1.04: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - The Great Wave


"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
Aug 27, 2019
The Netherlands
Episode 4 is a mixed bag. The political rant about ‘damn forn’rs stealing our jobs’ was cringy.
It was cringy. In a way, intentional. None of what he said was in any way realistic.
The rant was fake, orchestrated by chancellor Pharazôn, who made a big show of it at the end. You see him thank Tamar (the ranter) afterwards.
Pharazôn has his own agenda.


Venu d'un pays ou il ne pleut pas
Oct 26, 2013
I'm not at home and able to check the books to see if it's in the appendices of the LOTR ( and therefore able to be used in this series) as well as the history of Numenor in the Silmarillion.
Pharazon's efforts to promote a political shift away from the Elves and the Valar is certainly within the Tolkien canon.


Swamp Critter
Jan 12, 2021
Beautiful Cleveland, Ohio
The actual canon goes far beyond LOTR. Decades ago, after reading 4-5 compilations of the writings of JRR, collected and edited by his son Christopher, I gave up. Still have a couple on the shelf that I haven't opened.
All that is moderately irrelevant however. There was one report that the Tolkien Trust, pleased with what they saw of the early episodes, did give additional access to writings beyond LOTR. But if they did so, it would have to have been after the production of this first series. Hence, what you've got is extrapolations from LOTR, beyond the relatively small pre-history written in those books. So, "The canon" as fartnar uses it must be a matter of style - and content which does not contradict the three well known volumes.

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Nov 1, 2004
Sorry for taking so long with writing my synopsis/review. Just when I thought I had plenty of time to work, I got sick for a few days, and then I got busy for a few days. But here is Part I, and Part II will follow later today, after I edit it.

Synopsis, 1.04

(Part I)

The episode begins with Queen-Regent Miriel blessing the children, a ritual welcoming the infants recently born in Númenor. It is a charming scene as she cuddles the babies, one-by-one—until she is interrupted by a rumbling and shaking. “Our island needs to stretch,” she explains calmly, but the shaking and rattling continue and grow worse, and white petals from the tree in the plaza below come blowing in through the great arched window at the end of the room. As the Queen looks out upon her city, she sees rolling waves coming in from the harbor, engulfing the buildings. Walls fall, domes collapse, people scream, the giant waves come all the way up to the terrace where she stands, knocking her violently off her feet.

And then ... Miriel is shocked out of her dream. She is sitting in her bedchamber and a maid is drawing back the curtains on her window, telling her what a perfect day it is.

Down in the streets, her cousin, Chancellor Pharazôn, is strolling through the markets, shaking hands, politicking. His son, Kemen, follows after him, trying to get his attention, but being treated dismissively. “What seems to be the trouble?” Pharazôn finally asks.

“We may have a bit of a squall on our hands,” replies Kamen.

And they certainly do. One of the men (it develops that his name is Tamar) who fought Halbrand is in the square spreading lies: Elf ships in the harbor! Elves will soon be taking over all the trades! Workers who don’t tire, don’t sleep, don’t age! “The Queen is either blind or an elf lover, like her father.”

Well, of course, this is nonsense. Immortal elves with their own beautiful cities and forest homes, their arts and superior technologies, wanting nothing more than to slave away day and night in Númenor’s workshops? Why would they? Not to mention that there is only one elf currently on the island and she has very different business on her mind. But historically, in times quite recent to our own, the argument that foreigners are there to rob the common man of his livelihood by robbing him of his job has been extremely effective in rousing up mob violence. So the whole idea is stupid, but realistically stupid. And I suppose that having broken off contact with the elves generations ago, the average Númenórean has no idea how elves actually live. Too, the workers are reacting to Tamar’s outrage. Such things can be contagious. Still, I’d like to imagine that the more reasonable members of the crowd who were roused up in the moment went home afterward and thought, “What could we have been thinking?”

As hysteria rises Pharazôn steps in to calm things down. He refers to their glorious past and great deeds (exaggerating some of these) and contrasts it with what he sees now, men of Númenor feeling threatened by one elf, a castaway. “Trust in me,” he says. “For by the callouses on my hands …” He holds up his hands, which do not appear calloused at all. “I swear that elven hands will never take Númenor’s helm. She will remain a kingdom of Men.” Then, as the people cheer him, he orders drinks all around. As he goes through the crowd greeting people, he takes a moment to give an embrace and a brief nod to Tamar.

So it looks like Pharazôn and Tamar are in league. The Chancellor has encouraged a near-riot, just so that he can step in and restore the peace, painting himself as the hero of the common folk in the process. And of course it works—despite the fact that I highly doubt that shaking the roughened hands of workers, and signing proclamations, and performing the other work of government, or any of his other regular activities has noticeably hardened his hands.

Meanwhile, Eärien (daughter of Elendil, sister of Isildur) has been watching all this as it happens. Kamen, spotting a pretty girl standing apart from the crowd—a girl whose mode of dress proclaims her as fairly high status—comes over to offer her a glass of the free wine. “There isn’t a name in the city he doesn’t know,” Kemen says of his father, “or a crowd he can’t turn, a favor he isn’t owed.”

“Impressive,” replies Eärien, but she doesn’t say whether the impression is a good one or a bad one, so we’ll have to wait and see on that. Especially because as the two young people continue to chat, someone from the architects' guild comes by to remind the new apprentice of her duties elsewhere, so Eärien hastily departs.

Something tells me that Eärien is going to become deeply involved with this family as the story progresses. Also, I suppose Kemen goes on the list of potential future Nazguls, being human, well-connected, and someone whose ultimate fate we know nothing about, since he is an original character to the series. All of which applies to Eärien, come to that.

Elsewhere, Queen Miriel has summoned Galadriel to a meeting with her and Elendil. “You vex me, elf” says Miriel, taking Galadriel to task for her trip to the archives in the last episode, as well as for what she brought back. What she stole as Miriel puts it, but if Galadriel had stolen the manuscript then why is it the Queen who holds it in her hands? She also scolds Galadriel because while the elf was gone her southlander companion assaulted Númenórean citizens. (As if Galadriel has any control over Hal!) We know that they assaulted Hal first, but I doubt any of the witnesses would be inclined to side with him.

“He is understandably quick of temper,” says Galadriel quietly. “His people are dying. I believe the man you hold in your dungeons is no common brawler, but the lost heir in exile to the throne of the Southlands.” The Queen answers sarcastically, and Galadriel, who started out quiet and respectful becomes vehement. “His people are scattered, leaderless, but with your backing they might unite behind his banner.”

Miriel doesn’t like the sound of this. “What do you mean, 'backing'?”

