The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power 1×03 review: season 1, Episode 3 “Adar” Aired September 9, 2022
First off, we have to talk about how stunning the visuals of this episode are. I mean, with the biggest budget on television, they’d better be, but still. The sight of Numenor was breathtaking, like a fever-dream of Atlantis. But if you’re hoping for a home away from home, this ain’t it.
I was surprised by the animosity aimed at both Galadriel and Halbrand (obviously I’m no Tolkein expert, lol). Granted, Galadriel walking in to court with all guns blazing certainly did nothing to soften the Numenorians to her. Sure it gave the show a chance to deepen the capital m Mystery that is Halbrand, but it does nothing for Galadriel’s character. Aside, from, you know, making her seem dangerously reckless.
Speaking of Halbrand. Internet theories abound that Halbrand is really Sauron. There is some credence to the idea– Sauron was a renown shapeshifter. And he was so interested in that smithy, that he tried to steal a guild badge off a thug (and got into a brutal fight while he did so.) There’s also that silver tongue of his to contend with. The way he never quite tells the whole truth even while never telling a lie.
The only thing I don’t like about this theory is that he saved Galadriel. I can’t think of a rational explanation for why he would do that, and I’m not a fan of villains doing irrational things for Reasons. What I do like is the spark between Galadriel and Halbrand. And when he stole her knife from Elendil and snuck it back to Galadriel? *Chef’s kiss.*
The line of Elendil
The island of Numenor also introduces us to Captain Elendil and his son, the young cadet Isildur. Humble beginning for the line that eventually results in a wander called Aragorn (maybe you’ve heard of him?) We don’t get too many insights into Elendil– other than that he’s got a terminal case of what I like to call ‘villain face’ (it’s like resting bitch face but with more ambition.) What I really want to know is what the Queen Regent asked him to do. If he was only supposed to watch Galadriel, why give him a sword?
Arondir has found himself taken captive by orcs, and who else is there? Why what seems like all the other elves in the Southlands. The orcs are forcing their human and elven captives to dig out massive tunnels. It’s how they travel from one town to the next in their search for something (the sword hilt Bronwyn’s son found, is my guess).
Like everything else in this show these scenes are visually arresting, their grit and grime in sharp contrast to the golden shores of Numenor. That said, it doesn’t make me feel like the elves have any common sense at all. Whole swathes of countryside are clear-cut and smoking, and yet somehow the orcs just… snuck up on everyone? Also I found Arondir’s captain fighting to save one tree a little much.
I mean, we know they’re elves and they love trees, but he literally just got done telling his people to get out of the trench to scout out their location. Seems like climbing up with permission–even if it meant cutting down an ancient tree– would have served that purpose. And yes, I am still bitter that this scene got Médhor (aka the only elf in the franchise with a noticeable sense of humor) killed.
Was it worth it? We’ll see next week when Arondir comes face-to-face with Adar.
Watch The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Fridays on Amazon! Still need to catch up? Check out last week’s review here!
The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power 1×03 Highlights
- What is the Queen Regent really up to? Is she really as anti-elf as she first seemed? Or does she just know what is to lay ahead?
- Isildur is hearing voices calling him from the western shore. The same voices that his mysterious brother also heard? I sense a plot thickening.
- I’m a sucker for sibling relationship stories, so seeing Isildur and Eärien interacting brought a smile to my face. That said… does this show really need another side character?
- What’s Nori been up to? She and her family are going traveling with the Stranger (and his insane old-man abs, lolol)