In Episode 5 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Elrond faces a stark choice as Númenor prepares to go to war. Oh, and Durin is an absolute legend. You will see why.
If you need a refresher, we’ve already recap Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3 and Episode 4. Here’s our preview of the action from the latest episode – be warned: spoilers ahead .
A chilling reunion
ON THE ROAD – This week we catch up with the Harfoots. Nori and her family mostly pull from the back. We even get a little map montage as they drag their wagons across the expanse of Middle-earth. Nori and the Stranger have a conversation whose vibe somehow straddles the line between Hooked on Phonics and a freshman philosophy about the nature of good.
At one point, Nori’s family and the rest of those Harfoot assholes who wanted to leave them behind (one even has the audacity to suggest stealing their wheels and leaving them to die) get chased by wolves. The stranger comes to the rescue and punches the ground with his fist so hard that he creates a shock wave and scares the wolves away. Unfortunately, he injured his arm. But hey, those grumpy, old, discriminating harfoots like him now.
From here we have another glimpse ofability to manipulate the elements. He dips his arms in water and begins to turn her into ice, but he’s so engrossed in his incantation that he doesn’t notice Nori has touched his arm, and she begins to freeze like a little ice cream. Harfoot water.
ICE TO MEET YOU.
Sorry. Either way, she’s fine in the end, but it freaks her out. Nori is that person posting on Facebook that she rescued a lost dog, but the attached photo is of a rabid coyote. Oops.
Elsewhere, a creepy trio of people all in white (including the white-browed person from the trailer who everyone thought was definitely Sauron) investigate the crater where the alien landed. Damn tourists.
LINDON – It’s dinner time with the family. Durin, Elrond, High King Gil-galad and presumably others I’ve overlooked to share a meal and toast to union (TO THE REVOLUTION! Are there any fans of Hamilton? Heh? Heh?) of their people. But like many family dinners, it’s a bit tense. Gil-galad asks probing questions about the devil the dwarves work so hard on in Khazad-Dûm, and Durin informs him that the stone table they eat on is a rare stone that the dwarves only use in monuments. and the graves. Imagine serving someone a charcuterie board on their grandfather’s tombstone. It is a statement piece.
Here’s the deal. Gil-galad basically knows that the dwarves have found mithril, and he bullies Elrond into confirming it. Elrond is like Look, I promised Pinky to my best friend. Gil-galad has Elrond tell the story of the creation of mithril involving an elven warrior and a Balrog (a fire demon) fighting over a tree that supposedly held one of the lost Silmarils. The reason this all matters is because Lindon is starting to decay and the elf light is fading. But if the elves could get their hands on a lot of that sweet, sweet mithril, which contains the light of the Silmaril, they could saturate all the elves in that light.
Allow me to offer this comment: Wut?
Otherwise, the elves will have to leave Middle-earth, and Sauron will dance in his shirt and socks like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. And if you’re wondering, no, none of this is from Tolkien.
The next day, as Durin leaves Lindon with the stone table (and the revelation that he has in fact just swindled Gil-galad out of his furniture), Elrond explains to Durin the problem. And you know what? For all that Elvish drama from the night before, Durin tells Elrond to “go get your feathered shirts and let’s start walking” so they can go talk to Durin’s father.
Communication, children. It’s magic.
Orcs just wanna have some sun
SOUTHLANDS — If you thought Adar was weird last week, he’s even weirder in this episode. An orc approaches him as he’s soaking up some sun, and Adar narrates a little riff about when he won’t be able to enjoy the sun like he currently does. (Me, after an appointment with a dermatologist.) Looks like he’s going to undergo some kind of transformation? He’s the guy at the party you’re trying not to talk to.
Anyway, SUMMON THE LEGIONS and so on.
Back in Ostirith, Bronwyn addresses the crowd and gives a moving speech about how they should stand up and fight against Adar, instead of swearing fealty. The crowd seems relatively convinced until Waldreg shows up to stir up opposition. I swear, I had no idea her boyfriend was going to cause so much trouble. He convinces half the crowd to leave Ostirith. That evening, Waldreg and his merry band of misfits meet Adar and the orcs, and as they say in the South, he runs his mouth, pledging his loyalty to Sauron. Because the elf emo dude is Sauron, right? Annoying. The last we see, Adar is going to have him kill a youngster to prove his loyalty. And maybe his butchering skills?
In Ostirith, Theo has finally developed some common sense and shows Arondir the hilt of the sword. Arondir has seen something like this before, and in a very Legends of the Hidden Temple move, sweeps away some vines and BOOM there’s a skull-like thing carved into a rock, complete with a stone version of the sword. Amazing how it was right there the whole time. Arondir tells Bronwyn that the handle is some kind of key and that Adar knows Theo has it. The fires of the invading orcs coming towards the tower are stressful.
NÚMENOR — The ships are about to sail to Middle-earth. They are laden with horses, supplies and plays.
Isildur wants to go but his father won’t let him because he was kicked out of the Sea Guard. Eärien and her lover, Kevin, (I know his name is actually Kemen, please don’t email me) don’t want Númenor involved. Pharazôn supports war, but only because it will give Númenor dominion over the humans of Middle-earth. And Halbrand just wants to be left alone. Everyone is constantly bristling and talking through their teeth.
There’s a scene where Galadriel shows some recruits how to fight and shames them all with her elf moves. It’s funny.
Later, Galadriel and Halbrand finally have one of those air-purifying rashes where he tells her he made some really bad things, and she talks about how her brother died and and her best friend betrayed her *coughs Elrond* and how she has no rest. But hey, maybe they can have something close to peace if they go to fight. Because that’s how it works.
The big hubbub arrives the day before departure. While everyone is celebrating, Kevin sneaks onto a ship with arson through his heart. He does, however, encounter Isildur, who is trying to hide. After a brief scuffle, Kevin’s lantern shatters and the ensuing explosion destroys not only this ship, but another. Somehow, they both make it out in time.
It’s chaos. Pharazôn wants to delay the mission. Míriel states that they will decide in the morning, but really it will all depend on whether Halbrand is attached to the king set. Luckily he decides he will, and they all embark, including Isildur who has finally gotten a job – sweeping after the horses on the ship.
What awaits them in the Southlands? Emo elf Adar and everything Waldreg does these days. What a welcome wagon.