Galadriel is still holding her own temper. She reminds the Queen that Sauron was the enemy of the Númenórean people as well as the enemy of the elves. She asks for an an alliance and an army to help her prevent Sauron from claiming the Southlands. The Queen refuses her request with a bit of a sneer concluding, “King or carpenter, the Southlander will face judgement.”

As Miriel ends the audience and begins to stalk away. Galadriel trades a look with Elendil. Elendil’s expression, while sympathetic, indicates that Galadriel should just let things be for now. But it is here that she finally lets loose the rage she has been holding inside. She demands an audience with “Númenor’s true ruler, your father the King.”

Miriel now loses her own temper—which was on a short leash to begin with. “You should not speak of things you do not understand.”

“And you should stand aside, that I might present my proposal to one who holds the power to answer it.”

Elendil steps in to try to calm Galadriel (good luck with that!) but the two women are both too angry and continue their quarrel. During which, the Queen disparages Galadriel as “a castaway, grasping for a handhold in a tempest.”

Then Galadriel speaks the line that some viewers dislike, but I actually loved. “There is a tempest in ME. It swept me to your island for a reason, and it will not be quelled by you—Regent!”

I will pause here to say that I think both women are playing their roles very well. Addai-Robinson looks, moves, and sounds like a Queen. This may seem a little wooden to modern viewers, but it is what the part requires. Not only that, but she is a Queen in a land that has come to mistrust her family, a land that originally did not even allow women to rule, though it has been allowed for generations now. ( But had they changed the law sooner, Silmarien would have ruled instead of her brother, and Elendil's line would have been the royal family, not a minor cadet branch.) A male on the throne could roister and wench and who would blink an eye. But Miriel, one of the few women ever to rule in Númenor, must be aware of constant observation, of people who would gleefully point out any failure of dignity, any least moment when she fails to be regal-enough.

Clark, on the other hand, remains intense, and seething with anger and impatience she can't always hold inside. But as a princess of the Noldor, a commander of armies, she has a confidence that Miriel could never have. It would never occur to her that she need prove her worth to anyone. She, too, holds herself like royalty, because that is what she has been all her life, a life that has already lasted thousands of years. But we can also see the tempest inside.

While we hear no response to Galadriel's challenging words from Miriel, the next visual is Galadriel being locked away in a cell, next to Hal’s.

“Don’t tell me,” teases Hal. “Tavern brawl?”

“Sedition,” answers Galadriel.

I don’t see how anything she said to Miriel could truly be classed as sedition, but I guess the Queen in an old-fashioned monarchy could bring any charges she chooses—whether it would stand up in a Númenórean court remains to be seen. The two women seem like kindred spirits to me, but obviously with different circumstances driving them. And one of them is in a position of power, and it is not, alas, Galadriel. By the way, the place where Hal—and now Galadriel—is locked up was described by someone earlier as a dungeon, but if that is what it is, it is the classiest dungeon I’ve ever seen. The bars are bronze, there are decorated marble arches and floors of well-laid stone blocks, and prominently displayed is a large and glorious statue of a mermaid—or perhaps one of the Valar associated with the sea, or one of the Maia who serve them? Maybe this is part of an ancient temple converted to a prison? Whatever it originally was, it can’t have been built to serve its present purpose.

The next scene is aboard a training ship where sea cadets are having one of their final sails. Going by what the sailing master says, it looks as if at the moment everyone has been doing well enough to pass and be promoted to the Sea Guard.

But Isildur is listening to voices no one else can hear, voices calling him from the west (I presume the western part of the island, since he’s been raised to respect the Valar and wouldn’t contemplate violating their ban) and he doesn’t want to join the guard, at least not yet. He allows a halyard to slip from his hands. His friends, Ontamo and Valandil, leave their place at the wheel and leap to pull the rope back, and as a result they are the ones who end up facing the irate Sea-Master. As Ontamo tries to excuse what happened, Isildur inserts himself between and confesses, “It was my fault. I let it slip.”

But the Sea-Master is having none of that. “I’ve seen you ease that halyard proper a hundred times. That was deliberate. You’re off the Sea Guard … all three of you!”

Well, that is extremely unfair! All that the others did was try to rescue the situation and the ship. Maybe if Ontamo had not tried making excuses? I suppose that might have made it look as though they were in cahoots. Still, I don’t entirely buy it that he could dismiss them all without some sort of hearing, especially when their performance of their duties had been satisfactory up to that point. Maybe call it dramatic license, since we don’t really want to watch a hearing? Still it all happened awfully quickly.

Back on land, Isildur’s friends are understandably upset. “I thought the Sea-Master would only dismiss me,” says Isildur. “I’m sorry.”

But a furious Valandil does not accept his apology. “You just set our whole lives on fire.” Ontomo asks for a chamber pot; he thinks he is going to be sick.

"I’ll speak to my father,” says Isildur. “Convince him to see that you are both re-instated.”

“Leave it to you,” sneers Valandil, “to get kicked out of something you never earned in the first place.” He and Isildur start to tussle, Ontomo breaks it up, and Isildur walks away.

It’s true that Isildur got placed as a sea cadet through his father’s influence. Also other opportunities before that, and didn't do well. The other boys are perhaps of less noble parentage—actually, they almost certainly would be, since Elendil and his sons, though only minor nobility now, are descended from Elros, the first king of Númenor and Valandil in particular has wanted to be in the Sea Guard as long as he can remember. To lose their dream because their privileged friend accidentally involved them in his own scheme to get dismissed would be infuriating indeed. It looks like this quarrel is the sort that might never be made up, and that Isildur might have turned a friend into an enemy—but since future Isildur, per the books, names his youngest son Valandil, perhaps not.

In the next scene we are back in the orc tunnels, where Arondir and a seriously—perhaps even mortally—wounded Magrot await the orc’s much revered leader, Adar. Adar appears, and is not—as might be expected—an orc himself, but an elf, an elf with many scars on his face (and therefore, possibly, more scars where we can’t see them). Adar kneels down beside Magrot and puts a hand on his head, as if to offer comfort or healing, but instead he stabs the orc in the chest and watches him die.

Was this an impulse of cruelty, or a mercy killing? Adar seemed grief-stricken afterwards, so I am guessing the latter. But we don’t know this character, so it could be either.

After the other orcs remove the body, and Adar sits looking downcast for a while, he finally addresses Arondir—in Quenya. He asks where Arondir was born.

Arondir answers, “Beleriand.” (Beleriand was a vast land, so this isn't telling much. By the second age, most of Beleriand is under water, but we have no way of telling Arondir's age.)

