“One ring to rule them all,
one ring to find them.
One ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.”
An in-universe rhyme that describes the all-powerful artifact known as the One Ring, it’s a quote easily recited by many a Lord of the Rings fan, whether they be lovers of the cinematic trilogy or diehard readers of J. R. R. Tolkien’s original novels. The fantastic worlds that Tolkien crafted in his work became the blueprint for all fantasy as we know it, and his influence has pervaded our culture. Recently, Wizards of the Coast (the titan of fantasy hobbies a la card game Magic the Gathering and tabletop-RPG Dun
geons & Dragons) honoured his influence through a Lord of the Rings set of Magic cards.
The twist? Wizards released an individually unique printing of the One Ring card amidst their mass-produced booster packs. And only one week after the release of this set, the card has been discovered in Toronto, Ontario.
As of June 30th, it was announced that the One Ring card had been discovered and authenticated by a Magic player who wishes to remain anonymous. The hunt for the card had been ravenous amongst fans, causing bulk packs of the set to resell at over $500. Current offers for the card are going as high as $2 million.
The cards rarity alone is not the only feature of this item worth mentioning—its artwork, done by Finnish artist Veli Nyström, is an incredibly striking rendition of the iconic fantasy item. With a foil treatment and raised golden details, it highlights the weight of this simple ring band and its elegant script of “the Black speech”, one of Tolkien’s many invented languages. Set before a blue-black and orange-red background of swirling lava-like textures, Nyström has done well to honour this keystone of magical literary objects.
With the hunt for the true One Ring over so quickly, Wizard’s Lord of the Rings set is sure to see a bit of a dip in interest. But the company certainly knows how to stir up a fervour for a mass-produced game in a wholly unique manner.
Only time will tell if the next owner of the Ring will do the wise thing and cast it into a volcano, or simply covet their precious.