The Nine – Appendix: The Rings of the Nazgul

by Mar 14, 2010Reading Room

Of all the Rings of Power, the Nine were crafted with most of Sauron’s overseeing than any of the others (except, of course, the One) and so had much to do with the abilities and strengths they possessed. Some of the powers they entailed seemed oddly dark to Celebrimbor, and this was his first suspicion that there was something unwholesome about Annatar (Sauron’s Elven guise in Eregion), though the seduction brought by the power which he was created initially blinded him from seeing the further picture. The Nine are either kept by the Nazgul at all times or within Sauron’s possession at Barad-dur, through which he can much more easily control them, but without the physical possession of their rings the powers of the Ringwraiths would be less so. For example, such was the importance and secrecy of the mission to the Shire that Sauron kept the Nine rings in order to cloak the full majesty of his servants and be more intrusive to their willpower if necessary; however when ruling their kingdoms or during battles of key importance, such as many in the War of the Ring and the Last Alliance, the Nazgul would keep their rings in order to increase their skills. It was unsure if the Nine rings were utterly destroyed at the end of Sauron’s reign, but because their powers were closely linked to his own will it is assumed that the rings remained but their abilities, like their bearers, dissolved.

Er-Murazor: Gullach, the Ring of Sorcerous Leaping Flame. A circular red-bronze stone sat upon silver, crowned by three oval gems of black amethyst. It was originally only second to Dagortur when Celebrimbor forged it, but Sauron added the three cuts of amethyst to increase the magical properties when Murazor ascended to become its bearer. It was said into the red-bronze stone was locked flames akin to a Balrog, but greater so because of the nobility of Celebrimbor – this allowed the Witch-King to run flames down his sword such at the breaking of the gate of Minas Tirith. Amethyst is held of a soother and protector of the mind, which would have greatly helped the Witch-King in the casting of his sorceries.

Khamul: Dagortur, the Ring of Battle Mastery. A plain, single, medium red carnelian sat upon gold. It was originally the greatest ring of the Nine until Sauron advanced Gullach, the ring of the Witch-King. Its power was not in blunt spells and sorcery but allowed the mind of the bearer to be better attuned to their weapon, and so was a formidable tool in combat, attesting to the already-skilled duelling abilities of Khamul. It too, like Gullach, had some ability of fire – it seems Celebrimbor forged Narya, the Elven ring of fire in opposition to Gullach and Dagortur. Carnelian is held to help focus on the present, which would have attributed to its power.

Dwar: Palanfuin, the Ring of Far and Wide Gloom. A crescent moon of dark green malachite overlaying a black iron of merging diamond-shapes that appears like an open jaw; set upon gold. Its power was in the casting, or extension of, shadows and cloaks, improving upon the invisibility function that most of the Rings of Power possess. From this Dwar was known as the Shadow Lord; but strangely his infamous ‘Howl of the Damned’ spell was not based on this ring, but was probably from his original people who held hound-like figures as deities. Malachite is held to be a ‘mirror of the soul’, and so the feelings of the bearer could be channelled much more easily, and so the blackness of Dwar’s soul would have aided in the casting of the ring’s gloom.

Ji Indur: Serkemel, the Ring of Blood Love. A diamond-shaped crimson ruby set upon gold, flanked by four small squares of the same material, two on either side. Its power was to grant the bearer an increased lust and passion for their specific pleasures – in Indur’s case, the desire for battle and slaughter. In this way it could be seen in many ways much like Khamul’s ring Dagortur, but of all the Nine rings Serkemel had the greatest part of its forging from Celebrimbor’s hand, and was merely a ring designed to enhance pleasure and joy, but in the grasp of a tormented enough individual it could evidently be used as a deadly weapon. Ruby is held to aid in following bliss, obviously contributing to Serkemel’s power of enhancing desires.

Akhoarahil: Thanruth, the Ring of Oppressing Anger. A large square dark purple sugilite set upon black iron. Thanruth was created for the bearer to impose their rule in the minds of their servants, and so directly channel their will into their followers’ minds. This would be very effective on beings of lesser will, such as Orcs and Trolls, but could not be used on Dwarves and Elves who were naturally impervious to such control. Only men of exceptionally weak will could be affected by it, or those who willingly submitted themselves to it. Sugilite is held to give confidence, which would have enhanced the powers of command of Thanruth’s bearer.

Hoarmurath: Iaurnol, the Ring of Old Lore. A yellow topaz cut into a seemingly rough and imperfect finish set upon ithildin, a metal which only brightened under the light of the moon (the same material was used on the West-Gate of Moria). Iaurnol was forged to give the bearer an extended capacity of knowledge – and so Hoarmurath was able to gather much more information than the other Nazgul. Because of this ring, it was believed that though the Witch-King was the greatest sorcerer of the Nine, Hoarmurath knew the most spells. Topaz is held to give longevity and wisdom, which would have both attracted Hoarmurath’s obsession with immortality as well as increase the power of Iaurnol’s ability.

Adunaphel: Ergwath, the Ring of Lonely Shadow. A pure black obsidian ring with no additional indentations or gems, Ergwath’s power was in its subtlety. It allowed the bearer to become invisible in a more delicate way, merging into the surroundings, have a magical barrier of defence that supplemented their physical armour, and made both their thoughts and their actions swifter. By wearing Ergwath, Adunaphel saw the world move a fraction slower, and so in reality lived a fraction quicker. Obsidian is held to have properties of fast action, which obviously attributed to Ergwath’s power, but also brought overwhelm and unpleasant thoughts, which would explain the morbidity of Adunaphel.

Ren: Gurthring, the Ring of Death Chill. Three perfectly round green turquoise gems of equal size set upon a gold ring, with intertwining embroidery framing each gem. Gurthring was at first a ring that extended the aura of the wearer, but after Sauron had tampered with it, the ring became an extension of the negative thoughts of the wearer, and so on the finger of Ren it seeped out a twisted and deathly aura of sickness from him, and the visions he could weave from his mortal life training as an Illusionist redoubled the maddening, sickening pallor that escaped from his form. Turquoise is held to preserve against disease, and so would have protected Ren from the nauseating and sickening effects of Gurthring.

Uvatha: Alaksul, the Ring of Rushing Wind. A smooth triangular amber-coloured sunstone flanked by two dots of steel set upon a gold ring. Alaksul has many of the same properties of Khamul’s ring of Dagortur and Adunaphel’s ring Ergwath in that it makes the bearer much swifter, whether by running or riding a mount. This was ideal for the chief messenger of Sauron, Uvatha. To those who wore Alaksul, it seemed as if the whole world spun before them, or that a strong gale propelled them forwards. Sunstone is held to give a desire for action, which would have added to Uvatha’s longing for freedom and also a temptation to use the ring more often.


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Found in Home 5 Reading Room 5 The Nine – Appendix: The Rings of the Nazgul

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