There’s a reason last week’s episode was the highest rated of the season. The hour long battle between Adar and his orcs against the remaining Men was a heart pounding, high stakes adventure that surely had everyone on the edge of their seats. And with such an explosive cliffhanger, we are finally able to see what happened to our heroes after such a brutal battle. The episode is definitely slower than the previous one, but that doesn’t mean this episode is any less exciting. Not only do we see what happened to our heroes who actually fought in this battle, we see how Sauron’s forces have impacted some of our other heroes across Middle-Earth.
A New Fellowship of Sorts
One of the more exciting portions of this episode was seeing how some of last week’s fiery conclusion impacted our brave little Harfoots. We got a major update involving the plot with Nori and the mysterious Stranger. We get even more insight to what the Stranger’s abilities are and just how powerful he is. But with each new piece of information we get about the Stranger, the more questions we have. Luckily, it seems we will get some major development on his character and the mysterious Dweller and their followers. But we’ll talk about that in a minute.
With the Stranger gone, and the Harfoots under attack and down on their luck, Nori, Sadoc, Poppy and Marigold decide to chase down the Stranger in attempt to warn him about the quickly approaching Dweller. Will these brave little Harfoots be able to track down the Stranger in time? Or will we maybe see a super cool battle of magic between The Stranger and these spooky. white cloaked Dwellers? While I do hope the Harfoots are successful, I won’t lie, I’m hoping for the latter. Regardless of what happens, I’m very intrigued what will happen to these wonderfully delightful characters.
Getting to the Bottom of the Mines of Moira
While episode 6 was a smash hit all around, I was a bit sad we didn’t get to see more plot unfold with Elrond and Prince Durin. Thankfully, this episode corrects this and promises a very fiery conclusion for the dwarven/elven plot line. As a huge fan of The Fellowship of the Ring, there was one particular shot from the main trailer for this show prior to it’s release that got me very excited, that being the flaming beast known as The Balrog. Fellowship tells us that the great Dwarven Kingdom took a devastating blow when their own greed caused them to mine too deep into their own mountain and unknowingly unleashed a horrible beast upon their people. Well with only one episode remaining, it seems highly likely that we will get to see some crazy cool dwarf combat.
Getting to see how the search for Mithril and attempting to save the race of Elves led to the downfall of the great Dwarven Kingdom will surely be an amazing spectacle. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing how Lord Elrond is integrated into all these familiar events in the canon of Middle-Earth. Elrond, while not having an action heavy significance on the show, has still been a major player in the overall story of Middle-Earth. I’d like to see Elrond return home in the finale to find that Celebrimbor has finished construction of his great forge. Maybe we can even see the beginnings of the creation of the Rings of Power.
The Battle For the Southlands
Of course we have to talk about the aftermath of that amazing battle from last episode. I was blown away by the intensity of the battle and the uncertainty of the fate of some of these original characters. In the aftermath of Adar’s attack on the Southlands, our main heroes become separated and must all meet up at their base of operations. That being said, we get to see some interesting character interactions we haven’t seen prior, specifically Galadriel and Theo.
We had a really nice moment where we have Galadriel help Theo work through his guilt over causing the destruction of their village. Seeing Galadriel fill this role of a mentor and a hero on the small scale. This feels like a real turning point for Theo and I’m very interested to see what kind of man he grows up to be. It definitely seems like they’re setting him up to be a leader. Which leads me into the big question that everyone has been asking.
Where Is Sauron?
So with the finale just a few short days away, everyone’s been wondering: Where is Sauron? The showrunners have made it clear that Sauron has been present since the start of the show in disguise. So who could he be? Fans have been speculating whether or not The Stranger or The Dweller could be the Lord of the Ring but I have a different theory. While yes, the Dwellers have some iconography that looks like the Eye of Sauron, I believe they are just merely followers of The Dark Lord. It’s clear to me that The Dwellers may have learned of The Stranger’s presence and sent to destroy him since he has the power to vanquish Sauron. In the next paragraph I’ll be giving my suspicions so if you want to go into the finale without any biases, I’d stop your reading here.
For those of you curious as to who I believe to be the show’s villain, I suspect that King Halbrand is actually the Lord Sauron in disguise. We know very little of his past, other than the fact he was running from some terrible things he’s done in his past. We also know that he has encountered Adar, leader of the Orcs, in the past. As you may know, Halbrand is an original character for the show and has no ties to the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings trilogies which would make him fair game to be revealed as Sauron. I also find it interesting that his title in the show is “Rightful King to the Southlands.” Can’t be a coincidence that just last episode we have the official name change from The Southlands to Mordor right? Mordor is Sauron’s domain and it’s where he will inevitably forge The One Ring.
Onward to The Epic Finale
Could I be reaching a bit? Maybe. But that’s what makes this finale so exciting. To have Sauron finally be revealed to us should lead to such a shocking and explosive finale. Especially since we still have a Balrog to deal with and The Dwellers are closing in on The Stranger. So regardless of who is revealed to be a deceiver amongst our heroes, the final episode for the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power should be unforgettable.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiers every Thursday night at 9pm PT on Prime Video.
While slow to start, the show promises huge payoffs, features stunning visuals, immaculate costuming and makeup, ethereal score, and heart pounding choreography that audiences won't soon forget.
Even when I was just a young kid I had always been fascinated in film and the work that goes into them. I love animation, blockbuster hits, indie films and everything in between. Some day I’ll have the privilege of being apart of the filmmaking process.