Hey, guys, we’re diving into the Jed Brophy return to Middle-earth party – I mean Episode 3 of the Rings of Power titled “Adar”. We get a good amount of time in Numenor, the return of practical effects orcs, the answer to Sauron’s symbol, and possibly some new clues into Halbrand’s true identity.
We received enough hints in the first two episodes of The Rings of Force to establish the existence of evil power. Galadriel made the decision to take things into her own hands rather than travel to the Undying Lands because no one took her word for it when she said it. She had become friends with a man named Halbrand and was trapped in the water with him until they were rescued by an unknown sailor.
Although Nori had kept the Meteor Man a secret, she was surprised by his presence. Although she had little to no knowledge of constellations, she was aware that they hold the key to the mystery. Let’s see what unexpected events Galadriel, Nori, and Arrondir may encounter on their respective adventures.
Rings Of Power Episode 3 Recap
Right off the bat, we find out it was indeed orcs who captured Arondir at the end of episode 2. His armor and weapons have been taken away and he’s being dragged through a kind of tunnel/trench system by orcs. They’ve got prisoners and we can see canopies overhead meant to protect the orcs from the sunlight. Arondir is tossed out in the sun and discovers his buddy from episode 1 and the watch warden have both been captured as well. The camera pulls back and we see that the orcs have dozens of captives made to work as thralls digging this trench.
Cut to Galadriel, who wakes up on the Numenorean ship and she immediately notices her dagger is gone. Halbrand hooks her up with some food, to which Galadriel asks if their hosts are saviors or captors. They’re brought up to the main deck where we get our first true glimpse of Numenoreans and most notably Elendil – father of Isildur and future High King of Gondor and Arnor. Elendil remarks that one of the Eldar aboard his Numenorean ship is quite the strange tides. Galadriel starts to question Elendil and he tells her to be at ease as he is obliged to deliver them safely to his betters, who will answer her questions.
Numenor Human Back Story
This is our first hint that the Elendil we meet here is not the ruler he will become – and as we will learn, he is one who is in the midst of an incredibly dangerous political climate in Numenor. With a smirk, Elendil reveals they’re nearly home, and Galadriel quickly notices that Elendil has her dagger, but somewhat surprisingly restrains herself from going for it. Elendil starts leading their guests and we hear people whisper about an elf in their midst – and we’ll soon realize why that is a big deal. Halbrand says “since when do men like me build great kingdoms such as this?” And Galadriel replies “they’re not men like you”.
She then explains that while Halbrand’s ancestors stood with Morgoth, the ancestors of the Numenoreans, whom we know from the books were called the Edain, stood with the elves. As a reward, they were given the land of the star, which Elros and his people found by following the star of his father Earendil. What remains to be seen is if this show will go into other ways the Numenoreans are distinguishable from regular men. Namely, their lifespan, which is considerably longer.
Galadriel also reveals Numenor has changed much in the centuries that followed. For a while, elves were allowed to come to Numenor and they gave gifts to the men, but in time the Numenoreans turned away their ships. This is indeed from the books, for as the Numenoreans turned their backs on the Valar and the Elves, the elves were no longer welcome in Numenor by the King’s Men faction – which had the majority of the people and power in Numenor. Only in secret to the Faithful would elves visit in the later days.
They arrive at the royal building of Armeneols. Elendil walks Galadriel and Halbrand up to a guard who basically says the Queen Regent and Chancellor Pharazon ain’t got time for that. And Elendil simply steps to the side and the guard, seeing Galadriel is an elf, decides maybe they do have time for that and just steps aside. Obviously, having an elf in Numenor is a big deal and not something these folks ever expected – and most never wanted. As we saw with Durin’s reception of Elrond, we get another ruler addressing Galadriel simply as “elf”.
Galadriel Meets The Queen
Miriel, who is serving as Queen Regent in the stead of her father King Tar-Palantir, tells the elf to name herself. She responds “Galadriel of the Noldor, Commander of the Northern Armies of the High King Gil-galad. Halbrand somewhat awkwardly declares himself as simply Halbrand of the Southlands. Galadriel requests a ships passage back to Middle-earth, to which Pharazon responds that it’s been generations since a ship of Numenor made such a journey on an elf’s behalf, to which Galadriel responds rather rashly that it’s because of the Eldar that their people were given the island. Miriel responds that their ancestors were not given anything, but that they paid for the isle with the blood of their kin.
Galadriel says one way or another, she will depart, and she and Miriel go back and forth escalating tensions before Halbrand jumps in and negotiates they stay in Numenor for three days while they weigh their request. Galadriel says she will not be made a prisoner, and Pharazon says, Nah, you’ll be Numenor’s guest, as the guards come to escort them. Halbrand gives Elendil a fake hug of gratitude to steal Galadriel’s dagger, which he gives back to her moments later. Pharazon and Miriel talk of Elendil since he brought the visitors in and Pharazon mentions he is original of a noble line and now a sea captain and his son following him into service.
And we cut to Numenorean ships at sea, with Isildur as a cadet learning the ways of the Numenorean navy. Isildur’s friends talk about passing their sea trial and moving up through the ranks over the coming years and we first meet Isildur’s sister, the original character Earien. Next, we’re back in the throne room and Miriel says the Faithful believe when the petals of the White Tree fall, it is no idle thing, but the very tears of the Valar themselves. This plays into my theory that when we later see the petals falling in masse, it will be an attention-grabbing moment showing dark days are ahead for Numenor.
