Nazgul and their Rings

Archive Home > Basic Lore
Reikon Suchi-ru 22/Dec/2006 at 09:44 AM
Interrogator of Mordor Points: 13828 Posts: 13959 Joined: 11/Dec/2002
Though it may seem to be a moot point, anyone with the information to answer my question will be solving several issues. So, the question is, up until their destruction at the end of the Third Age, do the Ringwraiths still retains their rings upon their fingers, or are they somehow discarded? Also, are their transformations into Ringwraiths permanent, due to long exposure to their corrupted Rings of Power? Also, how long did it take to corrupt the Nine Men to the point that they were completely obedient to the Dark Lord Sauron? On a slightly unrelated note, what allowed the Dwarves to resist the same magic that was placed on the Men?
Alcarináro 22/Dec/2006 at 10:09 AM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003
The Ringwraiths do not possess their Rings. Were they too, their cloaks would be invisible. Sauron has the Nine in his possession.
Once a wraith, always a wraith. That they are wraiths means that they have become permanently invisible and under the sway of Sauron. It took a few hundred years (estimated) for Sauron to get all of them to fade, but individuallly it may have taken far less time for some.
The Dwarves were able to resist because of the way Aule made them, strong of will against the evils that were in the world when he crafted them.
Oin 22/Dec/2006 at 03:20 PM
Architect of Erebor Points: 11372 Posts: 8807 Joined: 14/Feb/2004
The Dwarves were able to mostly resist the Rings given to them, with one notable exception - it inflamed the greed they naturally possessed. The Ring of Thrain (as the Ring given to Durin’s Folk was called) also probably helped push Thror into his insanity, and Thrain II into his desperate journey eastwards, during which he was captured by Sauron and tortured in Dol Guldur.
OhtarMor 24/Dec/2006 at 10:38 AM
Traitor of Mordor Points: 244 Posts: 7 Joined: 18/Dec/2006

I always thought they had their rings, but yes, i guess their robes would be invisible if they did.  But did the men ( before they became ringwraiths) turn into a gollum-like-creature before they disapeared completly? And did the dwarves who had the seven rings turn invisible when they put them on?

Steophan 24/Dec/2006 at 12:51 PM
Stablehand of the Mark Points: 290 Posts: 29 Joined: 24/Dec/2006
IIRC the Dwarves did not become invisible.  The Seven inflamed their greed, taking a natural characteristic of Dwarves and increasing it out of proportion, but did not change their nature in any other way.
SigilMor 24/Dec/2006 at 02:07 PM
Banned Points: 380 Posts: 13 Joined: 24/Dec/2006

Maybe once you become a wraith, the rings no longer turn you invisible? That would explain why their robes don’t turn invisible. But i always thought that they wore them. Once your invisible maybe the rings no longer have any affect on them, so the robes don’t turn invisible.

 

Thaliondae Suchi-ru 24/Dec/2006 at 02:14 PM
Archer of Mordor Points: 3278 Posts: 4716 Joined: 07/May/2006
no, Sauron kept hold of the 9 Rings he gave to men. i beleive he also obtained some Dawrven rings and kept them in his dark tower with the others? though i cannot give a quote or even be 100% sure. And no, the Dwarven rings did not turn them invisible as said above, they, as said above again, only made their greed increase. They did not become midget ringwraiths because Aule specifically created them to withstand evil, to a larger extent at least.
Alcarináro 24/Dec/2006 at 02:15 PM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003
Once you bcome a wraith, SigilMor, the Rings have a permanent effect on you, without having to be worn. They are permanently invisible, along with their clothes (when Frodo puts on the Ring and sees them, they are arrayed in far more than cloaks). The cloak, however, is something that is put on after they become wraiths, so is not made invisible.
SigilMor 24/Dec/2006 at 02:28 PM
Banned Points: 380 Posts: 13 Joined: 24/Dec/2006

Sauron had three dwarven rings at the time of the War of the Ring, i believe. He offered to return them to The Lonely Mountain ( i forget the real name) in return for Bilbo, or any knowledge concerning the hobbits or Bilbo’s ring. The dwarves decided to go the Rivendell and warn Bilbo instead though.

SigilMor 24/Dec/2006 at 02:31 PM
Banned Points: 380 Posts: 13 Joined: 24/Dec/2006
Did the kings of men become gollum-like before they became wraiths? I don’t think so because the nazgul had clothes and crowns(?) on their heads when Frodo saw them when he put on the one ring. And i can’t see Gollum crawling around with a crown and kingly garments on. But that could be the case i suppose.
Qtpie 25/Dec/2006 at 12:15 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Here’s a quote to help you out Sigil :

’They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet it became unedurable to them. They could walk, if they would, unseen by all eyes in this world beneath the sun, and they could see things in worlds invisible to mortal men; but too often they beheld only the phantom and delusions of Sauron. And one by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good and evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thralldom of the ring that they bore and under domination of the One, which was Sauron’s’.The Silmarillion: Of the Third Age and the Rings of Power

