Wondering where that billion dollars went? Not anymore you’re not. Episode six gives us the real red meat of The Rings Of Power in one of the most epic (and expensive) hours of telly yet.
You can forget all about the dwarf disputes and Harfoot berry-picking for a while, as this episode is all about war. We’re at the Southlands watchtower now and the orc army is finally ready to attack. Adar (Joseph Mawle) wants the evil broken sword hilt Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) found and he knows where to get it. So he piles his whole army into the tower keep for a frontal assault on the humans who have been hiding it.
What he doesn’t reckon on, though, is Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova). Hiding up in the battlements. The elf triggers the trap he’s set for the orcs and sends the watchtower crashing down on them. Trap number two comes when the humans retreat to their village and start penning in the rest of the orcs with flaming logs. The tide quickly turns when the “orcs” turn out to mostly be villagers who’ve betrayed our heroes. Adar sends in his real army to finish the job.
As the orc reinforcements start clashing with the villagers, the Númenorian calvary arrive – headed by Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), Queen Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). The scale of the battle here is seriously impressive, giving the show its own mini Helm’s Deep to rival some of the best skirmishes in the movies.
It’s gnarly stuff too. The Rings Of Power takes a big swing into horror as a giant boss level orc drips his sticky black eyeball juice into Arondir’s mouth from a gaping head wound. Then it’s Bronwyn’s (Nazanin Boniadi) turn – graphically shot through the chest as big pulses of her blood start covering her own son, Theo. Kids be warned, this is not the same Lord Of The Rings you saw at the cinema.
The battle won by the cavalry, Adar manages to escape with the sword hilt. Halbrand chases him down and almost flips to the dark side (surely he must be Sauron?!) before Galadriel stops him from delivering a final blow. Back at the village, with Adar in chains, Galadriel almost murders him herself before Halbrand steps in (maybe he’s not Sauron then?!)
And then the cameo no one saw coming. As Theo starts swooning over the sword hilt, talking about how much power it gave him (could he be…?), we find out Waldreg the evil innkeeper (Geoff Morrell) has stolen it and already plugged it into the ancient Sauron shrine. The rocks stir. Water starts moving. A flooding river hits the lava buried deep inside the earth and Mount Doom is born. Erupting in full blockbuster glory, the map of Middle-earth is rewritten in giant CG fireballs that start flattening everything and everyone.
What an ending. What a money shot. And what a way to set up the rest of the series now the stakes are finally sky high.
- A debated bit of Tolkien lore gets a firm answer here as Adar confirms himself to be an “Uruk”, one of an original race of elves tortured by Morgoth to create the first orcs.
- Adar says that he killed Sauron (for sacrificing too many of his orc children/brothers). We know Sauron isn’t dead, but we don’t yet know if Adar knows that…
- Halbrand’s past gets another tease here, with Adar touching a nerve by talking about dead relatives he might have killed.
‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’ releases a new episode every Friday on Prime Video