‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’ episode four recap: the shadow creeps nearer

**Spoilers for 'The Great Wave' below**

Politics! Foundations are laid thick and heavy this week as The Rings Of Power swaps action for intrigue in the hallways of Númenor. The whole Harfoot story is left behind too (no wizard reveal forthcoming) as we spend most of our time with Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Queen Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson).

Fans of The Lord Of The Rings will know that the whole island of Númenor eventually sinks beneath the waves, and Míriel is already having premonitions about it – blaming the arrival of Galadriel with bad omens she’s seeing in her dreams. Add a bit of ear-whispering from slimy Chancellor Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle) into the mix, plus a lot of discontent from the locals that Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) beat up last week, and Númenor is starting to look pretty damned racist.

With the Númenorians now moaning about the elves “coming over here, stealing our jobs”, Galadriel finds herself increasingly unwelcome in the city – and it isn’t long before she’s ordered to leave. The whole humans vs elves discord is likely to shape a lot of the rest of the series (and the machinations of Pharazôn will play a big part, if the show sticks to Tolkien’s writing), but this week just gives us the early sparks of the fire.

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Maxim Baldry plays Isildur, son of Elendil in ‘The Rings Of Power’. CREDIT: Prime Video

Eleswhere, Isildur (Maxim Baldry) is still dreaming about his gap year – getting himself deliberately kicked out of sea captain school so he can go adventuring. Eärien (Ema Horvath) starts a slightly boring romance with Pharazôn’s son, Kemen (Leon Wadham). And Galadriel sneaks into Míriel’s bedroom to find the old king almost dead, and the new queen getting advice from a crystal ball. Getting her sort-of onside, the episode ends with Míriel hiring a crew to personally escort Galadriel back home – half exile, half expedition.

We might not pick up the harfoot story this week, but we do check back in with Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and Durin (Owain Arthur) in Khazad-dûm. The great elf/dwarf forge is now underway, but work is slowed by Durin’s side-project in his own mine where he’s been secretly digging for mithril (aka, the stuff that eventually makes up Frodo’s famous “shiny shirt”).

the Lord of the rings
Arondir and Brownyn share a moment in episode four. CREDIT: Prime Video

Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), too, gets some more screentime as we meet evil elf general Adar (Joseph Mawle) in the orc pit. “I have no god. Not yet…” creeps Adar, dropping the first hint of many that dark lord Sauron isn’t too far behind episode four. Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) dips the show briefly back into horror as he creeps into town looking for food and ends up having to escape an orc horde – with his stolen sword hilt proving even more important than he realises as it flames and spits with dark magic.

Arondir saves him just in time to carry the message back to the watchtower that really didn’t need to be said – the orcs are coming for the humans. And so, it seems, is Sauron.

More power

  • Durin is clearly digging too deep in Khazad-dûm, with his hunt for mithril causing a mini cave-in. Does that mean he might unearth the balrog soon? Hopefully.
  • Míriel uses one of the seven palantíri to foresee the destruction of Númenor. Famously unpredictable, sometimes even deceptive, the palantíri play a hugely important role in Tolkien’s mythology – and are mostly all used for evil.
  • Celebrimbor’s forge is coming along quickly, which means we might not be far off seeing him start work on the actual rings of power. According to the story though, Sauron still needs to trick him into doing it – disguised as someone he trusts. The smart money is still on Halbrand…

‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’ releases a new episode every Friday on Prime Video

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