The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power's Three Rings Explained

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power ended season 1 with quite a few big pieces of Tolkien's Lord of the RIngs lore coming into clearer view – including the true enemy that has been lurking in the midst of Middle-earth, all along (Sauron). Along with the emergence of true evil came a dubious milestone moment in Middle-earth's history: the forging the of the first three Rings of Power, by the Elves. Now that The Rings of Power has actually lived up to its title, let's break down what they actually are. 

The First Rings of Power

(Photo: Prime Video)

As seen in the finale episode of The Rings of Power Season 1, the first Rings of Power were created in the elvish land of Eregion, after master blacksmith Celebrimbor finally discerned how to turn the divine material known as mithril into an object that could act as a conduit for its power. True to Tolkien's tale, Celebrimor was influenced by none other than the dark lord Sauron, who had infiltrated the heroes' ranks disguised as Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), the Southland king. 

"Halbrand" whispered to Celebrimbor to mix the mithril with other metallic alloys, to "enhance" its properties. That suggestion was combined with some re-scaling by the Elves, who saw three rings as a trustworthy balance, compared to a  single crown. Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) realizes Sauron's deception but goes ahead with the plan to create the rings anyway; Elrond (Robert Ararmayo) is not nearly as willing – but by the time he figures out what Galadriel won't tell him (that Halbrand is Sauron) it's too late: the first Rings of Power have been forged. 

The Elves' Three Rings Explained

In J.R.R. Tolkien's lore, the Elves' rings are the first Rings of Power, and nicknamed "The Three." The power of the rings, along with the Elves own considerable powers, allowed them to be aware of and resist the influence of Sauron and The One Ring. Due to the that cursed connection, the Elves wisely refrained from wearing their rings while Sauron was alive, and instead used the power of the rings to presevere the light and life of the Elves, and establish havens against Sauron's evil like the forest realm of Lothlórien. 

The Elves' Rings of Power were given the following names, and bestowed to the following line of ring-bearers: 

(Photo: Prime Video)

Narya "Ring of Fire" (red stone) – Narya was first given to King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walkter), and it later passed to wise elf Círdan, who eventually passes the ring to Gandalf, to aid the wizard in his fight. When Sauron is finally defeated, Gandalf takes Narya with him as he sailed into the Undying Lands of Valinor. 

Nenya "Ring of Water" (white stone) – this ring was given and held by Galadriel and helped transform her into the radiant "Lady of Lórien" seen in Lord of the Rings. Galadriel keeps hold of Nenya until Sauron is defeated, and carries it with her into Valinor. 

Vilya "Ring of Air" (blue stone) – Vilya was known as the "Dominant Ring" and was the strongest of the elvish Rings of Power – and therefore second in power to The One Ring worn by Sauron. Vilya was first given to King Gil-galad, by was later passed on to his dear friend, Lord Elrond. Elrond would keep Vilya until Sauron was beaten in the Third Age, and carried with him into the Undying Lands, along with Galadriel and Gandalf. 

The Rings of Power Season 1 is streaming on Prime Video.