1.07: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - The Eye

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
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Survivors of a cataclysm try to find safety; the Harfoots confront evil; Durin is torn between friendship and duty; Adar considers a new name.
 
Episode 7 – The Eye

Part I


Tirharad, the Southlands. What is left of it.
Whatever struck the village, next to a hailstorm of hot rocks, was not a pyroclastic cloud. It wasn’t even a hot cloud. Galadriel, who was outside and in the midst of it, doesn’t show any burns. She is lying on her back, coated (not buried or even covered) by ashes, dazed but otherwise unharmed. Nor do any of the other survivors seem hurt, unless it were wounds caused by burning debris.
(I have no idea what it was supposed to be if it wasn’t a pyroclastic cloud (which is survivable), except for a horribly false attempt to wrong-foot the viewer, again.)
Around her more survivors appear, crying, groaning, shouting.
“Halbrand! Elendil!” she shouts. But neither responds to Galadriel’s call.
In the distance we hear Theo calling for his mother. Does Galadriel know Theo? I am not sure what makes her call to him, “Overhere! Come here.” And Theo does.
“Are you hurt?” she asks. Theo shakes his head.
“Stay with me.”
And Theo (who promptly forgets about looking for his mother) goes with Galadriel (who forgets about Halbrand, Elendil and Mḯriel), and leave the remains of the village behind them, without looking back. (Seriously?)
Isuldur survived. As did Valendil. Unfortunately, Ontamo did not. He is the first victim we encounter of all the characters we know by name. Mostly, there are many we do not see at all (for a while.)
Mïriel gets Isildur and Valendil to help rescue people from a burning building, of which the roof is about to collapse. It does come down while Isildur is still inside. We do not see him again. (But we are not fooled by that, and neither is his horse Berek.)
In this moment queen Mïriel meets her fate, as was foretold by her father.
(Any other survivors we might know? Of course, but the writers deemed it necessary to withhold this information, for as along as unnecessary.)

How far away are the Harfoot from the Southlands? Not too far away for a rain of burning rocks to cover the distance and burn their Grove. But apparently too far away for them to have noticed a volcano spewing massive dark clouds. Or to hear a thunderous boom. Sadoc knows about volcanoes, but obviously didn’t see this one go active. He does however connects it with the rise of a new evil.
Nori and Poppy look at each other and next at the Stranger. Are they now a bit in doubt about him after the last incident? But not so the other Harfoot. Roles have switched. Sadoc tells Nori to ask the 'big fella' if he can do something about the burned trees. Everyone is in favor, but Poppy and Nori not so much.
So it is Sadoc who asks. And the Stranger gives his everything, pouring his powers into the tree while whispering in an unknown language. It seems to no avail. At least, not enough. And once again, in his attempts to be helpful, something goes wrong. A branch breaks free and falls on Dilly and on Nori who tries to pull her out of harms way.
More than anyone else, the Stranger seems shaken and saddened by the accident. (Is he cursed by bad luck or doom?)
The stranger and the tree.png


In Khazad-Dûm Elrond has an audience with King Durin III.
“We ask for something sacred from this mountain. And so we offer something sacred in return. In exchange for access to your mithril mines the Elves are prepared to furnish this city with game, grain and timber from the elder forests of Eriador, for the next five centuries.”
The king, with his back to Elrond, listens to this offer unmoved, while studying a blighted leaf from the Elven Tree. His son however can appreciate the offer. As do two Dwarves from the council, but with some skepticism.
“Five centuries? Quite a promise, if they can keep it…” one whispers to the other in Khuzdul, forgetting for a moment about Elven ears.
Elrond turns and says, “I never made a promise I didn’t.”
The king stirs and turns around, “I see you’ve learned a few words in stone-tongue. Impressive. Tell me, why should we trust any Elf?”
“You should not,“ Elrond concedes, and adds after a pause, “But you can trust me. For I am no common Elf, but Elrond Half-elven. And I see in Elves that which they cannot see in themselves. That is why I stand before you now, alone…”
He sinks down on one knee. “Pleading. For you to save my people. Please, noble King. Help us.”
Elrond almost whispers in the end.
The king silently listens, still outwardly untouched, and looks at his son, who in his turn looks as if to say, “how can you not be moved by that?”
But all the kings says is, “I will speak with my son now.”
The council members and Elrond leave the room.
“What is to be your answer, Father?”
The king handles the blighted leaf pensively for a moment. “It is said that when Aulë created our people, he crafted us of two elements. Fire and rock. The rock that lives within us hungers for the eternal, resisting the pull of time. But the for embraces truth. That all things must be one day consumed and fade away to ash.”
Durin, the son, sighs and shakes his head. “Father…”
“We do not dig in earth that cannot support it. Delving into depths beyond the darkness. Tempting shadow, rock, and mine to bury us all beneath the mountain. I will not risk Dwarven lives, to help the Elves cheat death.”
Cheat death!? Father… Prince Durin is too shocked to find the right words and fights to not lose his temper. “My friend is drowning. Reaching to me to pull him up to shore. You expect me to swap his hand away because you are afraid of a bloody rock fall?”
“The fate of the Elves was decided many Ages ago. By minds much wiser, much farther-seeing than our own. Defy their will and this entire kingdom might fall. Perhaps the entire Middle-Earth.”
Durin looks defeated.
“I am sorry, my son. But their time has come.”
(Does the King have a point? What causes the blight in the Tree? What, ultimately, makes the Elves dwindle? Has their time in Middle-Earth be decided on, long ago?)

