14 Magical Rings – In History and Fiction
“One ring to rule them all,
One ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them.”
Tales of magical rings date back to antiquity, and probably even before recorded history.
1. King Solomon’s Magical Ring
According to legend, the famous king Solomon had a very valuable gold ring. It was not only precious, but also magical. Using the power of the ring, Solomon summons a full register of demons and takes authority over them. Out of all the king’s treasures, this ring is regarded as the most mystical.
Legend has it that the one who finds the ring will become the ruler of the world.
2. Ring of Gyges
According to the Greek philosopher Plato, the Ring of Gyges was a magic ring that made its wearer invisible. When given a ring, a shepherd named Gyges becomes invisible and anonymous. Through his invisibility he seduces a queen, kills the king, and takes the kingdom. This poses the moral question of whether a person with such a power would misuse it for evil deeds.
3. Ring of the Nibelung
“Der Ring des Nibelungen”, four music dramas (grand operas) by German composer Richard Wagner, that were based on the classic Norse myths and German heroic poetry.
Wagner made a lot of changes to the story in order to make it suitable for his four operas. The story tells of a hoard of gold which is being guarded by the Rhinemaidens. The dwarf Alberich steals the gold and uses some of it to make a ring which makes the owner powerful over all the world. When Wotan, the chief god, steals it from him, Alberich puts a curse on the ring. The ring will bring death to whoever has it. The ring goes through the hands of several characters, all of whom die in the end.
4. The Kingmoor Ring (also Greymoor Hill Ring)
The Kingmoor Ring was found at Greymoor Hill, near Kingmoor by a young man who came across it in the ground.
The inscription on it reads:
᛭ᚨᚱᛦᚱᛁᚢᚠᛚᛏᛦᚱᛁᚢᚱᛁᚦᚩᚾᚷᛚᚨᚴᛏᚨᛈᚩᚾ / ᛏᚨᚿ
The inscription amounts to a total of 30 signs, its meaning has not been fully deciphered but it is believed to be of magical nature – likely a spell of healing or regeneration.
5. Howard Carter’s Ring of Protection
Howard Carter was the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. At the time, everybody was surprised because of the fact that the curse of King Tut’s tomb did not affect the archaeologist. Carter said that his ring protected him against all harmful influences. The ring was adorned with geometric symbols which were placed and balanced according to the principles of esoteric knowledge. The design was meant to protect a person from danger, curses, and black magic. Today, the ring is known as “the ring of Ra” and it is believed that it was originally designed by the people of the lost city of Atlantis. According to the same theory, Egyptians are regarded to be the descendants of these people.
In Norse mythology, Draupnir is a gold ring possessed by the god Odin with the ability to multiply itself: Every 9th night, it duplicates itself by creating eight perfect copies, each one of the same size and weight as the original.
7. Genghis Khan’s Ring
Genghis Khan, the great Mongol ruler, knew how to take advantage of magic. In the 12th century, he reigned over the great Mongolian Empire and some believe this is due to a powerful magic ring. The ring had a ruby engraved with a magic Indian symbol and it was worn by both Genghis Khan as well as by his nephew. Some claim that this symbol actually comes from Hyperborea, the long lost continent. As for the ring of Genghis Khan, many Asian archaeologists are still looking for it.
8. The One Ring (“The Lord of the Rings”)
Probably the most famous fiction ring of all times, it is a central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. It is a solid gold band that looks like any ordinary ring, until cast into fire; once in flames, glowing inscriptions appear on it. Also it can change in size by its own will. The Ring’s primary power was control of the other Rings and domination of the wills of their users. Granting the wearer invisibility, the One Ring also used to strengthen the wearer’s power.
9. Green Lantern Ring
Green Lantern’s ring, considered to be one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Depending on the skill and willpower of the wearer, it can do almost anything if the wielder’s willpower is strong enough. It has the ability to affect and use forces like gravity, radiation, heat, light etc. Most commonly, a Green Lantern Ring is used to shoot energy beams, fly, translate all languages, and create green light energy constructs.
10. Sorcerer’s Apprentice Ring
The title character and his mentor use the rings to focus their magical powers. Like magical wands in other fantasy fiction, magic rings function as instruments for sorcerers to channel their powers with magic inside the ring. It projects electromagnetic energy into the physical world. The magic ring gives the sorcerer who wields it better advantages.
11. Dracula’s Ring
It first makes an appearance in Son of Dracula (1943), where it was worn by John Carradine. Then the ring made its way to Bela Lugosi’s finger in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Later Christopher Lee wore it in other Dracula movies. This extravagant signet ring with a blood-red ruby set into it, was designed with the arms crest of Dracula’s lineage. Crest rings traditionally reflect the pride and dignity of a family name and history.
12. The Yellow and Green Rings (The Chronicles of Narnia)
In “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew”, yellow and green magic finger rings were created to respectively transport people to and from the Wood between the Worlds. These rings were created by the magician “Uncle Andrew” with the help of magical dust from Atlantis.
13. The Mandarin’s Rings
The Mandarin is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books. He is one of Iron Man’s most destructive enemies. The Mandarin is a badass athlete with tremendous skills in various martial arts. His principal personal weapons are the 10 rings which he wears on the fingers of both hands. The Mandarin learned how to make the rings respond to his mental commands. On his left hand he wears Ice Blast, Mento-Intensifier, Electro-Blast, Flame Blast, and White Light. On his right hand, Black Light, Disintegration Beam, Vortex Beam, Impact Beam, and Matter Rearranger.
14. Singing Ring (The 10th Kingdom)
And last but not least, the most adorable ring in all ten Kingdoms! A singing engagement ring from the movie “The 10th Kingdom”, that grands a lifetime love guarantee!
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