“Was it by the river?”

Arondir doesn’t answer the question, but instead asks, “Who are you?”

Now it is Adar’s turn to avoid a question. Switching to the common tongue—which is to say, they are speaking English now, and we need not rely on captions to understand them—he says softly, reminiscently, “I went down that river once, when I was young. I remember, the banks were covered in sage blossoms, miles of them.”

Is this a clue to his identity? Are we supposed to think, “aha” and immediately think of some particular elf? If so, I am stumped. Or perhaps he is trying to establish a rapport with Arondir, prior to more questioning? That is a well-known interrogator’s technique. Since he doesn't go on to interrogate him, however, maybe it's supposed to be a clue.

“Why do the orcs call you ‘father’?” Arondir is not giving up.

“You have been told many lies. Some of them run so deep, even the rocks and roots now believe them," Adar answers cryptically. "To untangle it all would all but require the creation of a new world. But that is something only the gods can do, and I am no god—not yet.”

“What are you?” Arondir asks (reasonably enough).

But Adar is not going to be the first one to give a straight answer. “Go to the Men who have taken refuge in the old watchtower. Deliver to them a message.”

“What message?” But though Arondir must finally get an answer—or how could he deliver the message?—the scene ends before we hear that answer.

Yes, this is a trick growing a little old by now, cutting off a scene at a suspenseful moment. But since we are surely going to hear the message when he delivers it, do we really want to hear it twice? No. But it is frustrating ,nevertheless, placed as it is after a series of questions with no clear answers. The screenwriters seem overly addicted to teasing us. Guessing games can be fun, but there is a limit, after which they are no longer so much fun. I only hope we get some solid answers before that point.

As it is, we are left with many questions about Adar. Who is he? Why do the orcs worship him so? Why do they call him their father? What does he mean by his cryptic remarks about becoming a god? It has been said that Morgoth first created the orcs by twisting and torturing and corrupting elves. This is what some of the characters believe, but I don’t know if we are meant to be absolutely certain. But it has been made plain in Tolkien’s writing that the gift of life to sentient beings is reserved for Eru Iluvatar, the creator, to give. And Tolkien specifically said that Morgoth lacks the power to make new things. He can only spoil what already exists. So the elves to orc theory seems sound. Could Adar, who still looks like an elf—though one with scars that most elves should have been able to heal for themselves—and who in some ways acts and talks like an elf—could he be an early but not entirely successful attempt by Morgoth to create goblins out of elves? If this is so, he must be very, very old. Perhaps each generation of orcs after the first experiment became more monstrous. But because Adar came first, orcs like the ones we meet here look on him as a father? Well, it’s the only theory I have now. Maybe further information will explode this theory completely. What do others think?

Someone posed the question, “If orcs were made from elves, are they also immortal? Which is a good question. I don’t know if anyone knows the answer. Maybe there is no answer. Once orcs became numerous, they were treated as expendable, as cannon fodder. Plus they are violent among themselves. Perhaps none of them survive long enough that even they have an idea of what their natural life span might be?

Next we join the afore-mentioned southlanders at the tower. Nobody says how long they have been there, but they are running out of food, so probably for several days. Furthermore the countryside around the tower hasn’t enough game to provide so many people with sufficient rations for more than a day or two at a time. Theo suggests that they send a small party into Tirharad during the day when the orcs are less active, go in quick and quiet, and raid Waldreg’s root cellar—as Waldreg ran the tavern we can assume there must be large stores of food there, though even those won’t last for long amongst such a crowd, which encompasses the populations of several villages.

“What poor sod will you rope into that?” says Treadwill (the fellow with the fleece jerkin and the white cap).

“I’ll do it, if nobody else will,” Theo eagerly volunteers, possibly feeling a little cocky after he and his mother killed that orc who attacked them at home.

But Bronwyn forbids it. If some of the men had volunteered who knows what she would have said to that, but she’s not about to send a boy—her boy—to do what the men fear to attempt. “We’ll forage the hills again first. Gather the hunters.” It’s like Bronwyn has forgotten what teenage boys are like.

I figure Theo to be thirteen or fourteen. He’s much taller than his mother, but since she’s so small that’s not saying much. He has a very little fuzz on his upper lip, which we wouldn’t even see if his hair wasn’t so dark. But whether in his early or middle teens, still a teenager.

So having been told not to do it, of course Theo and his mouthy friend Rowan head for the village to gather supplies. The countryside is littered with the carcasses of dead animals—the orcs seem to kill sheep and cattle for the joy of killing, not as food for themselves. The villagers left their livestock behind, which was short-sighted, but it’s too late to do anything about that now; the carcasses are rotting. It’s a gruesome sight, and Rowan wants to go back to the tower, but Theo taunts him into continuing.

In terms of their search, it’s a successful trip. The boys heap a large wheelbarrow with bags of food. Theo points to a large building they haven’t entered yet, and suggests they check inside. Rowan proves reluctant, so Theo goes alone. Outside, Rowan hears a noise and swiftly decamps—pushing the clattering wheel barrow before him. Inside, Theo has discovered a bag of grain half-spilled on the floor. As he kneels to refill the bag, an orc enters the building. “Where did you get that!” Unfortunately, it is not the grain he is asking about, but the ill-concealed sword hilt that Theo carries at his side.

The orc (whose name is Vrant, according to the captions) draws a long knife and takes a vicious cut at Theo’s leg, then, with a smirk, licks off the blood. Theo draws the hilt of the black sword, and jabs it into his own arm to feed his blood to it, which, as expected, magically summons the blade. He takes a swipe and slashes Vrant’s hand, and as the orc reacts the boy takes the opportunity to escape through the door.

Vrant follows. Though he can’t see where Theo has gone, he is still triumphant. “Oi, oi,” he shouts to the other orcs. “I’ve found it. It’s a boy. He’s found the hilt.”

“A boy? Where is he?” another orc shouts back. Vrant doesn’t know but we do: we see Theo hiding down inside a well.

Vrant sends word to Adar, then orders the other orcs to spread out and search. “Nobody sleeps until he’s found!”

So we leave Theo for the time-being, wet, wounded, and stranded in a well, while the village around him swarms with orcs determined to find him. Another suspenseful end to a scene, but I think this one is meant to allow for some passage of time before Theo is either found or makes his move, which seems legitimate.

And now we know what the orcs were looking for by digging their trenches. The tunnels made sense because they were using them to sneak up and attack villages, but the trenches never did seem to have a clear purpose, since they were so exposed—not least to the sun—unless Arondir was right when he speculated they were searching for something, perhaps a weapon. How he made such a lucky guess I don’t know. It seems implausible. I didn’t see or hear anything that specifically hinted at a search for a weapon. Perhaps Arondir was using some elven intuition? Or did I miss something?

