‘The Rings of Power’ Season 1, Episode 6 Recap/Review
This is a spoiler review for Episode 6 of The Rings of Power. Check out our review of Episode 5 here.
We drop the Elves, Dwarves, and Harfoots in this episode of The Rings of Power. In turn, we’re all in for Númenor and the other humans to unite along with the humans of the Southlands. With some absolutely stunning action sequences and a visually stunning volcano explosion, in the end, this one does struggle with leaving out some of the heart between the Harfoots, as well as Durin and Elrond.
The survivors of the Southlands decide to return to their town. They form up behind Arondir in an attempt to save themselves instead of surrendering. They defend themselves for a little bit but are eventually taken out. Adar comes out and, through threatening Bronwyn, gets Theo to give up the location of the hilt. Not to address the fact that Arondir hid the hilt with no one watching earlier, and this was totally the place to hide the hilt. But never fear! Númenor to the rescue!
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Galadriel, Halbrand, and the Númenor crew consisting of Elendil, Isildur, and Miriel, travel extremely quickly, (though I do think the timing of the sailing does not coincide with the fight). Númenor and her soldiers help fight off the Orcs. It’s a distraction as Adar takes off with the hilt. Galadriel (with some fantastic stunt work) can take off after Adar in pursuit, followed closely by Halbrand. Halbrand is able to take out Adar’s horse and asks him if he remembers who he is while Adar is on the ground. Adar doesn’t, choosing this moment to antagonize Halbrand by saying, “Did I cause someone you love pain?”. Galadriel prevents Halbrand from killing Adar, and they return to the village.
We jump to Adar being interrogated in a barn by Galadriel and Halbrand. There’s revealed here that Adar is, in fact, an elf that Morgoth tortured into something new. “The first orcs,” according to Galadriel. Uruks according to Adar. When Adar is asked about Sauron’s location, he reveals that after Morgoth’s defeat, so many of his children (orcs) died that he killed Sauron. Galadriel doesn’t buy it and slowly gets more and more frustrated, to the point of almost killing Adar if not for Halbrand. Adar also asks the question we’re all asking. Who is Halbrand?!?
When Galadriel and Halbrand return to the celebrations, Halbrand is welcomed as the king of the Southlands! Arondir gives the wrapped, supposed hilt to Theo so he can give it to the Númenorean himself, freeing him from the guilt he’s carried over it. Except – Theo realizes it’s not the hilt. And he doesn’t do anything about it. He doesn’t go grab Arondir, who literally just left him. He doesn’t go find his mom. Nothing. And the village pays for it. Waldren had been given the hilt earlier, and he stabs it into the stone in front of Sauron’s statue. This breaks the dam holding the river back. It ends up causing Mount Doom to erupt. Galadriel stares into the ash, and the episode ends as it consumes her.
This episode for The Rings of Power is most definitely the weakest of the season. With some good character moments for Halbrand and Galadriel, ultimately, it misses a ton of heart, leaving out Elrond/Durin and the Harfoot storylines. It also opens itself up for discussion about how much it ignores rationality in regard to the hilt. Arondir picks the worst possible place to hide the hilt. While Theo, after making some rational choices, is clearly feeling bad about revealing where the hilt is, he just sits and stares at the ax in his hand that was supposed to be the hilt. Super frustrating to see, especially considering how fluid and well-done the storytelling has been so far.
The other issue with the overall story is how quickly Númenor travels. It’s super quick and makes me want to know what sort of winds/tech they have in their ships to travel that quickly over the water. As I’ve said already, I’m genuinely missing the Harfoots and can’t wait to see what’s going on with them and the Stranger. They’ve just been a lovely breath of fresh air.
The rest of the episode is a lovely showcase of visuals, especially in the final moments with the volcano eruption and all the ash in the air. Costuming has been superb all season and isn’t likely to change. The stunt work when Númenor comes in to defeat the orcs is fantastic, and there’s some great work with the horses all around. Galadriel and Halbrand have some really great character-building moments as well. Those moments give you a much-needed moment to breathe with how fast this The Rings of Power episode moves. I can’t wait to see how the season ends with two episodes remaining. –Katie Rentschler
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episodes 1-7 are now streaming on Amazon Prime. New episodes air every Friday.
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