Lord of the Rings: What did the Seven Dwarven Rings do?

Right, the Nine for humans helped their wearers establish world domination, and get a version of immortality, in exchange for the fiddling details of losing their bodies, falling under Sauron’s control, etc.

The Three for the Elves appear to have been creative and sustaining, particularly Gandalf’s Ring, Narya.

The One, well, its specs were right on the Ring itself.

But what about the Seven for the dwarves? What advantage did they give? I seem to recall somewhere that Tolkein said that the dwarves by their nature couldn’t be dominated the same way the humans who took the Nine were. So what were they supposed to do for the dwarves to make the dwarves accept them from Sauron?

They enhanced their natural skills at mining and crafting, but also enhanced their natural greed and lust for wealth.

IIRC (maybe from discussion on this board) rings for Men and Dwarves weren’t tailor made for those races: Sauron happened to have sixteen rings handy, and recognized that they’d be useful in dominating mortals. The The abilities of those rings were somehow merely amplifications of the bearers’ own abilities, which differed between Men and Dwarves. The Three on the other hand may have had different properties, since Sauron wasn’t directly involved in their making.

Quote: The magical rings were created by Sauron or by the Elves of Eregion under Sauron’s tutelage. Three were intended for the Elves, Seven for Dwarves, (…) but the Dwarves’ rings did not respond to the One’s control as Sauron expected.

the rings helped them achieve their most beautiful cities and artworks :slight_smile:

Made them dopey, grumpy, sneezy, sleepy, happy, bashful, and…doc-y.


“It takes gold to breed gold.”

I wonder how that worked, exactly. Did the Dwarves accumulate most of their hoards through trading, rather than mining?

They were as much traders as they were miners. In the Silmarillon, they traded with the elves for gems and pearls. If you want this to be a factual answer, correlate it with the human world. Annual world gold production doesn’t usually top 500 tonnes (excluding russia’s output.) Daily trading volume in the LME is around 518 tonnes.

Not the exact quote, but from “Of The Rings Of Power and the Third Age” in The Silmarillion -

The rings given to Men made them mighty in the form of power of their choice, whether as Kings, magicians, or warriors, but kept them alive, after a fashion, long after they should have died. This was their greatest evil, as in Iluvatar’s plan, Men were not meant to live in the confines of Middle-earth for long, indeed death is the great Gift given by Him to Man.

The rings, ultimately, give the wearer the means to satisfy their desires, but at the cost of no longer being satisfied (if that makes sense). The Dwarves were able to get all the gold they could ever reasonably want, and more, but would ever lust after more, and never be satisfied. Men obtained power and eternal life, effectively at the cost of their souls. Elves obtained the power to preserve their realms against Evil, at the cost of no longer being part of the outside world, and of having their realms fail when the One was destroyed.

I’m fairly sure Tolkien wrote more about this in some of his letters, I can look it up if anyone wants more information.

Damn! I came in to say that!

I’ve forgotten if it says or implies this anywhere: did the Dwarf rings have anything to do with the mining of mithril?

I would doubt it. The Dwarves were mining mithril before the Rings were made…it was a major reason that Moria was trading with Celebrimbor at all. The Elves loved mithril and the Dwarves of Moria (then Khazad-Dum) were the ones who had it.

Keep in mind that the Seven and the Nine were not made with dwarves and men in mind. They were meant for elves. When the elves didn’t fall for Sauron’s ploy, he cut his losses and distributed the rings that he and the elves had made together to the dwarf lords and to powerful men.

Here’s a nice link that delves deeply into ringlore: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm#H3-SevenNine

I do remember this – it’s from the LotR appendices… Thror said it to Thrain. This would suggest that the dwarf-rings enhanced the abilities of their bearers to make profit.

Here’s a bunch of LotR fanatics discussing the topic.

I’m sure I knew this at one point, but why did Gandalf have one of the elf rings? I know he’s a Maia or something, but clearly not an elf.

Cirdan (the original owner) gave it to him when he arrived in Middle-Earth.

To expand on that, Círdan was the shipwright responsible for building the ships that were carrying the elves into the West. He was tied down to a job, essentially. When Gandalf arrived, Círdan saw that he would be able to make better use of Narya as he traveled around, inspiring others to oppose the darkness.

Círdan: “For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill.”

They whitened, brightened, cured the heartbreak of psoriasis, & eliminated ring around the collar (naturally).

Nah… I really don’t see the dwarves as being that concerned about psoriasis, nor about ring (heh) around the collar… First dates between dwarves might have been pretty awkward affairs as it was…