Next we find ourselves in Eregion, where Elrond and Celebrimbor are viewing the skeleton of what will become the forge tower. It is obvious that elves and dwarves have been at work for quite some time (and also, therefore, that not all the timelines of the different groups of characters are in sync with each other—maybe none of them are, and we will only grow frustrated if we try to interpret the passing of time as if they were). Celebrimbor makes a remark about Elrond resembling his father, which leads into a story about Eärendil, one that seems irrelevant to what is happening, and also is maybe a lie, since Elrond says that he doesn’t remember ever hearing that Celebrimbor knew his father. In a future episode, Celebrimbor will also tell a story about speaking to Eärendil, though again the inclusion of the anecdote will seem a bit forced.

Elrond drinks these references in, eager to learn anything he can about the heroic father that he himself never had much opportunity to know. But though he seems to believe every word, are we meant to accept these stories for truth? Because I didn’t, even this first time. Or is the significance of these scenes to the present story supposed to be a suggestion that perhaps Celebrimbor is not entirely trustworthy, not necessarily to be believed when he says something? I can see no other point to them, unless such references to legendary figures are supposed to please ardent fans of the legendarium—who in my opinion are the very viewers most likely to be displeased by all the diversions from Tolkien’s writing, and many of whom probably gave up watching the series long since. Some of us, of course, know some things about what Celebrimbor will be up to in the future, and perhaps this is supposed to foreshadow some of that, but the impression I always had concerning things of … an annular nature … was that Celebrimbor was guillible, not deceitful and bad.

“You seem unsettled today, my lord,” says Elrond to Celebrimbor. “What troubles you?”

“No, I promised I wouldn’t mention it to you,” answers Celebrimbor, looking sad and soulful. “He’s your friend.” Elrond sighs and whispers, “Durin.” The older elf hesitates before speaking with dramatic pauses and sighs in significant places. “Either he’s avoiding me, or he’s hiding something.”

He promised himself that he wasn’t going to mention it—but yet he immediately does, no coaxing required. Yes, Celebrimbor is looking a tad sly and manipulative to me.

So of course Elrond hurries off to Khazad-dûm to speak to Durin, but has little luck in finding him. “Did you try asking his work teams,” suggests Disa.

“I did,” says Elrond, “all nineteen of them. One would almost think it suspicious.”

“Are you suggesting that Durin’s got himself a wee girlfriend,” asks Disa.

“There is none other than you milady!”

“I know,” laughs Disa, “Who’d have him?” But not all the dwarf princess’s subsequent efforts to divert him (he's mining quartz seems to be the gist of it), nor the sound of dwarf children singing and rhyming in the background, distract Elrond from his suspicions.

He leaves Disa and her children, but he does not leave Khazad-dûm. A while later, while sitting on a bridge, he (overhears? lip-reads?) employs his keen elven senses to eavesdrop on a conversation between Disa and Durin from a distance. “We’re making good progress in the old mine,” says Durin, amidst the arch flirtation of the happy couple.

“The old mine beneath the Mirrormere,” whispers Elrond to himself, pleased to discover the sort of clue he’s been seeking. He follows a stone staircase to a lower level, and notes fires lit at intervals to illuminate a location that has, supposedly, been long-deserted. But this path leads him nowhere until he comes to a blank wall that somehow attracts his attention. After pushing on it unsuccessfully, an idea occurs to him, and he recites the rhyme that Durin’s children were singing earlier (which they must have overheard from their parents). It proves to be the spell or password that unlocks a hidden door, which grinds open before him.

Elrond enters the passage behind the door, where there is ample evidence of some mining activity taking place. Reaching an archway covered by a curtain, Elrond moves the drape aside, revealing a small vein of brightly shining ore behind it.

“I knew it,” roars a familiar voice behind him. “Come to spy on me, elf?” And turning, Elrond spies an angry Durin approaching from another passageway.

While Elrond denies spying, Durin remains suspicious. “Do you expect me to believe that this was not the true reason he sent you here to begin with? You want it for yourselves.”

”Want what?” says Elrond, puzzled. “I care nothing for whatever is in that chamber. I do care for you, for this friendship—and secrets do not become it,” he adds earnestly. “What is the meaning of all this?”

Durin is impressed by his sincere demeanor. (And so am I. That is, I believe Elrond, but I’m not so sure about those who sent him.) “I need your oath,” says the dwarf prince. “ Hand to mountain, you’ll never breathe so much as a whisper of what I am about to tell you to another living soul. Dwarven anger outlives even dwarves memory. Break your promise and the power of this stone will doom you and your kin to sorrow to your last day on this Middle-Earth. Do you swear it, Elrond?”

As an elf, Elrond knows something about oaths that doom generations to sorrow, but since he is innocent of deceit in this case himself, he doesn't hesitate to swear on the memory of his father.

Satisified, Durin brings out a piece of the mysterious glimmering metal. “A new ore. Lighter than silk, harder than iron, as weaponry it would best our proudest blades. As specie, it might be dearer than gold.”

“It is strange how it catches the light. Almost seems as though it is lit from within,” says a fascinated Elrond.

Durin lowers his voice to an intense whisper. “This could be the beginning of a new era for our people. Strength, prosperity …”

“But then, why all the secrecy? Why not celebrate this?”

“It is perilous to mine. My father has restricted our every efforts, in the name of caution.”

There follows a discussion of what the dwarves call this new ore, and how the name would be translated into Elvish and so on, but most of us will already know (from The Hobbit and LOTR): this new ore is mithril. (Imagine a long ominous drumroll, or some spooky music.)

“So you really came all this way just for Eregion?” asks Durin.

“I came,” answers Elrond, still unsuspicious, “because twenty years is far too long to stay away. Even for an elf.”

When Elrond tries to hand back the piece of ore Durin has handed him, the dwarf says, “Keep it. A token of our friendship.”

As if it were an omen, the mine begins to shake. There are cries of distress, sounds like a mineshaft collapsing. Durin runs toward the tunnel out of which dust is pouring. Elrond tries to stop him, but Durin pulls away. “There are four dwarves down there.” He continues toward the danger, and Elrond loyally follows him.

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Nov 1, 2004
Part II

We find ourselves in Númenor, where Eärien—who has been assigned to scrubbing chores by the guild—literally runs into Kemen. He offers to help her with her task, and the last to finish will pay for dinner. “I’m not in the habit of going off with strange young men,” she says demurely.

