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Lesser Rings

Gary Gamgee

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In SotP, Gandalf talks about the lesser rings of power being mere trinkets to the Elves who made them but to his mind still dangerous to mortals. Did Tolkien ever elaborate on these rings?
 

Gamil Zirak

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Are you refering to the three elven rings, the seven dwarven rings, or the nine rings of men?
 

Gary Gamgee

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no in SotP Gandalf says there are also rings of lesser power than the great rings of power, i haven't got the book with me so cant quote but he did say something like that, i get back to you.
 

Lantarion

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Excuse my straighforwardsness, but I think you're wrong. No other magical rings were made except the Rings of Power (the 1, 3, 7 and 9); it can be argued whether the ring Saruman wore during the War of the Ring was a 'magical' ring or not, but otherwise there were no other rings involved in the LotR.
And what is this 'SotP' you are referring to? It's not a part of the Lord of the Rings, and unless you are referring to a seperate chapter I don't think it has to do with the Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales..
 

Greenwood

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The passage Gary Gamgee refers to is Gandalf speaking to Frod in The Shadow of the Past chapter in FOTR. Gandalf says: "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 still to my mind dangerous for mortals. But the Great Rings, the Rings of Power, they were perilous."

I do not think Tolkien ever really tells us much else about these lesser rings.
 

Strider97

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Tolkien was pretty explicit. There were only the twenty rings of Power but there were many magic elven rings. These Gandalf considered dangerous for mortals.

GGG- There were no other mentions of the lesser rings that I am aware of.There might be something in the letters but I don't recall any mention. Strider97.
 
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Gary Gamgee

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Thanks Greenwood and Strider yes that was the passage. I'm sure Gandalf had hoped that Bilbo's Ring was one of these lesser rings even though in his heart he knew otherwise.
 

Lantarion

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Ah, accept my apology Gary. I knew of these 'lesser rings', but I thought you meant that they were of the Rings of Power. My bad. :)
Yes, as we all know all Elves were great smiths and delighted in making new things (esp. the Noldor). And every Elf possesses at least some small form of 'magic', and it might not be difficult for them to 'insert' that magic into a small band of silver or gold. The lamps of the Noldor (See UT) were lit by some sort of magical fire, and they were just lamps!
 

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