On The Rings of Power, Everyone Just Needs to Get Along (2022)

The Lord of the Rings is a story about disparate societies coming together in the name of good — and casting aside generations of mistrust and prejudice to do so. Hobbits being unlikely heroes, Dwarves standing side-by-side with Elves, Rohan riding to Gondor’s aid, it’s an idea key to the fabric of the narrative, and so it makes sense that Rings of Power is making it key to its own story too.

On The Rings of Power, Everyone Just Needs to Get Along (1)

“Adar,” the third episode of The Rings of Power, feels very much in step with its premiere last week in that it shares a lot of the same strengths and flaws Amazon’s lavish new series began with — just manifesting in slightly different ways. The series still keeps its grand scale and eye-wateringly-expensive beauty as we’re whisked away to the island of Númenor alongside Galadriel and Halbrand. The series is still almost achingly slow as it has to balance this — and many slow motion shots of everything from vistas to Galadriel riding a horse, as if to remind us to be looking at its fantastical excess as much and as often as possible — and its other plotlines, with far-off-disconnected characters like Nori and the Stranger, as the latter is discovered by the rest of the Harfoots, or Arondir, as he finds himself captured by Orcs.

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On The Rings of Power, Everyone Just Needs to Get Along (2)Image: Amazon

But there is some progress made nonetheless, and with it comes more of the promise that Rings of Power has lying beyond its expensive spectacle. Although the episode is named for the mysterious Orcish master that Arondir and his fellow elves — and the humans of the Southlands — have been captured in the name of, its focus is largely, and rightfully, on Galadriel and Halbrand as they find themselves saved by a Númenorean sea guard ship and brought to the mystical island nation. There, we get to see a fascinating introduction; Halbrand might be human, but he’s never heard or even contemplated the idea of what an advanced human society such as Númenor could look like in his life. Galadriel, meanwhile, an Elf, can see the long game: she knows the history of how Númenor came to be and its original purpose, but she also knows that with the passage of that history there has come change, and Númenor is no longer a representation of that, thanks to Eldar and Valar alike for the humans that stood alongside them against Morgoth.

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That’s symbolized by the icy welcome the duo receives — albeit one made icier by Galadirel’s own Elvish arrogance when confronted with hostility — from Queen Regent Míriel and Pharazôn. Rings of Power is playing with a bit of the vast timeline of Tolkien’s Second Age here, as lore-heads will instantly recognise Pharazôn’s name as the last king of Númenor, and the eventual Sauron-influenced architect of the island’s ruin. But that’s in the future; in the here and now is a focus on a now long-simmering distrust between Elves and Númenoreans. This is nothing new in fantasy, and this distrust is something that is part of Tolkien’s history here, but it’s an interesting mirror to focus on as the rest of the episode deals with people trying to find the strength to look past differences and face the hardships at hand. Galadriel, too laser-focused on her desire to get back to Middle-earth as quickly as possible, is dismissive of the Númenoreans and their concern. Míriel, and the rest of the Númenoreans, meanwhile cannot see past their own past with the Elves (and, in Míriel’s, particularly, some dire portents from her family and faith of potential doom should Elves return to her home) to pay attention to Galadriel’s warnings that evil is on the rise again.

On The Rings of Power, Everyone Just Needs to Get Along (3)Image: Amazon

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We see the seeds of that mistrust elsewhere in the episode as well. Arondir, dazed and confused by his capture, finds himself and his fellow watchtower guards — including his captain, who had previously dismissed the humans they watched over as still feeling the lingering touches of Morgoth’s influence — isolated and in dire stakes when they’re all now captured and need to work with those humans to hatch an escape plan from digging tunnels to allow Orcs safe passage in daylight. Over with the Harfoots, Nori’s continued secrecy over encountering the mysterious Stranger from the sky is blown wide open when he accidentally stumbles into their pre-migratory remembrance of the nomadic haflings left behind — leading to the distrusting Sadoc to consign Nori’s family to the back of the caravan in the travel ahead, a fate that, with her father’s injured foot, is destined to see them left behind by the group.