“Very wise. If I see any, you’ll be the first to know,” he answers—proving he is not as entirely devoid of wit as I previously imagined. Eärien smiles. Yes, it looks like the two of them are going to become better acquainted.

The next scene returns us to Galadriel and Halbrand in their cells, and gives us a better look at the beautiful statue. It really is not the sort of thing you would expect to find in a prison.

Will this be of some significance later? Or should we interpret it now as a sign that the Númenóreans, as well as breaking off relations with the elves, have fallen so far away from their former religious practices and beliefs that something that might once have been a sacred object has been relegated to “the dungeon.” Although I note that if this is so, at least the statue has not been defaced.

Galadriel is pacing, while Hal lounges on his bed and taunts her for being so restless and impulsive “As much as I admire your habit of charging at every obstacle in your path, like a colt in full gallop, has it ever occurred to you that you’re not battling trolls or orcs, but Men?”

It occurs to me that his accent has become rather more aristocratic than it used to be. Is this my imagination, or has this actually happened and is something that is supposed to tell us ... something?

“Are you really about to advise me in the art of war?” she retorts.

“No, no, I wouldn’t dare,” he laughs. “But then …the Queen’s court isn’t exactly your usual battlefield.” (Is it his? Has he spent much time in courts himself? There are times when he acts like it.)

There is a brief pause, then she sighs. “Go on.”

“In an instance like this, it seems to me that you’d do well to identify what it is your opponent most fears,” he says, rising from his cot.

“And exploit it,” she exclaims.

“No. Give them a means of mastering it. So that you can master them.”

“So I am in this cell because I’ve yet to identify what the Queen most fears? And I suppose you did, having met her for all of a few moments?” she challenges him.

“During which,” he replies, “you managed to demand a ship, insult her people, defy her orders—none of which quickened her pulse. Now, all of the sudden she throws you in a cell. Why?”

“I demanded to speak to her father. The king in the tower, whom no one has seen in years.” They exchange a look.

“See what happens when you stop galloping and you give yourself a moment to think?”

Now Hal is looking like a skilled manipulator. Perhaps we should add to the list of his former occupations a stint as a confidence trickster? Or perhaps … something worse? Dang you, Hal, you're getting harder and harder to pin down.

“Cease comparing me to a horse!” says Galadriel.

“Cease trying to convince me to leave this island and you have a deal.”

No deal is struck, however, as they are interrupted by Pharazôn and some guards marching into the prison. “The Queen has rendered her decision,”says the Chancellor. “You are to be shipped back to the Elves under armed escort. Tonight.”

The Númenóreans are not making a lot of sense to me. When she asked for “planks and a rudder” so she could make a boat to take her back to Middle-earth, they refused and put her under house arrest, though they most certainly didn’t want her on their island, and Middle-earth should have been sufficiently distant to please them. Now that she has angered them, they decide to ship her back to Middle-earth. (As punishments go, it reminds me of Br'er Rabbit and the Briar Patch.) They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by giving her a leaky old rowboat to begin with. Or else dropped her off on a beach facing the continent, and invited her to swim home, an invitation she no doubt would have accepted at the time. Now, of course, she wants more from them.

Released from her cell, Galadriel offers her wrists to a guard approaching her with a heavy pair of manacles. (Such meekness ought to have warned him.) But when he comes near she knocks the cuffs aside and proceeds to attack him and the other guards. Pharazôn starts to draw the broadsword at his side, but pauses when Halbrand says, “I wouldn’t advise that.”

“I can’t very well let her leave!”

“You could,” offers Hal, “if you knew exactly where she is going.”

Meanwhile, an unarmed Galadriel has defeated all the guards and locked them up in her cell. Wisely, Pharazôn decides that the better part of valor would be to sheath his sword.

Next we return to Eärien, crossing a plaza alone, and coming across a dejected Isildur, who sits at a table, playing with his dinner. “What are you doing up here?” he asks with a sullen look.

“I had a dinner,” she says smugly.

Isildur shifts into big brother mode. “Who he is?”

She doesn’t answer. (Because she is more curious at the moment to talk about his situation, or because she knows her family wouldn’t approve?) “Where’s your uniform?” she asks suspiciously. ”Resigned from the cadets, did you?" She gasps. "You got dismissed?”

“I got us all dismissed.”

“Isil!” she breathes, briefly upset, but then resigned. “Well, you’ve won. Now you can go west.”

But Isildur doesn’t see this as winning. “I’ve just ruined my friends lives, shamed our family name. I don’t deserve to go west.” (This brings up the question of what would happen if he did go to their old home on the western part of the isle. Would it be different if he was deserving? And why did he hear a woman's voice calling him? Does it have something to do with his mother's death?) “Plus, Father won’t let me take Berek.” (Berek was the name of the family horse. I don't know how far Isildur would have to travel to reach his destination, but perhaps the distance would be enough that walking there, instead of riding or sailing, would be penance enough.)

At his point, their conversation is interrupted by a big commotion in the plaza. “It’s the elf. She’s escaped!” “Search every alley.” Guards rush by. Brother and sister trade a look. Isildur looks amused; Eärien appears disturbed.

In the next scene we see Galadriel breaking in through a window near the top of the tower where Tar Palantir, the old king, sleeps. “Apologies, Your Majesty, for the intrusion,” she says, approaching the bed, “but I—“

“He no longer answers to that,” interrupts a cool female voice. It s Miriel, standing by her father’s bed.

“How did you know I would come here,” whispers Galadriel.

“A garrison of troops awaits outside,” says the Queen, “to escort you to your ship. You would be wise to go willingly.”

Tar-Palantir half-awakes, coughing and feebly calling his daughter’s name.

“It’s all right, Father, I am here.” Miriel sits beside him and tenderly takes his hand, as he continues to cough and groan. “Few know the full extent of his decline” she says to Galadriel. “I should like to keep it that way.”

"Then it is time for truth between us,” declares Galadriel. “Your father was loyal to the Elvish ways. Why are you not? Tell me … please.”

The next scene shows Miriel carrying a lantern and leading Galadriel up a narrow stair. “My father was always restrained in his beliefs. But after his coronation, something changed.” They enter a room at the very top of the tower. “He became strident, claiming that we had provoked the anger of the Valar, and must repent and return to the old ways. There was unease, and when he announced plans to renew relations with the elves, the people rebelled. I was chosen to rule in his stead, with a promise to quell the storm. But that first night, as all Númenor slept, he brought me here.”

At the center of the room on a tall stands, sits a large round object, covered by a cloth. Miriel removes the cloth, and Galadriel identifies the crystal globe: “Palantír.”

