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Suleiman-bin-Daoud was strong. Upon the third finger of the right hand he wore a ring. When he turned it once, Afrits and Djinns came out of the earth to do whatever he told them. When he turned it twice, Fairies came down from the sky to do whatever he told them; and when he turned it three times, the very great angel Azrael of the Sword came dressed as a water-carrier, and told him the news of the three worlds,—Above—Below—and Here.
Just So Stories, "The Butterfly That Stamped"
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Rings imbued with some kind of Functional Magic or Phlebotinum, giving them powers usually to a supernatural degree.

These rings can have many uses, for good or evil, although invisibility is a particularly common power. They can be extremely fancy or deceptively simple. They can be passed down as an heirloom, or found in a Cracker Jack box.

Either way, these rings are of great use to whoever holds them, assuming they are safe to use, if you don't care for the cost, and if it allows you to use it. Don't be surprised if you have trouble getting it off.

Unrelated to Rings of Death, which are more like hoops. Though distinct, may overlap with Amplifier Artifact if the ring also enhances already possessed powers.

Compare Mask of Power, Tricked-Out Gloves, Crystal Skull.

See also Ancient Artifact (other items that can give the wielder power), Magical Accessory (other pieces of magical jewelry).

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Rose Seals in Revolutionary Girl Utena were not inherently powerful, but they did grant the ability to duel for the power to revolutionize the world.
  • Shamal's Klarwind in Lyrical Nanoha. Rings that possess powerful healing magic, highly advanced sensors that can detect things that even Mid-Childa's military radars couldn't, some teleportation and communication capabilities, and energy strings that can restrain a target when she needs to join the battle.
  • Words Worth: Maria's ring which she uses to channel and enhance her power. While it doesn't have a name, it's a family heirloom that once belonged her mother. So it has sentimental value as well as magic enhacing ability.
  • The ring that Evangeline gives Negi in Negima! Magister Negi Magi as a gift from master to student, which serves as a more compact Magic Wand compared to his Simple Staff, letting him cast spells with his hands free.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, small Philosopher's Stones are sometimes set into rings and used to provide a significant boost to an Alchemist's natural skills.
  • The Mafia Rings in Reborn! (2004) allow one to produce a Dying Will Flame for various uses, whether coating a weapon in flames, or opening a Box Weapon. A better example is the Trinisette, or 7^3, which is the twenty-one most powerful rings in the world, the Vongola Rings, the Mare Rings, and the Arcobaleno Pacifiers. The Trinisette serve as somewhat of a McGuffin during the Future Arc, where Byakuran plans to collect all twenty-one to destroy the world and remake it in his image.
  • Kamichama Karin has the "kamika rings", rings that channel the powers of the Greek gods.
  • Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo has the manager's ring, which in the series belongs to Ureshiko, and makes her far stronger than any other Magical Girl in the series. A large part of the plot revolves around the throne shift from her to Cruje, which involves handing the ring over to her.
  • In Rozen Maiden, the rings given to mediums serve to drain their power/life force instead for the doll to use.
  • In The Familiar of Zero, the villain Oliver Cromwell wears a ring that lets him hypnotize people.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Rings are very common artifact items and can grant immense power.
    • The 2013 base set has a cycle of magic rings for each color — Ring of Evos Isle, Ring of Kalonia, Ring of Thune, Ring of Valkas and Ring of Xathrid — which give the creatures they're given to a special power related to their associated color. The Ring of Evos Isle makes its bearer immune to enemy spells, for instance, while the Ring of Xathrid makes it able to regenerate damage.
    • Aladdin's Ring, despite providing the page image, is Subversion in that it's a terrible card. (Four damage for 8 mana is hilariously underpowered.)
    • Prism Ring allows you to attune yourself to a color of magic and heal when a spell of that color is cast.
    • Ring of Immortals allows you to negate enemy magic.
    • Ring of Three Wishes lets you bring three cards of your choice into the battlefield, representing a character using it to wish for allies, items or magic into existence.
    • Sol Ring, being a powerful mana source, is on the banned list. Sisay's Ring, which does the same thing, remains legal because it costs more mana to use.

    Comic Books 
  • Members of the Green Lantern Corps channel the power from their central power battery through their rings (which they recharge using their lanterns). The other ring-bearing Corps/organisations (being the Red Lantern Corps, Agent Orange, the Sinestro Corps, the Blue Lantern Corps, the Indigo Tribe, the Star Sapphires, the Black Lantern Corps and the bearers of the White Lantern rings) operate in a similar fashion. Even before John Broome created and unveiled the Green Lantern Corps and their rings in 1959, the original character to use the name Green Lantern, Alan Scott, was using a magic ring crafted from a piece of a lantern containing the magic of an entire universe. While it functions in a fashion similar to the rings of the various Lantern Corps, it also let him distort time, teleport, turn intangible or invisible, shrink objects, and more, though it also possessed a different weakness; wood and plant matter.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: The Legion rings grant the power of flight to those who do not possess it as an innate ability.
  • The Fly: The Fly gains his powers by rubbing a magic ring.
  • Superboy: Lana Lang was given a ring by an alien that allowed her to become the superheroine Insect Queen. She later became an honorary member of The Legion Of Super-Heroes.
