The main events of the fourth episode of “Rings of Power”
Warning: The following article contains details that may spoil the suspense before viewing the piece
We have now completed the first half of our journey through the world of Middle-earth. With the conclusion of the fourth episode of The Rings of Power, which aired this week, we have reached the halfway point of this eight-episode season. This means that the excitement should be building, but despite the promising start of the series, the development of events seems to have descended to the pace of an exhausted horse, without any clear explanation. For those of us still watching the plot, here are the main questions that Episode 4 raises:
Will Hallbrand join Galadriel on her journey to the Southlands?
Much of this episode focuses on Galadriel (Morvid Clarke) and her attempts to raise an army of Land Númenor fighters to sail with her to the Southlands and fight the mutants who gather there. Time after time, her repeated pleas for the help of the Queen of Númenor, Regent Meriel (Cynthia Addai Robinson) in her war against Sauron and his minions fail, as the Queen is determined to return her to Middle-earth alone. That was until the end of the episode, when Meriel saw leaves falling from the white tree. She tells her people that it is a symbol of “the very tears of the Valar”, the gods who gave them Númenor in the first place.
When Meriel realizes it’s wrong not to support Galadriel’s plan, she reverses course in the final moments of the episode and announces that she will “personally escort a dwarf to Middle-earth to help our dying brothers who are now trapped in the Southlands”.
After a short time, we see the men of Númenor calling to fight on their side, and Galadriel finally manages to gather her army. What is not clear is whether Hallbrand (Charlie Vickers) will go with them. Now he’s out of prison (as we learned in the previous episode), and Galadriel believes him to be the “lost heir to the throne of the Southlands in exile,” but so far he’s vehemently refused her pleas to return home. Will seeing a fleet of Númenorean savages ready for battle be enough to convince him to change his mind?
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Will Theo be able to resist Sauron’s temptation?
It’s been a big week for Theo (Tairu Mahavdin), the grumpy teenage son of Bronwen (Nazanin Boniadi). After entire villages of the Southern Lands fled from the attacking mutants and were evacuated to the safety of the dwarven guardhouse, its inhabitants soon realized that they had made a mistake due to inexperience: they had not brought their own food with them. Theo decides to forage for food, despite his mother specifically telling him not to, and ends up in a village overrun by mutants. He eventually escapes with a little help from Arondir (Ismail Cruz Córdova), but in the process the mutants learn that a mysterious black sword-like weapon is in Theo’s possession. Alarmingly, whenever Theo’s blood touched the broken blade of the weapon, it would evaporate into a cloud of black smoke. The mutants are desperate to get the weapon back into their possession, while in the Watchtower, Theo discovers more about this mysterious artifact. The old innkeeper tells him, “It is not a sword… It is power forged by the hand of its master for our ancestors… Have you heard of him, boy? Have you heard of Sauron?” Given what we know of the destructive power of magical items in the land Tolkien created, the future of young Theo is feared.
Not every Mithril shines
Meanwhile, in Lyndon, the home of the dwarves in Middle-earth, work is in full swing on the creation of a powerful forge that the dwarves are helping Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) build. However, strangely, we don’t see the dwarf prince Doreen IV (Owen Arthur) at all. Silbermbore sends Elrond (Robert Aramayo) to find him, and the troll escapes with the help of Doreen’s wife Diza (Sophia Nomfit) before finally finding his friend to an old mine beneath Lake Mirrormere. There, Doreen swears him to keep his secret before revealing that the dwarves have been mining mithril, an interesting new raw material that is “lighter than silk, harder than iron. When used in weapons, they will be the finest blades we can be proud of.” explains the dwarf (you may remember that in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were given a shield of mithril chains that Gandalf describes as “more valuable than the land of the dwarves and everything in it”). During the dialogue between Doreen and Elrond, disaster strikes and the mine collapses beneath their feet. This prompts Doreen’s father, King Doreen III (actor Peter Mullan) to shut down the entire mine – but surely this isn’t the last time we see the shiny mithril?
Where are the Harfoot characters?
Unfortunately, with all that has happened in Númenor and the violence in the Southlands this week, the lovely Harefoot race is never mentioned. Some critics of the series say that The Rings of Power is set in a very disembodied fantasy world, and this is especially evident when the creatures of the Harfoot, a race of hobbits, are not present. We want the Harfoot duo Nouri and Bobby back and we will forgive everything that happened.
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