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Last week, Sauron deceived the Elves into trusting him (long before he deceived the Dúnedain in the last book). This week, he tries to seal the deal.
“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 2
After making friends with the Elves, Sauron convinces them to help him make Rings of Power. These Rings are magical and able to do all sorts of things, and the Elves rather fancy having such a crafty friend.
However, they have no idea that they are being duped.
While the Elves are busy making Rings, Sauron is making one too. A special one that can control all of the others. Yes, none other than the One Ring. He creates it in Orodruin (known then as the Mountain of Fire, but what’s later known as Mount Doom) and endues it with a special power none of the other Rings have. With it, he can perceive everything about the others who wear the Rings. He can tell how powerful they are, where they are, what they’re thinking, etc.
Once his Ring is finished, he can’t wait to try it out. He slips it on, enjoys the moment of ultimate power… and then is met with a terrible realization. The Elves are smarter than he thought they were, and they sense what’s going on. Immediately, they all take the special Rings off and decide to have nothing further to do with them.
Well, except for three of them. The Three, for those familiar with The Lord of the Rings. These three, forged by Celebrimbor, were the last to be made and were the only ones untouched by Sauron. (Which, of course, means that Sauron wants them.) In these three are the power to stop decay and slow the “weariness of the world” (345). The Three are Narya, the Ring of Fire; Nenya, the Ring of Water; and Vilya, the Ring of Air.
Sauron wants them (and dominion over the Elves) so badly that war becomes a constant between the two groups. The days grow dark and grim. Moria is shut off after years of friendship between Elves and Men. Imaldris (also known as Rivendell) becomes Elrond’s stronghold. The world has, indeed, changed.
Next time, Sauron decides to give out some more Rings.