The story of the magic ring goes way back to folklore inducing its user to become invisible, or grant wishes, or even immortality. Sometimes they could be cursed like in "Lord of the Rings." J G Frazer, in his study of magic and superstition in The Golden Bough has pointed to evidence that some believe these rings can serve as devices to prevent the soul from leaving the body. That might explain why the Celtic gods found in early Irish and medieval Welsh literature wore neck rings.
Staffs of Mesopotamina gods sometimes include one or several rings attached to staffs, but there's been no reference weather there magical or just decorative.
An early magical ring in European mythology is the arm ring named Draupnir worn by the Norse god Odin. It only could do one thing so tail tells. To create more gold arm bands every nine days, Draupnir may have been a religious symbol which represented the increasing of wealth. There's also a lot of magical rings in fiction as plot devices. Some may gain the user special abilities, or if they already have magical powers, might increase them.
List of work of fiction with rings :
The Zero Stone by Andre Norton
Chronicles of Narnia : Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
A Russian parody of Harry Potter book series by Tanya Grotter
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolken
DC Comics The Green Lantern
Marvel's Comics Iron Man-- The Mandarin
And these are just a few. For a complete list and source click link below.
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