Sunday, November 27, 2022
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Review of The Lord of the Rings Episode 5: The Rings of Power – “Farewells”

Warning: the following contains full spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 5, now streaming on Prime Video. To refresh your memory, check out our review of last week’s episode.

War is on the horizon in The Rings of Power Episode 5, which provides a look at what various characters are fighting for. It’s also the first episode to have both dwarves and harfoots, as the show’s disparate plotlines finally come together for the inevitable big fight over Middle-earth.

The harfoot plot is fairly brief, anchored by a sweet journey sequence set to music that really feels like it taps into the adventurous spirit of Tolkien’s work. This story mostly goes on to make it clear just how powerful the Stranger is. Many harfoots would probably have been “left behind” if he hadn’t been there to stop the warg attack. But after his weird healing frost trick, it seems even Nori is starting to get a little scared of his giant friend. I still don’t think the Stranger is a bad guy, but that much power is always dangerous and he needs to get their act together to make sure no one gets hurt. Finally, we also get a glimpse of the strange cultist-looking characters seen in an earlier sneak peek who appear to be tracking down The Stranger, but there are no new details on who they are or what they’re after beyond the very creepy music that plays when they’re around. . return to the screen.

Meanwhile, the humans from the Southlands who fled to the elven tower to escape Adar and his army are not doing well. About half of his group has followed Waldreg, who I can’t help but think of as a Darkfriend of the wheel of time, to accept Adar in his offer of surrender. Waldreg has been a bastard since Episode 1, when he tried to keep the news of the growing corruption from Arondir, and he keeps redoubling his efforts. It’s really funny to see how quickly he goes from swearing allegiance to Sauron to offering to serve whoever leads the orcish army.

In many ways, it seems that The Rings of Power has established itself as the anti-game of Throneseven compared to house of the dragon continue running rampant. There’s no way we won’t see Waldreg slit that poor kid’s throat and get covered in blood on any of those HBO shows. Here, all we need to know is found in Waldreg’s expression that changes from horror to grim determination. Game of Thrones would have played the council session in Númenor to show some sharp-tongued intrigue, but Rings of Power just gives us the setup and then a shot of Halbrand showing how well he cleans up. that really matters.

Honesty and kindness are almost always punished on Game of Thrones, but The Rings of Power shows several characters finding the strength to come clean about their problems with their friends and loved ones. Theo finally tells his mother about the hilt, giving Arondir and Bronwyn an idea of ​​what Adar is planning. Between Waldreg, Bronwyn, and Halbrand, there’s a lot of exploration in Episode 5 about the role of humans in Middle-earth. Are they basically orcs, doomed to serve whatever evil warlord is rising at the moment if the elves don’t watch them carefully for signs of betrayal, or can they have some degree of self-determination?

It’s easy to understand why Bronwyn and Halbrand are prone to despair given the poor decisions before them, but they both decide to try to overcome the darkness they’ve seen and keep fighting. It appears that Bronwyn and Arondir plan to destroy the tower to prevent Adar from achieving her goal, but that will likely lead to their deaths unless reinforcements arrive in time.

The conversation between Halbrand and Galadriel where they share their traumas is powerful.

Halbrand is willing to accept his responsibility as king, but we still don’t know exactly what made him run. Presumably the cuts between him and Waldreg imply that he, too, knelt before dark forces and is guilty of horrible crimes, but if he proves himself worthy, chances are no one will really care when that comes out. The conversation between him and Galadriel where they share their traumas is powerful, particularly Galadriel confesses that for all the trust she exudes, she is an outcast from her people and is so completely consumed by her quest to stop Sauron that she has destroyed all relationships in your life. It’s a bonding moment that seems like exactly the kind of thing that could lead to a romance between her and Halbrand. I, for one, would love to see them kiss.

Elsewhere, the relationship between Durin and Elrond becomes more complicated when Elrond discovers the real reason he was sent to Khazad-dûm. The forge that Celebrimbor is working on, which should be completed by spring, will help preserve the “eternal souls” of the elves from increasing corruption. Even after the explanation, I’m not quite sure what that means. How fast would they fade without the infusion of light? Will they have lives more like those of mortals? Is that why the Elves of the Third Age have to go? The episode has few answers, but the scenes in the elven woods are so beautiful that they distract from what would be lost without them.

I complained last week about Elrond naming mithril, but I really like the mithril origin story in “Partings”. The parallel between the veins of the ore and the roots of a tree works visually by explaining why the Balrog and the precious ore are inevitably linked. I am happy that Elrond refuses to break his oath and instead goes directly to Durin for help from him. Their friendship is the most charming relationship on the show, fueled by how funny Durin is. The table lantern is beautiful, as it is a very simple way to get something out of High King Gil-galad’s arrogant plan. Also, Elrond’s attempt to claim credit for Disa is very cute.

Not everyone tells the truth in this episode. I am very upset that Isildur didn’t tell anyone that he had found a saboteur on the ship when he was trying to hide. Maybe that kid is just acting on his behalf out of a genuine concern that his country might be drawn into someone else’s war, but the admiration he’s expressed for Pharazôn makes me think it wasn’t his idea. . Pharazôn continues to try to sow the annoyance of the elves and urge Númenor to remain isolated. Tracking down the source of the sabotage could have given everyone a heads up about what he’s planning.