Finally ! After long months of waiting, we were able to discover the first episode of the series The Rings of Power adapted from Lord of the Rings. Offbeat recap of the episode by someone who has seen the two trilogies but knows nothing about it!
First images of the Rings of Power. Kids frolic in a field of wheat with a voiceover above. They grab a little girl who made a paper boat. (Hint: pointy ears. They’re Elves.) The craft unfurls to enchanting music. We think we should have taken origami lessons to do the same… One of the kids sinks the paper ship with a stone’s throw. The little one retorts by throwing herself on him. As she is about to smack him, she is interrupted by an adult who calls her… Galadriel!
It is his older brother who has just prevented him from carrying out a massacre. In a bucolic landscape, and always with the enchanting little music in the background, he gives her an express philosophy course on darkness and light and how to follow the right path. And she doesn’t seem 100% convinced by her demonstration. In voice-over, an adult Galadriel essentially tells that she had a happy childhood, bathed in light, that she believed that time would be eternal.
Yes, Galadriel, we’ve all been there.
Until the Dark Enemy, Morgoth, cut off the power, so to speak. End of light, end of abundance. Then came the time of resistance with a legion of Elves going to war. Farewell Valinor, the distant land of the Elves. And hello Middle-earth, all on an animated map that was missing from the credits of the first episode of House of the Dragon but that’s another topic. (Except that we immediately come across a dragon and it’s a little confusing anyway…)
And we find ourselves in the middle of a huge battle worthy of that of the Bastards. More than a battle, it was a war that lasted centuries. We see Galadriel, dressed in an immaculate white tunic, in a landscape of total desolation posing an Elf warrior helmet on a huge pile of other helmets symbolizing the countless deaths. (It breaks the mood a bit, but the image is beautiful)
If the war ended with the defeat of Morgoth, it has as its counterpart the proliferation of Orcs in the four corners of Middle-earth and in the service of the wizard Sauron. This same Sauron who had the skin of Galadriel’s brother. (We’re still not in a happy happy mood here.)
This is how Joan of Arc, sorry Galadriel, turns into a warmonger ready to shrivel up Sauron. Except that she couldn’t find her trail – maybe she should have taken Mike Horn – and as the years passed, Sauron fell into oblivion.
Galadriel sees evil everywhere
We arrive in the Forodwaith, the northern desert. Galadriel climbs the side of a mountain, driving her dagger and spikes straight into the ice. All in armor. Eventually, she may have taken a course from Mike Horn. She is the commander of her group. One of her soldiers tries to convince her to turn back when there has been no trace of an Orc for ages. Nothing to do, she goes back on the road.
In the dark night, in the heart of an infernal snowstorm, the small group finds the lair they were looking for. That of the Orcs after the defeat of Morgoth. The place is majestically gloomy. Galadriel, who has followed a training course as a tracker, unearths the mark of Sauron there, the same left on the body of her brother. It was enough to galvanize it while all the others are on the kneecaps.
As they decide to spend the night in this icy lair, one of the Elves comes face to face with a Snow Troll. The thing is 3 meters high, sends everyone flying and growls like Chewbacca under autotune. We have already seen a more cordial encounter.
Galadriel flies to the giant Michelle Yeoh-like beast in Tiger and Dragon and chops it down with five swings of her sword. By way of thanks, the others lay down their swords and refuse to follow her on the rest of the journey. Nice.
Back on the map and direction Rhovanion, wild land of eastern Anduin. Two travelers are returning from work, laden like mules. Something passes behind them running. They take a look, see nothing and resume their journey. Once gone, a small head comes out of the wheat, it looks like a Hobbit. But here, they are called the Pievelus. A whole horde comes out of the forest after hiding well as the threat passes.
It is the outpouring after the passage of the two travelers that they interpret as a bad omen. Wouldn’t they be a bit drama queens on the edges? The concern is all the greater as they are looking for a certain Nori who does not answer the call.
She’s with a bunch of kids, all out to find a Hill Troll’s hideout. (What is this thing again?) They go there to stuff themselves with blackberries. A girl spots a footprint in the mud. When she shows it to Nori, it pales in a split second and sounds the return of the troops. It’s the footprint of a wolf. We see the wolf in question at the start of the tape, but it looks more like the beast of Gévaudan. (We are lost)
In a pretty clearing, under the cui-cui of the birds, the Elf Elrond writes a poem. A woman comes to inform him that he will not attend the next meeting of the council, reserved for the Elf Lords. And he seems upset. She then announces the arrival of her friend and there he is, all cheered up.
Elrond or the local Socrates
We are in Lindon, the kingdom of the Elves. It is Galadriel, the friend who has just arrived, the commander of the armies of the North who returns without an army. Elrond would like to find his friend, hear from her. No, no, Galadriel is still on a war footing. And ask Elrond to seek an audience with the High King for her.