Disa is mad. She hammers the red-hot meta on the anvil more in anger than in well-calculated smithy blows.
“Lice-bearded, uncaring, old fool!” She means the king, of course, not her husband. (Isn't there a strong woman behind every strong man? In the case of Dwarves, obviously both mentally as physically.)
He's our king.png

“What if he’s right?”
“You’re not thinking of lettin’ this happen!?” Disa shouts and deals the tool she is working on a mighty blow. Durin stands well clear of the anvil.
He seems timid. “What choice do we have?”
“You said the other Dwarf-lords were open to the proposal. If we reopen the mines ourselves, prove to them there is a safe way to gather mithril, perhaps they’d make him listen. Perhaps we could force your father’s hand.”
Durin, stepping closer to the anvil, to Disa, shakes his head and explains, “He’s more than just my father, Disa. He is our king. What kind of father would I be if I teach our children the will of a king should be counted as dross to be cast to the wind?”
Disa sighs and looks down.
“All right, fine.” She dumps the still red-hot tool into the cooling vat. “I shouldn’t have said he had lice in his beard.”
Durin chuckles, not concerned about it.
“Or called him a fool. No, no. I detest it when you heap slag on my mother.”
Durin considers it for a second. “Well, in your mother’s case, she actually does have lice in her… I’m joking, I’m joking!”
The door opens and Elrond enters. Durin and Elrond look at each other, but words are not needed. Durin’s posture and look says it all.
After a long silence Durin says, ΅Don’t suppose I can elbow you into staying for dinner?”
“Gil-Galad must be informed. And soon he will no longer be a king, for there no longer will be a Lindon.”
“So this is goodbye then?”
“We do not say goodbye.” Elrond responses. He steps close to Durin, who cannot hold back tears, and put a hand on his shoulder. “We say Namarië.”
Durin knows the word, but Elrond explains, “It means more than simply farewell.” He turns towards Disa. “It means, ‘go towards goodness.’”
Disa too seems on the verge of crying.
Elronds gives his piece of mithril back to Durin. Then with a nod but no further words he leaves and closes the door.
Still crying, Durin sits down heavily at the table and looks at the cursed piece of mithril, then throws it across the table. It comes to a stop next to the blighted leaf. (It is a test Celebrimbor possibly forgot to perform.) The leaf trembles and almost immediately the blight diminishes until finally the leaf is totally free of it. Cured.
It is a sight Durin cannot ignore and he shouts for Elrond to come back.
(The scenes with the Dwarves, and especially Durin and Disa, remain strong and convincing. Why cannot the whole script be of this quality?)

Galadriel and Theo, the unlikely couple to abandon the rest, are hiding in a burned wood deep into reddish shadow. They watch Orcs go by.
“Why did they do it?”
“To make this their home. Their Shadow Land.”
“So we take it back, and drive them off.”
“We have neither position, nor reinforcement. These lands are dead. We must rally to the living.”
But Theo isn’t really listening. He stands, “I put steel down their throats!”
Galadriel pulls him back. “It is over.”
“Not for me. I won’t allow it!” He struggles to get free, but Galadriel doesn’t let him go.
“We must!” She repeats it, but more resigned, “We must.”
Theo doesn’t understand. “What are you so bothered about? It isn’t your fault.” He is thinking about the key.
“Yes it is,“ Galadriel says, seemingly angry with herself.

Somewhere in the same burned woods other survivors, most of the village people it seems, are finding their way to safety. It makes it all the more curious why Galadriel and Theo are on their own.
We meet another person we know. Elendil, on horseback, dirty but unharmed. He watches the group as they trudge along, looking no doubt for Isildur. Just for a moment hope flares when he sees Berek, but cannot make out who is leading the horse. But it is not Isildur.
Then the queen is spotted. She is walking, led by Valendil. Elendil hurries towards her. “Are you alright?” And to Valendil, “Take my horse.”
Neither respond. “Captain,“ Valendil finally stammers, “You’re...”
“Where is he,” Elendil asks, when he understands what they’re not able to say. “Where is my son?”

