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Thread: The power of the Three Elven Rings?

  1. #1
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    Question The power of the Three Elven Rings?

    What did the Three Elven Rings actually do? It says that Nenya was the ring of water and its stone was an adament. It was given to Galadriel. Vilya was the ring of air and its stone was a sapphire. It was given to Gil-galad who later gave it to Elrond. Narya was the ring of fire and it was given to Cirdan the Shipwright who then gave it to Olorin. But the question is, what were their powers? What power were you given when you bore the rings. What did the rings enable you to do???

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    I was just reading the forward to The Silmarillion 2nd edition (I think).
    There's a long letter by JRR that goes into a brief history of ME & the Elves. It shows some revealing insight into the mindset of the Elves as Tolkien saw it in 1951.
    I believe it states its letter 131 in 'The Letters of JRR Tolkien'.

    Basically, the powers of these Rings were to stave off the ravages of time that went along with the waning of the Elves.

    Specifically, an analysis of each Ring's powers (or evident results of it's power) could be done.

    THe easy one is the Ring of Fire. Cirdan says it was idle with him when he gives it to Gandalf 'to rekindle the hearts that grow cold'.
    And Gandalf does state upon facing The Balrog that he 'is a servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Arnor'.

    Now, it's late (2:30 AM here) & it would take some thought as to what 'manifestations' of each other Ring were seen in Elrond/Rivendell & Galadriel/Lorien.......

    Any ideas, folks?

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    I think the 3 rings were similar to the 1 in the sense that they gave it's user some extra power. But that power came from inside the user - Galadriel was very powerful and that's why she could use her ring to protect her kingdom. If Frodo would've had the Nenya then he probably couldn't have done much with it. But I think every ring was different - that's why they had these names.

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    Re: The power of the Three Elven Rings?

    The Ring of Water went to Galadriel. That is why she used that pool to see the future. The Ring of Air went to Elrond, but I have no idea how he used it. The Ring of Fire went to that other guy, the dock master, or whatever. He gave it to Gandalf which is probably why Gandalf wielded the 'Flame of Anor'. And also if anyone else reads this, there was a city called Minas Anor. It became Minas Tirith. But I couldn't find any translation of Anor anywhere! Any idea what it means?

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    Re: The power of the Three Elven Rings?

    Yes, Sindarin Anor 'Sun'. Minas Anor and Minas Ithil had names referring to Sun and Moon.

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    Re: The power of the Three Elven Rings?

    Perhaps Elrond used his Ring to assist him in the making of the flood that removed the threat of the Nazgul? Water might have been a more fitting element in that case, but I suppose you could easily argue that wind was needed to drive all those roaring waves from the mountains.

    My memory is more than a little rusty, but I recall a statement along the lines of Galadriel using her Ring to a greater extent than Elrond. I don't know if this was an actual quote from the book, or an opinion of another member.

    EDIT: Or perhaps I'm thinking of this quote from the "Lothlórien" chapter from FOTR; the underlined part might be indirect proof of this, i.e. Galadriel using her ring more liberally than Elrond:

    As soon as he set foot upon the far bank of Silverlode a strange feeling had come upon him, and it deepened as he walked on into the Naith: it seemed to him that he had stepped over a bridge of time into a corner of the Elder Days, and was -now walking in a world that was no more. In Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lórien the ancient things still lived on in the waking world. Evil had been seen and heard there, sorrow had been known; the Elves feared and distrusted the world outside: wolves were howling on the wood's borders: but on the land of Lórien no shadow lay.
    I'm not sure Gandalf's Flame of Anor is a reference to the Ring. The three rings were used for the preservation of beauty, not war. Therefore, why would Gandalf, in the heat of battle, feel the need to tell the Balrog he possessed an elvish Ring of Power? I just don't see the relevance.

    Unless he meant to boast of course, "I gotta ring of power, what do you have? No ring and no wings, that's for sure."

    No, I believe that statement is a reference to Gandalf being a servant of the uttermost West, and ultimately of Eru, fulfilling his designs. Gandalf was (arguably?) the servant of Manwë and Varda, who were associated with the elements of air and light, respectively, so the Flame might refer to the light of the Sun, i.e. the power of good opposing evil, or it might be a general reference to the Flame Imperishable that is with Eru.

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    Re: The power of the Three Elven Rings?

    Do you think the rings extended life?
    Don't you just love the TTF!

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    Re: The power of the Three Elven Rings?

    Quote Originally Posted by childoferu View Post
    Do you think the rings extended life?
    If you're only talking about the 3 elvenn rings, that would be hard to tell since eveyone who was in possession of one was already immortal. I think the other rings of power (like those given to the dwarves and those given to men) would have had some life-extending power (like the one ruling ring of power), although I don't have the time right now to check that theory. I'm sure it's been addressed somehow somewhere.
    I should probably stop lurking so much.

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    Re: The power of the Three Elven Rings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ithrynluin;496958


    I'm not sure Gandalf's Flame of Anor is a reference to the Ring. The three rings were used for the preservation of beauty, not war. Therefore, why would Gandalf, in the heat of battle, feel the need to tell the Balrog he possessed an elvish Ring of Power? I just don't see the relevance.

    Unless he meant to boast of course, "I gotta ring of power, what do [I
    you[/I] have? No ring and no wings, that's for sure."

    No, I believe that statement is a reference to Gandalf being a servant of the uttermost West, and ultimately of Eru, fulfilling his designs. Gandalf was (arguably?) the servant of Manwë and Varda, who were associated with the elements of air and light, respectively, so the Flame might refer to the light of the Sun, i.e. the power of good opposing evil, or it might be a general reference to the Flame Imperishable that is with Eru.


    Exactly!

    Gandalf: "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, weilder of the Flame of Anor."

    'He (Melkor) had often gone gone alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame.....yet he found not the Fire, for it was with Illuvator.' - The Silmarillion


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