod’s dagger (which symbolizes the two trees of Valinor), Calebrimbor eventually succeeds in forging the three elven rings.

Why did Sauron help?

Helbrand is revealed to be Sauron in Galadriel

I’ve been awake since before the first silence was broken. At that time… I had a lot of names. – Sauron to Galadriel

It is eventually revealed that Helbrand’s true identity is none other than the evil Dark Lord – Sauron. Whenever the elven smith struggled to forge mithril, it was Sauron (like Helbrand) who came to his aid. It was he who gave him ideas to overcome them. Sauron wanted to subject the rings to the powers of the One Ring as long as it remained in his possession. Initially, Sauron had wanted to make a crown out of mithril, a crown endowed with immense power. However, later they all agreed to make it into something more compact and portable – a ring.

Before they were made, Galadriel, Celebrimbor, and Elrond discussed finding a way to prevent the power (of the resulting powerful alloy) from concentrating in the hands of a single being. So they decide to make two rings. But, once Galadriel learns of Sauron’s deception, she decides to make three rings and not two. Because they believe that “We will always be corrupt. Two will divide. But at three, there is a balance.

The three rings

The Three Elvish Rings

Calebrimbor has always wanted to be proud of his heritage. He wanted to make something as beautiful and powerful as the Silmarils, the powerful jewels made by his grandfather – Feänor. The three elven rings contain the mighty Silmarils at their center (for more on the Silmarils, read here). These rings will be known by three names – narya (the ring of fire), Nenya (the Ring of Water), and Vilya (the Ring of Air). Each of the three Elven Rings possess the power to prevent the continued demise of the Elves, making them essential to maintaining their continued existence on Middle-earth. Their appearance is also different – Narya is red, Nenya is white, and Vilya is blue. They all have different abilities, like,

  • naryaIts properties grant it resistance to time-weariness, as well as the power to inspire others to resist tyranny, domination, and despair.
  • Nenya grants the power of preservation, protection and concealment of evil to its bearer.
  • The most powerful, Vilyaenhances the abilities of its wearer.

It should be noted here that, in the original JRRTokien lore, only Nenya was known to be forged from the Mithril, other elemental ingredients of others are not specified. However, with no concrete source material present, the show’s writers seem to have taken that liberty.

The Keepers of the Rings

The Three Ring Guardians (as shown in LOTR)

As soon as the rings were forged, they were assigned to three different wearers. As it will only be shown in the second season of the series, we will limit ourselves to what the author said about the bearers of the three elven rings in his works. According to Tolkien’s tradition, the rings – Vilya and Narya will initially be sent to High King Gil-Galad (from Lindon), who will share them between Elrond (lord of Rivendell) and his companion Cirdan (Lord of Mithlond). Later, Cirdan passed on his ring (Narya) to Gandalf, the wise. Nenya was given to Galadriel (Lady of Lothlórien and mother of Elrond’s wife, Celebrían) and remained with her forever. However, with the destruction of the One Ring, the three rings lost their power and all crossed the sea with their wielders.

What route will the rings of power showrunners will take, remains to be seen, as it won’t be revealed until the second season premiere. So far, the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is available to stream on Prime Video.

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