Meanwhile Theo follows Galdriel listless through the woods, moving around with hanging shoulders. “They’re dead, aren’t they? Arondir. My friends. My…” His voice breaks. “Everyone.” (That’s what you get by leaving too soon.)
Galadriel goes for Elven advise. “What cannot be known hollows the mind. Fill it not with guesswork.”
“Where are we even going?”
“Nûmenor set their camp upon that ridgeline.” (In the smokey, gloomy woods, at the foot of a hill, there’s not much to see except for scorched trees.) “Beyond that far peak.” (Eh… sure.) “That is where they shall hie to, along with any survivors.” She turns around and finally looks at Theo. “Your mother included.” Theo seems unconvinced.
“And be wary. The Orcs will move in daylight now.”
“I’ve killed Orcs before you know.” Is he thinking about the Orc he killed together with his mother?
“When I was your age there was no such thing as Orcs.”
“And now? How many have you killed?”
“Many.”
“Good!”
“I would not use such words. It darkens the heart, to call dark deeds ‘good.’ It gives place for evil to thrive inside us. Every war is fought both with without and within. Of that every soldier must be mindful. Even I. Even you.”
“Am I a soldier than?”
Galadriel stops walking and considers. It looks like this is the reason why the two were paired; to prepare Theo, to make him a warrior, consigned by Galadriel, the Elven commander, herself. She offers him the sword she’s been carrying all the time. “Perhaps we can make one of you yet.”
It surprises Theo and accepts the sword.

They have put queen Mïriel on Elendil’s horse. He leads her, but is lost in his own sorrow. He hasn’t run back to Tirgarad to go look for his son.
“How much further until we reach the encampment?” Mïriel asks unseeing.
“It’s just beyond this rise,” Elendil answers toneless.
He looks back at her and sees how she does not shy away from a branch nearly poking an eye out.
But it is her next question that makes him realise what it is that makes her stare ahead as if she is lost in somber thoughts. “How much further until we’re clear of this smoke?”
Elendil stops, turns and looks up at her, but doesn’t answer. Valendil dares not to turn around.
Mïriel grasps his silence soon enough. “How long have we been clear of it?”
“Nearly a mile.”
“I see.”
Elendil lies a hand on hers. “Do you?” he asks gently.
“Only grey.” Then, commanding, “Keep walking. Both of you. Guide my horse. No one need notice.” It seems impossible to keep this from being noticed for long.
They trudge on on, slowly climbing a hill towards a distant ridge.

To be continued...
 
Excellent synopsis, so far!

I don't quite know how I feel about this episode.

After thinking about it, I've decided that maybe it was just as well they didn't try to explain how so many survived (particularly Galadriel) because we wouldn't have believed it anyway, been just as annoyed, and perhaps it was best to get on with the story.

Considering what had just happened I would have expected, and even wished to see, more of a hellscape in Tirharad. (And this comes from me, who so dislikes scenes of misery and death. But if they were going to depict this kind of disaster, then I don't think they should have held back.)

It was sad about Ontamo, but we all knew he was expendable, so no surprise if they were going to kill any named character(s) that he'd be first on the list.

But I did like seeing the survivors helping each other. I thought that perhaps they wouldn't; that they would be so bitter and frustrated they'd be acting hateful. It does remind me of The Lord of the Rings, where practically everyone works together, rather than the more modern cynicism we often see—although everyone was not so nice in some of Tolkien's earlier stories, which may be why LOTR has a happy ending and so many of those earlier stories don't. (Although Tolkien fought on the battlefield in WWI, lived in England when it was being bombed in WWII, so perhaps he understood things that we don't understand now about people coming together in the worst of times.)

I don't know why Galadriel and Theo ended up travelling together, and I was surprised by how gentle and kind she was with him. We have seen that Galadriel at times before—for instance, she was kind and wise when talking to Isildur on the ship—but I would have thought her the most frustrated of all at this point. I'd have expected her to be in a rage. Maybe she's just used to having victory snatched away, and she can resign herself to that better than she can to resistance from others while there is still hope. (And her remark that when she was Theo's age there was no such thing as orcs—I think there were, or at least that Morgoth was working on them, but that perhaps nobody living in Valinor, as Galadriel was a child, would have reason to know. I'm trying to figure out whether this was sort of condescending for her to say—typical old person, "When I was a child, sonny ..."—or whether it was meant to be, and perhaps was, reassuring. There was a time before orcs, and thus it is conceivable that there could be a time when they are no more.)

But why did Elendil not make an effort to at least search for Isildur's body? True he'd have had it on good authority that his son was dead, since Miriel and Valandil had seen the burning roof collapse on him. And as a military commander he might feel that he had a greater duty to see the Queen to safety. But if it was me, I would have gone back to make sure anyway. (Which is perhaps why I have never been and never wanted to be a military commander.) But after he explained to Isildur about the bond between horse and rider, why did he ignore Berek when he was giving him pretty clear signs that Isildur was still alive and probably in trouble or pain? Though perhaps, with the advantage of knowing that Isildur CAN'T be dead, I saw more in the horse's behavior than a distracted Elendil could. But I still think he should have gone back to look for his boy.

It's an interesting twist that Queen Miriel was blinded. Pharazôn will adore the opportunities that provides—if she isn't beginning to recover some of her sight by the time she reaches Númenor, that is. The damage might not be permanent—nobody else seems to have been blinded—and a sea voyage could be beneficial.

But I found it hard to believe that King Durin and Prince Durin could be so horrid to each other, after their heart-to-heart talk in a previous episode. It felt like manufactured drama to me. But I liked the way that Durin and Disa stayed so loyal to Elrond. That friendship remains one of the most endearing things in the whole series.

I feel like I have done Celebrimbor something of an injustice, since the mithril did heal the leaf. But that doesn't prove that it would help the Elves, or even that the Elves are really in need of a cure. And why didn't he think to test the mithril's effect on a blighted leaf? It seems so obvious that he should have done.

