We’ve now reached the halfway point of season 1 with Rings Of Power Episode 4 and it kind of feels like things might be starting to kick into gear for what has thus far been a pretty slowly-paced show. Half a season of Rings of Power down already and for me at least, it seems like the plot has finally started shifting into gear.
Personally, I liked episode 4 as we got some good groundwork for the big power players in Numenor, but also the Elrond-Durin stuff continues to shine. Getting further traction in the Adar/Arondir storyline helps as well, and after last week’s shenanigans, it was nice to have a break from hobbits.
In Rings Of Power Episode 4, we saw Queen Miriel see a vision showing the destruction of Numenor. We finally got to see who Adar was and what the Orcs were searching for. We got some more Elf-Dwarf friendship and an oath taken between them. We’ve got a lot to cover, including the reveal of a major villain, some significant First Age references from Numenor, and some theory confirmations so let’s get to it.
Rings Of Power Episode 4 Recap
We start off with Queen Regent Miriel blessing newborn Numenorean children. And after some tremors, we see the leaves of the white tree being blown in through the opening in the wall. And in some striking imagery, we see Miriel walking toward the tree only to see water pouring into the city, and massive destroying waves coming to sink the island realm. As Miriel is doused in water, we realize that of course this isn’t actually happening and instead it was a dream.
Miriel is awakened by her dream and we see she obviously hasn’t been sleeping peacefully as we see she actually fell asleep in a chair and not her bed, and appears to still be wearing formal attire. We find out from Halbrand’s punching bag that Miriel summoned Galadriel that morning, and the guildsmen aren’t happy about it, believing that the elf will influence the Queen Regent.
We meet Kemen, who is the created son of Pharazon, who goes to tell his father about the crowd gathering. When Kemen makes a statement about trying to be clever, Pharazon says cleverness is for men of small ambition and that he’d rather his son be wise.
Pharazon Gaining People’s Trust
Back to this dude, whose name is Tamar, and he’s riling up the people by saying that they’re going to have elf workers – who don’t age, sleep or grow tired – coming to take their trades. On the flip side, I thought Pharazon’s speech that immediately followed was really strong. Pharazon then orders drinks all around, which we saw previously, the Numenoreans like when someone buys them drinks – but hey, who doesn’t. Pharazon shares a bro hug with Tamar, and
I think there’s more to this than meets the eye. We first saw this dude alongside Pharazon in the court last episode and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s riling people up so Pharazon can come in and play the hero. There’s definitely some scheming going on with Pharazon and it’s one of the things I’m really interested in from the Numenor storyline.
Turns out Elendil’s daughter Earien witnesses this whole thing and is approached by Pharazon’s son. Kemen says of Pharazon that there isn’t a name in the city he doesn’t know, a crowd he can’t turn and a favor he isn’t owed. Driving home the point that Pharazon is definitely setting himself up as a man of the people. Kemen offers Earien wine from vineyards near the Meneltarma.
Galadriel Asks Queen For Help
Next, we see Galadriel, Elendil, and Miriel meeting in the court, where Galadriel has shared the news of Sauron and Halbrand. Galadriel says she believes Halbrand is the lost heir in exile to the throne of the Southlands. And if that doesn’t sound Aragorn-y enough for you, Galadriel says his people are scattered and leaderless but could be united behind his banner – in a line that sounds a lot like Elrond describing the world of Men in Fellowship of the Ring – scattered, divided, leaderless, before Gandalf says there is one that could unite them.
Miriel showing her disbelief says she supposes Elendil is a Rhunic emperor, to which Elendil responds with a funny line: “just a petty lord, actually.” So Galadriel wants Miriel to reforge the alliance between Numenor and the elves, and Miriel says no thanks – Numenor has chosen another path.
So clearly Miriel is still playing this game of not revealing herself as being among the faithful until absolutely necessary. Galadriel then makes a power play, saying she requests an audience with the actual ruler of Numenor, Miriel’s father, the king. Galadriel using Miriel’s rank as an insult lands her in the slammer with Halbrand.
Next, we catch up with Isildur on his cadet ship, where he once again hears the female voice whisper his name as he looks at Numenor. Isildur intentionally lets a rope slip and gets kicked off the Sea Guard and the trainer dude pulls a Umbridge and kicks the Weasley brothers off the team as well. While Isildur may want to run off to Andunie, Dwayne The Rock Valandil wanted to be on that boat since he was big enough to hold an oar. The friends have a falling out, coming to blows before going their separate ways.
Adar Is A Corrupted Elf
Next, we are back with Arondir, and we finally get the reveal of Adar, who looks like a very scarred elf. The orcs leave and Adar talks to Arondir in Quenya. Adar goes on to say he’s not a god at least not yet. He ignores all the questions Arondir asks for us like “what are you” and tells him to go to the watchtower where the men have taken refuge and tell them they join him or die.
We see the men and Bronwyn comments that people have come from every village from there to Orodruin. Theo goes on a side mission to get food with his bestie who remembers cutting himself on Theo’s broken sword – and it’s really quick, but Rowan here isn’t looking too good – in fact, I’d say he’s starting to look a bit like he’s been stabbed my a Morgul blade. Theo runs into the orc Vrath, and stabs the bottom of the hilt into his arm to bring back the blade. It’s pretty clear that this is what the orcs have been searching for.
Next, we get to catch up with Theo who is being pursued by orcs and Arondir kills off Vrath – and it’s officially the first time I’ve been bummed to see an orc taken out because it’s Jed Brophy’s orc. Arondir helps Theo back to his mom in a really, really long slow-motion section…too long. Arondir does his cool arrow catch and throw – still in slow-mo that I was really hoping would be in full speed to show off how awesome elves are, but we’ve hardly started the slowmo portion. They’re bailed out by the sun.