  • Iron Man: The Mandarin's power comes from the ten rings he wields, each with its own specific built-in superpower.
  • In the Valiant Universe, alien armors such as the XO Man-O-War are summoned and controlled by special rings.
  • Diamond Jack, from Slam Bang Comics, had a ring that gave him several superpowers including super strength, invulnerability and the ability to create anything he could imagine.
  • Peter Ward became the superhero the Scarab by rubbing a mystical ring.
  • Wonder Man, a character from Fox Comics, got his powers, which included super strength, from a magical ring.
  • Craig Carter, from Wham Comics, had a ring that could summon mythological figures.
  • Atom Blake, from Wow Comics, received a magical ring that granted wishes.
  • Echo, who appeared in Yankee Comics and The Weekender, had a ring that allowed him to shoot beams from his eyes.
  • Thesson, Son of the Gods, got his superpowers from a ring.
  • In the CrossGen series Way of the Rat, there are several magical rings that grant their bearers mastery over certain types of weapons. The protagonist Boon Sai Hong is the destined bearer of the Ring of Staffs, making him a consummate master of fighting with staves. Boon briefly wore the Ring of Blades after defeating its previous owner Bhuto Khan but eventually passed it on to Silken Ghost. Before the series was cancelled due to CrossGen going bankrupt, a third ring was introduced, the Ring of Fists.
  • Marvel's young superhero Freedom Ring possesses a ring with a shard of a Cosmic Cube in it, allowing him to manipulate reality in a radius of 15 feet around himself. The skrull superhero Crusader inherits it after Freedom Ring's death.
  • In The Courageous Princess, Princess Mabelrose steals it from her dragon kidnapper's horde, but never really figures out what it does. It hides the mind of the wearer, which is quite useful as the furiously pursuing dragon is capable of reading minds.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: The Lords of Negation are Haazheel Thorn's most elite soldiers, and are controlled by him through several mind control rings. When Wismerhill turns against Haazheel, he has Shamballeau build other rings that will negate their effect. It works for a moment, but as soon as Haazheel notices this he destroys the second rings in swift order.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Dr. Finitevus is the creator of the Warp Rings. He wears them on his arms and legs, and uses them to teleport to different locations.
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    Fan Works 
  • George's shapeshifting ring in With Strings Attached.
    • Not real powerful, but the masking rings (and Paul's masking collar) that the four get in The Keys Stand Alone.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • The first book makes mention of Alan Scott's Green Lantern Ring, which was wielded by the man himself in opposition to a pre Heel–Face Turn Magneto during the 70's and 80's and against whatever the hell was unleashed by Project Pegasus. Unfortunately, Alan retired from SHIELD, handed in the ring, then was killed during the Battle of New York. Fortunately, Doctor Strange swiped it, then gave it to a suitable successor - Carol Danvers. The only catch was that he didn't tell her what it actually was.
      • Unfinished Business just how terrifyingly powerful the Ring was really capable of being, especially when in the hands of an expert or up against its Evil Counterpart, Pandora's Box, as wielded by Nimue. The ensuing battle royale ends up unleashing enough magic that it terraforms Mars. As a side-effect.
    • In Ghosts of the Past, the altered First Task involves the four Champions each seeking an enchanted ring in an abandoned underground fortress, braving traps, and monsters on the way. Numerous references to The Lord of the Rings are made, primarily by Harry, who is wryly amused to find that his ring is a simple gold one, just like the One Ring, and recites part of the Ring Verse — a reference that gains additional significance when one considers that while Lord of the Rings is fiction In-Universe, it's fiction based on reality (Loki took a liking to Tolkien — who was implied to have some ability as a Seer — and gave him a tour of the Nine Realms). The rings themselves, however, don't seem to be all that powerful, and their only so far displayed function is to lead their bearers out. More significant is the fact that the Task gets hijacked by an Elder Wyrm, a dragon of Surtur's creation which has been slumbering for the last few hundred millennia under the fortress, and its army of Barrow-Wight minions.
  • Keiji Sosano, The Big Bad of the Naruto Fanfic A Father's Wrath in a Shout-Out to The Mandarin above wears eight rings on his fingers that possess power and they are said to have been worn by Jashin.
  • Fan fiction for The Lord of the Rings brings more magic rings and new ring-bearers.
    • In A Far Green Country, Elden's magic ring is a major mystery. When Elden wears this gold ring, he becomes invisible, and the ring whispers hints to him. Fans might wonder how this ring can exist and retain its power, ten years after The Lord of the Rings, when Frodo destroyed another gold ring of invisibility, and the other Great Rings lost their power. Nellas looks at Elden's ring in chapter 4, and more explanation comes in chapter 14.
    • In Vortex, Anne the Ordinary High-School Student finds a silver ring inside her copy of The Return of the King. Wearing it takes her through a vortex to Rivendell in Middle-earth, and transforms her into an elf. Removing it returns her to Delaware and reverses the transformation. The ring also slows time in the other world, so Anne is not absent too long.
    • Taylor Hebert re-forging the Great Rings (starting with the Three, then the Seven...) is the driving plot point of Ring-Maker.
  • In Communication, Louise's requests for Colette to summon artifacts for particular purposes tends to take the form of these:
    • The Truthseeker's Ring: a ring capable of detecting lies, dishonest body language, and more.