And I don't know why Nori has become so skittish about the Stranger's powers all of the sudden. He did equally scary things when she first met him, and yet she was determined to befriend him.

So the episode was a mix of good and bad—as usual—and I am beginning to think that perhaps the less I try to make sense of some things perhaps the more I will be able to enjoy the rest.
 
So the episode was a mix of good and bad—as usual—and I am beginning to think that perhaps the less I try to make sense of some things perhaps the more I will be able to enjoy the rest.
That sums it up pretty much as I do. I sometimes ask myself if I'm not too critical. But no, I think not. When so many questions rise, something is lacking or simply poorly done. We watch because we love Middle-Earth, even if it is (far) removed from how we picture it, but it is not a captivating, engaging show that prevents you from asking questions because you are sitting on the edge of your seat, spell-bound.

I too would like to have seen more of Mordor in the making. The large scale of the devastation. But were before the terrain was fairly open, now we're suddenly continuously in scorched or burned woodland, with a visibility of perhaps 10 meters.
Galadriel does seem changed somewhat, ever since since she boarded the ships in Nûmenor, more social and friendly. But still, I find it odd how she took care of Theo and than just left the village.
Her remark about there being no Orcs when she was Theo's age made little sense. She would still have lived in Valinor at that age. And how long ago was that? Does Theo have any idea about the span of time that has passed since?
I believe Mïriel was blinded when the roof of the building with Isildur still inside collapsed. Sparks hit her eyes. It is the darkness her father spoke of. I suppose it will have consequences. A blind queen?

Father and son Durin may have had a good heart-to-heart talk, it hasn't changed their conflicting points of view regarding the mining of mithril. Father Durin seems stubborn on this point. But perhaps he knows more about what lies slumbering deep down in the mountain?
 
But perhaps he knows more about what lies slumbering deep down in the mountain?
If he does know, he should reveal it now ( although sooner would have been better). However , withholding information which it would have been wiser to share with others seems to be the way with the characters in this series.

There is a new trailer for the season finale, but it is largely clips from previous episodes and the short preview at the end of this weeks episode, and so reveals very little that is new.
 
(I have no idea what it was supposed to be if it wasn’t a pyroclastic cloud (which is survivable), except for a horribly false attempt to wrong-foot the viewer, again.)
Dude, the houses were blown, horses were on fire, corpses had turned to charcoal. Galandriel had nothing. Not even burned hair. 80 percent survived and then, on top of that, the orcs that they had slaughtered, resurrected at the end, and named the place Mordor. This series is worse than the Raised by Wolves.

At what temperature does hair damage?

The shape of your hair is affected by high heat.The -keratin is converted to -keratin by temperatures over 300F, which leads to weaker hair that is more prone to damage.
A pyroclastic flow is a hot (typically >800 °C, or >1,500 °F ), chaotic mixture of rock fragments, gas, and ash that travels rapidly (tens of meters per second) away from a volcanic vent or collapsing flow front.

Pyroclastic flows can be extremely destructive and deadly because of their high temperature and mobility. For example, during the 1902 eruption of Mont Pelee in Martinique (West Indies), a pyroclastic flow (also known as a “nuee ardente”) demolished the coastal city of St. Pierre, killing nearly 30,000 inhabitants.

Then you look at the Mordor picture, and you can see that the destruction went on for miles and miles, toppling trees, setting them on fire and so on. There is no reason for anyone to believe that the only injury they sustained was the blinding of a queen and leaving Isildur under burning timbers.
 
Episode 7 – The Eye

Part I


(I have no idea what it was supposed to be if it wasn’t a pyroclastic cloud (which is survivable), except for a horribly false attempt to wrong-foot the viewer, again.)
Around her more survivors appear, crying, groaning, shouting.
Dude, the houses were blown, horses were on fire, corpses had turned to charcoal. Galandriel had nothing. Not even burned hair. 80 percent survived and then, on top of that, the orcs that they had slaughtered, resurrected at the end, and named the place Mordor. This series is worse than the Raised by Wolves.
Thank you. You have pointed out an most embarrassing omission in my post. A pyroclastic cloud is NOT survivable. I repeat NOT.
(Sigh. Last minute changes in the text should be outlawed.)
Whatever struck Tirharad was something else entirely (Unless the writers really do not know what they are doing, which I find increasingly likely to be the case. They write to create effect, and lose sight of credibility while doing so.)
All the damage I saw was either due to falling fiery rocks and a very strong wind. I did not see corpses turned into charcoal. With temperatures over 800 C degrees, everything would have been turned into ashes. Having said that, the survival rate of this catastrophe is way too high.

I didn't see resurrected Orcs. Not every Orc took part in the fighting. Many Orcs would have stayed underground, to hide for the sunlight.
 