Durin Shows Mithril To Elrond
Back in Eregion, the dwarves are rocking out on building Celebrimbor’s new tower. As Elrond remarks on the wonder of elves and dwarves working together, Celebrimbor is taken aback by Elrond’s likeness to his father, who he says he’s met many times. He reveals, he once heard Earendil say that his kid will one day be in charge of Celebrimbor’s future. Celebrimbor is bummed because Durin is either avoiding him or hiding something – which hey, it could be both.
Elrond visits Disa, who pretty convincingly lies about Durin’s whereabouts, but Elrond discovers it soon enough. Here we get our first ever glimpse at elven sight as Elrond observes a conversation between Disa and Durin, revealing he’s been at the old mine below the Mirrormere. Now the Mirrormere is on the East side of the Misty Mountains and it’s where the original Durin stopped and saw seven stars arranged in a crown above his reflection, leading him to go into the mountain there and found Khazad-dum.
Elrond discovers the secret entrance and shows why you don’t teach secret password songs to your kids. There, he finds Durin, who makes Elrond swear an oath to not reveal the secret he’s about to tell him. In Tolkien’s world Oaths have power – they are not something easily discarded. So when Durin says if he breaks it it will doom Elrond and his kin to sorrow until his last day on Middle-earth, this is exactly what the stakes are.
Elrond swears on the memory of his father Earendil the Mariner, and Durin reveal the discovery of a new ore – lighter than silk and harder than iron. Durin says the dwarves call it grey glitter, but guesses in elvish it would be mith-raud, which translates to grey metal. Elrond corrects him by saying “mithril” which means “grey brilliance.” Durin tells Elrond to keep the piece as a token of their friendship and they’re interrupted by a cave-in.
Galadriel Sees The Fall Of Neumenor
Again, we hear someone call out Galadriel’s borderline craziness, as Halbrand chats with her. He goes on to say that you should find out what your opponent most fears, then give them a way of mastering it so you can master them. This gives off major Sauron vibes because as we will see in the Fall of Numenor arc, this is pretty much what Sauron does with the issue of Mortality which is what most Numenoreans fear.
Halbrand helps Galadriel realize that maybe if she would occasionally pause for a moment to use her brain she might notice things like the fact that Miriel only threw her in prison when she brought up the king. She uses this newfound perspective to…kind of beat up a few guards? Anyway, we see Halbrand advising Pharazon to not intervene and the whole thing makes it seem all the more like Halbrand is Sauron – the way he ever so gently nudges Pharazon to do what he wants. And I wonder if we will later discover that Halbrand and Pharazon have further conversations.
Galadriel bursts into the King’s tower to find Miriel there with an ailing Tar-Palantir. When Galadriel asks why Miriel isn’t faithful to the elves like her father, Miriel leads her up a stairway saying her father had become more outspoken about reconnecting with the elves after his coronation. Miriel reveals that Tar-Palantir once brought her to the tower and reveals a Palantir – one of seven, with the other 6 lost or hidden. Galadriel looks into the Palantir and sees the same vision where Numenor is taken by the sea. Galadriel wants Miriel to send an army with her to save the Southlands and Miriel says, Nah.
Elrond Being A Good Friend
We see Disa singing a lament for the trapped dwarves of the cave-in. Durin reveals they all made it out alive and his father has declared the entire mine is to be sealed off and Durin is not having it. Elrond gives us a bit of a rundown of his dad’s story and it’s really fun because it’s probably the most straight lore with no changes we’ve gotten in the entire show – it’s glorious.
And I really love Elrond’s reaction and lesson for Durin, that he would be happy to hear any judgment – whether he made his father proud or disappointed, for it would mean he would get to see his father again. For me personally, this relationship between Durin and Elrond, and the Khazad-dum storyline as a whole, is the one that’s really clicking. The sweet moment is followed up with some light-hearted banter about how Elrond and Durin met.
And we see Durin come to his father. Durin III tells his son that the dwarves believe when a new king is crowned, the voices of all his forebears flow into him, sharing their counsel, wisdom and mistakes. And it’s another genuinely heartfelt moment when the king says ever am I with you. It seems like this idea of the voices will play into how they will attempt to explain there being two Durin’s at once.
Despite Elrond being awesome and encouraging him to have a great dad moment, Durin says he thinks there’s something more at work, and they resolve that he should go to Lindon and find out what it is. I think if there’s anything nefarious going on, it’s going to come from Gil-galad, not Elrond – and that Elrond will be put in a tight place between commitment to his people and commitment to his friend.
Numenor Will Help Southlands
Back in the Southlands, the creepy barkeep reveals he has a scar from using the sword just like Theo. No question this guy is bad news and loyal to Sauron. And he seems to think the meteor was a sign that Sauron’s time has come. Meanwhile, Adar is told by the orcs the blade is in the tower, no doubt setting up a big conflict next week.
Back in Numenor, Galadriel is shipped off and Elendil quietly says Go in Peace in Quenya. However, as Miriel and Pharazon go to return to the court, they see leaves falling like crazy from the White Tree, and Elendil and Miriel make eye contact and it’s apparent they both know what an ill-omen this is. And I think the added layer here is that this could be the moment that they fully realize they can trust one another as members of the Faithful.
Miriel gives a speech where she reveals she will personally accompany Galadriel back to Middle-earth and aid the Southlands that are under siege. Surprisingly, it seems that Pharazon is on board with this, so he isn’t about to make his move quite yet. It makes me wonder if he will instead strike when Miriel is away. Elendil reads the news to the people and asks for volunteers to go to Middle-earth, and people come forward one by one