July 11, 2001

The Seven and the Nine
Michael G.W.

Tolkien implies that the "nine" and the "seven" were not forged by the Elves to belong to any particular race. He said, "Sauron gathered into his hands all the remaining rings of power [after the three were hid] and dealt them out to the other peoples of Middle-Earth, hoping thus to bring under his sway all those that desired secret power beyond the measure of their kind. Seven he gave to the Dwarves, but to Men he gave nine, for men proved in this matter as in others the readiest to his will." which says to me that he had a choice in the matter. Later, since the Dwarves were not enslaved, he regretted dealing the seven out to them,  and by force or guile recovered three of them (the other four were consumed by dragons).

Note: It is the belief of the dwarves that The elves of Eregion gave one of the "seven" to the Kingdom of Khazad-dum directly, which makes sense, since it would have been hard for Sauron to give a ring to a kingdom which was allied with Eregion (and that hated him enough to fight against him in the Last Alliance). But the literal translation of the quote above would indicate that this was not the case.