Part II

Sadoc points the Stranger in the direction of Greenwood the Great (Mirkwood?), where he will find big folk settlements. He is not being unfriendly, but it would be best for both parties if the Stranger moved on. The Stranger - still garbed in a grey cloth (which isn’t accidental, I should think) used as sunshield - is depressed. He leans dejectedly against the tree he failed to revive.
He does come alive though when Sadoc hands him a piece of paper.
“The people there can help you find your stars.”
The Stranger takes the paper and unfolds it. It shows the constellation he had been drawing earlier.
(I’m not overly familiar with constellations, so it isn’t saying much when I confess not recognizing it. Should he move North or South? And what will he find there?)
“All I can tell you,“ Sadoc continues, “Harfoot folk haven’t seen them since the days our ancestors lived in parts unknown over a thousand years ago. That’s a long time to wander, even for a fellow with long legs.”
That’s a bit of information the Strangers seems unhappy about. How come he has 'landed' so far away from where needs to be? He looks at the distant cliffs he has to journey beyond. But then he nods. He rises, looks at Sadoc in a silent goodbye, or thank you, and starts walking, still looking dejected. When the camera pans out and moves past the tree, it focuses on a small yellow flower budding in a fold of the bark.
Totally unaware of this, the stranger moves like in a dream, looking left nor right, until a small sound somehow penetrate his cocoon of, what? feeling himself a failure?
He looks up and finds himself in front of the Brandyfoot family. They are sorry to see him go, after having traveled together for probably weeks. Poppy is there too and Nori as well, but she seems oblivious of him leaving, being busy plucking apples. He is about to move on, still unable to speak, when Nori appears, offering him an apple. They look at each other for a long moment, neither is speaking, but Nori is sniffing. Finally he accepts the apple and leaves. (I think it’s the most emotional scene so far.)
Has it turned Nori into a proper Harfoot girl?
“I should’ve just stayed on-trail.” she is telling her mother, while busying herself with maintaining some wheels. “When I saw that star falling, I should’ve just let it alone.”
“Elanor…”
“You tried to tell me, Mother. But now I understand. I’m just a Harfoot. That’s a I’ll I ever be.” Yet she sounds disappointed and angry at the same time.
“Off to bed, Nori” is all her mother can say. But nothing has changed, she doesn’t listen to her mother and keeps on working on the wheels, while looking up at the moon…

“Have you ever lost someone close?” Theo wonders, “To them?” Orcs. “Kin, I mean.”
They are resting somewhere in the woods. It is nighttime.
“My brother, Finrod.” Galadriel answers, handling his dagger, and than reveals, “And my husband.”
“Husband?”
“Celeborn, was his name,“ Galadriel almost whispers.
(Why wasn’t he mentioned before? She only ever mentioned her brother, but never her husband? Unless she believes him to be still alive [which we know he is, as he is present in LotR, in Lothlórien together with Galadriel]. So, ‘lost’ could mean, lost out of sight for good?)
“We met in a glade of flowers. I was dancing and he saw me there.”
Theo turns around and looks at her. “You, were dancing?” he asks as if he can’t believe his ears (as many of us, no doubt, with what we have seen of this Galadriel so far.)
But Galadriel is far of in the past. “The war seemed so very far away then.” (This was when they where still in Valinor, I assume, before they sailed to Middle-Earth to join the fight against Morgoth.)
“When he went to it, I chided him. His armor didn’t fit properly. (how un-Elvish!) I called him a silver clam. I never saw him again after that.”
(So, MIA, then. And still is, centuries later. The uncertainty is worse than knowing someone you love is dead. If the writers had used that, to turn her search for Sauron, not one out of revenge but of hope in finding Celeborn, it would have made a huge difference.)
A silence falls. But suddenly Theo sits up. “My Lady, what you said before. You’re wrong. It isn’t your fault. It’s mine.”
“You did not intent for this to happen.” In a way Galadriel seems more open and socially engaging, but quite stiff and distant at the same time.
“I gave power to the enemy. So that makes me responsible.”
“Some say that is the way of things. But I believe the wise also look upon what is in our hearts. And this was not in yours. Do not take the burden of this day upon your shoulders, Theo. You may find it difficult to put it down again.”
“How am I to let it go?”
It is something Galadriel doesn’t know quite herself, does she? After a pause she says, “There are powers beyond darkness at work in this world. Perhaps on days such as this, we’ve little choice but to trust to their designs. And surrender our own.”
Simpler said than done. “My home is gone. Where’s the design in that?”
“I cannot yet see.” Galadriel confesses softly. And what guarantees are there she ever will?
Footsteps can be heared in the eerily still, lifeless woods. Orcs.
Theo, young, impulsive, full of fresh hatred, wants to kill them all. He unsheathes his new sword, until Galadriel stops him. But the sound of metal sliding on metal was clear enough in the night. The group of Orcs halt. A tense moment follows as one of them goes to investigate and a silent struggle between Galadriel and Theo, keeping him from unsheathing his sword any further.
For once the ashes are a blessing. It is all the Orcs can smell. They move on.
“Rest while you can.“ Galadriel advises Theo, “We move at first light.”
“What light.”