Thousands of years apart or otherwise, this is Lord of the Rings, and as we said, this is a story about the people who choose to look past these distrusts and work together. By learning to trust the seaguard captain who rescued her in the first place — who it turns out is none other than Elendil, the future king of Gondor and Arnor, and here a former noble put into military service by Míriel’s own machinations for rule, just like his son Isildur is destined to follow in his stead — Galadriel finds one of the few Númenoreans who still remembers, and is open to, the friendship of the Eldar their nation was founded in. He helps her uncover the information she needs to not just figure out the Dark Lord’s real plans (the icon she has been chasing is not a sigil, but a map of the Southlands), but also uncover historical records that reveal that Halbrand himself has a noble lineage he’s been running away from.

On The Rings of Power, Everyone Just Needs to Get Along (4)Image: Amazon

In making a friend in Elendil, she brings Halbrand closer to her cause as well through this, after largely mistrusting the man. It likewise pays dividends when Nori, who stood up for helping the Stranger against the rest of her own people’s doubts — and saw her family punished for it — is rewarded for her kindness when the Stranger comes to their aid to push the family homestead, ensuring they won’t be left behind in the journey to the Harfoot’s next home. It’s only really Arondir that is left not to see the rewards of putting trust in someone — if anything, he gets punished for it, when the Elves’ plan to free themselves and escape Orc capture fails, serving as the climax of the episode. Most of his former allies dead, Arondir is dragged in to the Orc’s master, the titular Adar — who some have speculated could be Sauron himself in another guise.

We know Sauron still has a physical form at this point in the Second Age, and that he can indeed change form — after all, at some point he’s got to pretend to be a Valar emissary, Annatar, and convince Celebrimbor to make some cool jewellery. But is Rings of Power going to play its biggest card just yet? It seems unlikely, no matter how Sauron-esque that black armour stomping towards Arondir seemed at the end of the episode. Whatever Adar turns out to be, we know they have big, evil plans for the Southlands, and that Arondir is going to need to learn the lesson his distant other heroes in the show are starting to learn already: it’s always good to fight evil side-by-side with a friend, no matter where they come from.

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Want more Gizmodo news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

FAQs

What is the ring of power a metaphor for? ›

This metaphor is most apparent in the One Ring: to possess the Ring is to be powerful, to lose it is to lose power, and to seek it is to seek power. The One Ring establishes a necessary connection between an object and an abstraction (i.e. power).

What are the words on the ring of power? ›

The One Ring inscription

Translated into English: One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. The couplet is from the Rhyme of the Rings, a verse describing the Rings of Power.

What does the ring of power say in Lord of the Rings? ›

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them; In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

Why was the One Ring more powerful than the others? ›

Creating the Ring simultaneously strengthened and weakened Sauron. With the Ring, he could control the power of all the other Rings, and thus he was significantly more powerful after its creation than before; but by binding his power within the Ring, Sauron became dependent on it.

Who will be the villain in Rings of Power? ›

His name is Adar. Obviously, The Rings of Power's ultimate Big Bad is none other than Sauron himself, but there's a lot of narrative ground to cover between where the series is now and the point at which that mythical last alliance of men and elves joins forces to defeat him and the powerful One Ring he wears.

Why does the ring of power make you invisible? ›

In the spiritual world, beings are invisible to those in the physical world. This is why Isildur, Bilbo, and Frodo become invisible when they wear the Ring—because they are no longer in the physical world. As Olsen said, Sauron does not have a real body, so he is not affected in the same way.

Is Tengwar Black Speech? ›

The Ring-inscription was a Black Speech inscription in Tengwar script upon the One Ring, symbolizing the Ring's power to control the other Rings of Power.

