Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is set to chronicle a major event: the forging of the Rings of Power – but when were they forged, and how many are there?
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings followed Frodo, Sam, and their fellowship as they ventured to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, a powerful artifact belonging to the Dark Lord Sauron.
That was the Third Age of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, while Amazon’s new series takes place in an uncharted time: the Second Age, with showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay building the story from The Silmarillion – essentially a textbook about the sprawling world.
As the title suggests, we’ll see the forging of the hallowed Rings of Power – but when exactly were they forged, how many rings are there, and will we see the One Ring?
Spoilers for The Rings of Power to follow…
Lord of the Rings: When were the Rings of Power forged?
The titular Rings of Power were forged during the Second Age of Middle-earth. This time period spans around 3,400 years, described by Tolkien as “the dark years for Men of Middle-Earth, but the years of the glory of Númenor.”
While we visited the island kingdom in Episode 3, Númenor is doomed to fall in 3319 SA, 22 years prior to the big battle that marks the end of the Second age and the beginning of the Third Age.
However, the rings were forged during a much earlier time. According to Tolkien’s timeline, the rings began being forged around 1500 SA. However, Celebrimbor’s Three Elven Rings were completed around 90 years later, and Sauron forged the One Ring after another 10 years.
So, all the rings were forged between 1500 and 1600 SA.
Lord of the Rings: Who forged the Rings of Power?
A few different parties are involved in the forging of the Rings of Power. The Lesser Rings were created by the Gwaith-i-Mírdain (also known as the Elven-smiths) of Eregion, headed by Celebrimbor, grandson of Fëanor.
Celebrimbor forged the Three Elven Rings on his own, and none of them were ever touched by Sauron.
The One Ring was secretly forged by Sauron in the heart of Mount Doom, holding the power to dominate the rest of the rings.
Lord of the Rings: How many Rings of Power are there?
There are 20 Rings of Power, also known as the Great Rings. It’s worth remembering Tolkien’s Ring Verse, read by Galadriel in the teaser for the series:
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 throneIn 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.
A total of 19 rings were forged by the Elven-smiths, with Celebrimbor crafting the three strongest rings alone. These were named Narya the Ring of Fire, Nenya the Ring of Water, and Vilya the Ring of Air.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 4 will be available to watch on Prime Video on September 16. Episodes 1-3 are available now.