Rings of Power: The Lord of the Rings Design Development

Rings of Power: The Lord of the Rings Design Development

Learn the tale of the Rings of Power and how this pattern was created from the lore including development sketches.
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The Rings of Power are described in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy as magical rings which gift the wearer special powers. As the key theme in the books, we felt it important to include a Rings of Power design in our Middle-earth™ Collection of baby wraps, ring slings, throws, and accessories. Read on to learn more about the development of the design in 2016, the meaning behind it, and the story it connects with.

The creation of the Rings begins when Sauron, the Dark Lord, also known as the Necromancer, returns to Middle-earth in the Second Age, angry and humiliated by the demise of his Master, Morgoth. Sauron assumes the appearance of Annatar, "Lord of Gifts" to the Elves of Eregion, where he schools the Elven-smiths in crafting magical rings to gift the wearer "wealth and dominion over others"; 19 Rings are made using a special forge crafted by the Dwarves.

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However, Sauron has deceived them all, he secretly crafts the 'One Ring', which gives him dominion over all the others.

Rings of Power Design
Oscha Rings of Power in a blue to purple fade with gold and silver yarns

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 throne

In 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.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Oscha's Rings of Power™️ design depicts emblems for each of the groups that were gifted rings: Men, Elves, and Dwarves.

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Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky

Unlike the other Rings of Power, 'the Three' were made only by the Elf Celebrimbor, with the purpose to "heal and preserve". However, as they were made using Sauron's craft, they are still bound to The One. As soon as the One Ring is made using the 'Dark Speech', the Elves hear it and know Sauron's purpose; they hide the Three, only using them after Sauron's downfall by Isildur.

Elven Symbol
An early version of the Elven symbol

Each of the Three represents a natural element - fire, earth, and water. Nenya, the ring of water was gifted to Galadriel who used it to protect and preserve Lothlorien. Narya, the ring of fire was sent to Círdan and eventually passed to Gandalf. Finally, Vilya, the ring of air, and the most powerful was sent to Gil-galad and passed to Elrond, who used it to protect Rivendell.

In our design, the Elven emblem depicts the elegance, beauty, and timelessness of the Elves. The three rings are looped into the curving, art nouveau style design, which is also imbued with a Celtic knotwork feel. You can see a nod to the Triquetra, or Trinity Knot, which connects to the 3 elements of nature. The knotwork also symbolizes the deep connection the Elves had with each other and all of life.

Final Elves Design
Final Elves design

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

The Seven Rings were gifted from Sauron to the dwarf-kings of each clan: Longbeards (also know as Durin's Folk), Firebeards, Broadbeams, Ironfists, Stiffbeards, Blacklocks, and Stonefoots. However, the dwarves proved to be unbendable to Sauron's will. They did not become invisible when they wore the rings, yet, they became greedy and clouded by avarice. They also had the ability to multiply their wealth.

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Dwarven Draft Symbol
Drafting the Dwarven symbol layout

The dwarven medallion on the Oscha design is created in a gothic style, it has strong, directional linework to depict the dwarves' strength and focus. The lines point inwards to the central star-shaped jewel, showing both how the dwarves were able to hide their desires deep within their hearts (making them uncontrollable to Sauron), and how their focus and deep digging created a flowering of riches.

Rather than showing seven individual Rings, you can see one large ring that is held by the seven arms of the design. Each section has runes phonetically naming one of the seven tribes of dwarves. This layout symbolizes their common ancestry, along with the yoking of the design to the dwarven tools riches - pickaxes, axes, and various minerals and gems.

Dwarven Symbol
The final version of the Dwarven emblem

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die

Unfortunately, it seems that the leaders of Men, who were gifted the Nine, were much more easily corruptable than elves or dwarves. The Rings gave them eternal lives and much power; they were said to be the mightiest sorcerers, kings, and warriors of their day, they could also see realities invisible to mortal men. However, one by one they fell under the influence of Sauron and disappeared from the world, becoming Ringwraiths (Nazgûl); dark servants of Sauron who were forever drawn to the power of the One Ring.

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Creating the layout for the 'Men' symbol
Introducing some key elements

The emblem for Men depicted on our Rings of Power design reflects their past strength; depicted by 9 swords and individual crowns, encircled by their Ring. It also portrays their corrupted hearts; the design has an outward movement and the knotwork is separated and lacking in the strength and integrity seen in that of the other emblems.

LOTR 'Men's' Symbol
Final version of the 'Men' symbol

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

Sauron secretly crafts the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom, he pours all of his power into it, it has the ability to control the other rings. It is a simple gold band that is inscribed with the 'Rhyme of the Rings' in the Dark Speech:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past"

The inscription is only visible when heated by fire or Sauron's own hand and it can only be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. If the One Ring is destroyed, it will destroy the power of the other Rings.

Oscha Rings of Power Ithildin Scarf
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The Ring draws people to it, yet the wearer is subject to the corruption of Sauron, and the Ring is tricksy and will try to return to its original Master. However, someone very strong could bend it to his will and become its new Master, but would ultimately become evil.

Our design does not depict the One Ring, instead it is seen as an invisible binding force behind all of the emblems as their creator and destroyer. This is symbolized by the text in Elvish script that runs along the borders, reading - 'Three Rings for the Elven Kings, Seven Rings for the Dwarf Lords, Nine Rings for mortal Men' and the text under each emblem which reads - 'One Ring'.

Rings of Power Glin Baby Wrap
Rings of Power Glin Baby Wrap, Shawl, Baby Carrier & Ring Sling
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The Oscha Rings of Power design has been specially designed to sit beautifully on jacquard woven fabric. You can find it in baby wraps and ring slings with the emblems placed higher up so they will sit across your baby's back. You can also find it on our accessories such as scarves and throws with a central pattern placement as well as adapted versions of the design.

Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises (SZC) and are used under license by Oscha Slings. All rights reserved.