    • Anneatné: a navy blue ring lined with gold with a spherical Waterstone as the focal point. It gives the wearer perfect health.
    • Black Step: a gold, silver and black ring with a braided design. It allows the user to teleport short distances.
    • The Piscines: a set of sixteen white rings veined with blue. They fortify the body, providing resistance to damage, poisons and a minor healing factor. They also have an empathetic link between each other.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Soria Moria Castle, he gets a ring to let him go to his parents and return. Alas, he talks of the princesses there, and they come and take it from them.
  • A very similar example to the above in The Gold Mountain, where the hero is given a wishing ring to take him home to his parents, and accidentally wishes his wife and son there. Incensed, his wife steals the ring while he sleeps and vanishes with their son.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Subverted in Spaceballs. Yogurt tells Lonestar it was a Magic Feather. "Forget the ring! The ring is bupkis! I found it in a Cracker Jack box! The Schwartz is in you, Lonestar! It's in you!" This doesn't explain why Dark Helmet thinks it's important, though.
    • Dark Helmet wears a similar ring through which he focuses his Schwartz, so it's likely that, unlike hero Lone Star, he was never told the ring was just a toy and truly believes the ring is the source of power. At the same time, Barf probably would have preferred Yogurt not to have wasted time putting on the ring when moving that statue...
  • In The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the title character and his mentor use them to focus their magical powers (something which the fabled Prime Merlinean can supposedly do without). Despite the mentor's insistence, however, rings are not the only form of foci sorcerers can use: amongst the villains, Horvath uses a cane, Abigail Williams uses a pendant in the shape of a pentagram, and Sun Lok uses a belt buckle. Notably, Horvath makes sure to collect the rings of defeated sorcerers (keeping them on his cane) in order to increase the power of his own magic. In particular, the dragon-shaped ring given to Balthazar by the dying Merlin is supposed to recognize the Prime Merlinean by uncoiling into a tiny dragon and then coiling back into a ring on the person's finger. Presumably, this helps to ensure that the ring always fits the wearer.
  • The big final-act twist of The Phantom is the revelation that the Phantom's signet ring, handed down from father to son for hundreds of years, is a ring of power capable of counteracting the magical artifacts the villain has been collecting.

    Gamebooks 
  • These appear from time to time in the Lone Wolf series.
    • During the Magnakai series, Lone Wolf himself can acquire the Grey Crystal Ring and/or the Psychic Ring. Both rings enhance Lone Wolf's Psychic Powers and protect him from especially nasty psychic attacks.
    • Vonotar the Traitor wears a Power Ring during his final battle with Lone Wolf.
    • In Dawn of the Dragons, a Ring of Power crafted by Naar himself gives a lowly bandit prince the power to match Grandmaster Lone Wolf (a near demigod at this point in the series) in a fight.

    Literature 
  • The Lord of the Rings named this trope with its various rings. The most prominent are the twenty greater rings of power: the exact effects and abilities granted are intentionally vague and vary significantly between the rings. All grant immortality, but with a substantial cost: they were gifts from the Dark Lord Sauron, and all of them are Artifacts Of Doom.
    • The three elven rings all have different powers, while also lacking the awful downsides. Unfortunately, like all the others, they rely on the One Ring to work and begin to fail when it is destroyed. Elrond and Galadriel both have elven rings, as does non-elf Gandalf.
    • The seven given to the dwarves were less effective than Sauron hoped, on account of the dwarves' natural hardiness. As the dwarves' rings were given to dwarven leaders, they were accompanied by great works of art and architecture, but also an obsession with treasure. Four were destroyed by dragon fire, three were returned to Sauron on his comeback tour.
    • The nine rings that were given to humans granted them extended life but not more life, eventually reducing them to wraiths with little strength or will except what Sauron granted them.
    • The One Ring was personally crafted by Sauron to give him dominion over all other rings of power, and control their wielders. This mostly failed because the elves immediately detected the attack and Sauron could not properly control the dwarves. Its most prominent effect on the one who wears it is invisibility; however, it also works very hard to corrupt the wielder. The One Ring proved a double-edged sword, as it effectively became a Soul Jar for Sauron: if he gets it back he can be made whole, but if it's destroyed, he'll fade to nothingness. Its negative effects are slow-acting but tend to cause paranoia, obsessive protectiveness of the ring, and physical mutation of the user into a near-hairless crawling wretch, although this takes a substantial amount of time-based on its four bearers (Isildur, Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo).
    • There were many more Rings of Power than the twenty made famous in the rhyme, but these were Lesser Rings, "mere essays in the craft;" the twenty of the rhyme were Great Rings.
    • When Tolkien rewrote The Hobbit to fit with Lord of the Rings, one of things he changed is calling the One Ring a "ring of power".
  • Arabian Nights:
    • King Solomon's ring appears in a few Arabian Nights engraved with a holy seal that can control djinn.
    • The first djinni to appear in Aladdinnote  is bound to a ring rather than the lamp, though it's less powerful than the djinni of the lamp.
  • As seen in The Ring of Solomon in The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
  • Massha, in Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series, was at the start, a self-described "gimmick magician"; she exclusively used magic rings, bracelets, and other baubles. Later she apprenticed herself to Skeeve in order to learn how to really do magic.
