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.

It is known that Durin III received the Ring of Thrór, the first of the Seven Dwarf-rings. Who were the other six dwarves? And what happened to their rings?


2 Answers 2


Who the other 6 were exactly is unknown.

As you said, one of the rings was given to Durin III, known as the "Ring of Thror", and was passed down the line of Durin for thousands of years before Sauron recaptured it in the Third Age, during Thrain II's capture in Dol Guldur. As for who the other rings belonged to, the most we can go by is that they were "Dwarf-kings" and most likely the kings of the Seven Houses, as said by Gandalf:

Seven the Dwarf-kings possessed, but three he has recovered, and the others the dragons have consumed. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter II, A Shadow of the Past

It is also worth noting from the above quote that three were recovered by Sauron, including Thror's Ring. That means 4 were consumed by dragons, between their coming in T.A. 2570 and T.A. 2845 when the last ring, Thror's Ring, was claimed.

There, unfortunately, isn't much else written about the Seven Rings and who received them, when they were lost and how they were taken.

An interesting read speculating on how Sauron gave the Seven Rings to the Dwarven kings was written by Michael Martinez, the renowned Tolkien scholar, on his blog.

  • 1
    I think you are wrong in dating the destruction of four rings by dragons to the period from 2570 to 2845. Moria was abandoned centuries before TA 2570 and a statement in The Tale of the Years indicates it was the last of the seven main dwarf kingdoms to fall, so that dragons should have destroyed the other six main dwarf kingdoms before Moria fell to the Balrog, and melted four of the rings while burning their wearers. The later wave of dragon attacks would have been on Dwarf communities built by refugees from the seven original dwarf kingdoms. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 20:13
  • 1
    @M.A.Golding --- What is the date of the Tale of Years entry that you are referring to? I can't find it. The entry for TA2570 states that dragons reappear 'about this time' and the entry for 2845 says that the last of the seven is taken from Thrain, so it looks like Edlothiad is correct to me. Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 21:23
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    @M.A.Golding Unfortunately that isn't correct, and I'm going to trust Michael Martinez, the Tolkien Scholar, on this as opposed to yourself.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 22:29
  • @Ian Thompson The introduction to the Third Age says: "...The Dwarves hid themselves in deep places, guarding their hoards; but when evil began to stir again and dragons reappeared, one by one their ancient treasures were plundered. Moria for long remained secure but its numbers dwindled until many of its vast mansions were dark and empty..." This indicates the other 6 Dwarf cities were destroyed by dragons before Moria was abandoned in TA 1981. Continued Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 17:06
  • @Ian Thompson Continued. "TA 1977 Frungor leads the Eotheod into the North". Appendix A II "The House of Eorl" says: "...Of his son Fram, they tell that he slew Scatha, the great dragon of the Erad Mithrim, and the land had peace from the long-worms afterwards. Thus Fram won great wealth, but was at feud with the Dwarves, who claimed the hoard of Scatha...". So clearly there was an earlier wave of dragon attacks, including capturing hoards of Dwarf wealth, in the previous millennium before the later wave of dragon attacks that began in 2570. Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 17:17

In fact, nothing concrete is known about how the dwarven rings were disbursed—including the identities of the dwarven kings who received them. It seems to be "common knowledge" in most discussions of Tolkien's legendarium that Sauron captured the nine rings of men and the seven rings of dwarves and then distributed them. However, it is also known that the Longbeards of the House of Durin claimed that they received their ring directly from the elven craftsmen, and evidently there is no direct evidence to prove this assertion wrong. (Out of universe, Tolkien Gateway accepts the Longbeard's claims at face value.)

So it is not even known with certainty how many of the rings Sauron captured. Tolkien was not clear on this point, and he may have changed his mind—or been deliberately unclear on the issue. Moreover, the "conventional wisdom" about how Sauron may have given the rings to the dwarves suffers from several inconsistencies. While it is often asserted that the rings captured by Sauron (which may have numbered up to sixteen) were all intended for use by the elves, this claim has some problems. In particular, if the smiths of Eregion had already given one of the rings to Durin's Folk, this is prima facia evidence against the assertion that the the Rings of Power were intended purely for use by the elves. Moreover, if Sauron had possession of fifteen(-ish) rings, with the potential to transform their wearers into Nazgûl, it seems illogical for the dark lord to have wasted some of the rings on the dwarves, at least once it became clear that the dwarven wielders were not that susceptible to his influence. What's more, even after recovering two or three of the rings, Sauron never apparently redistributed them to other men to create new minions.

These problems with the usual narrative that some commentators have tried to extract from Tolkien's fragmentary writings are serious. Ultimately, since Tolkien never gave a clear account of whether the rings were originally "attuned" to the dwarven race, or how they ended up in the hands of specific dwarven lords, the nature and history of the dwarvish rings will necessarily remain a cipher.

  • 2
    There are some rather glaring errors in your answer. Firstly, you say "evidently there is no direct evidence to prove this assertion wrong." This is untrue, in Of Celeborn and Galadriel, it is stated that Celebrimbor gave up all the other 16 rings but the 3 Elven ones under torture from Sauron. Secondly, it is repeatedly stated that Sauron reclaimed all 16 and redistributed them in some form. It wasn't illogical for Sauron to "waste" them on Dwarves. He'd hoped it would have the same effect on them and he could turn their people to his side, unfortunately Dwarven hearts proved too stubborn..
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 15:13
  • 1
    Sauron was trying to retain as much power from the rings as possible. It is often stated that Sauron in fact held the 9 rings of the Nazgul in his possession and needed them to control the Nazgul. Tolkien never suggests they were "attuned" to the Dwarven race. They were originally intended to seduce the Elves, as Sauron hated them. This idea exists throughout the history of the development of Middle-Earth as is found in HoME. You repeatedly state that "some commentators..." or "common knowledge" yet are unable to provide any citations to support the arguments you've made here.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 15:16
  • @Edlothiad Those parts of the history that you mention were never edited to make them consistent with the published Lord of the Rings. Their canonicity thus cannot be accepted.
    – Buzz
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 1:10
  • 4
    You yourself state “Tolkien wasn’t clear” except he was quite clear, in his later writings and notes on those writings he states quite deliberately what happens to Celebrimbor. Because you don’t accept their canonicity doesn’t mean they don’t exist in Tolkien’s Legendarium. One must take all versions of a work into consideration and it’s developmental history to provide a complete and concrete answer. Not make up claims about what is “common knowledge”...
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 7:19
  • @Buzz - The common knowledge and direct evidence is Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age from the published Silmarillion. See my answer to Was Frodo able to see that Gandalf wore Narya and Elrond wore Vilya?: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/260387/144448
    – Lesser son
    Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 23:03

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