“Seven seeing stones there once were,” says the Queen. “The other six either lost or hidden, this one was passed to my father, and with it, a secret. Place your hand upon it.”

Galadriel hesitates, not in fear, but in caution. (She needs no lectures about the palantíri. Why does everyone feel moved to lecture Galadriel about things she already knows very well? It would make me crabby, too. The seeing stones were invented by a Noldor prince, Feänor—that would be Galadriel’s half-uncle, and Celebrimbor’s grandfather—the greatest craftsman of his, or perhaps any, age, inventor of many useful and/or beautiful and dangerous things from alphabets to the Silmarils—and the palantíri fit into both categories, the useful and the perilous.)

When she places her hand on the crystal globe, Galadriel has a vision of herself in the great hall where Miriel earlier blessed the babies during her own dream or vision. White petals are blowing in the air. As Galadriel strides toward the archway over-looking the courtyard and the city below, we hear the crashing and rumbling of approaching waves. As in Miriel’s dream, the waves sweep in and overwhelm Galadriel.

Cradling her arm as though it had been burned, Galadriel turns away from the palantír and the vision fades. Yet she continues to shudder at what she has seen.

“It is Númenor’s future you saw,” says the Queen.

“Palantíri show many visions,” retorts Galadriel, “some that will never come to pass.”

“It has already come to pass,” says Miriel. “The vision begins with your arrival.”

Galadriel’s face is hard to read. “You believe that I will bring about Númenor’s downfall?”

“Only Númenor can bring about her downfall,” says Miriel. “The Valar gifted us this isle in a day of virtue. They can take it away should we turn to the paths of darkness.”

“The virtue you speak of was your ancestors’s loyalty to the elves.”

“My father believed that. His path nearly destroyed us. That is why tomorrow, I will announce that you are gone, and this crisis ended.”

But Galadriel is not convinced of the wisdom of that course. “If the evil that is rising in Middle-earth continues unchecked, it will spread and take us all. Avoiding this war may be the very thing that brings about your downfall.”

“I will not second-guess the gods. My decision is final,” Miriel insists.

“A decision based in fear,” Galadriel says sternly. Then, softening: “I know what it is to be the only one who sees, the only one who knows. Perhaps neither of us have to bear that burden alone any longer. I beg of you, Miriel, choose not the path of fear, but that of faith. Stand with me. Let Númenor fight alongside the elves once more.”

For a long silent moment, the Queen appears tempted. But then she replies, “Faith may bind one heart. But it is too fine a thread from which to hang a kingdom. I’m sorry.”

Back at the watchtower in the Southlands, the hunters have returned with a very meager bag indeed. “Woods are all bare. Animals have fled,” says Tredwell to Bronwyn. “Seems like your boy had more sense than we allowed.”

Just at that moment someone calls out that there is someone at the gates. It is Rowan, with his wheelbarrow piled high with food, but of course minust Theo. “He said he’d be right behind me!”

Which brings us back to Theo, crouched down in the well, while orcs argue overhead. But when they move off, it is finally dark enough that he dares to climb out, and moving from one hiding place to another, he crosses the village. Unfortunately, he is limping quite badly from the wound inflicted by Vrath, which slows him considerably. And the orcs have lighted torches, which will make him easier to spot. As Theo looks around him, Wrath himself leaps out from behind a building, grabs Theo, pushes him down, and begins roughly searching the boy for the black sword hilt.

“Where is it?” he demands, drawing his own sword. “Maybe losing your arm will loosen your lips.” He draws back to swing his blade and Theo cries out as blood rains down on him.

But it is Vrath's blood, because Arondir has arrived just in time to run the orc through and save Theo’s arm. “Swiftly lad,” the elf says, giving him a hand up. “They are coming.” They escape the village and reach a woodland, with the orcs in pursuit. Arondir is fleet of foot, but Theo’s worsening limp allows the orcs to gain ground. Arrows fly. Arondir urges Theo to run ahead. The elf shoots arrows from his own quiver, but he also catches the orc’s arrows right out of the air and sends them back, felling orc after orc. Yet there are still so many of them, it all seems hopeless.

Theo stumbles, drags himself back to his feet, and looking up spots his mother running to meet him. (You didn’t think she would remain behind while her boy was in danger, did you?) With her support, he is able to stay on his feet and pick up his pace, if only a little.

“Run for the clearing!” shouts Arondir, still guarding their backs, shooting arrow after arrow. Between the trees, we can now see the sky growing lighter. Bronwyn and Theo come out into grassy open country, and Arondir is not far behind them. Theo collapses, unable to continue. Arondir and Bronwyn draw weapons and take a stand. But dawn has finally arrived, and the sun comes out from behind a bank of clouds near the horizon, bathing the field in sunlight.

Furious, but helpless against the light, the orcs retreat. Bronwyn and Arondir help Theo to his feet, and supporting him between them, continue on toward the tower.

(I thought this was one of the most exciting scenes so far. Very suspenseful, with opportunities for heroics by Arondir and Bronwyn both. I didn’t mind his ability to catch arrows in flight with his bare hand. In fact, nothing I have seen him do has been as silly and show-offy as some of Legolas’s stunt in LOTR.)

The sunrise is accompanied by a music of rising female voices, in a minor key, rather like a Middle Eastern call to prayer. But as the scene changes, we realize that the voice is actually that of Princess Disa, far away in Khazad-dûm, where we see her leading other dwarves in some sort of mystic candlelit ritual. As her song echoes through the caverns, Elrond stands back from the dwarves and observes. His sharp elven hearing picks up the sound of the mountain rumbling. Water flows. (Disa's song is one of my favorite tracks on the soundtrack album.)

After the ceremony ends, a curious and reverent Elrond asks, “What … was that?”

“It was a plea to the rocks,” Disa replies. “To release the bodies of the miners, with breath still inside them.”

“I cannot stop thinking,” she adds remorsefully, moving toward Elrond, “that if you’d not gone down there, Durin might have been in that shaft when it … I’m sorry. I’m sorry I lied to you.”

“You were faithful to my friend,” says Elrond gently. “That is all we need remember.”

Prince Durin appears just then, covered in dust, but with good news. “They just pulled out the last one. Alive. All of them alive.”

“Your father must be so relieved,” says Disa. But Durin replies that the dwarf king ordered the whole vein to be sealed off.

“The whole vein?” says Disa, aghast.

“All of it,” roars Durin. “I’ll never trade words with the OLD GOAT again.”