  • In the Chivalric Romance King Horn — and the Child Ballad Hind Horn — Horn is given a magical ring by the princess, who tells him it will change color if he is losing her. This allows him to arrive back in time to prevent her being forced to marry.
  • The Dresden Files have an assortment of magic rings:
    • Harry Dresden, among his other magical gadgets, has a charmed ring that stores up a little bit of kinetic energy every time he moves his arm, which he can release at will as a Megaton Punch or as a blast of kinetic force that packs a bigger punch than what he can easily summon up on his own. As the series progressed and the villains became more powerful, Harry got a few more, including one which is a few rings braided together. He has also been known to just slug people with them, since their weight and makes them double as brass knuckles.
    • Ebenezar McCoy, Harry's second mentor, was at one point noted to have a similar ring for each one of his fingers. It's not entirely clear if these used kinetic force as well, but being a senior wizard with more than two centuries of experience and a lot of power under his belt, Ebenezar could easily cook up some rings that are really scary.
  • In the Carolingian cycle there is a ring that protects the wearer against magic spells and if the owner puts the ring into their mouth, the person becomes invisible.
  • Harry Potter: The Peverell ring. It didn't have a power originally, but was made into a container for the Resurrection Stone by the Gaunts, who were descendants of its creator, Cadmus Peverell. Later, it was transformed into one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, making it both a Hallow and a Horcrux. Also doubles as an Artifact of Death, since Voldemort placed curses on it to prevent it from falling into the hands of his enemies. When Dumbledore was overcome with the urge to touch it (he recognized that it housed the Resurrection Stone, and wanted to use it to see his dead sister, Ariana), he was inflicted by a terminal illness that would kill him in a year.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Phoenix on the Sword", a once-powerful sorcerer laments the loss of his.
    My old-time peers and rivals would stare indeed could they see Thoth-amon of the Ring serving as the slave of an outlander and an outlaw at that; and aiding in the petty ambitions of barons and kings!"
    "You laid your trust in magic and mummery," answered Ascalante carelessly. "I trust my wits and my sword."
    "Wits and swords are as straws against the wisdom of the Darkness," growled the Stygian, his dark eyes flickering with menacing lights and shadows. "Had I not lost the Ring, our positions might be reversed."
    • He ultimately gets the Ring back and proceeds to use it to call down a demon of Set to destroy his tormentor and everyone with him. Conan eventually has to kill it with a phoenix marked sword.
    • The Star of Khorala in "Shadows In Zamboula"
  • In The Magician's Nephew, the prequel to The Chronicles of Narnia, rings are used as teleportation devices between universes. Specifically, one color ring transports you to the Wood Between The Worlds, while another color allows you to travel from the Wood into a universe.
  • Not exactly a Ring of Power, but the Dragon Ring in Septimus Heap fits perfectly.
    • Also, the two-faced ring used by Merrin Meredith and Dom Daniel counts, as it amplifies the dark magic of the wearer.
  • Caballine and Tibernian wizards in The Doctrine Of Labyrinths are seriously blinged-out— the Cabalines wear an expensive ring on each finger. Despite their showy nature, the rings serve a focusing purpose for the wizards, and long use can imbue them with power of their own.
  • In Coiling Dragon, the eponymous ring is a divine artifact that decreases the energy necessary to cast spells, protects the wearer's soul from attacks, and absorbs and refines souls so that the wearer can add their power to their own.
  • In the beginning of Dragon Bones, the family ghost Oreg appears to Ward and gives him his father's ring. Only later does Ward find out that his father is dying, and Oreg is enslaved to the ring - he is now Oreg's new owner. As Oreg is a very powerful mage, that makes the ring a ring of power.
  • The Republic of Plato: To illustrate his point that people act justly only because of outward social forces, Glaucon relates the tale of Gyges: The shepherd Gyges, having taken a gold ring from an Ancient Tomb, finds out that the ring makes him invisible when he turns the collet of the ring inwards. Soon after, Gyges uses the invisibility provided by the ring to seduce the queen and murder the king. The Ring of Gyges is a contender to be the Trope Maker for all magic rings.
  • In The Spirit Thief, Spiritualists keep spirits bonded with them in rings, so the best way to spot this kind of wizard is to see whether they're wearing a lot of extremely gaudy jewelry.
  • In Tales of the Frog Princess, the ring belonging to the Green Witch is a green ring that appears by itself on the hand of the Green Witch when she begins her tenure in the role. Grassina experiences it appearing on her hand when Olivine is no longer the Green Witch, and it later appears on Emma's hand when Grassina is no longer the Green Witch.
  • Villains by Necessity: Mizzamir has one he uses to teleport himself early on.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Many magical rings are found in Fantasyland. Some just prove your right to a crown, others shoot fire, drain your spirit or let the Dark Lord control you. Others have telepathic, teleporting or transforming powers.
