The Rings of Power Season 1 Ep 3 is the third instalment of the first season of a fantasy TV series streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Loosely based on the appendices author JRR Tolkien included in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, canonically, this series is set in the Second Age of Middle Earth, whereas the Lord of the Rings was set in the Third Age. Much has been made about this series being unfaithful to Tolkien’s works and thus, we have decided to analyse the story of The Rings of Power on its own merits, while ignoring the accusations of virtue signalling race and gender swapping.
S P O I L E R S
Entitled “Adar”, The Rings of Power Season 1 Ep 3 continues the stories of the lead characters as the overall arc of the threat of Sauron over Middle-Earth simmers in the background. There are essentially three sub-plots to occupy the audience in this respect and overall, the episode is much better than the opening instalments, though there are still serious writing flaws to still contend with.
The Rings of Power Season 1 Ep 3 introduces to us the island kingdom of Númenor, as Galadriel and Halbrand are brought to the kingdom by their rescuer Elendil (more about him later). Galadriel is brought before the Queen Regent Míriel and Chancellor Pharazon, who gives her a hostile reception. Galadriel demands immediate passage to Middle-Earth which (naturally) displeases the Queen Regent. Halbrand intercedes to soften Galadriel’s unreasonable demands, and the Queen Regent agrees to allow the both of them to remain on the island while she considers their request.
Elendil is assigned to watch over Galadriel and provides her with great assistance with her quest to find Sauron. Meanwhile, Halbrand gets into a spot of bother and ends up in prison, and Galadriel outs him as the King of the Southlands, where the Orcs have re-emerged, entreating him to join her in the quest against Sauron.
Arondir – last seen being captured – is now an Orc prisoner together with his fellow soldier Elves. Not much happens in this sub-plot except a pointless escape plan, a fruitless fight scene between Elves and Orcs and even a Warg. Finally there is an introduction at the very end to the Orc leader Adar though it’s clear that he is not an Orc.
Equally inconsequential is the sub-plot involving the Harfoot Nori. Only thing that happens is the gypsy-like migration, which was discussed in the first instalments so no surprise here. Presumably, the only real narrative point in this sequence is the official bonding of Gandalf (?) with Nori’s family.
Once more, the series does its best to make Galadriel completely unlikable. In an unintentionally hilarious moment, we have her smiling from ear to ear as she is riding with Elendil to the Hall of Lore and she looks terrible (see above)! Surely, the producers could have presented Galadriel in a better light? No wonder she never smiles! Egads!!
Speaking of Elendil, observant viewers will recognise him as the King of Men who fought (and died) in the great battle against Sauron as seen in the prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring. His son, Isildur, the prince who defeated Sauron, is also depicted here as a young adult. No real comment about either characterisations but at least there is a connection between Elendil and Galadriel and it is good to see her in a less adversarial posture. Not much to say about Halbrand either but he does not seem to be very intelligent judging from his early misadventures in Númenor.
The Final Analysis
The Rings of Power Season 1 Ep 3 is an improvement over the first instalments mainly due to the events unfolding in Númenor – at least visually the island kingdom lives up to Tolkien’s descriptions. The rest of the episode is as mentioned above pointless and insignificant.
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