Deep in the mine Durin and Elrond are secretly working to unearth some mithril. Well, secretly, Durin’s pick-axe blows and his grunts are surely echoing through all of Khazad-Dûm. And if not that, the rumbling protests and tremors of the rocks will.
“Another tremor,” Durin looks a bit concerned.
“We need to give the rocks time to resettle.”
Durin silently agrees and sits down, panting heavily. Which, possibly, was a more pressing reason the sit.
When Elrond offers him something to drink, he declines hauntingly. “Self-discipline, master Elf.”
“You think that’ll bring you success?”
Durin chuckles and looks at Elrond, smugly. “It did in our contest.“
“Did it?” is all Elrond asks, confidently. It does take awhile to trickle through Durin’s pantzer of self-esteem.
“No?” he finally exclaims, when Elrond seats himself in front of him, and looking at his face. “You lost on purpose?”
“My aim was never to defeat you, but to gain your ear a while longer.”
“Elf lies,” Durin declares.
Elrond chuckles, then grins. “I was… winded.”
They look at each other, enjoying the moment, challengingly. Durin surrenders. “Blast it,” and gestures for the water flask.
“I always thought you were a mite Dwarvish for an Elf.”
“And you are a rather Elvish Dwarf, Durin. Son of Durin, Grandson of…”
“Scoff if you like. The mightiest thing a Dwarf can do is to be worthy of the name of his father.” But he looks as if there is something he doesn’t say. Like, it depends on how you see your father.
He goes on, “Hmm. We do have our secret names for use only among ourselves. And we reveal them only to family. Wives. Parents. Sisters. Brothers.” He pauses. He seems dying to tell Elrond, taken by the moment.
But when he is about to, Elrond interrupts. “Save it, Durin. For the far side.”
“Aye,” Durin agrees, after a moment. And sighs.
They continue working. The rocks rumble loudly in protest. It is an ominous sound. Durin breathes heavily, feeling the suspense. Yet he persists in their endeavor. His next blows opens a head-sized hole onto a cavern. A vein of pure mithril can be seen through it. He lets have Elrond a look.
Elrond sees mithril.png


It must be a large cavern. The vein runs along way down and is part of a much larger patterns, root-like. A wind seems blowing from below.
Excited, Elrond turns around, “Durin…” and finds Durin staring at his father and some guards.
“Father...” breaths Durin. “It’s more than we ever imagined.”
“King Durin,“ Elrond joins him, “There is a…”
Enough!” King Durin shouts, fixing him with an angry eye.
“Father,“ Durin junior pleads, “just look at it.”
But Father doesn’t. “Seize the Elf.”
Moments later, a gate opens in a large empty cave, except for lots of loose rubble and a underground waterfall. Not too bad for a prison, It has running water for drinking and sanitary purposes.
Elrond is pushed inside and the gate closes behind him with an echoing bang and whirring lock.

Another Father and Son talk. And again Father Durin starts with a story, This time about how baby Durin seemed ill and had trouble breathing. There was doubt whether he would survive the first winter, until Father Durin had a vision and saw a grey beard super-imposed on this baby’s face. Then he knew.
“Our son would live and he would move mountains!” He shouts it as a proclamation.
The son looks at his father. “How do you expect me to move mountains, Father, if you fall to pieces when I dig a single hole? You speak of greatness for me, but you suffocate in me any ambition, any desire, any thought that does not originate in you.” His accusational tone rises. It is an age-old (several ages?) generational divide that endlessly repeats itself.
The answer of the father is meant to be wise, yet characteristically unhelpful. “The iron that must bear the most heavy of burdens, must also endure the most rigorous tempering!
“Consigning your allies to death is not tempering!”
The father does not respond to that.
With a shuddering breath the son adds, “Elrond is as much a brother to me as if he’s been fired in my own mother’s womb.”
“How dare you…” Controlled, then “HOW DARE YOU! Invoke your mother’s memory to defend your decision to betray your own kind!” The father keeps yelling.
Now the son jumps up, point at his father and yells back. “No! It’s you that’s betrayed our kind! Squandering our future so you can cling to the past! You profane the crown you wear!” (Don’t you love a good fight, if it isn't your own?)
The father steps close to his son, staring him in the eye. Then slowly raises a hand to the royal crest his son is wearing high on his chest and rips it free from his neck. He tosses it on the floor and silently walks away. The son seems stunned, then bends to pick it up from the floor.
Father Durin hears the clinking, looks back and says, “Leave it. It is not yours anymore.”
Former Prince Durin will need a moment to adjust to that.