Elrond comes to stand by his friend. “My father single-handedly sailed to Valinor, and convinced the Valar to join the war and vanquish Morgoth.” He describes how he used to look up into the sky where the Valar had placed Eärendil and his ship, wondering what his father might think of him, if he were looking down. Whether his father would be proud of what he had accomplished. Or disappointed by his failures. But then one night he realized that he would be only too happy to hear whatever his father had to say to him, so long as it offered them the opportunity to have one more conversation. He warns Durin not to waste any of his remaining time with his own father. Remembering how young his friend was when orphaned, Durin is crestfallen.

Seeing that the two are getting far too serious and glum, Disa steps in to ask how Durin and Elrond first met. They leave the cavern, cheerfully arguing over who saved whom and from how many hill trolls, and with what weapon.

Next we see Prince Durin approaching his father, asking his forgiveness. “I was proud and stubborn, and wrong.”

“Our people believe,” says King Durin, “that when a new Dwarf-King is crowned, the voices of all his forebears flow into him, sharing their counsel and wisdom. Even their mistakes.”

This sounds like a garbled version of the legend that all the successors of King Durin I are Durin the Deathless reincarnated. Actually, it sounds less like Tolkien and more like Lois McMaster Bujold’s sorcerers and their chaos demons. Also, why does he say, “Our people believe” as if he can’t vouch for the experience himself, being one of those successors? It certainly doesn’t make it sound more plausible, if one of those who ought to know the truth is hedging. It also sounds like one of those references that were added to delight hard-core Tolkien fans—who will probably hate it, because it mangles the lore rather than explaining it.

“But you, you need not wait for that day to hear my voice,” the King continues. “Even in anger, sometimes in anger most of all, there is nothing to forgive.”

“Elrond has invited me to me to go with him to Lindon tomorrow,” says the Prince. “Shall I accept?”

“Elrond has been very convincing in his assurances that Gil-galad bore no ill intent when he sent him here,” says the King. “But intuition’s a powerful tonic. What does yours tell you?”

“That there is something more at work,” says the son.

“Good.” The King gives a decisive nod. “Go to Lindon. Find out what.”

(I really like Disa, Durin IV, and Elrond. They seem so sincere in their friendship. It’s disappointing to see these friends manipulated by their elders, and their friendship in peril because of it. Of course some viewers prefer intrigue, deception, and manipulation in the books they read, the movies and TV shows they watch. The more of those things the better they like it. But perhaps these three characters are too nice to appeal to those viewers?)

Back at the watchtower, Bronwyn meets Arondir walking on the scaffolding behind the battlements.. It is there, where no one can overhear them, that he delivers Adar’s message: “That your people may live if you forsake all claim to these lands, and swear fealty to him.”

“And if we refuse?”

If they refuse, Arondir says, Adar and his orcs will come for them. At this threat, Bronwyn is silent, and looks conflicted.

Meanwhile, in the yard below, Waldreg offers Theo a drink from his flask. “Go on take it. You deserve a bit of mash after what you done. Take it. Just like you took that hilt from me barn.”

Theo pretends not to know what he means, but the old man isn’t fooled. “You know of what I speak.” He lifts his sleeve to show some sort of elaborate scar on his arm. (I can’t see it well enough to tell what it is? Does anyone here know what it is? Or are there any guesses?)

Theo starts to uncover the wound he made on his own arm using the hilt, but Waldreg grabs the arm and pulls Theo forward. “Do you know what it is? It is no sword. It’s a power, fashioned for our ancestors, by his master’s own hand.” (This and what follows seems a bit mixed-up, but it’s not just what might be misheard while watching this episode; it’s the same words if you turn on the captions. This is definitely what the old man said. So whose master’s own hand? Sauron’s master—that is Morgoth? Or is Sauron the master in question? In which case, who is the servant? Does Waldreg even know what he is talking about? Or is he a bit crazy, as well as evil?) “A beautiful servant. He who was lost, but shall return. Have you heard of him, lad? Have you heard of Sauron?”

Theo gasps and pulls away. He looks a little ill at what he just heard. Maybe, after a night being chased by orcs, everything associated with the hilt is looking less glamorous. Also, after Arondir saved his life, maybe he resents the elf’s relationship with Bronwyn a good deal less. That resentment was feeding his mischief, but without that to drive him ...?

“You must have seen it in the skies, a few weeks back now,” the old man goes on. “The starfall. It means his time is near.” (But does it? How far should we believe anything he says? It would be easy for anyone, anywhere in Middle-earth, who was looking for signs in the sky or elsewhere, to interpret the meteor as the sign they were looking for.) He winks. “It is to you and me, lad, to be ready.”

“Ready for what?” asks Theo, who by this point clearly does not like what he is hearing, whether he understands it all or not. Waldreg only recommends that he save his strength; he will need it for what is coming. Then Waldreg walks away.

At the orc’s encampment, a brief but gruesome scene: Adar is looking pensive, and the warg is munching and worrying at an arm that somebody must have tossed it for a treat. (The hand doesn’t look like an orc’s claw, so it might be human or elven.) One of the orcs approaches. “Lord-Father, we found it. It’s in the tower.”

Next we find ourselves in Númenor, with Galadriel, about to board a small boat in the harbor. Elendil falls into step beside her. “Go in peace,” he says to her in Quenya. She says nothing, and looks uncharacteristically resigned. She exchanges a glance with Miriel, steps into the boat, and the men on board lift their oars to row her away.

Miriel is not looking happy, either, but Pharazôn, standing beside her, appears triumphant. “Your people will be relieved,” he says. “They will be gathering soon in the court and in the plaza, to hear your announcement.”

“Then we ought not to keep them,” she answers, with a sigh. But as she walks, she is followed by white petals floating on the wind. More and more petals fall from the great white tree, and she is much too aware of what she has seen in visions to mistake this omen. With a horror-stricken look on her face, she turns and heads back toward the harbor. There she meets Elendil, who is also watching the petals on the wind, and by the look on his face, he knows something of what they mean. It is a lovely, and yet chilling sight. Meanwhile, out in the harbor, Galadriel’s boat has almost reached the ship that is to take her away.

We hear the Queen’s voice: “The faithful believe that when the petals of the white tree fall, it is no idle thing, but the very tears of the Valar themselves, a living reminder that their eyes and their judgment are ever upon us. There is a fateful hour in the destinies of men, an hour of judgement …” The camera moves in to show her standing on a dais in a great hall, where courtiers are gathered around to listen. “… in which each of us, every one, must decide who we shall be. Are our hearts become as the statues that surround our isle?”

