Beware – this piece contains spoilers
Last week’s instalment of The Rings of Power threw up some key questions: Would Halbrand break his oath by joining Galadriel’s voyage to the Southlands? Could young Theo resist the pull of Sauron’s blade? And what’s the significance of the dwarves mining Mithril? We’ve got answers to all of that and more this week, and there was still time to catch up with the Harfoots, too. They even sang us a song! Let’s take a look at where things stand after fifth episode, “Partings”…
The Harfoots are back, with a song in their hearts and wolves on their tail
We start this week with the Harfoots on the road again. After a quick breather so that Nori (Markella Kavenagh) can teach The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) about their migratory habits, we follow the creatures’ travels through the sort of montage of gorgeous pastoral vistas that Middle-earth is full of. The sequence is accompanied by Poppy (Megan Richards) singing a Harfoot folk song called “This Wandering Day”. An original creation for The Rings of Power, it’s a stirring tribute to leaving behind the comforts of hearth and home to explore the unknown. There are dangers too, of course, as the Harfoots soon learn the hard way when they’re set upon by wolves in some dark and dismal woods. Thankfully, The Stranger is on hand to chase the ferocious beasts off using a blast of his magic, injuring himself in the process but at least proving to the Harfoot elders that they were right to let him tag along. Earlier, Nori had reassured The Stranger that he was not “a peril” to her and her family, but a help. That might not be entirely true. She almost freezes to death when she interrupts him tending to his wound, and they don’t yet know about the sinister, silent white robed-trio who are on The Stranger’s trail. Wolves might be the least of their worries.
Arondir teaches Theo to aim higher
Last week, we saw elf bowman Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) return to the Ostirith watchtower to deliver a message from Adar (Joseph Mawle) to the humans sheltering there: swear fealty or die. This week, the crowd of mortals come to their decision – and it’s a pretty even split. (52 per cent – 48 per cent, no doubt). One half choose to stay in the tower and fight behind Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), even after she acknowledges that she’s “not the King you’ve been waiting for” (more on him soon). The others tramp off to take the knee before Adar, led by the old pub landlord Waldreg (Geoff Morrell). He’s soon made to prove his loyalty by killing one of his own. Crucially, Bronwyn’s teenage son Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) voted to remain. After Arondir gives him a couple of archery pointers, Theo turns over the mysterious black hilt that Waldreg told him was fashioned by Sauron’s own hand. There’s hope for the teenage tearaway yet.
Galadriel finally sets sail – and gets Halbrand on board
So, about the new King (not that one). As Bronwyn mentioned, the people of the Southlands have been waiting a long time for one to show up. Only trouble is, the rightful heir Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) – sorry, Lord Halbrand these days – is on the other side of Arda in Númenor having sworn a solemn oath never to return. Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) tries to convince him otherwise, but he’s having none of it. “Find another head to crown!” he tells her, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Galadriel it’s that she hates to take no for an answer. She has another crack at it, pointing out to Halbrand that it was his ancestors who sided with Morgoth and the orcs, not him personally. Not exactly, says Halbrand, hinting that he’s got some deep and dark secrets waiting back home. Still, by the time Galadriel and Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) set sail to Middle-earth, Lord Halbrand is right there with them. Finally on their way to the Southlands, they better hope those ships are as fast as they look – there are only three episodes left!
Speaking of the breaking of solemn oaths, Elrond (Robert Aramayo) is an elf in a bind this episode. Having sworn to dwarf Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) just last week that he would under absolutely no condition reveal the existence of mysterious ore Mithril to his fellow elves, he’s forced to do just that by High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker). It seems that Elrond was sent to Khazad-dûm under false pretences, and that Gil-galad already suspected the dwarves had chanced upon an ore theA elves themselves badly need. Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) explains to Elrond that they’ll require “vast quantities” of the glowing ore so that they can “saturate every last elf” in its light. Otherwise, as Elrond later tells Durin, “my kind must either abandon these shores by Spring or perish”. Prince Durin is quite pleased by this turn of events. Not only does the fate of the entire elven race rest in his hands, he also has an excuse to try and reopen mines he hadn’t wanted to close in the first place. He promises to help talk his more cautious dad King Durin III (Peter Mullan) into the scheme, while a team of elves struggle to carry the massive dining table he conned out of King Gil-galad. All in all, Durin will feel that was a pretty good trip to Lindon.
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