Sauron was able to directly control the bearers of the Nine with the One, and so the Ringwraiths turned into wraiths. Over time, the Kings of Men just turned into wraiths. I doubt that they went though a ’Gollum-like’ stage before becoming wraiths. Gollum’s case is a bit different since he possessed the One, and that was different from the Nine that the Men got. And yes, the Nazgul were probably wearing their armor and crown when they turned into wraiths so they kept those same garments. Gollum didn’t have armor and a crown to begin with, so he wouldn’t be crawling around with kingly garments.
Alcarináro 25/Dec/2006 at 12:22 PM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003
Taragolloion, please do not refer to the Nazgul as having been ’Kings of Men’ (unless of course you are talking about the three that were Numenoreans, as that is a way to refer to Men of Numenor), as it perpetuates a fallacy brought into popularity by the films. When Frodo put on the Ring near Weathertop, the only crown he saw was the one the Lord of the Nazgul wore. The other two wraiths only had helms.
Qtpie 25/Dec/2006 at 12:25 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Whoops, thanks for catching that Elenhir.
Kalevala 26/Dec/2006 at 06:16 AM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 214 Posts: 25 Joined: 17/Dec/2006
The rings, I got a couple questions about them, Sauron made them, right? Did he make all of them, the 1 for hinself, the 9 for the Men, the 7 for the Dwarves and the 3 for the Elves? I don’t think he made the 3 but I am not sure. Otherwise what ever happened to the 7 for the Dwarves, I know a few were consummed by Dragons but what about the others? And finnally what were these 20 rings, the 1 of course was Sauron’s power, but what about the other 19 given to the Lords, what power or magic did they have?
Qtpie 26/Dec/2006 at 09:50 AM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Celebrimbor and the Gwaith-i-Mirdain made all the Rings of Power, save the One. Sauron was the one who taught and guided them in the process of making the Rings. Sauron got a few Dwarven Rings back I believe, such as the Ring of Thror. The Three Elven Rings were used mainly to preserve and heal. The Rings given to Men made them great warriors in their days, but also corrupted them and turned them into wraiths. You can read my quote above for more information. The Dwarven Rings were meant to turn them into wraiths too, but the dwarves had a strong resistance, so all the Dwarven Rings did were just inflame greed. This is just a brief summary, if you are interested, you can read more about it in the Silmarillion.
Kalevala 28/Dec/2006 at 01:30 AM
Gardener of Lothlorien Points: 214 Posts: 25 Joined: 17/Dec/2006
I will do that, I just got for X-Mas, the history of Middle-Earth, books 1 to 5.
ArgentKnight 28/Dec/2006 at 01:51 AM
Adept of Isengard Points: 264 Posts: 6 Joined: 28/Dec/2006
What I want to know is how could a Ring be fashioned that would control the others? I mean if it had complete power over the individuals who held the other rings, 1. Why didn’t Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond get turned into Ring Wraiths of something, and 2. Why wasn’t Sauron able to control the whole world through the rings? I mean, if all the kings of Middle Earth had Rings, then why did Aragorn’s ancestor (can’t remember his name) fight Sauron in the first place?
elvenpath 28/Dec/2006 at 02:12 AM
Torturer of Mordor Points: 2310 Posts: 2270 Joined: 28/Apr/2004

What I want to know is how could a Ring be fashioned that would control the others? The wielders of the Ring could not resist using the Ring - the idea of getting more power was too attractive to resist to it

"...so great was the Ring’s power of lust, that anyone who used it became mastered by it."  (Letter#131)

 mean if it had complete power over the individuals who held the other rings, 1. Why didn’t Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond get turned into Ring Wraiths of something It didn’t have complete power over the Elven Rings of power because when they were created Sauron didn’t have the chance to touch them

Vugar 28/Dec/2006 at 10:16 AM
Chieftain of Mordor Points: 8170 Posts: 5398 Joined: 01/Jun/2004
And to continue on that note, the feature of invisibility found in the Nine and Seven was a feature derived from Sauron. The Three Rings were not possessed of this quality since Sauron had never directly intervened in their crafting as elvenpath mentioned.

"The Elves of Eregion made Three supremely beautiful and powerful rings, almost solely of their own imagination, and directed to the preservation of beauty: they did not confer invisibility." (Letter #131, Letters of Tolkien)

Habitually using a Ring to become invisible is a great step on the road to becoming a Ringwraith, as happened to those Men who used the Nine Rings. As the Three Rings did not confer invisibility, that step in the process is lost. The matter of Wizards and Elves becoming wraiths may delve too much into speculation. The former would likely not, given their Maiarian nature.
Qtpie 28/Dec/2006 at 06:06 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
1. Why didn’t Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond get turned into Ring Wraiths or something?

I would like to add a little in addition to Achaius. Saruon only had control over the Ringbearers if he had the One on and if the Ringbearer was wearing their ring. The Elves never put on their rings when Sauron held the One.

’But the Elves were not so lightly to be caught. As soon as Sauron set the One Ring upon his finger they were aware of him, and perceived that he would be master of them, an of an that they wrought. Then in anger and fear they took off their rings.’Silmarillion: Of the Third Age and the Rings of Power
Telmar 30/Dec/2006 at 02:41 PM
Herald of Imladris Points: 244 Posts: 39 Joined: 22/Dec/2006
Achaius,(or anyone else) forgive my stupidity but in which book does it say that the seven have a feature of invisibility?
Alcarináro 30/Dec/2006 at 02:48 PM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003
The Seven, Telmar, are in their making no different than the Nine. There were Sixteen Rings of Power made by the combined efforts of the Elven smiths of Eregion, Three Rings of Power made by Celebrimbor’s sole efforts, and One Ring by Sauron. When Sauron waged war, took the Sixteen, then doled them out to Dwarves and Men, seeking to control them. These Rings given to Dwarves and Men are different in who has them, not their make.