Cut The Tree Or Get Killed
Map transition and we’re back at the orc pits and we see the tree on the map is the one they’re digging near. Medhor reveals to Arondir that the orcs are searching for something as they dig into all of these villages. My best guess here is they’re searching for the dagger Theo has. The watch warden mentions this Adar is someone the orcs revere and that Morgoth has a successor. Arondir points out that its odd orcs would use an elvish word – which incidentally means “father” to refer to Sauron.
After a confrontation with the orcs about cutting down a tree in the way, one of the orcs who seems to be wearing a first-age elven helmet offers them water. With quite a bit of tension, the elves drink one by one, when suddenly the lead orc cuts Medhor’s throat while he drinks. As he dies in Arondir’s arms, the watch warden yells Huna hravan at the orcs, which means Accursed Beast. Arondir says he will cut down the tree and says “Anin apsene” asking the tree to forgive him as he begins chopping. All around we see the destruction caused by the orcs
Galadriel Does Some Research
Back in Numenor, Galadriel has escaped her guard and looks to commandeer a ship. However, she doesn’t give Elendil the slip, as he confronts her about the futility of her attempt. Galadriel says anywhere is better than here where everyone hates her, and Elendil answers that not all hate her in Quenya. He reveals it’s still taught in their hall of lore and carved on statues throughout the city. They take off on horseback to the hall of lore.
Halbrand shows back up at the smithies saying no one on the island knows the craft more than he. The guy tells halbrand, no crest, no forge. So Halbrand goes to have some seafood where after a rocky start, he buys drinks for the Numenorean workers and gets them to let their guard down so he can steal one of their crests. Turns out they notice Halbrand stole the crest and jump him in an alley, he beats them all up.
Guards come onto the scene to take Halband away. We get to the hall of lore and Galadriel draws Sauron’s mark, which Elendil gives to someone so they can do an old-school Google image search of the archives. We learn the archives were built by Elros – the twin brother of Elrond, and we see a painting of the two as they part.
Elendil goes on to say that its because of Tar-Palantir that the archives have not been torn down, for he is loyal to the elves. Because of this loyalty, the king is confined to his tower – an exile in his own kingdom. Ask Jeeves comes back with an account of a human spy retrieved from an enemy dungeon and it turns out I was right about the symbol being a map of Mordor. Turns out there was a contingency plan should Morgoth be defeated that Sauron and the orcs would create land for evil to thrive.
Harfoots Learns About The Stranger
Halfway through the episode, we’ve got harfoots doing who knows what through the woods. We catch up with Largo and Marigold and it sounds like Largo’s first wife – and I’m guessing Nori’s mom, died and that Marigold is his second wife. And they talk about how his foot injury is not a great development for folks about to go on the move. Nori and Poppy swipe Sadoc’s star map and we actually get into a speech that takes kind of a dark turn.
They read off names of hobbits who fell behind during prior migrations. We find out Poppy is an orphan and that her entire family was killed by a landslide. Someone related to Sadoc was taken by wolves. The Stranger shows up, probably looking for some delicious snails and he finds his constellation on the map. The fires throughout the camp grow as Meteor Man makes the discovery, but whoops – apparently he’s not used to hot fires that actually burn stuff and the map catches fire.
The Stranger stumbles through the camp, scaring the harfoots and accidentally ratting out Nori by saying her name. When asked about a being falling from the stars, Sadoc says he’s heard of a being turned into a star. In another dark twist, it turns out they should be kicked out of the clan as punishment, but since Nori is young, Sadoc says her family can stay at the back of the caravan.
Next, we catch back up with the harfoot migration where Largo and his family are struggling to keep up. Turns out there is a big old stranger in the cart, which no doubt adds to the weight. Meteor Man helps push the cart in hopes the family can keep up with those cutthroat harfoots.
Orc’s Leader Adar
Galadriel pays a visit to the cell where Halbrand is locked up and shows him her second image search came back with a match for the mark on Halbrand’s pouch. Halbrand says he just got it off a dead man, but Galadriel doesn’t buy it. She says the mark of his ancestor united the men of the southlands. Halrband counters that it was that man’s ancestor who swore a blood oath to Morgoth and that his family lost that war. Galadriel says it was hers that started it. Galadriel then says there was no chance meeting and says it was the work of something greater. She also tells Halbrand to go back to Middle-earth with her so they can redeem both their bloodlines.
Back to the orc pit where the elves try to make a daring escape. We get some cool elven acrobatics and thing look promising as Arondir exposes the orcs to sunlight. The problem is the orcs have a warg. Arondir temporarily traps ungly sonic and does a cool little flippy thing to stab an orc with a stick, the watch warden makes a run for it in hopes one of them can escape. As Arondir climbs to the top, he finds instead that his friend has been given the Boromir treatment. Arondir yells Hano, which means brother, and is pulled back to the pit where an orc is stopped from killing him. Instead, he will be brought to Adar. And the final shot is our first kind of look at Adar, as it’s blurry.