What language do the Orcs speak? ›

The orcs from Mordor speak the Black Speech, a language invented for them by Sauron, while those from Isengard speak other tongues; to understand each other, they use the Common Speech (Westron), such as Pippin overheard and understood.

Who were the 9 Rings given to? ›

Sauron gave Nine of the Rings of Power to leaders of Men, who became "mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old". They gained unending lifespans, and the ability to see things in worlds invisible to mortal Men.

Why can't Sam carry the Ring? ›

As for Sam, his resistance likely has to do with his innate goodness and loyalty. His love for Frodo helped him to overcome the pull of the Ring and his inner pureness was never fully pierced by the Ring.

Why can't Gandalf touch the Ring? ›

Though someone could start out with good intentions, the Ring would eventually corrupt them. And that is why Gandalf can't touch it. He is afraid that if he did, it would corrupt him and make him just as bad as Sauron since Sauron put so much of himself and his evil into the One Ring.

Is Amazon Rings of Power based on Silmarillion? ›

No, the new series is not based on The Silmarillion. Amazon only purchased rights to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and its appendices. As a result, LotR: The Rings of Power TV series is based exclusively on Tolkien's writings from those works.

Who is most powerful in Lord of the Rings? ›

God is the most powerful entity in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings universe. The Elvish name for him is actually Eru Ilúvatar, meaning “the one, father of all.” So the question becomes: Who is the second-most powerful being?

What did Gandalf do for 17 years? ›

Over the next 17 years, Gandalf travels extensively, searching for answers on the ring. He finds some answers in Isildur's scroll, in the archives of Minas Tirith. He also wants to question Gollum, who had borne the ring for many years. Gandalf searches long and hard for Gollum, often assisted by Aragorn.

Who can control the One Ring? ›

Page actions
The One Ring
OwnerPrimarily: Sauron, Isildur, Gollum, Bilbo and Frodo
AppearancePlain gold ring with Black Speech inscription made visible by heat
CreatorSauron Mount Doom, c. S.A. 1600
DestroyerFrodo/Gollum Mount Doom, T.A. 3019
5 more rows

Is Tom Bombadil immortal? ›

Proclaimed to be "the oldest in existence," Tom Bombadil was apparently immortal and possesses a range of enigmatic powers able to give full control over his domains, seen by Goldberry that described Tom as being "Master of wood, water and hill". He was also referenced as being impossible to capture or imprison.

Will Gandalf appear in rings of power? ›

The truth is we don't know for sure yet if Gandalf will appear in any form in Prime Video's The Rings of Power. According to Tolkien, the Istari, aka wizards like Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast, we're dispatched to Middle-earth until the Third Age. That said, Gandalf existed well before arriving on Middle-earth.

Who destroyed Morgoth? ›

After committing many evils across the First Age and preceding eras, such as the theft of the Silmarils, which resulted in his name Morgoth, and the destruction of the Two Lamps and the Two Trees of Valinor, Morgoth was defeated by the Host of Valinor in the War of Wrath.

What happens if you wear the Ring too long Lord of the Rings? ›

Wraiths are invisible to the living, the living are invisible to wraiths. When you put on the one ring you step into the world of the wraiths. Wraiths become visible in their true form and continued wearing of the ring will eventually turn you into a wraith and unable to return to the world of the living.

Why didnt the Ring affect Bilbo? ›

Hobbits are simple creatures and do not wish for much, so there is nothing for the Ring to use against a hobbit. Frodo is the hobbit that is corrupted the most next to Gollum and Bilbo, which is why he is unable to throw the Ring into the fire.

How do you say hello in Elvish? ›

In Quenya, general greetings and thanks include "namárië" (be well), "aiya" (hello), and "hara máriessë" (stay in happiness).

Is Sauron an elf? ›

Sauron was not an elf. In his original form, he had an elflike appearance but he was not in fact an elf. All elves were children of Ilúvatar, created by Eru Ilúvatar, the single creator, above the Valar. Sauron on the other hand was the mightiest Maia set out to help Vala create the physical world.

