Some of the most important artifacts in The Lord of the Rings‘ universe are, of course, the Rings of Power. And with the new The Lord of the Rings series actually titled The Rings of Power, it felt reasonable to expect that the aforementioned rings would make an appearance sooner rather than later. Viewers weren’t quite sure when they would catch a glimpse of the powerful and dangerous pieces of jewelry, forged with the help of the Dark Lord Sauron himself. And that leaves us to ask, were any of the Rings of Power forged in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s first season? Let’s find out.
Did We See Rings of Power Created in The Rings of Power‘s First Season?
The short answer is yes. We did get to see some of the Rings of Power forged in the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. But the long answer is far more complex than that.
Why Did the Elves Want to Forge the Rings of Power?
Late in the season, it becomes clear that The Rings of Power‘s elves are in a pickle. The light of the Valar is fading from them, and without it, the race of elves will perish on Middle-earth. The elves appear to have only two options. One, stop the light from fading, healing the metaphorical rot that has infected them and threatens their immortality. Or, two, to flee Middle-earth, returning instead to their homeland in Valinor.
The half-elf Elrond discovers a possible solution to the problem at hand. His loyal friend, Prince Durin IV, uncovers a new precious new ore called mithril. According to the elves, mithril originated from the clash of pure good and pure evil. The combination leaves mithril “pure and light as good” and “strong and unyielding as evil.”
Durin and Elrond come to understand that in proximity to the damaged elven spirit, mithril indeed heals the rot. But Durin’s father, King Durin III, refuses to allow the pair to continue to dig for mithril. In the end, Elrond only has a little bit of mithril to go around, but not nearly enough. And that’s where the forging of the Rings of Power comes in. The elves come to believe they can amplify the mithril’s powers if they alloy it with the right metal, amplified enough to allow the elves to avoid perishing on Middle-earth.
To avoid the loss of their immortality and the death of their race, Galadriel, Elrond, and Celebrimbor proceed to forge the Rings of Power, even though both Galadriel and Elrond understand the evil Sauron’s involvement. Potentially, they have also fallen prey to the siren song of power.
The Rings of Power‘s Sauron and the Forging of the Rings
The elves, unfortunately, do not come to forge the Rings of Power on their own. Galadriel unknowingly brings the evil Sauron to Eregion. Sauron, of course, comes as a guise of a friend, the king of the Southlands, Halbrand. Once in the chicken coop, Halbrand begins to meddle and manipulate, pretending to want to be helpful to the elves as he slowly guides them to forge the Rings of Powers for his own designs.
It is Sauron who so helpfully pushes the elven smith Celebrimbor towards the discovery of the rings. He wins the smith over with flattery, then offers the suggestion that bonding mithril with another metal could amplify instead of detracting from its powers. It’s also Sauron who unlocks the key to getting the metal to bond with another, less, not more power.
Ultimately, Galadriel comes to know who Sauron is. It is unclear if Sauron wished her to, or if it was in a slip of the tongue. But Sauron feeds Celebrimbor a line that the father of orcs and one-time elf Adar had told Galadriel about Sauron. That he sought a power not of this world but of the unseen world. “A power not of flesh, but over flesh.” When confronted, Sauron ultimately flees before he sees the Rings of Power forged. But as we know from The Lord of the Rings‘ lore, his evil plan is already in place.
The Forging of The Rings of Power‘s Rings vs The Lord of the Rings‘ Version
In The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power narrative of the elves seeking to save their race from the fading light of the Valar does not exist. Sauron’s arc as Halbrand, king of the Southlands, also does not exist, nor does Adar’s creation of Mount Doom. Instead, Sauron has already established himself in Mordor by the time the first Rings of Power are forged. And the dark lord busily assembles an army to conquer Middle-earth.
But to trick the elves, he knows brute force will not do. Thus, Sauron uses his powers as a shape-shifter and presents himself to the elves, presenting as a person named Annatar. He offers them great knowledge and magic. Elrond and King Gil-galad were especially suspicious of him, where other elves were not.
In Eregion, Sauron manipulates and seduces Celebrimbor into crafting the Rings of Power, all the while sneakily forging his own in the fires of Mount Doom. The Lord of the Rings lore notes that the elves make nineteen Rings of Power, and all but three fall into Sauron’s hands. Sauron gifts them to men and dwarves to corrupt them.
In The Rings of Power, the narrative of the rings’ forging has, of course, shifted. Sauron has not yet situated himself in Mount Doom, and his overture to the elves and Celebrimbor is a smaller one. However, it is still possible Sauron could return to try and charm the elves. Likely, though, Sauron left his mark on the Rings of Power in some fashion. And he will somehow worm his magic into any other Rings of Power forged in the future.
Although it also seems possible it will be the elves, instead, who spread this power to other races. It feels like Elrond is already considering telling the dwarves about the forging of the Rings of Power, although Galadriel bids they keep it a secret only for the elves. Whether Sauron has shapeshifting abilities enough to appear in another form on The Rings of Power, we will have to wait and see.
How Many Rings Were Forged in The Rings of Power Season 1, and Which Are They?
Ultimately, three rings are forged in season one of The Rings of Power. These are the rings that belong to the elves. The elven Rings of Power are Narya (the Ring of Fire), Nenya (the Ring of Water), and Vilya (the Ring of Air). It seems Gil-galad will wear Narya, Elrond will wear Vilya, and Galadriel will wear Nenya.
Perhaps, in the hope of having a ring for himself, Celebrimbor will set out to forge more rings.
What Are the Rings of Power Made From?
In The Rings of Power, the rings are made of an alloy that combines mithril and gold and silver of Valinor. Galadriel contributes the metal of Valinor by melting down her brother Finrod’s dagger. Finrod’s death greatly impacted Galadriel throughout the season, driving her in her quest to eradicate evil and fight Sauron. It is quite symbolic that his dagger melts into the Rings of Power, closing one page of Galadriel’s battle and opening another. We speculate the rest of the rings will be made only of dwarven mithril. But we’ll have to wait for The Rings of Power season two for that.