  • World Of Wishes: Sebastian is given a ring with a gemstone in it whenever he goes on a wish granting mission. The type of gemstone varies depending on the mission, as do the incantations tied to each ring. He only gets two spells per mission, and they must be composed in rhyme. To use a spell at any given time, he must recite the incantation clearly and loudly, then firmly declare his intention for the spell to work.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The trope is invoked in the title, and the announcement reprises the text about the rings forged for the Elves, the Dwarves, the Men and Sauron.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Before the Sonic Screwdriver became the Doctor's signature item, the First Doctor used one of these, although he was wearing it as a classy accessory long before it was revealed to have any powers. He used it to supply power to the TARDIS and control Zombo the Zarbi in "The Web Planet", remove the jam that the Monk placed in the TARDIS locking system in "The Daleks' Master Plan", and to hypnotize Dodo and protect the Doctor from damage in "The War Machines". The Second Doctor was forced to discard it as it no longer fit him. In the Expanded Universe, the Seventh Doctor retrieves it and starts wearing it again, though he can no longer use it as anything except jewelry.
    • Maren in "The Brain of Morbius" has one, which she uses to scry on the Doctor and temporarily blind Sarah Jane for saving him.
    • The Master has one of these. He stored his life force into his ring and was brought back through it.
    • Then there is the Ring of Rassilon, which makes you immortal by turning you into a statue.
  • In Supernatural, each Horsemen of the Apocalypse has one. They use them to control their element (ex:War's causes people to kill each other, Famine's makes people really hungry...). But more importantly for the protagonists, they are the keys to seal Lucifer in his cage.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Demons", the Canon has a ring that can summon lightning bolts. It is described as feeling like being hit by a Zat Gun, and supplementary materials revealed that the ring controlled a satellite in orbit.
  • The 2000 Arabian Nights mini-series incorporates one of the few adaptations of the tale of Aladdin that includes the Genie of the Ring.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, the Gem of Amarra, which made a vampire invulnerable.
  • Gilli from Merlin had a magic ring that supplemented his power.
  • Kamen Rider Wizard and all the other Riders in his series use magic rings in conjunction with their Transformation Trinket belts. In addition to transforming, they have rings which let them cast spells ranging from elemental attacks to utility spells like shrinking, causing sleep, creating disguises, opening portals, and a lot more. In The Movie, the heroes end up in a High Fantasy parallel universe where everyone is a magic-user, and the transfer of mana (via ring, of course) is used as "money".
  • In the pilot movie of Babylon 5, Delenn had a collection of rings in her quarters, one of which allowed her to manipulate Artificial Gravity as a weapon against G'Kar. Neither it nor any of her other rings were ever seen or spoken of again, with the Triluminaries introduced later in the series to serve the roles the rings had originally bene intended for.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Ring-A-Ding Girl", Bunny Blake receives a ring from her fan club in her home town of Howardsville. As soon as she puts it on, she experiences a premonition telling her that it is urgent that she come home at once. Bunny is then able to astrally project herself so that she can prevent as many of the townspeople as possible from being killed when the plane on which is traveling crashes into Howardsville. When she disappears, her sister Hildy and nephew Bud find the charred and damaged ring on the floor of their living room.
  • Featured in a few entries of the Ultra Series, usually as Transformation Trinket of the Ultramen.
    • Ultraman Ace has the Ace Rings, owned by Ace's hosts, Seiji Hokotu and Yuko Minami, where they can summon the titular Ultra into battle by shouting "Ring touch!" and touching the rings together. As the series progresses Yuko leaves the cast, and Seiji becomes the sole owner of the Ace Rings, worn on both his hands.
    • Ultraman Leo has the Leo Rings, worn by Leo's human form Gen Ohtori, which allows him to transform into Ultraman Leo by making a punching motion with his hand wearing said ring.
  • Lucifer (2016): In season five Lucifer reveals that the ring he's been wearing throughout the series originally belonged to Lilith who took its stone from the Garden of Eden when she was banished. After growing bored of eternal life she transferred her immortality to the ring, turning the stone from white to black, and gave it to Lucifer. In the fifth season finale Lucifer draws on the stored life to keep himself from being burned up when he forces his way back into Heaven.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Andvaranaut, the ring of the dwarf Andvari in Norse Mythology (where it is stolen by Loki, then cursed by Andvari to bring the downfall of those who possess it, then given to a dwarf king as reparation for the accidental killing of his son, then stolen by the king's son, who transformed into a dragon, and then killed by Sigurðr, who gave it to Brynhildr), is probably one of the inspirations for its appearance in The Ring of the Nibelung and The Lord of the Rings.
  • Ancient Hebrew legends spoke of how King Solomon was able to control demons with a magic ring, using it to control even the King of Demons Asmodeus. Often cited as the inspiration for both Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung operas and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings saga.
  • The original version of Aladdin features two genies, one being the Genie of the Lamp, the other the Genie of the Ring. When the villain steals the lamp, Aladdin's wife and palace, Aladdin uses the magic ring to summon its Genie to help him get them back.
  • In Germanic myth the circularity of rings represented eternity and was held in such high regard that rings were given as military decorations (though it is often ambiguous if they were finger rings or arm rings). Rings were expected to have magical powers and their possessors might well have mundane powers.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Magic rings are a very common type of magic items, and grant a wide variety of powers to their wearers, from the Ring of Protection +1 to the Ring of Three Wishes, and everything in-between — invisibility is a common trait, as are stored spells and resistances to various elements and forms of magic, increased strength and agility, and so on. It's somewhat traditional to limit ring used to at most one per hand so as to prevent some smart-aleck player character from stacking up too many magical effects in the obvious fashion. The in-game justification is usually that any more than one ring on a single hand would interfere with the magical effect.
