The One Ring was also known as Ruling Ring, the Master Ring, the Doom of Man, the One Ring, the Ring of Power, and Isildur's Bane.
Sauron disguised himself as Annatar, or "Lord of Gifts", and aided the Elven smiths of Eregion and their lord Celebrimbor in the making of the Rings of Power. He then forged the One Ring himself in the fires of Mount Doom. But creating the ring simultaneously strengthened and weakened Sauron's power. On the one hand, as long as Sauron had the ring, he could control the power of all other Rings of Power, and thus he was significantly more powerful. On the other hand, by binding his power within the Ring, Sauron became dependent on it. Without it his power was significantly diminished.
The words of the Ring-inscription are in Black Speech, a language devised by Sauron and used in the land of Mordor. The inscription reflects the One Ring's power to control the other Rings of Power. The writing uses Elvish letters, in a mode adapted to the Black Speech.
Normally the One Ring appeared perfectly plain and featureless, but when heated its inscription appeared in fiery letters. A drawing of the inscription and a translation provided by Gandalf appears in Book I, Chapter 2 of The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past".
Gandalf speaks the words in Black Speech in Book II, Chapter 2, "The Council of Elrond":
Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.
Translated, the words mean:
One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Depiction in Video Games Edit
Shadow of Mordor Edit
The Ring is portrayed differently, both in power and appearance, than in Peter Jackson's film adaptions of The Lord of the Rings. Comparing the game appearance to the movie appearance, the Ring appears as a wider band, the runes carved solidly along the edges. In the movies, the Ring takes the appearance of a wedding ring, with a small band which the inscription is carved around.
When Sauron is depicted wearing the One in Shadow of Mordor, we see his right hand enveloped in a glowing orb of gold. This depicts that the Ring's power is being used, further reinforced by a fact which will be described soon. The Ring is shown to have the power of brainwashing of individual people rather than just the Rings of Power, shown when Sauron as Annatar attempts to dominate Celebrimbor into perfecting the Ring. We don't see much more of the power it grants Sauron, as Celebrimbor soon steals the Ring.
For Frodo and Bilbo, as soon as they put on the Ring, they access the Wraith-World and become invisible to all but Sauron until they take it off. For Celebrimbor, who (non-canonically) steals the Ring from Sauron once it's perfected, the Ring only makes him invisible when he chooses to be. We only really see Celebrimbor vanish to escape Sauron's clutches in the Crack of Doom (who, seeing as he isn't yet the Flaming Eye, doesn't have the power to see into the Wraith-World) in the main storyline, but in The Bright Lord, DLC for the game, from the perspective of the Elf-Lord, we see the Ring's power from his perspective. While in the Wraith-World, the Ring glows, making an orb of bluish-silver light. Celebrimbor can also slow time around him, granting him the ability to effortlessly slip through an Orc stronghold within seconds, completely unseen. It also gives him strength enough to significanlty damage Sauron himself. Another power of the Ring Celebrimbor has is the power of Domination. By placing a brand on Orcs, Celebrimbor can change them to serve him. They fight for Celebrimbor to the death, unless Sauron interferes; during the boss fight against him, Sauron breaks the brands and makes them serve him once more. Eventually, as Celebrimbor moves to deliver the killing blow upon Sauron, the Ring changes its size and falls directly onto Sauron's finger, and Celebrimbor dies by Sauron's hand.
Shadow of War Edit
The Ring is not seen as much in Shadow of War, save for a scene depicting Isildur, and the side missions where you play as Celebrimbor himself with the power of the One Ring, which hasn't been changed much; while the time Celebrimbor can use its power has decreased considerably, he can still slow time, become invisible to the eyes of Orcs, and brand them. His strength, however, has seemingly only increased; he uses Azkar, his bow, to unleash a storm of arrows which can instantly kill Orcs and even Olog-Hai.
In the Isildur scene, we see that the only thing Isildur wanted the Ring to grant him was invisibility when he wasn't in battle. When at the River Anduin, the Ring seemingly makes Orc-arrows bounce off Isildur's back, and his eyes glow orange while wearing it. Soon, the Ring, as it did in Tolkien's original story, did betray Isildur to his death, and it slipped off his finger and fell into the river, destined to be discovered by Deagol and Smeagol (Gollum), and then by Bilbo to be handed down to Frodo.
Celebrimbor's Ring Edit
In Shadow of War, Celebrimbor and Talion, his vessel and the protagonist of the Middle-earth games, forge a new Ring of Power, simply named the New Ring. The ring, like the One Ring did when Celebrimbor wore it, glows blue. It too is inscripted with an Elvish poem (unknown as of now). It contains all the One Ring's powers but invisibility. It still dominates Orcs, banishes its wearer from death, and gives the power to damage Sauron.
Still, like the other Rings of Power, it tempts all who see it; Eltariel, an Elven assassin working for Galadriel, is given the New Ring by Celebrimbor, and Talion is left to die (to save himself, he wears the ring belonging to Isildur, who was a Nazgul who lost its ring and was killed by Talion, who replaced him as the ninth Nazgul). Not being fully accustomed to the New Ring's power, Eltariel is unable to defeat Sauron, and he and Celebrimbor are locked in an eternal battle, which sparks the creation of the Eye of Sauron. The New Ring is lost, never to be recovered from its resting place atop Barad-dur, just under the Eye itself.
- When Sauron captured Celebrimbor, he makes him refine the Ring to conceal its power. Celebrimbor, however, not only does this but also gives the Ring a will of its own. He then steals it from Sauron and uses it to try and defeat him and rescue his family. This attempt ultimately fails, resulting in his and his family's death, and causing him to become a wraith bound to Mordor, only able to get to the Halls of Waiting in Valinor upon the One Ring's destruction. Ironically this failure was only made possible due to Celebrimbor earlier giving the ring a will of its own consequently causing the ring to slip off his finger at a critical moment and return to its true master.
- In The Bright Lord DLC, the game reveals further details about the One Ring when Celembrimbor use it to brand Uruks, ghûls, caragors, and Graugs which explains how the One Ring rules them all.