Is Mordor an Elvish? ›

The term Mordor translates to "The Black Land" or "The Dark Land" in Sindarin. mor = "dark, black", dôr = "land" (The Silmarillion, Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names).

Are there female Orcs? ›

Female Orcs exist in Middle Earth. Their existence was confirmed in the Munby letter sold at an auction in 2002. Mr, Tolkiens declared to Mrs. Munby that the female Orcs indeed exist in the The Lord of the Rings universe.

Are Orcs born or made? ›

In The Book of Lost Tales, it is said that Orcs were "bred from the heats and slimes of the earth" through the sorcery of Morgoth. Again, Tolkien later changed this, as Morgoth could not create life on his own. This led to the most popular theory that Orcs were created from corrupted Elves.

Is isildur a Nazgûl? ›

As one of the nine Nazgûl, Isildur was forced to serve the Dark Lord for all time until he was defeated and freed by Talion. The ranger later claimed his ring to survive after Celebrimbor abandoned him and eventually took Isildur's place among the Nazgûl after holding back Sauron's forces for decades.

Was Gimli the last dwarf? ›

Though Gimli has no children, he is not the last Dwarf of Middle-earth. After the fall of Sauron, his people continued to thrive in the Lonely Mountain. Gimli made his home in Rohan, in the Glittering Caves of Aglarond, and many of his kinsfolk came with him.

Who are the 9 wraiths? ›

The Nazgûl (Black Speech: Ringwraiths, sometimes written Ring-wraiths), also known as the Nine Riders or Black Riders (or simply the Nine), were Sauron's "most terrible servants" in Middle-earth. They were mortal Men who had been turned into wraiths by their Nine Rings of power.

Why does Bilbo age so fast? ›

It prolonged his life and he seemed to retain his strength. In comparison, Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) did not have the Ring for nearly as long as Gollum, but after giving it up he grew older and weaker relatively quickly. At least, that's how it happens in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Why didn't they take Eagles to Mordor? ›

The Fellowship can't ride eagles to Mordor because of the giant, flying snake-dragon monsters ridden by One-Ring-sensing warrior kings and their half-mile-wide aura of fear.

Does Sam join Frodo in the Undying Lands? ›

After his wife died in the year 61 of the Fourth Age (SR 1482), Sam entrusted the Red Book to his daughter, Elanor and left the Shire. Because he was also a Ring-bearer, he was allowed to pass over the Sea to be reunited with Frodo in the Undying Lands.

Why can't Frodo destroy the Ring? ›

He wants it and he needs it. Although Frodo is incredibly noble and willing on his journey to throw the ring in the fire it would have come at a cost. A personal sacrifice not even Frodo is capable of after being tormented by the ring for months.

Is Boromir a king? ›

He tried to persuade Frodo to bring The Ring to Minas Tirith. As Boromir spoke, the lure of the Ring grew stronger in him. He envisioned himself as a mighty king who would overthrow Sauron, rescue his people beyond hope, and lead Gondor to victory and glory.

Would Sam have destroyed the Ring? ›

It is only by chance (since they spared Gollum's life) that the Ring was destroyed. If Sam had carried the Ring, then based on what happens in the books, he would have been able to resist the temptation the Ring offered and throw the Ring into the fires with little to no hesitation.

Who was Sauron's master? ›

Morgoth

Was Galadriel a warrior in The Silmarillion? ›

It's strongly insinuated through Tolkien's works that Galadriel was a warrior in her youth. She was described as highly athletic, strong, wise, and a fierce fighter with a mind of a commander ever watchful for the return of the evil.

What does the ring symbolize in Lord of the Rings Christianity? ›

In The Lord of the Rings, the Ring represents ultimate evil or sin, and Frodo, though himself innocent, bears it to its ultimate destruction. The parallels to Christ are clear, for He, though innocent, bore the sins of the world upon Himself and died for the salvation of mankind.