  • Mage: The Awakening: Finding, making, and reproducing magical rings are usually the most basic sorts of economic sustenance for the Obrimos, and every supplement has on average at least a handful of new magic rings to incorporate into play. Because imbued artifacts can hang precast spells without counting against the character's spell limit, having as many magic rings as possible is usually the most common game-breaker. It's made even easier to abuse because, unlike the magic rings of Dungeons and Dragons, you can wear as many as you like, as long as you can fit them on a finger.
  • Halt Evil Doer! has the Shadow Ring worn by Golden Age hero Inkspot and his grandson, the Modern Age hero Splotch, which grants Casting a Shadow powers. Inkspot was a Coat, Hat, Mask hero who used the ring to become a Master of Disguise by altering the shadows of his face. The Splotch discovered the ring could also create tendrils of shadowstuff and became a Spider-Man Send-Up.
  • The One Ring takes place in Middle-Earth, so these naturally crop up:
    • High Elves of Rivendell can own a Lesser Ring, which boosts one of their attributes at the cost of a permanent Shadow point.
    • The Bree adventure includes the Ring of Seven Jewels, a potent artifact forged shortly before the Great Rings. It dramatically boosts the wearer's abilities and lets them achieve outright supernatural effects, but carries two powerful curses. The current bearer tries to use it to heal the sick, albeit not without major complications.

    Theater 
  • Naturally, The Ring of the Nibelung, a.k.a. Richard Wagner's Ring. It's actually something of a subversion. It supposedly makes its wearer the master of the world, but none of the characters we see wearing it are anything of the sort. Although one interpretation of the ending is that Valhalla burns because Brunnhilde uses the Ring to punish the Gods for their long series of betrayals and malfeasances. Also Alberich is able to rule the Dwarves with the ring, it acts as The Little Detecto for gold, and it is claimed if he attacks the Gods with the ring he will defeat them.

    Video Games 
  • The Aethra Chronicles contains various magical rings, including both the "Power Ring" and "Ring of Power" — which have similar, but not identical, effects. Notably, due to a bug, the Power Ring is a Disc-One Nuke, leaning toward full Game-Breaker territory.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura has the usual assortment of magical rings found in RPGs, but it also includes the Charged Ring, a technological gadget that increases Dexterity.
  • Baldur's Gate and its sequel, is based on AD&D rules, have plenty of magical rings to choose from. The most powerful is without any doubt the Ring of Gaxx, a unique artifact the player can obtain from a bonus boss.
  • In Breath of Fire II, Nina and Bleu use rings as weapons to shoot blasts of magic.
  • Dracula's ring is an artifact with different powers in a couple Castlevania games (first appearing in the second one). Castlevania: Symphony of the Night also features the Ring of Varda (yes, that ring) as a very powerful equipable accessory that boosts all your stats considerably.
  • Dark Souls: Magic rings are a staple of the series. Some of them provide basic resistance increases against flame, poison, and so on, while others have an effect on your attack power while performing certain moves, or increase your equip load limit. They're useful for augmenting your character's stat-based abilities to suit the situation since they can be removed and switched out on the fly (barring one, the powerful Ring of Favor and Protection, which breaks if you take it off, and is very hard to replace). A couple of them provide more powerful but situational enchantments, like surviving the Abyss, being (mostly) unharmed from walking on lava, or understanding Chaos speech.
  • Diablo II has a ring with an unintended side use: The Stone of Jordan, in addition to being a powerful unique item, also functioned as currency in online play due to the general worthlessness of gold beyond a certain point.
  • Dragon Age has more than a few rings that offer a variety of bonuses. The Lifegiver is probably the most powerful ring in Origins and provides bonuses that can either make a Squishy Wizard not so squishy or a tank character Nigh-Invulnerable. Certain rings even come in sets such as the Dusk and Dawn rings. Awakening has no less than four sets of rings, three of which can only be equipped by mages.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The series has many magical rings that fit the trope. The greatest of them are the various one-of-a-kind artifact rings, often associated with the Daedric Princes. Some examples to note:
      • The Ring of Khajiiti, which typically bestows the wearer with enhanced quickness, silent movement, and outright invisibility, is associated with the Daedric Prince Mephala. It is said that Rajhin, the legendary Khajiiti Impossible Thief, stole it from Mephala herself. However, after making use of its power too freely, Rajhin was abandoned by the ring and left exposed to his enemies. The ring is also associated with Meridia, another Daedric Prince who, through unexplained means, acquired the ring and bestowed it as a reward to her agents twice in the 3rd Era.
      • Hircine's Ring is an artifact associated with Hircine, the Daedric Prince of the Hunt and Monster Progenitor of the werecreatures, especially werewolves. Hircine is known to bestow it to worthy werewolves where, depending on the version of lycanthropy they have, either allows them control of the transformation or, for those who already can control it (such as the Companions of Skyrim), allows them to transform multiple times a day.
      • Namira's Ring is an artifact associated with Namira, the Daedric Prince of the Grotesque, and Decay. The Ring has taken different forms, with one protecting the wearer from magical attacks and another allowing the wearer to consume mortal flesh in order to gain health and enhanced health regeneration.
