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The Ring network, alternately known as the Gate network, or simply collectively referred to as the gates, is a complex ancient system of 1,373 artificially sustained traversable wormholes that connect planetary systems across the Milky Way galaxy.

The Ring network represents the pinnacle of transportation technology, rendering feasible effective superluminal travel and the subsequent galactic colonization.


The Sol Ring.


Rings are represented by a torus shape, with twisting ridges that continuously spiral around its body, possibly to prevent the wormhole from ever collapsing. Their inner diameter is roughly one thousand kilometers. The Rings themselves seem to be constructed from a highly resilient material that does not erode over the course of millions, even billions, of years. Evidently, the Ring causes spatio temporal disturbances, anticipating the wormhole from far away. This distortion can be observed when electromagnetic radiation enters and exits the wormhole. It is unknown whether there are discrepancies between local observers and actual passengers aboard a ship regarding transit times, though this possibility is mostly excluded.

An object traveling through a Ring treats the wormhole as a higher-spatial corridor between the linked points, effectively reducing transit times to near-zero values, though time does elapse. Sensor data, including visible light, behave accordingly, treating Rings as windows between two points, without being atomically harmed in any way.


Main articles: Slow zone Books • TV, Ring Station Books • TV

The Rings each lead to a location possibly in intergalactic space, colloquially known as the slow zone. At the center of the region, the Ring station is located, the central control station of the network. From there, the Rings themselves can be deactivated and voluntarily cease their respective wormholes. However, the structures themselves remain intact. A subsequent reactivation is possible, as evidenced by James Holden Books • TV and The Investigator Books • TV.



Credited with its creation, the Ring Builders built and used this enormous network to expand beyond their home system and, eventually, establish a thriving interstellar empire around 2,000,000,000 BP, dominating the Milky Way. The network managed to survive even after the Ring Builder empire's dissolution.

Human speculation[]

Einstein's Theory of Relativity was the first pivotal step that humanity took toward truly comprehending the universe. It postulated that gravity was a consequence of spacetime curvature. This approach remained unchallenged until the effects of quantum gravity were recorded. Theoretical physicists speculated that reconciling quantum laws with general relativity would give humanity a complete understanding of gravity and its associated consequences and, thus, control over it. Such a degree of control was considered at the time to enable circumvention of the lightspeed barrier through the use of shortcuts in spacetime, otherwise known as wormholes. However, while progress might have been made, a complete reconciliation of gravity was still not achievable by the 24th century.


After completing its life cycle on Venus by accumulating sufficient component material, the protomolecule built a megastructure on the outskirts of the Sol system. Said structure was later revealed to be an artificially-sustained wormhole gate leading to a starless region of space.

Known Rings[]

Most important gates:

Ring icon.png Sol gate[]

The Sol Ring is the initial Ring discovered by humanity, and the only one to be referred simply as "the Ring". It is located two astronomical units (AU) outside the orbit of Uranus. It is the product of a complex of self-assembling structures that emerged from Venus after the protomolecule seeded the planet via Eros.

Ring icon.png Ilus gate[]

The gate to the Ilus system was one of the first extrasolar gates accessed by humanity. It was first traveled through by refugees that had escaped the conflict over Ganymede. Not unlike the Ring in Sol, its Ilus counterpart is located on the outskirts of the system, but an asteroid belt is known to orbit Ilus' star ever further out than the gate[1].

Ring icon.png Laconia gate[]

The gate leads to the Laconia system, which contains the habitable planet Laconia. When Admiral Duarte defected from the Martian Congressional Republic (MCR), he convinced one third of the entire Martian Congressional Republic Navy Fleet (MCRN) to cross through the Laconia ring to establish a new empire, with himself as the leader. A repeating message was sent from the Laconian system side of the ring, back through the slow zone, warning others not to enter. All probes into the Laconia system were destroyed by Duarte's forces.

