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In the videogame "Middle-Earth: Shadow of War" the opening scene shows Talion, really Celebrimbor, forging a second Ring of Power to combat the original One Ring.

My question is whether this is completely made up for game purpose or if there is some obscure reference to it in some of the appendixes or anything of the sort.

  • 26
    No. There’s is no evidence of this. – Neithan Jan 12 '18 at 17:48
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    about the only things that are 'real' in the game are some of the character names. Even their depictions are wildly divergent from canon cough Shelob cough – NKCampbell Jan 12 '18 at 18:06
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    I do believe Tolkien called it the One Ring for a reason... he was a linguist, after all. I think he knew how to use the English language. – Kevin Jan 12 '18 at 18:13
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    If you're playing the "Middle-Earth: Shadow of ..." games for Tolkien canonicity... don't. They're a lot of fun, and setting them in Middle Earth allows them to shortcut a lot of worldbuilding and character building (and thus focus on making interesting and fun gameplay systems!), but it's meant to benefit from its connection to the legendarium, not to supplement the legendarium itself. – Tin Man Jan 12 '18 at 18:57
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    "...One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne; In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. And the Other for the Dark Lord's cousin Acron on his pale brown throne; because the Dark Lord's grandmother is always saying he should think of his family more and include Acron in things and sometimes it's easier to forge another ring of power in the fires of Mount Doom than to argue with grandmother. One Ring to rule them all. And the Other one to just make Acron feel included without giving him any real power. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie." – Todd Wilcox Jan 12 '18 at 23:33
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Almost certainly made up for the game

Celebrimbor made three Rings of Power for the Elves (the three Elven Rings worn by Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel at the time of the War of the Ring). However none of them was a second "One Ring to rule them all".

In those days the smiths of Ost-in-Edhil surpassed all that they had contrived before; and they took thought, and they made Rings of Power. But Sauron guided their labours, and he was aware of all that they did;

The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Page 287 (George Allen and Unwin 1977 hardback edition)

It's hard to prove a negative, but there is certainly nothing in the Appendix of The Lord of the Rings about a second One Ring. I don't recall reading any reference to such a thing in The Letters, or any of the books published by Christopher Tolkien.

If such a Ring had existed, Elrond would surely know about it, and it would have been discussed at the Council of Elrond. In fact this is all Elrond says about the forging of the Rings:

Then all listened while Elrond in his clear voice spoke of Sauron and the Rings of Power, and their forging in the Second Age of the world long ago. A part of his tale was known to some there, but the full tale to none, and many eyes were turned to Elrond in fear and wonder as he told of the Elven-smiths of Eregion and their friendship with Moria, and their eagerness for knowledge, by which Sauron ensnared them. For in that time he was not yet evil to behold, and they received his aid and grew mighty in craft, whereas he learned all their secrets, and betrayed them, and forged secretly in the Mountain of Fire the One Ring to be their master. But Celebrimbor was aware of him, and hid the Three which he had made; and there was war, and the land was laid waste, and the gate of Moria was shut.

The Lord of the Rings Book Two, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond
Page 242 (Single volume 50th Anniversary Edition)

I have to conclude that this was made up only for the game.

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    Further proof that there was not a second ring is that Sauron had to pour much of his own power into the One Ring to give it the power that it had. Celebrimbor lacks any comparable power with which to imbue into a second ring to make it anything near worthy of combatting Sauron's. – Mwr247 Jan 12 '18 at 18:21
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    Mwr247- What makes you believe that Celembrimbor doesn't hold that much power? In came context his spirit is blasted out of Talion's body upon the last hammerfall. I mean, Cele is the one who forged all 17 of the lesser rings... I know Sauron is a Maia, but does this make such difference in the forging process? Not trying to nitpick, serious inquiry. – Profetik One Jan 12 '18 at 18:39
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    Sadly, regarding the games, I'd recommend assuming any given plot point is not canon until proven otherwise. – Harris Jan 12 '18 at 18:48
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    @ProfetikOne Because the concept of "power levels" is pretty well recognized in Tolkien lore. Simplified: Iluvatar > Vala > Maia > Elves/Men/etc. There's breakdowns and exceptions within that, but by the very nature of their beings, Celembrimbor (an Elf) shouldn't have anywhere near enough power to imbue into a ring capable of standing against Sauron's. Ring forging is one thing, imbuing with one's own power is another. – Mwr247 Jan 12 '18 at 18:53
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    @Mwr247 There've been a few elves, who would seem to have been comparable in power to at least Maiar, at least in some ways... Celebrimbor was a grandson of Fëanor, and a master smith, so him having enough power to create such a ring doesn't seem too outlandish. Of course, I'm not saying this makes the game plot any more canon. – hyde Jan 12 '18 at 21:43
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Perhaps... But probably not canon

The idea for a second One Ring may have come from Tolkien himself.

In the Forward to the Second Edition, Tolkien states that The Lord of the Rings is not an allegory for World War II or anything else for that matter. If he had wanted it to be a retelling of the war, it might have included:

Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth.

While it doesn't resemble the plot of the video game, it does provide the suggestion that there could be a second One Ring.

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    @ProfetikOne In the movie, he is killed shortly after the fall of Isen. In the books, his death is within one of the several "sub-endings" after the primary climax of the tale. – Michael Richardson Jan 12 '18 at 19:41
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    Note that Gandalf mentions that Saruman was wearing a ring at the time that Gandalf was captured; the implication is that Saruman has been attempting to craft rings of power, but has not yet figured out how to make a really powerful one. – Eric Lippert Jan 12 '18 at 19:55
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    @ProfetikOne The Isen is a river. Isenguard is the overall fortification and tower that Saruman lived in for a long time, with Orthanc being the name of the tower itself. In the books, Saruman was killed after The Scouring of the Shire - really his death and the death of Grima Wormtongue are the conclusion of the scouring. I don't know when or if Saruman dies in the movies. – Todd Wilcox Jan 12 '18 at 19:57
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    It should be noted that Saruman is a Maia, so he presumably would have the inherent power to put into such a Great Ring. At least he and Sauron would be on the same scale of power, compared to Celebrimbor. – cjc Jan 12 '18 at 22:14
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    The point of this quote is that it is not what Tolkien wrote in The Lord of The Rings, but what he would have had to write to make it an allegory of World War II. His whole point is that this is very different from what he did write, so any conclusions drawn from this counterfactual suggestion have nothing to do with the actual canon and are merely sowing confusion. In particular, we cannot conclude that Saruman could have forged an equally powerful Great Ring. – PJTraill Jan 12 '18 at 23:43
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No

The idea of creating another ring in order to oppose it to the One Ring is alien to the way Tolkien built the world. See, one of the plot points of the Lord of the Rings is that the One Ring (designed to slave the other Rings) is defeated, not by a big army, but by a weak halfling. The army going to war against Mordor was just a decoy, they were sacrificing themselves hoping that Frodo could complete his mission.

A second character like Sauron or Saruman would indeed attempt to forge another Ring of power -if technically able- to fight force with force (and the Middle-Earth could end up enslaved by the bearer of this second ring instead of Sauron), but it's not how the white side behaved (despite all his limitations and sins).

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    Good until your last paragraph. Celebrimbor and all wearing the 3 were immediately aware of the one which is why they took their rings off and Sauron's plan failed. – MikeJRamsey56 Jan 13 '18 at 2:55
  • @MikeJRamsey56 removed – Ángel Jan 16 '18 at 23:38

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