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J.R.R. Tolkien - Vilya.jpg
Vilya by J.R.R. Tolkien
PronunciationQ, [ˈviʎa]
Other namesThe Blue Ring, Ring of Air, Ring of Sapphire
LocationEregion, Lindon, Rivendell
OwnerCelebrimbor, Gil-galad, Elrond
AppearanceRing of gold with a great blue sapphire
Eregion, c. S.A. 1590
GalleryImages of Vilya

Vilya was one of the Rings of Power, specifically one of the "Three Rings for the Elven Kings under the sky".

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Vilya was made of gold with a great blue[1] sapphire[2]. It was also called the Ring of Sapphire[2], the Ring of Air[2][3] or the Blue Ring.[3] Vilya was the most powerful of the three rings of the Elves[1] and like the other two had the power to prevent decay through the effect of time and to postpone the weariness of the world.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Around S.A. 1200, Sauron took on a fair form and went to the elven city of Eregion and pretended to be an emissary of the Valar called Annatar. Gil-galad did not allow Sauron or his emissaries to enter the elven Kingdom of Lindon and Galadriel scorned Sauron, but Sauron was accepted as an instructor by Celebrimbor, the Lord of Eregion, and by the other elven smiths in Eregion and taught them how to forge rings of power. After the smiths of Eregion started to make the rings of power Sauron left Eregion around S.A. 1500 and returned to Mordor.

By S.A. 1590,[4] Celebrimbor had forged all Three Rings of the Elves alone, but with knowledge that he had gained from Annatar. As a result, none of the Three Rings were stained by the evil of Sauron. However, like all the Rings of the Elves, Vilya was still under Sauron's influence when he wielded The One Ring, which held dominion over all the others.

When Sauron forged the One Ring and put it on his finger around S.A. 1600[5] Celebrimbor[6] and the other Elves became aware of his plan to be the master of the wearers of the rings and took off their rings[2] and Celebrimbor revolted against Sauron.[3] After Sauron became aware of the revolt of Celebrimbor, he prepared a war against the Elves to take the Rings of Power by force. When Sauron started his war agains the Elves in S.A. 1693,[5] Celebrimbor went to Lothlórien to discuss the situation with Galadriel, who advised him to hide the rings and disperse them far from Eregion. At that time Galadriel received Nenya from Celebrimbor, while Vilya and Narya were sent by Celebrimbor to Gil-galad in Lindon.[3]:237 In S.A. 1697,[5] Sauron destroyed Eregion, captured and tortured Celebrimbor and had him killed after he only told him of the location of the Nine Rings and the Seven Rings, but did not tell him the location of the Three Rings of the Elves.[3] Sauron was eventually defeated and driven out of Eriador in S.A. 1701.[5]

After the defeat of Sauron, a Council was held in Imladris, and the place was chosen to be the Elven stronghold of the East. Gil-Galad gave Vilya to Elrond and appointed him to be his vice-regent in Eridaor.[3]:239 Elrond hid Vilya and never used it openly as long as Sauron was in possession of the One Ring. However, the power of Vilya was always used to create mirth and to prevent things from being changed by the effect of time. For this reason at the end of the Third Age it was known to the Elves that the Ring of Sapphire was kept by Elrond in Rivendell.[2]

Upon Sauron's defeat and the destruction of the One Ring in T.A. 3019,[7] Vilya lost its power and it went over the sea along with Elrond at the end of the Third Age.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

vilya is a Quenya word for "air, sky".[8] However, as Paul Strack notices, given how the names of the other Elven rings are formed, it could be the combination of root WIL + -ya (adjetival suffix).[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens", p. 1028
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year c. 1590, p. 1083
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", p. 1083
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 253
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, p. 1085
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing", "The Fëanorian Letters", Note, The names of the letters, p. 1123
  9. Paul Strack, "Q. Vilya pn.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 29 April 2021)

Rings of Power
The One Ring | Three Rings (Narya · Nenya · Vilya) | Seven Rings (Ring of Thrór) | Nine Rings