The Silmarillion Recap: You Get a Ring, and You Get a Ring, and You Get a Ring! (Or Sauron’s Big Ring Giveaway)

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, Sauron tried really hard to subjugate the Elves, but they ended up seeing through his plan at the last minute. This week, he decides to give his Rings to less perceptive folk…

“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 3

Rings are serious business, especially magical ones. After all the work that he’s done to oversee their creation, Sauron determines to gather up as many of the Magic Rings he can and hand them out to new people. People who might be easier to control than the Elves. Once he has as many as he can get, he hands them back out (probably not mentioning that he’s already given them as gifts once).

This is where the renowned poem mentioned in The Lord of the Rings comes into play.

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.

The Elves already have the Three Rings and have kept them well-hidden.

Sauron proceeds to give seven to the Dwarves. Unfortunately for him, Dwarves are made of tougher stuff than they seem. Unlike the Elves, they don’t see through his tricks, but they are less malleable than he was expecting. Fortunately, though, the Rings make the Dwarven kings greedier, and it’s said that the Dwarves’ seven major treasure hoards all began with the Rings Sauron gave out. The one thing Sauron likely didn’t see coming was that dragons are terribly interested in treasure too, so years after giving the Rings out, all of them were lost either in the bellies of dragons or in fires. So much for dragons being his old allies.

Sauron also gives out nine Rings to the Kings of Men, and it turns out that they’re by far the easiest group to manipulate. Those who possess these Rings become the greatest kings, warriors, and sorcerers, and they also have unusually long lives. They also are given the ability to become invisible while wearing the Rings. While this does come in handy, they often see visions of Sauron, who can always watch them. Eventually, they not only become tired of life, but they also become permanently invisible. And now they are the infamous Nazgûl, who only cry out with “the voices of death” (Tolkien 346).

Next week, Sauron’s power spreads, but it won’t be that way forever…

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2 responses to “The Silmarillion Recap: You Get a Ring, and You Get a Ring, and You Get a Ring! (Or Sauron’s Big Ring Giveaway)

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