With only three episodes remaining, the series’ narrative threads are beginning to converge.
What we want to do and what we must do are seldom the same, even in Middle-earth. Just ask the eternally honorable Elrond, who finds himself between a mythical ore and a hard place in Partings, the latest installment of The Rings of Power. It turns out that there was indeed an ulterior motive behind High King Gil-galad sending him to Khazad-dûm, since mithril – which the dwarves, led by Elrond’s close friend Prince Durin IV, mined in secret – would be the only one could prevent the elves from slowly disappearing into oblivion. When asked by Gil-galad if the dwarves actually found the precious ore, Elrond refuses to answer, saying he swore an oath to Durin not to reveal what he saw in those mines. Then he asked a much more laden question, one that speaks to a series of overlapping conflicts in The Rings of Power at the moment: “And what if keeping your promise to his people meant securing your own destiny ?
Galadriel and Halbrand face similar afflictions. Lest you think that Aragorn was the only reluctant heir in Tolkien’s legendarium, Halbrand is here to dissuade you from that notion – he is not too pleased with Galadriel’s plan to sail back to the Southlands with the support of five Númenorian ships, too much worried about his own plight, worried about those of the people he is assigned to lead. He’s reluctant to make the trip at first, but at least he’s making it. How he will be received on his arrival, of course, remains to be seen, and it is suspected that it may not be as warmly received as that received by Aragorn for Haldir in The Two Towers.
And because no episode is complete without a Galadriel Being Awesome sequence, we are presented with a challenge she poses to the sailors accompanying her across the divided seas: defeat them in a sword fight, which in this context means just making contact with their flesh. Whoever manages the feat promises Elendil (leader of this seafaring army) will be promoted to lieutenant. The only one who pulls it off – albeit not in a one-on-one competition, and not before Galadriel has easily made easy on at least a dozen others in a stunning display of her skills – is Valandil (Alex Tarrant), a close friend of a character , whose name should ring a bell.
That would be Isildur (Maxim Baldry), whom you may remember ignoring Elrond’s humble request to throw the One Ring into the fire, only to be betrayed by it in the prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring. Though fate is destined to make an extremely bad call at some point in the future, today’s Isildur seems like a good guy – although he does show signs of the same impulsiveness. Having recently been kicked out of the Seaguard, he now wants to join the expedition that will bring Galadriel back to Middle-earth. Not so keen on this idea? His father, Elendil, who is becoming increasingly disenchanted with his son’s habit of shirking his duties because he is too busy being the hero of his own story. (Kids these days!) Isildur eventually makes it onto one of the ships, which is probably a good thing as long as there are no power rings on board.
After carefully considering Adar’s ultimatum to either pledge allegiance or die in last week’s episode, Bronwyn addresses her people with a stirring speech, asking which of them will rise up and fight with her, even though she won’t is the king they’ve been waiting for (read: half-rim). There is discord among the ranks, alas, and Waldreg (Geoff Morell), the same old man who scared young Theo last week by telling him whose sword he has, convinces half of them to take their chances and Adar to bend the knee in the hope that he will keep his promise. Spoilers: he doesn’t! Waldreg’s performative oath of allegiance to Adar isn’t enough – perhaps because he misidentifies him (or does he?) as Sauron – and so the apparent elf-orc hybrid tells the wizened elder that “only blood can bind” before commanding him , to kill a boy who followed him on this unwise journey. Maybe it would have been better to stay and fight.
With just three episodes left in this inaugural season – Wayne Che Yip, who has now directed three episodes in a row, will also direct the finale after Charlotte Brändström (“The Witcher”, “Outlander”) for the next two – “The Rings”. – einsprungt of Power” has kept most of its storylines separate so far. That could change with the arrival of Galadriel and Halbrand in the Southlands, who have the potential to provide some needed connective tissue. It seems no coincidence that Arondir, a Sauron truther in much the same vein as Galadriel, is about to defend Halbrand’s people from an army of orcs. The Two Towers worked similarly, constantly moving from one group of characters to another, but those characters only came together after they all joined a specific community – something that didn’t happen here, meaning our many heroes may not be too friendly with each other when they inevitably meet.
Speaking of which, The Hobbits are back on The Rings of Power after a one-episode hiatus – which means The Stranger is, too. He continues to live up to his name and apparently still hasn’t had time to bathe since he landed in Middle-earth encased in a comet; its greatest power is disorder. However, the enigmatic character learns English fairly quickly with Nori’s help, including such important words as ‘migration’ and ‘kill’. (Certainly the second one leaves nothing to guess.) However, after a nice caravan montage, accompanied by a song sung by Nori’s friend Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards), we see that the crater in which he landed is being invaded by three otherworldly beings was found whose intentions don’t exactly seem pure.
Because no matter how well Nori and her new boyfriend got along, there is trouble in paradise. After using his abilities to fend off a trio of wargs, The Stranger falls into a trance of sorts while healing his arm by dunking it in water and freezing it. Nori, confused by this, tries to wake him up by putting her hand on his arm. When her own hand begins to freeze, she tries desperately to remove it. The stranger, still unaware of her presence, eventually backs away, throwing her back several feet. She then runs into the woods, aware for the first time of the potential danger her new boyfriend poses. He does not know his own power; even more worrying is that he doesn’t know himself. Neither do we, of course, and his true identity remains the most compelling mystery in The Rings of Power – one whose revelation has both a lot of potential and a lot to offer.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/recaps/rings-of-power-recap-episode-5-1235381338/ Rings of Power Episode 5 Summary: Who’s the Stranger?