HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Narya

Type: Artifacts

Meaning: fire

Other Names: The Red Ring, The Third Ring, The Ring of Fire

Description:Narya was one of the three Elven Rings made by Celebrimbor. It had the power to "rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill," but was also the best hidden of the Three Rings, in that it "remained hidden until the end, and none save Elrond and Galadriel and Círdan knew to whom it had been committed."

Gil-galad received Narya and Vilya both from Celebrimbor; he gave Vilya to Elrond, and Narya to Círdan, but it is unclear whether he did this as soon as he received Narya or whether he held onto it until just before he left for the Last Alliance.

Círdan held the Ring in secret, having no use for it, and gave it to Mithrandir (Gandalf), for "from their first meeting at the Grey Havens [he] divined in [Mithrandir] the greatest spirit and the wisest; and he welcomed him with reverence, and he gave to his keeping the Third Ring, Narya the Red."

"'For,' said he, 'great labours and perils lie before you, and lest your task prove too great and wearisome, take this Ring for your aid and comfort.'"

When Círdan gave Narya to Mithrandir is also uncertain, whether it was upon Gandalf's initial arrival upon the shores of Middle Earth or later, just before the War of the Ring. What Tolkien does make clear is that Saruman became aware of the gift and begrudged it.

After the War of the Ring, Narya, like its sister Rings, passed over the sea into the West.

Sources: "A History of Galadriel and Celeborn" and "The Istari" from Unfinished Tales and "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" in The Silmarillion.

Contributors: Zimraphel. 7/7/2003

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