Nori awakes to Poppy singing. And eating a big, red, blushing apple.
“What are you doing? We have to save those!”
“Why don’t you take a look outside, and then we’ll talk.”
Outside the world has changed. The burned orchard has changed overnight into a healthy looking one, with branches filled with green leaves and fruits. It is possibly the most bountiful orchard they have ever set eyes on. Everyone is busy harvesting, except for sleep-head Nori.
Sadoc wants to go to market with such a crop. I'm surprised to hear they do such things.
“I don’t understand,” Nori wonders. “How?” Really?
“How do you think?” Poppy says, “He fixed it.”
It saddens Nori to realise that sending the Stranger away was unfair and unjust. And he will never know what he had achieved here.
Largo just underlines it. “Can you believe it, Nori? There is enough bounty here to feast tonight and still have enough left over to Frozen Fish.”
Then there is talk about apple-sausages, no… apple-sauce, and none of it makes Nori look happy.
They pluck and pluck and load their carts to the brim with crop.
Later, as Poppy is fetching water from a little stream in the woods, she spots a large footprint. Shod and human sized. She drops her basket and flees to warn the others.
Meanwhile the basket floats downstream, until it is picked up by the light-blue robed trio. These strangers have followed the Harfoot all the way to here.
At night, when all the Harfoot are asleep or in hiding, the trio can be seen moving up the slope to where the tree stands that the Stranger spoke to as he struggled to restore it to health. Nori and Poppy, in hiding, watch anxiously.
Somehow these strangers can sense where the Stranger has been or used his powers. They look at the tree and then pluck that one tiny yellow flower. It tells them unerringly which way he went. And so they go, moving through the grass that has also profited from the healing and now is filled with flowers, while it must be autumn.
And the girl who said, ‘I’m just a Harfoot’ shoots up out of her hiding, and shouts at the three tall strangers, who look more than a bit unusual, “Wait!”
Poppy gasps.
“You’re going the wrong way!” It seems crystal-clear to her that this trio is looking for the Stranger and not in a beneficent way. Unfortunately, she can hardly know that they instantly know she is lying. The signs were clear.
Nori turns and points in a randomly chosen direction. “He went that way!”
But when she turns back, the trio is gone. Well no, not quite. They were sneaking up on her from the back. What seems to be the most prominent one, plucks a flower from Nori’s head.
Now the whole Harfoot group seems to erupt from their hiding places and starts shouting at them, Largo in front with a torch. In this moment more brave than brains, he threatens, “You harm a hair on her foot, and I’ll brain the lot of ya.”
Trio-2.png


They are not impressed. The leader just puts her bare hand on the torch and quenches the flames. Next, she turns her clenched hand, opens it and blows at the little sparks. They spread and instantly all the Harfoot carts are bursting into flames. It is a devastating blow. Not to mention that there could be children asleep in the carts annex homes. I don’t see Dilly anywhere. But for these nomads, the loss of their carts, goods and foods could well mean their end.
Who are these petty, maleficent strangers?

To be continued...
 
Glad you mentioned the elephant in the room. Celeborn! Lost or dead. As you say we know he is not dead, so I imagine this will form part of the plot for S2.

It was a grim episode. Not a lot of joy. Isildur is stuck in Mordor on his own. It will be interesting to see how he gets out. Think his horse Beric might have something to do with it.

I wasn't totally in love with the father and son conflict with the two Durin's. Felt forced.

I cannot remember if the Mithril plot line is canon. I have a vague feeling it is not. If it is not I think it is an unnecessary way to go. Takes away some of the mystique of the Elves

Who are 3 weirdos chasing Gandalf. It was a silly move from Nori revealing herself, although it ended any doubt that the trio are a force for good.

The Stranger is Gandalf. Sticking with that. House bet on it.

Changed my mind on Halbrand again watching the episode. Future ring bearer and Black Rider.
 
Dude, the houses were blown, horses were on fire, corpses had turned to charcoal. Galandriel had nothing. Not even burned hair. 80 percent survived and then, on top of that, the orcs that they had slaughtered, resurrected at the end, and named the place Mordor. This series is worse than the Raised by Wolves.

Ah come on now. Her face was dirtied up and her hair was a bit frizzy and some of it had come out the pony tail :)
 
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I cannot remember if the Mithril plot line is canon. I have a vague feeling it is not. If it is not I think it is an unnecessary way to go. Takes away some of the mystique of the Elves
No, its not canon. I don't like it either.

Isildur is stuck in Mordor on his own. It will be interesting to see how he gets out. Think his horse Beric might have something to do with it.
I think you are right that his horse will somehow be part of his escape. I suppose people will be reminded of when Aragorn was "saved" by his horse after being left for dead.

I did not see corpses turned into charcoal.

Neither did I. Lots of bodies covered in ash (though none so thickly as Galadriel), none that looked burned to charcoal. And she did look uninjured, except for a little damage to her hair-do, but also I think drained of much of her elven vitality.


a gate opens in a large empty cave, except for lots of loose rubble and a underground waterfall. Not too bad for a prison, It has running water for drinking and sanitary purposes.
I don't know know if it is a prison, but whatever it is, it can't be a cave, because it is apparently open to the sky. When Elrond sits down, tired and discouraged, there is a weed or a clump of dried grass growing near his feet. My guess is that he just got tossed out of Khazad-dûm via a side door.

And it would be very unwise for King Durin to imprison an ambassador from the High King of the Noldor.

The Stranger is Gandalf. Sticking with that. House bet on it.
I wouldn't bet against it, but neither would I bet on it. There are too many other options.

Changed my mind on Halbrand again watching the episode. Future ring bearer and Black Rider.
I'm less certain of that than I have been at times in the past. Also not in favor of some of the other popular opinions on what his destiny may be.