    • The series' Enchanting system allows you to create one of your own, using whatever effects you feel would best enhance your Player Character. Playing as a Mage? Enchant a Ring that boosts one of your magical skills and increases your Magicka regen rate. Playing a sneaky thief? Enchant one that turns you invisible. The cost to create such an item can get fairly exorbitant, but the series has plenty of Money for Nothing to cover that.
    • ''Morrowind has one as a key Plot Coupon, namely the Moon-and-Star, a ring worn by the legendary warchief Indoril Nerevar, and gave him supernatural charisma. Wearing the Moon-and-Star is considered iron-clad proof that the wearer is Nerevar reborn.
    • Oblivion has the ironically named Mundane Ring. It Randomly Drops, which can make finding it a challenge, but it is well worth the effort. It has a 50% Resist Magic and a 35% Reflect Spell enchantment, meaning it halves damage that most characters take from magic-based attacks (and has an additional 35% chance to reflect it back at the enemy!).
  • Final Fantasy XV has the Ring of the Lucii, a royal heirloom ring that bestows great magical powers to the kings of Lucis. The ring itself also holds the will of the previous kings of Lucis which will burn any ringbearers that are deemed unworthy of its power (Even the worthy non-royal ringbearers aren't safe, as Nyx could only use its power for a single night in exchange for his life). Interestingly, the magical power bestowed by the ring stays with the previous ringbearers even after the ring itself was taken off.
    • The ring itself is even more powerful under Noctis's possession, as it bestows him three arcane magic late in the game: Death, Holy, and Alterna, with the latter capable of warping even the mountain-sized Adamantoise into another dimension in the updated game.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Magic rings were the method Link used to improve his armor in the first The Legend of Zelda. The Blue Ring halves damage Link takes; the Red Ring reduces it to a quarter.
    • They return in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, with a large variety of them with different effects.
    • Wizzro in Hyrule Warriors. His source of power is a ring he was sealed in.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Minnie Mouse uses a magic ring to cast her Holy Hand Grenade spells.
  • In Luminous Arc 2, Roland can become engaged to witches (and gain many of their powers) by taking power from their Unity Rings.
  • Atsuki Saijo from Lux-Pain wears a ring known as Gawain which he can use to read the memories and feelings of the people around him. It's also an incredibly Loyal Phlebotinum, meaning anyone who is considered unworthy will die by excruciating holy pain if they try to wear it.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War: The ghost of the craftsman who perfected the One Ring creates a new version. It allows its wearer to mind-control enemies into becoming allies, and its Limit Break causes the smith's ghost to warp and shoot arrows as fast as you can spam the attack button.
    • Talion's Ring of Necromancy is arguably superior to the New Ring, as his limit break causes him to go into a berserker rage while summoning a squad of undead warriors and zombifying any nearby corpses.
  • NetHack, Angband, and other Roguelikes based on them have a whole slew of rings that a character can wear to obtain various powers and resistances. Though a few of them are traps.
  • In Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent, the entire plot revolves around the Chosen One going around the continent trying to collect the God Rings after they were stolen. The rings themselves house the power of the eight gods and utilizing their might bolsters the wearer's strength tenfold. In addition, each storyline's final boss wields a ring and uses it to further their own influence.
  • In Odin Sphere, the Ring of Titrel is a magical relic of the Kingdom of Valentine that allows the owner to control and command the Crystallization Cauldron, which is of particular interest to many beings not just for the Cauldron's power to forge artificial Psypher crystals and weapons from harvested Phozons (which otherwise requires entering the Netherworld to plunder the natural crystals growing there), but also because the Cauldron is one of the Five Disasters of Armageddon. Obtaining the ring is a major goal of nearly all the major players of the story and the ring changes hands multiple times before finally it ends up being humbly used as a wedding ring between Oswald and Gwendolyn. King Valentine is able to command and use the active Cauldron without the ring because he is its true master, but not even he could command it when Velvet used the ring to forcibly shut down the Cauldron in an attempt to avert Armageddon. Events conspire to lead Titrel to be used to reactivate the Cauldron, however, and Valentine proceeds to cause The End of the World as We Know It in the endgame. However, Velvet is able to use Titrel one last time in the True Ending to restore life to the world with the damaged Cauldron's remaining power and the Psyphers of the protagonists.
  • There's an old RPG (made by Naughty Dog, before they got famous!) named, literally, Rings of Power. The plot is about getting the titular MacGuffins from several different evildoers.
  • RuneScape has various enchanted rings with diverse effects, some give recoil damage if you are hit, help in skills, teleport you or turn you to stone. The Charos ring makes you a Charm Person.
  • These entirely define a player's set of skills in zOMG!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Gold Rings are a downplayed example. The characters don't wear them per say, but they do serve as part of the health system.
    • * The Sonic the Hedgehog Bible (written by Sega of America back in the 90s) offers a western backstory for the Sonic franchise, including the ubiquitous golden rings. The friendly Dr. Ovi Kintobor creates the Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor (R.O.C.C. for short) to purge the world of evil and pollution, and golden Containment Rings are a major component of the device. When when a freak lab accident makes the R.O.C.C. go haywire, the machine scatters its Containment Rings across the various levels that Sonic explores. This backstory for the rings also features in Sonic the Hedgehog Promo Comic, Sonic the Comic, and Stay Sonic.
