The Ring of Stones is a circle of large tall menhirs where Merida encounters Will O' the Wisps and where the final showdown between Elinor and Mor'du takes place. It was inspired by the Callanish Standing Stones.
The Ring of Stones is first seen when Merida rides into the woods on Angus. Angus stops when he sees the stones and accidentally throws Merida in the middle of the circle, much to her annoyance. Merida is astonished by the ring of rocks, and then spots a Will O' the Wisp. She goes over to investigate, but then the wisp disappears. After that, a whole trail of wisps appear to lead Merida to the Witch's cottage. Merida tries to get Angus to follow her, but Angus was still too fearful of going into the ring of stones. Eventually, as Merida follows the wisps, Angus goes around the stones to follow her.
The ring of stones are seen again when Merida is riding on her mother (in bear form) while trying to escape Mor'du from a foggy forest, and they arrive at the stones. They manage to just barely avoid crashing into one of the menhirs (making a small crack in the stone). While there, Merida explains that if they don't undo the curse soon, she will be a real bear forever. Merida then comes to the conclusion that they have to mend the tapestry (which Merida later cut while arguing with her mother about the arranged marriage) to undo the curse.
Later, Elinor runs into the rings while trying escape Fergus and the four clans (who believed she was a wild bear who killed Elinor). As Elinor continues running, she is blocked by Fergus's two deerhounds. She then tries to run through another gap in the stones, but is blocked by more clans of soldiers. The three Lords (MacGuffin, Macintosh and Dingwall), their sons and other members of each clan then corner her against a menhir and lasso her with ropes. Then Fergus (believing that Elinor was killed by the bear) is about to kill the subdued Elinor. Before he can do so, Merida stops him and tells Fergus that the bear is her mom Elinor, leaving Fergus confused while Merida asks her mom if she is okay. Believing his daughter is talking nonsense, Fergus shoves her aside while Lord Macintosh holds her with his spear so Fergus can kill the bear. Merida breaks free and uses his spear to take a sword to knock her father down telling him she would not let him kill his wife. Then Harris, Hubert, and Hamish (in their bear forms) try to tackle their father, but Merida stops them and reveals who they are to their dad, finally convincing him.
Just then, the real Mor'du appears, and Fergus tells the others to kill it, but the demon bear easily defeats them with his strength. While attacking them, Fergus tries to take the bear on with his bare hands, but Mor'du easily defeats him while attacking Fergus. Merida tries to save her father by firing two arrows at Mor'du, but they have no effect on him. As Mor'du is about to eat Merida, Elinor breaks free of the ropes and defends her daughter from the man-eating beast. The more powerful Mor'du starts to beat down Elinor while Merida, Fergus, her triplet brothers and the other clans watch in horror. Mor'du then throws Elinor against the tallest menhir in the ring (the one that was previously cracked), giving her an idea. While Mor'du is walking towards Merida, Elinor pulls him back from behind and dodges his attack, causing him to charge into the now more-cracked menhir. She then knocks him against the large stone repeatedly to break it further, before being knocked back by the demon bear. Mor'du prepares to charge, but then the broken menhir falls on the bear, crushing him to death. The prince's spirit then appears and silently thanks them before becoming a wisp and disappearing.
As the sun begins to rise, Merida takes the sewn-up tapestry and throws it over her mother, hoping it will break the spell, but it doesn't, much to Merida's devastation. The others watch on in sorrow and grief as Merida tearfully hugs and apologizes to her mother for her actions, and says she wants her back. Merida then tells her mom she loves her as the sun has fully risen. It is then revealed that Elinor has finally become human again, and she joyfully kisses Merida's face, realizing they have both changed. Fergus then runs to and hugs his wife and gives her a passionate kiss (much to Merida's slight disgust), and then Merida hugs her dad while the lords express their happiness that she is back. However, they soon all realize that Elinor (who is still covered by the tapestry) is naked, and Fergus tells them to avert their eyes. The now butt-naked triplets then run over to hug their parents and sister.
The Ring of Stones appears in Once Upon a Time.
- In the video game based on the film the gaps between the stones turn into gateways to other lands by the witch, so Merida can clear the blight on the Waystones and undo the spell on her mother.