I've always felt his name sounded more Wilderlandish than Southlander. Or like a name that might someday be used by inhabitants of Wilderland aka Rhovanion. That is a very large and largely uninhabited region which will someday include Dale and Lake Town (Bard the Bowman's grandson will be named Brand by the way), and at one point was the home of the Horse-Lords aka Rohirrim, before a King of Gondor (of course there is no Gondor as yet, because someone we know has yet to even found that kingdom) ceded them the land now known as Rohan. So I wondered for a while if Hal might rally the last of the Southlanders and take them into an uninhabited region, and become one of the distant ancestors of the Rohirrim. It seemed unlikely, but just barely a possibility.

But now it's a theory making the rounds on the internet, and there is even pictorial evidence that it might be true—or at least that someone involved in the publicity department wanted to hint that it could be true. Here is one of the posters that appeared before the season began. At that is definitely Hal's armor, and the sword (which might be one he made for himself) sure looks Rohirric, considering the hilt. Of course the horse's head could mean something else, too, but then it would have to be black. I will add that ROP is not made by the same production company that made the movie trilogy, so it wouldn't be like they could reach into their stash for a sword and just happen to pull out a sword that was used for someone from Rohan in LOTR. I think someone made this sword for ROP and for Halbrand, specifically, with a particular reason in mind. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, because I'd rather see Hal redeemed than a Nazrgûl or the King of the Dead, which are currently the most popular theories.



a-close-up-of-halbrands-sword-indeed-shows-a-horse-that-v0-p7138hucvpo91.jpg
 
Now that is an interesting theory on Halbrand. Although Bronwyn says the Southlanders might go to Pelargir which could make them future Gondorians. I do like the Rohan theory, especially as Halbrand is such a good character.
 
I like the above Halbrand theory with him being an ancestor of the Rohirrim. The Brand bit certainly works for Rhovanian, but I note the Hal root coming from some of the earliest men. (Halmir was the grandfather of Hurin and Huor for instance, and so also the great great grandfather of Elrond and Elros.)

And as a military commander he might feel that he had a greater duty to see the Queen to safety. But if it was me, I would have gone back to make sure anyway.
This made me think of a bit in The Crown when Charles was at school and got lost in a cross country run. Philip totally ignored his son's predicament as he (Philip) was doing the prize giving.
And that in its turn reminded me of my own father's actions on several occasions.
Fathers who have "responsibilities" will often p*** on their sons, preferring that other people to take precedence.
I too would like to have seen more of Mordor in the making. The large scale of the devastation. But were before the terrain was fairly open, now we're suddenly continuously in scorched or burned woodland, with a visibility of perhaps 10 meters.
One thing I have noticed about the various groups' arrivals to the village is that they haven't had to cross any mountains.
I'm waiting for some action, probably by Sauron, in the coming series to create the encircling mountains of the Ered Duath

Meanwhile the basket floats downstream, until it is picked up by the light-blue robed trio.
So these are presumably the famous Blue wizards of which people have spoken elsewhere. I can't remember how many there were. I thought 2, but I may be wrong.
A ridiculous theory, so I'll be happily wrong, but if there were only 2, could the third and most nasty of these three be Sauron himself? He was after all a Maia of much the same order as the Istari, and could be attempting to corrupt them, during the period of confusion after their "planetfall".
Gandalf (if it is him), has needed Nori to persuade him he was good. These 2/3 may just be getting the wrong advice.
 
One thing I have noticed about the various groups' arrivals to the village is that they haven't had to cross any mountains.
I'm waiting for some action, probably by Sauron, in the coming series to create the encircling mountains of the Ered Duath
I noticed the same thing and intended to remark on that in Part III. I felt the distance was far too short as well, as the Nûmenorean encampment was all the way at the coast. But take a look at this map Galadriel saw in Nûmenor, possibly even made on order by Elros.
Sigil or map 2.v01.png

That mountain range is already clearly marked here.
Another thing, if you look at 'Sauron's sigil,' which turned out to be a map, it also shows the mountain range.
Another thing - and of course this can be total coincidence or even a lapse in attention by the producers - but if you look at the Stranger's 'constellation'...
Constellation.v01.png


... you start wondering if this constellation is not what we are made to believe it is.
 
I don't know know if it is a prison, but whatever it is, it can't be a cave, because it is apparently open to the sky. When Elrond sits down, tired and discouraged, there is a weed or a clump of dried grass growing near his feet. My guess is that he just got tossed out of Khazad-dûm via a side door.

And it would be very unwise for King Durin to imprison an ambassador from the High King of the Noldor.
You are quite possibly right. It were the words, "Seize the Elf!" that made me think of apprehending and jailing someone.
 
Can I put in one Tolkien detail? Melkor created Mordor back in the First Age, Elves that wandered around the Middle-Earth named it Mordor. By the time of the LOTR the Mount Doom has been spewing lava and ash for over 6000 years.
 
Can I put in one Tolkien detail? Melkor created Mordor back in the First Age, Elves that wandered around the Middle-Earth named it Mordor. By the time of the LOTR the Mount Doom has been spewing lava and ash for over 6000 years.
I'm not doubting you. I'm just interested.
Where is this stated?
 
I don't understand why people who don't like this show, for whatever particular reason, don't want part in it, don't want to watch it, keep coming back to this thread to make derisory remarks. As if we, poor folk who can't recognise dross when they see it, continuously need reminding.
 

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