Power, despite being an abstract concept, can be bottled up and stored in items in fantasy universes. Middle-earth is no exception: Tolkien's masterfully crafted world of elves, dwarfs, men, hobbits, orcs, and other creatures all won't say no to power in any form (except maybe the hobbits, who only want to eat and drink). Needless to say, there are many powerful trinkets in Middle-earth.
Many of them come in different forms: weapons, tools, jewelry, etc. Most of them are wielded or kept by their appropriate owners. However, some have made their way into the hands of some of the unlikeliest creatures imaginable in the land of Middle-earth. Most of them have also been portrayed on-screen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy, but we have included a couple of them from the books; here they are, starting with:
10 MITHRIL SHIRT
The Mithril shirt is actually a chainmail piece which, at first glance, appears to be more ornamental than protective. Make no mistake, however, Mithril is all the armor you'd ever need. Assumingly, it was forged by the elves for a young Elven prince. Then, it somehow ended up as a dwarven treasure hoard in the Lonely Mountain, probably since it could fit the dwarfs anyway.
It was rewarded to Bilbo by Thorin Oakenshield and has since saved the hobbit's life many times over. Even when Bilbo passed it on to Frodo, it was still pretty much invulnerable. The Mithril shirt protects its owner from any sharp weapon imaginable. The impact will still bruise the user of the Mithril shirt, but at least they'd still be alive.
9 BALROGS' WEAPONS
The Balrogs are an ancient and powerful race of Middle-earth who were on the same level as wizards. Like wizards or the Istar, they belong to the Maia spirit/race, which was a touch below the omnipotent beings of the world. Basically, they're lesser gods, meaning they pack in some serious firepower... Well, the Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring does, at least.
Each Balrog has its own weapon of choice which, based on Peter Jackson's film adaptation, can be conjured from fire. The Balrog in Fellowship is shown to be wielding a machete-like blade and a whip. Both of these appear to be above conventional metal or wood weapons in Middle-earth. In fact, the Ringbearer party would have been wiped out by the Balrog if not for another certain Maiar to stop it: Gandalf.
Gandalf, like the Balrog, is also a Maiar who remained uncorrupted by Morgoth (the de facto Satan of Middle-earth, also Sauron's predecessor). Gandalf is also a wizard and, thankfully, has a more human and relatable appearance for the common people of Middle-earth. His favorite sword (at least the one he uses in the films and books) is the Glamdring, an elven blade imbued with magical runes.
It's actually powerful enough to act as another staff for Gandalf to a certain extent. For a wizard, this is a crucial quality for a powerful item, as it lets them channel their magic. This was shown when Gandalf harnessed lightning with Glamdring in order to defeat the Balrog once and for all. Apparently, Glamdring can also be used to pierce the Balrog's hide even without lightning.
7 WIZARD'S STAFF
Powerful as Glamdring may be, it still pales in comparison to what a wizard can do with his staff. For Gandalf, the staff was his most important tool or weapon. It is a conduit for his most powerful spells and magic from casting light to other more wizardly feats. Even the Witch King of Angmar sees Gandalf's staff as his most powerful weapon and taking out that staff would render the wizard weaker.
As a result, the Witch King actually nearly defeated Gandalf in the Battle of Minas Tirith after destroying his staff (in a deleted scene). Sadly, that notion didn't appear to make Gandalf more careful with his staves. He's actually lost both of them in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, while he also appears to have a different staff in The Hobbit films.
6 MERRY'S BARROW-BLADE
It appears even Gandalf couldn't defeat the Witch-King at his best. This is partly due to the wizard being weaker in Middle-earth (it's apparently restricted for the Maia to be as powerful as they are in mortal lands). That essentially makes the Witch King more than a match for him. Not many can kill the Witch King, but it seems Meriadoc Brandybuck (and Eowyn) got lucky.
Merry's dagger or Barrow-blade, which was given by Tom Bombadil in the books (Aragorn in the films), apparently was a Dunedain dagger which special magic imbued for killing the Witch King. The Barrow-blade was used to make the Witch King vulnerable when stabbed by Merry from behind. Even Gandalf with his staff and his Glamdring wasn't able to do that much damage to the Witch King.
5 NENYA, RING OF WATER
Three rings were also given to the Elves made by Celebrimbor with the help of a Maia named Sauron (he pulled a little sneaky on 'em, didn't he?). However, unlike the Nine Rings of Men, the Three Elven Rings were independent of the control of the One Ring. Among these three rings is Nenya, Ring of Water—the most powerful of them. Its wielder is Galadriel of Lothlorien.
It's not really a weapon like the One Ring, but Galadriel has used Nenya to safeguard Lothlorien from the forces of Mordor and the corruption of the One Ring. It also has additional effects that benefit the wielder, such as preserving her natural state and those around her. This actually made Lothlorien quite prosperous compared to most kingdoms and domains in Middle-earth.
The elves of Middle-earth have proven themselves to be master craftsmen in basically everything they make. Some of the most powerful swords (and even rings) ever in Middle-earth were actually forged by them. One of their best swords ever, for that matter, is the Ringil. It's a blade that has a chilling blue glow like ice reflecting the light of stars.
It's also not just for show. It was wielded by Fingolfin against his duel with Morgoth at the gates of Angband and he was able to wound him several times. Sadly, Fingolfin lost and died to the giant Dark Lord, but not without stabbing his foot with Ringil, basically rendering Morgoth lame for the rest of his existence. Nevertheless, the Ringil deserves a spot on this list for being able to wound a Dark Lord.
Grond is no sword or subtle tool of power. It's actually Morgoth's great warhammer, and since he was a giant, you can imagine just how great Grond had to be for his size. It's also what Morgoth used in his duel against Fingolfin and the Grond has proven to be terrifying. Each strike of the tremendous warhammer brought down lightning with it and also left craters. Fingolfin actually lost because of said craters.
Since it's Morgoth's weapon of choice, he also refers to the Grond as the Hammer of the Underworld. Really, Sauron's mace pales in comparison to Grond. Still, it served as the main homage to the battering ram Sauron and his orcs used to destroy the gates of Minas Tirith in Return of the King.
Again, another Elven-forged sword and one that is responsible for hurting a Dark Lord. Anduril, called Narsil before, was actually used to slay Sauron, Morgoth's successor. It was broken but reforged into a tougher and shinier version which Aragorn called Anduril. It's also the standard weapon of the Dunedain kings of men, making it a legendary heirloom.
Apart from being feared by a Dark Lord, Anduril can also be used to summon the most powerful army that has ever walked Middle-earth. Essentially, it was an immortal ghost army of dead men who owe a lot to the Kings of Gondor. Heck, Aragorn could have even used such an army to wipe Mordor from the map had he not been conservative with his bargain.
1 THE ONE RING
Of course, all other weapons and items hold no candle to the power of the One Ring. It was forged by Sauron himself after Celebrimbor made all the rings of power for the leaders of Middle-earth. Sauron also made it so that the One Ring only obeys him and no one else; he poured his anger and hate on it, basically making the One Ring a part of himself.
As such, anyone who dares touch the ring will be seduced by it. The more powerful the being, the more dangerous the One Ring becomes. With it, Sauron was able to threaten the continent of Middle-earth and even came close to snatching it from its creator. The fact that something so small and... precious... caused innumerable deaths and incalculable destruction is a testament to the One Ring's power.