At the Pievelus, back home, Nori dreams of great adventures. But her friend brings her back to reason, explaining to her that the course of the world is played out among Men, Dwarves, Elves and other creatures, and that her existence must be limited to her universe among her own. (In short, you have to see life in miniature)
In Lindon, the High King singles out the homecoming warriors, insisting to Galadriel that a time of peace begins. (She sulks) To reward them, he sends them to the Gray Havens to live for eternity in the Blessed Realm, the Undying Lands of Valinor. Where everyone rejoices, Galadriel makes the face of someone who has just been sentenced to life in a shabby prison… And throws a disapproving look at Elrond. We know one who will get his ears pulled…
In the evening, she announces to Elrond that she intends to refuse the honor of the High King to follow in the footsteps of Sauron. Slinger, the Galadriel! Elrond tries to bring her to her senses, it’s like talking to a wall.
In the Southern Lands, in the land of Men, the Elf Arondir returns from his tour to the village of Tirharad where no one among the Men seems happy to see him arrive. Which doesn’t stop her from flirting with Bronwyn who, apparently, is not insensitive to the charm of her pointy ears. The soldier, because Arondir is wearing armour, is immediately reprimanded for his attitude towards the young woman by his brother-in-arms Medhor who reminds him that unions between Elves and Men have always led to death. (Spoiler).
They learn from a third that the end of the war is declared and that all the outposts are demobilized. Good news a priori except for Arondir who is thinking of his love affair. His captain comes to teach him a lesson not to attach himself to Men who have been Morgoth’s allies and who are still inherently evil. They have a tough tooth, the Elves!
At home, Bronwyn prepares her balms and remedies with her son. This is where Arondir arrives, who obviously doesn’t want to let go. He came to make his statement. The two have tremolos in their voices and words of love on their lips, but the son interrupts them. A Man is present and asks for Bronwyn.
Arondir thinks he’s Sherlock Holmes
It is a peasant who has come to take care of his cow. Arondir approaches the animal and extracts a black, slimy substance from its udder. So we are not an expert in Tolkian cows, but we say to ourselves that this milk is not normal… Arondir asks the farmer where his cow has gone to graze, suspecting an illness he has already heard about at the hostel where he was badly received earlier in the day. He decides to go there to Hordern and Bronwyn to accompany him.
Bronwyn’s son Theo and a pal sneak into a barn. They came to seek, rather to steal a nest egg. It is the base of a sword that bears the mark of Sauron. The friend flees. And Sauron’s mark seems to revive in Theo’s hands. (Does Theo have magical abilities? Does the object animate as soon as someone is interested in it? Anyway, we didn’t understand anything.)
Galadriel is on the ship carrying her and the other warriors honored by the High King to the Gray Havens. It has the head of the condemned man going straight to the scaffold. She could have been a tragedian if she hadn’t gone to war. For his part, Elrond is remorseful to see his friend gone against his will, but the High King convinces him that he made the right decision for Galadriel. So that she herself does not awaken the evil she seeks to eliminate. (yes…)
During their chatter, the High King asks Elrond if he knows of Lord Celebrimbor’s handiwork. “The greatest of our blacksmiths, of course!” exclaims Elrond. It seems obvious there, but we guess that the exchange will be used to revise our classics. The High King wants Elrond to work with him on a project of the utmost importance. This is where Celebrimbor comes into play.
Nori does as she pleases
At the Pievelus, Nori snoops around Sadoc who senses a danger coming and searches his grimoire for an answer to his concerns. The skies are strange according to him, a sign of a bad omen.
Arondir and Bronwyn travel together to Hordern. He is about to make his statement again. And again, they are interrupted. Hordern is in flames.
On the dividing seas where Galadriel sails, soldiers are stripped of their armor. Galadriel clings to the dagger she got from her brother and gives it back as if it were stuck in her heart. A company of birds welcomes their return. Stripped of their armor, the Elves look like angels. They begin to sing a song, called by the light. (All of a sudden, it feels like mass…)
The sky opens in two, letting a dazzling light burst. They all seem hypnotized. (Would The Rings of Power be a series about a cult and we wouldn’t have been told?) Galadriel then remembers the words of her brother – but if the express course of philosophy – when she was a child on the shadow and light.
As the craft enters the light, Galadriel backs away. At the same time, on the other shore, a meteorite splits the sky. The Elves are one by one absorbed by the light. Galadriel must make a choice. Light or dark. The meteorite crashes and Galadriel dives into the sea to escape the light, her dagger in hand. And the vortex of light closes. Galadriel is left alone at sea.
In Lindon, the High King picks up a dead leaf that turns black in his hands. Nori goes to the crash site of the meteorite, very close to her home. In the middle of a huge burning crater, she finds a naked man. (Nod to the Terminator scene?) In Nori’s gaze, we don’t know if it’s dread or blissful enthusiasm.