Will Gandalf appear in rings of power? ›

The truth is we don't know for sure yet if Gandalf will appear in any form in Prime Video's The Rings of Power. According to Tolkien, the Istari, aka wizards like Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast, we're dispatched to Middle-earth until the Third Age. That said, Gandalf existed well before arriving on Middle-earth.

What timeline is the rings of power? ›

The Rings of Power is set during Middle-earth's Second Age. This epoch spans nearly three and a half thousand years, with many of the series' events taking place around the middle of this period, circa SA 1500-1701.

Is Tom Bombadil in the rings of power? ›

A merry forest dweller, he first appeared in a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien published in 1934, a few years before The Hobbit. It never appeared like Tom was supposed to be a part of Tolkien's wider Legendarium, and indeed, he doesn't really fit into The Lord of the Rings.

Who is God in Lord of the Rings? ›

Eru Ilúvatar or The One is the single omniscient and omnipotent creator. He has been existing eternally in the Timeless Halls and possesses the Flame Imperishable in his spirit which kindles existence from nothingness.

Was Lord of the Rings based off the Bible? ›

First of all, we can see that Tolkien has modelled his story on the basic plot of the Bible. The Lord of the Rings starts with an unspoiled paradise (the Shire / Garden of Eden), which is rudely disturbed by evil (Sauron / Satanic snake). Then there is a moral quest, which brings about moral and spiritual maturation.

Who represents Jesus in Lord of the Rings? ›

Frodo, as the Ring-Bearer, emerges as a Christ figure, the one who bears the Cross, and with it the sins and the hopes of humanity. He emerges also as an Everyman figure, in the tradition of the mediaeval Mystery Plays, who takes up his own cross in emulation of Christ.

Will Aragorn be in Rings of Power? ›

Will Aragorn appear in 'The Rings of Power'? Although The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will set the stage for Aragorn's character arc through Elendil and Isildur, it's unlikely we'll actually see Strider in the show. The Rings of Power is set thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Is Radagast in Rings of Power? ›

Again, this is very unlikely, because all the wizards — Radagast included — are said to have arrived during the Third Age. The Rings of Power takes place in the Second, ergo, not Radagast.

Who will play Sauron in The Rings of Power? ›

In Amazon Prime's The Rings of Power series, Sauron is played by the British actor Anson Boon. Boon has a relatively small filmography, which includes roles in 1917 and Pistol. However, Sauron will be his biggest role to date.

How old is Elrond in Rings of Power? ›

Elrond should be approximately 1558 years old during the events of The Rings of Power, Screenrant reports. The series actually takes place over 3000 years before the events of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

How old is Galadriel in Rings of Power? ›

Galadriel leaves Middle-earth in TA (Third Age) 3021 when she is around 8,000 years old. Given that the events of The Rings of Power take place before the Third Age, she's around 5,000 years old in the show. This is also corroborated by her birth date in Valinor of 1362 in the "Years of the Trees".

Is Tom Bombadil stronger than Gandalf? ›

More powerful than Gandalf and more ancient than Galadriel, Tom Bombadil is actually Lord of the Rings' most powerful being. When it comes to powerful beings in Lord of the Rings, characters such as Gandalf, Saruman, Galadriel and, of course, Sauron are discussed at great length.

Why did Peter Jackson cut Tom Bombadil? ›

Bombadil is absent from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy; Jackson explained that this was because he and his co-writers felt that the character does little to advance the story, and including him would make the film unnecessarily long.

What's the point of Tom Bombadil? ›

Many Lord of the Rings fans also say Tom Bombadil is actually the most powerful character in all of Middle Earth, due to his apparent immortality, ability to completely resist the Ring, power over his domain, and knowledge that comes from living since the beginning of time.

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