‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’ episode seven recap: an old enemy approaches

**Spoilers for 'The Eye' below**

You gotta love any show with the balls to set a horse on fire. Chaos reigns at the start of the this week’s episode, with Mount Doom now spouting enough ash and lava over Middle-earth to make the first 20 minutes almost entirely red.

There’s a lot to unpack after the big battle, and the casualty list is high. Not Game Of Thrones high, mind (this is Lord Of The Rings after all, so we know exactly who makes it into the prologue of the film trilogy…), so most of key players just seem to be a bit dusty. Isildur (Maxim Baldry) is missing, presumed dead, and Queen Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) has suddenly gone blind. Adar (Joseph Mawle) was also MIA at the end of last week, but he reappears soon enough here to start leading his orc army through the wreckage to pick off survivors.

The Rings Of Power
Galadriel (Morfyyd Clark) and Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) trek through the ash. CREDIT: Amazon Studios

Back across the map, The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) is still pulling the Harfoots around like a pack horse. Stumbling across a smouldering tree shows us just how far Mount Doom has been spitting rocks, and the old man tries to heal the dead stump with his hands. The spell doesn’t work, so the Harfoot elders finally ask him to leave – only realising too late the next morning that he might have been magic after all.

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Before we find out for sure, The Dweller (Bridie Sisson) shows up with her two cronies. Nori (Markella Kavenagh) steps up here and proves just how brave little folk really are in Tolkien’s world, trying to send the wizard-hunters the wrong way to buy The Stranger time to escape. Sisson pulls off an astonishing bit of creepiness before magically burning down the entire Harfoot camp in a single breath, putting an end to the migration for good.

Still somehow full of moxy, the Harfoots set off after The Stranger to warn him what’s coming and The Rings Of Power gives birth to a whole new fellowship: the two girls, their parents and Lenny Henry.

The Rings Of Power
The Dweller and her helpers track down the Harfoots this week. CREDIT: Amazon Studios

And that’s not the only thread that’s beginning to work its way back towards the original trilogy. Over in Khazad-dûm, Durin (Owain Arthur) fails to convince his dad (Peter Mullan) that his elf friends are worth the price of a mithril mine. He’s too good a friend to Elrond to follow orders so he starts digging anyway, only for the king to find out at the worst possible moment. Arthur and Mullan get this week’s best scenes as they thrash out a family feud (both doing far more than expected under those massive rubber noses), and the argument ends in banishment, tears and even more angst.

It also ends in a balrog. Now deep enough to fit a flying camera through the cracks of Khazad-dûm’s darkest crevices, The Rings Of Power teases us again with a glimpse of the creature that’s waiting to burst on through the mountain and (surely?) give the series its big end of season cliffhanger.

Until then, we have to make do with this week’s cracker of an ending. The word “Mordor” appears on screen over a shot of a burning wasteland. We might have already figured that out, but it’s a big enough deal in the Rings story to look properly iconic.

More power

  • There’s a reason that last name was written out instead of spoken – now making the new map official. And if Halbrand was just proclaimed the “King of the Southlands”, does that make him the new King of… Mordor?
  • That hilly Harfoot camp looks mighty familiar. Are we seeing the start of Bag End? If so, it adds even more weight to the Gandalf/Stranger theories.
  • If Elendil sounds odd calling out Isildur’s name in the wreckage, it’s because you’ve heard something very similar in the LOTR prologue. Clearly, Isildur still has a lot of road left to run – which probably means his magic horse will mysteriously find him next week…

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

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