I saw a knockout version of the Ring of Barahir on War of the Ring the other day that I'd never seen before. I really love this Decipher version.
The Ring of Barahir was a symbol of the House of Finarfin and the Heirs of Isildur. It became a symbol of oaths of friendship, kinship, and love pledged between elf and man from the First through the Third Ages.
The ring's first recorded owner was the first elf lord to encounter men and took them with him to Thingol's kingdom, where the Edain agreed to defend the lands that Thingol gave them. This was Finrod Felagund (“hewer of caves”), also known as the Faithful and Friend of Men.
". . . green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor 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" (The Silmarillion, p. 195).
Decipher Ring of Barahir from War of the Ring
Finrod was surrounded by a large host of Orcs in the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of the Sudden Flame) against Morgoth when Barahir saved his life. In return Finrod pledged his troth to Barahir and his kin and gave Barahir the ring of his house as a token of his oath (First Age 455). Barahir earned the gift by risking his life to save Finrod.
The ring was taken from Barahir by the orcs that killed him, but Beren avenged his father and retrieved the ring. Beren used it in the quest to steal the Silmarils from Sauron to win Lúthien's hand. When Beren showed the elves of Nargothrond the ring, Finrod honored his oath to Beren's father and agreed to aid him in his quest. Finrod gave his life for Beren, killed by a werewolf in Sauron’s dungeons.
Barahir's son Beren married Lúthien (Thingol's daughter). This was the first marriage between elf and man.
"'Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was the daughter of Thingol, a King of Elves upon Middle Earth when the world was young . . . But from her the lineage of the Elf-Lords of old descended among Men. There live still those of whom Lúthien was the foremother, and it is said that her line shall never fail. Elrond of Rivendell is of that Kin. For of Beren and Lúthien was born Dior Thingol's heir; and of him Elwing the White whom Eärendil wedded, he that sailed his ship out of the mists of the world into the seas of heaven with the Silmaril upon his brow. And of Eärendil came the Kings of Númenor, that is Westernesse'" (Fellowship of the Ring, “A Knife in the Dark," Aragorn speaking).
Elwing and Eärendil's sons were Elrond and Elros Half-Elven. Elrond lived as an elf and Elros as a man. Elros's line included the kings of Númenor, kings of Arnor, and Chieftains of the Dúnedain in direct descent through the Second and Third Ages to Aragorn.
The ring became an heirloom of Isildur's Heirs. The ring is visible evidence that Aragorn is the Heir of Isildur and of the noble line of Westernesse. It is not earned but received because of who he is. "Here is the ring of Barahir, the token of our kinship from afar; and here also are the Shards of Narsil" (Return of the King, Appendix A The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, Elrond speaking to Aragorn).
movieverse Ring of Barahir
The Ring of Barahir is a betrothal gift from Aragorn to Arwen. Bookverse Aragorn gave the ring to Arwen Undómiel at their betrothal some 40 years earlier and was not wearing the ring during the war. Instead, he wore the Evenstar brooch given him by Arwen via her grandmother Galadriel when the Fellowship passed through there on their way south.
When Aragorn gives the Ring of Barahir as a betrothal gift to Arwen, the granddaughter of Finrod’s sister, he returns the ring from the House of Barahir to the House of Finarfin. (Arwen is, of course, a descendant of both houses). So with the ring of Barahir the friendship, kinship, and love between elf and man comes full circle from Beren and Lúthien to Aragorn and Arwen, reuniting elves with mortals while founding a new line for the Fourth Age.