Ring icon.png Freehold gate[]

The gate leads to the Freehold system, which contains a very small colony on the planet Freehold. The system became important as a base for the Underground, using Freehold as the hiding-place of the Rocinante Books • TV, and a gas giant's moon as the base of the Gathering Storm, which was later called Draper Station.

Ring icon.png Auberon gate[]

Leads to the Auberon system which has a very successful colony on the planet Auberon and its moon.

Ring icon.png Bara Gaon gate[]

Leads to the Bara Gaon system, one of the most successful colonized systems.

Other gates:

(in alphabetical order)

Ring icon.png Adro gate[]

Leads to the Adro system[2], one of the dead systems of the network.[3]

Ring icon.png Arcadia gate[]

Leads to the Arcadia system.

Ring icon.png Asylum gate[]

Leads to the Asylum system.

Ring icon.png Athens gate[]

Leads to the Athens system.

Ring icon.png Castila gate[]

Leads to the Castila system. The system holds a colony and was served by the freighter Savage Landing.

Ring icon.png Charon gate[]

Leads to the Charon system, one of the dead systems of the network.[3]

Ring icon.png Eudoxia gate[]

Leads to the Eudoxia system.

Ring icon.png Farhome gate[]

Leads to the Farhome system.

Ring icon.png Fusang gate[]

Leads to the Fusang system.

Ring icon.png Gedara gate[]

Leads to the Gedara system.

Ring icon.png Gethen gate[]

Leads to the Gethen system.

Ring icon.png Gossner gate[]

Leads to the Gossner system.

Ring icon.png Hakuseki gate[]

Leads to the Hakuseki system.

Ring icon.png Hamshalim gate[]

Leads to the Hamshalim system.

Ring icon.png Harris gate[]

Leads to the Harris system.

Ring icon.png Haza gate[]

Leads to the Haza system.

Ring icon.png Hope gate[]

Leads to the Hope system.

Ring icon.png Jannah gate[]

Leads to the Jannah system.

Ring icon.png Jerusalem gate[]

Leads to the Jerusalem system.

Ring icon.png Kalma gate[]

Leads to the Kalma system.

Ring icon.png Kronos gate[]

Leads to the Kronos system, which has no habitable planets, but had mineanble materials so a station was established.

Ring icon.png Naraka gate[]

Leads to the Naraka system, one of the dead systems of the network.[3]

Ring icon.png New Cyprus gate[]

Leads to the New Cyprus system.

Ring icon.png New Kashmir gate[]

Leads to the New Kashmir system.

Ring icon.png Nieuwestad gate[]

Leads to the Nieuwestad system.

Ring icon.png Pátria gate[]

Leads to the Pátria system.

Ring icon.png San Esteban gate[]

Leads to the San Esteban system.

Ring icon.png Sanctuary gate[]

Leads to the Sanctuary system.

Ring icon.png Sigurtá gate[]

Leads to the Sigurtá system.

Ring icon.png Tabalta gate[]

Leads to the Tabalta system.

Ring icon.png Tasnim gate[]

Leads to the Tasnim system.

Ring icon.png Tecoma gate[]

Leads to the Tecoma system, a dead system that had a neutron star at the edge of collapse. This gate was destroyed by the events of the Tecoma star collapse.

Ring icon.png Thanjavur gate[]

Leads to the Thanjavur system which has a colony of 80,000 people. This gate was destroyed by the events of the Tecoma star collapse, leaving its colony stranded from the rest of humanity.

Ring icon.png Tridevi gate[]

Leads to the Tridevi system.

Ring icon.png Walton gate[]

Leads to the Walton system.

Ring icon.png Xicheng Gate[]

Leads to the Xicheng system.

Ring icon.png Yasamal gate[]

Leads to the Yasamal system.


See also[]


  1. The Expanse Novel Cibola Burn
  2. The Expanse Novel Tiamat's Wrath - Chapter 1: Elvi
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Expanse Novel Persepolis Rising - Chapter 1: Drummer
  4. Icon-twitter-22x22.png  Tweet from Tony Ianni