    • Sonic and the Secret Rings: The seven World Rings are the MacGuffins sought by the main villain Erazor Djinn, who seeks them to gain control of his world. He absorbs the rings in the final battle but due to ritual being bungled, he gains a Clipped-Wing Angel form and Sonic manages to absorb three of the rings from him and defeat him.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck: the White Queen and Black Queen both possess rings which transfer the powers and physical properties of all pre-entry sprite prototypings onto the body of the ring-wearer, resulting in a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot sort of appearance and power array. It also seems to provide significant power of its own - the "Red Miles" blast it generates is enough to cause severe damage to the Battlefield and completely destroy Prospit. In the kids' session, Jack Noir claimed the Black Queen's ring as his own after he snapped and murdered her. Mass destruction ensued. In the trolls' session, he would've attempted to do the same after aiding the trolls in deposing the Black Queen, and they had to take extra care to ensure he didn't get it, culminating in throwing it into the volcano on Kanaya's planet.
  • This One Ring in Nodwick. Subverted in that the ring didn't actually have any power, only a legend that implied that it had great power. Nodwick was the only person to realize that the power of This One Ring stemmed entirely from the fact that everyone incorrectly believed that the legend was true.
  • In Goblins Minmax's group encounters an alternate version of themselves who come from a reality where magic rings are extremely common. Alternate Forgath has a magical staff which allows him to simultaneously use more than the standard Dungeons & Dragons two due to having his severed finger attached to it, while their Minmax wears a number of them bandolier-style, presumably to allow him to easily swap out whichever he needs.
  • In The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, Wonderita turns down an offer of one because it's not pink.
  • Geist of Heist! is a Phantom Thief with a sapient magic ring that lets him go invisible and phase through matter.
  • In the D&D-based comic The Order of the Stick Vaarsuvius has a Ring of Wizardry and Belkar has a Ring of Jumping +20. Both obtained after the first dungeon crawl of the story. Later on, Elan's father Tarquin is wearing a Ring of Regeneration and a Ring of True Seeing, and Belkar obtains a Ring of Feather Falling.

    Western Animation 
  • In Captain Planet, there are the five rings of the Planeteers which have the powers of Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart, and able to call upon Captain Planet when they combine.
  • Hanna-Barbera cartoon Shazzan. When Chuck and Nancy put their two halves of a magical ring together and say "Shazzan!", the title genie appears.
  • Dean's hallucination sequence in The Venture Bros. featured an actual Ring of Power of ill-defined abilities.
  • The Thing, a cartoon starring an AU version of The Thing without the Fantastic Four, used this trope to turn The Thing into a Henshin Hero. The premise was that some bizarre incident reverted pilot Benjamin Grimm into a gangly teenager again that the other characters called "Benji". The incident also gave him the power to turn into The Thing after putting the two halves of his "Thing Ring" together.
  • A very prominent example in the Belphegor animated series. Belphegor's red ring with the Tanit symbol on it is his iconic weapon and the only one he uses. It has the ability to emit a beam of light that either knocks people unconscious or breaks through solid objects, depending on which he wants to do. A whole episode dedicated to him losing it shows that it's actually much more powerful and dangerous, with Belphegor being the only one able to use it without a problem.
  • The Secret Scouts' rings in Dinosaucers. They served as Comm Links, and when invoked with the phrase, "Secret Scouts ring, power up!", the Scouts' natural athletic abilities would be enhanced for a short period of time.
  • Stella's ring in Winx Club turns into a scepter, provides light, and teleports people.
    • Both the White Circle and the Black Circle are powerful magic objects and rings for a time; Bloom wears the White Circle on her finger to keep it safe from the Wizards of the Black Circle, and Morgana wears the Black Circle as a ring when the Wizards hand it over to her.
  • SheZow has the titular superheroine's Glamazon Power Ring, also counts as both a Transformation Trinket, and a Clingy MacGuffin.
  • Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors features the Ring of Light, worn by Jayce who activates it by shouting:
    Ring of Light, Magic Might!
  • The Six American Warriors in Spider-Man: The Animated Series were a team of superheroes led by Captain America during World War II. They were created using various alternate versions of the Super Serum that made Captain America who he is, except their powers were different and unstable. To compensate, special rings were created that activated their powers on-demand, even though those powers would fade over time. Keene Marlow (AKA Destroyer), one of the Six, eventually retired and gave his ring to Ben Parker for safekeeping. He eventually got the ring back from Peter and used it one last time to help defeat Red Skull and Electro.
  • Kid Cosmic: When Kid finds the Stones of Power, he decides to make them into rings by gluing them on hex nuts. Why? Because "rings are cooler".
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Power Rings are special gold rings that boost Sonic's speed and power. One is created by the Lake of Rings every twelve hours.
  • In Conan the Adventurer, there is the Black Serpent Ring of Set, which is made from corrupted starmetal and is the source of all serpent man magic. Initially, it is wielded by Ram-Amon, but it is claimed by Wrath-Amon when he usurps the former. Conan seeks to destroy the ring in order to undo the spell of living stone Wrath-Amon cast upon his family.


Alternative Title(s): Magic Ring

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