The Ring of Barahir was an ornate silver ring given to Barahir by the Elven king Finrod Felagund, in reward for saving his life in the Dagor Bragollach. It was a sign of eternal friendship between Finrod and the House of Barahir, and became an heirloom of Barahir's kin.
The ring was described as the likeness of two serpents intertwined with eyes made of green jewels. This was the symbol of the House of Finarfin. The serpents met beneath a crown of golden flowers that one upheld and one devoured. The jewels, at least, were crafted in Valinor and sometimes seemed to burn with green fire.
(…) green jewels gleamed there that the Ñoldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.
Tolkien described the ring in verse in the Lay of Leithian:
Proud are the words, and all there turned
to see the jewels green that burned
in Beren’s ring. These Gnomes had set
as eyes of serpents twined that met
beneath a golden crown of flowers,
that one upholds and one devours:
the badge that Finrod made of yore
and Felagund his son now bore.
While the Ring of Barahir was not known to contain any magic or power, it is notable as one of the oldest crafted objects in Middle-earth. Lasting through the War of the Ring but having been crafted in or before the First Age, the Ring of Barahir was thousands of years older than any of the Rings of Power. The Palantíri however, are cited by Gandalf as being forged possibly by Fëanor, which would place their origin in the Age of the Trees.
- " There King Finrod Felagund, hastening from the south, was cut off from his people and surrounded with small company in the Fen of Serech; and he would have been slain or taken, but Barahir came up with the bravest of his men and rescued him, and made a wall of spears about him; and they cut their way out of the battle with great loss. Thus Felagund escaped, and returned to his deep fortress of Nargothrond; but he swore an oath of abiding friendship and aid en every need to Barahir and all his kin, and in token of his vow he gave to Barahir his ring."
- —The Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
The ring was forged by the Ñoldor in Valinor, at some point prior to the beginning of the First Age. It was brought to Middle-earth by Finrod Felagund as an heirloom of the House of Finarfin. Finrod carried the ring until the year FA 455, when Barahir, an Edain, saved his life during the Dagor Bragollach. Finrod gave Barahir the ring as a sign of friendship between himself and Barahir's house.
Barahir would bear the ring for the remainder of his life, until he was waylaid by orcs led by Gorgol, who took Barahir's hand and ring. Both hand and ring, however, were retrieved by Barahir's son Beren when he avenged his father. Beren laid the hand to rest with his father's remains, but kept and wore the ring. Beren later used the ring to prove his lineage to Thingol when he first entered Doriath and again when he sought Finrod's help in the quest for the Silmaril.
The ring was passed from Beren in direct line to Dior, then his daughter Elwing and her son Elros, who brought it to Númenor during the Second Age. It was an heirloom of the kings of Númenor until Tar-Elendil gave the ring to his eldest daughter Silmariën, who was not allowed to succeed him on the throne. She in turn gave the ring to her son Valandil, first Lord of Andúnië. It was handed down to succeeding Lords of Andúnië to the last one, Elendil.
In the Third Age the ring was again passed in direct line from Elendil, to Isildur, to the Kings of Arnor, and then Kings of Arthedain. The last King of Arthedain, Arvedui, gave the ring to the Lossoth of Forochel; thankful for the help he received from them. It was later ransomed from the Snowmen by the Dúnedain of the North, after which it was kept safe at Rivendell.
Eventually, it was given by Elrond to Aragorn, son of Arathorn, when he was told of his true name and lineage, together with the shards of Narsil. In 2980 of the Third Age, in Lórien, Aragorn gave the ring to Arwen Undómiel at their betrothal.
Nothing is said of the fate of the Ring of Barahir in the Fourth Age, but it was most likely either again passed to the Kings of Gondor and Arnor, descendants of Aragorn and Arwen, or it went with Arwen to her grave in Cerin Amroth.
Portrayal in adaptations
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Afrikaans||Ring van Barahir|
|Albanian||Unaza e Barahir-it|
|Amharic||ሪንግ ኦፍ ባራሂር|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Кольца Барахира|
|Breton||Gwalenn o Barahir ?|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Пръстен на Барахир|
|Catalan||L'Anell de Bàrahir|
|Cebuano||Singsing sa Barahir|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||巴拉漢之戒|
|Cornish||Besow Barahir ?|
|Dutch||Ring van Barahir|
|Esperanto||Ringo de Barahir|
|Filipino||Singsing ni Barahir|
|French||Anneau de Barahir|
|Galician||Anel de Barahir|
|Greek||Δαχτυλίδη του Μπάραχιρ|
|Gujarati||બારાહિરની રિંગ ?|
|Hausa||Zobe na Barahir|
|Hindi||ड़िङ ओफ़ बरहिर्|
|Hmong||Nplhaib ntawm Barahir|
|Igbo||Mgbanaka nke Barahir|
|Italian||Anello di Barahir|
|Irish Gaelic||Fáinne de Barahir|
|Kazakh||Бараһірің сақинасы (Cyrillic) Barahiriñ saqïnası (Latin)|
|Kurdish||Qulp ji Barahir (Latin)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Бараhир шакеги ?|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Прстен на Барахир|
|Maltese||Ċirku ta ' Barahir|
|Marathi||बाराहायर्स रिंग ?|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Бараhир-ийн бөгж|
|Portuguese||Anel de Barahir|
|Romanian||Inelul lui Barahir|
|Scottish Gaelic||Fàinne de Barahir|
|Serbian||Барахиров прстен (Cyrillic) Barahirov prsten (Latin)|
|Spanish||Anillo de Barahir|
|Tajik Cyrillic||Ринги Барахир|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Кільце Барахіра|
|Urdu||بارہیروں کی انگوٹی ?|
|Uzbek||Бараҳир Халққа (Cyrillic) Barahir Xalqqa (Latin)|
|Vietnamese||Nhẫn của Barahir|
|Yiddish||רינג פון באַראַהיר|
- The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
- The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIII: "Of the Return of the Noldor"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. III: The Lays of Beleriand, chapter IV: "The Lay of Leithian Recommenced"
- Unfinished Tales, Part Two: The Second Age, Chapter I: "A Description of the Island of Númenor", note 2
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I. "The Númenorean Kings", iii. "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands) "The Third Age"