The people listen raptly. Pharazôn, standing on a platform opposite her, remains silent. (Her speech is more eloquent than the one we heard from him a few episodes ago; he seems to sense this, and knows it is not his time to speak.) ”Or do they yet beat with the blood of the heroes that carved them? Is our valor confined to the graves of our slumbering fathers? Or is it here, amongst us even now?”

We get a quick shot of Tar-Palantir awaking on his bed, and one of Hal, now freed from his cell, walking across a bridge.

“I would neither command nor invite you to any danger I myself would not face,” Miriel continues, as Galadriel enters, and joins her on her dais. “And so I have decided to personally escort the elf back to Middle-earth, to aid our mortal brethren who are now besieged in the Southlands.”

(So this is why Pharazôn is so complacent. What is he likely to get up to while the Queen-Regent is away?)

Then, at last, the Chancellor speaks. “Your Queen has laid bare her intent. Our ships will depart in ten days.”

This is followed by Elendil, outside in the plaza, reading from a scroll. “The Expeditionary Force will be made up of brave sons and daughter from across fair Númenor. Who is willing to commit themselves to our Queen-Regent’s protection? Step forward and make yourself known.”

Valandil is the first to raise his hand. “I will serve.”

He nudges Ontamo, who obediently raises his own hand “I will serve.”

Isildur speaks eagerly, as one who recognizes a last chance to redeem himself. “I will serve.”

Suddenly, there are many, many in the crowd following their example. Hands are raised as more and more young men and women press their way forward to volunteer. Miriel’s speech has aroused the spirit of their ancestors’ within each one of them; it has awakened the better part of their pride.

So, I actually liked this episode quite a lot. Not every part of it. Some scenes did nothing for me; others irritated. But in many scenes I was intrigued by all the personal interactions between the characters. I still liked everyone I liked before. There was, alas, less of the pretty scenery, which is something I have a weakness for. I missed the harfoots and the Stranger. I didn't miss Gil-gilad, who bores me. Could have done without Celebrimbor (but of course there is no hope of that) and Durin III.


Well-Known Member
May 5, 2015
“You have been told many lies. Some of them run so deep, even the rocks and roots now believe them," Adar answers cryptically. "To untangle it all would all but require the creation of a new world. But that is something only the gods can do, and I am no god—not yet.”

That's a great synopsis @Teresa Edgerton

I've quoted you above Teresa, and I may be wrong on this, so please do check, but I thought that Adar said:

“You have been told many lies. Some of them run so deep, even the rocks and roots now believe them," Adar answers cryptically. "To untangle it all would all but require the creation of a new world. But that is something only the gods can do, and I HAVE no god—not yet.”

I watched this episode last night after a few aborted attempts (trying to watch them later in the evening after long days at work and not making it past the opening credits before I fall asleep :ROFLMAO: ). This has probably been my favourite episode so far, there's a lot that I like, and a lot that I don't but I think the show is opening up a little bit more for me now. I really do love the Durin/Elrond/Disa scenes, the singing for the miners was a really powerful and well done scene. I can't help but think - the Balrog will be released as a consequence of Durin going against his father and mining more Mithril.

I'm going to try and get caught up over the weekend and I hope the show keeps getting better (which I feel it is doing.)


The Crawling Chaos

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2014
“You have been told many lies. Some of them run so deep, even the rocks and roots now believe them," Adar answers cryptically. "To untangle it all would all but require the creation of a new world. But that is something only the gods can do, and I HAVE no god—not yet.”

I turned on HoH captions to make sure and it's definitely "I am no god -- at least not yet".

I like @Teresa Edgerton 's suggestion that Adar might be a first-generation orc. That would definitely explain the scars and the "father" title in some way. I'm not sure becoming a god would be within his reach if that were the case, although that can mean any number of things.


Well-Known Member
May 5, 2015
I turned on HoH captions to make sure and it's definitely "I am no god -- at least not yet".

I like @Teresa Edgerton 's suggestion that Adar might be a first-generation orc. That would definitely explain the scars and the "father" title in some way. I'm not sure becoming a god would be within his reach if that were the case, although that can mean any number of things.

Thanks @The Crawling Chaos

I wasn't entirely sure and as it looks like Teresa paid a lot of attention it was a distinct possibility that I misheard.

Ooooooh it does raise some interesting questions. Is Adar one of the original twisted Elfs? That would make a lot of sense to be honest.

I didn't mention it in my review but the Orcs in this are really horrid looking, I love it.

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Nov 1, 2004
Since I am more than capable of mishearing the dialogue, when I write one of these synopses I have my Kindle beside my computer, with the episode up and set for captions, which I check before I give a direct quote of any dialogue. (This doesn't mean that I couldn't mistype something anyway, but it makes it less likely. And in this case, checking back, he did say "am no god.")

My impression of Adar so far is that he has been driven insane by whatever happened to him in the past. If it seems like I am assigning the designation "insane" or "crazy" to too many characters, I should explain that I believe that anyone, Man or Elf or otherwise, who has been under Sauron's or Morgoth's direct attention for any length of time is almost certain to come away damaged, mentally and spiritually. (Think of Frodo and the Ring. Though he was to some extent shielded by his essential decency, he still could never be entirely healed this side of the sea.) Dark lords aren't exactly known for their ... gentle ... handling of their servants. Some might be more damaged and some less so. But Adar seems to be wandering in his mind. When he says something, he might forget it the next minute.

And he is definitely delusional if he thinks that he, an Elf, could become a god. If he was Sauron (but he can't be Sauron if the producers are being honest when they say Sauron does not appear during this season—I think we can ignore that brief sighting in the prologue, since, totally encased in black armor as he is, he doesn't exactly appear) it might be a somewhat more reasonable ambition, since Sauron is a Maia, a spiritual being coeval with the universe, and although of the lesser angelic order, among his own order one of the most powerful. I mean, he'd still be wrong, but it's more likely than in the case of a mere Elf, and altogether likely that he could mislead and convince Men to worship him as a god, which is not the same as actually becoming one.

As for Waldreg, there is perhaps also an element of senility along with whatever experience with the forces of evil he has had in the past.

Stephen Palmer

author of books
Dec 22, 2009
I watched 3 and 4 because... well, because, and I'm sorry to say these were even worse than the first two. I'm not trying to outdo anyone here, I just feel the series is utter tosh, irredeemably so. Tolkien would have despised it. I especially loathe the Irish Harfoots and Scottish dwarves - Lord of the Cringe. The elves all appear to have gone to Eton. The hair styles are absurd. If there had been anything else on we hadn't already watched I would have watched that. Maybe it's time to haul out the valve stereogram.

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