Thoughts on Episode 3 of “The Rings of Power”


The third episode of The Rings of Power picks up some threads of mystery that watchers have been avidly discussing since the first two installments, and I was interested to see exactly how much was answered. There are still people convinced, for instance, that Halbrand is Sauron, even though the show says pretty plainly he’s some disinherited king of the Southlands, which was my theory. He’s clearly being set up as some sort of parallel to Aragorn, though I also like the theory he’ll end up as one of the Nazgul. Maybe he’ll take one of the Rings to try to save his people, but it backfires, etc. I don’t buy the running theories that Sauron is actually more than one person, so presumably Adar AND Halbrand? (Or Celebrimbor, according to some people, which I find delightfully hilarious.)

But beyond getting some answers, did I like this episode? The answer is a resounding yes! I missed some of the characters from the first two (like Elrond, Celebrimbor, Durin, and Disa), but I liked Arondir much more than I have previously. He shows more range, and you can see that he cared for the other Elves he had been working with in the Watchtower, which was not a sense I’d actually gotten before in the show. too bad they’re dead now. It would have been even more gut-wrenching if their relationship had been build up previously.

This episode also crushed my vision of the Harfoots, however. We see them chanting, “No one goes off path, and nobody walks alone.” But apparently this is not a promise they will stick by one another. It’s a threat that they won’t! If you’re slow, you get left behind. Cue a ceremony remembering all those left behind i past migrations, only some for legitimate reasons, and then the decision to basically ditch the Brandyfoots rather than have someone help pull the cart. It’s dark.

Numenor was definitely a highlight of the show. It’s gorgeous. We get to meat Elendil and Isildur and see hints of what’s to come. Miriel is aggravating but seems to know more than she is letting on. I’m not sure I love that Galadriel is here. So much of her plot seems to be the showrunners trying to make other stuff happen that she’s just the vehicle for. Here it’s getting more information about Sauron and Halbrand from the Hall of Lore. I hope her plot gets better as the show goes on.

I’ve said that episode 3 would be the real test of how much I liked the show and whether I’d be willing to pay for a month of Prime to finish the season, and I think the answer is yes. I don’t love it as much as the movies, and there are choices I certainly find odd, but it’s growing on me and I want to see what happens next.


11 thoughts on “Thoughts on Episode 3 of “The Rings of Power”

  1. Greg says:

    I’m really liking this show. The vistas are awesome even when they’re clearly CGI, and the actual location shots are great. I agree about Arondir. And even though I didn’t love the elven leader at first, I was gutted when he got hit with those arrows. They put up such a valiant fight.

    I was a little disappointed with the Harfoot storyline too though. So much about staying together!

    I love that I can enoy this show without all the goriness of Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I don’t know if I just have no taste, but I very rarely care when other people are going on about the CGI is some movie being bad. I can’t really tell! XD But I agree that I love pretty much everything about the places they’re showing up in Middle-Earth! I’m so excited to see Moria come alive in particular!

      And I definitely thought the Watchwarden was a jerk and was even wondering what he was even doing in the previous episode besides giving some “don’t get attached to evil humans” speech, but then I also felt more attached to him in episode 3. Like he really cared about the Elves under his command. I wish we’d seen more of him before he got offed.

      I haven’t even watched GoT and have no interest, partially because of that. I see a lot of people online saying GoT and HoD are “better” because of the violence and I don’t get it. I really love that with Tolkien’s work, the focus is on plot and just murdering and pillaging, etc. under the argument it’s “realistic.” Nice things are realistic too???


      • Greg says:

        The landscapes really are stunning. And this might sound weird but I caught myself several times thinking why couldn’t Game of thrones be like this? I mean, GoT did have some nice location shots as well, but I think this is superior?

        Same about the Watchwarden!

        I’m a huge fan of the Game of Thrones books (although my enthusiasm has waned over the last few years) but I was never a fan of the show. I’m in the minority, I know, but I never thought they captured it well, and it was SO gratuitous. I mean, yes, the books are graphic, but they can get the story across without going as far as they did. Or maybe if they couldn’t they needed different showrunners? Lol


  2. Jordyn @ Birdie's Book Nook says:

    I think Halbrand is definitely being set up to be a Nazgul. Possibly even the Witch King himself. It’s gonna be a tragic transition, but one that will be really cool to watch. (I also think the young kid is gonna be a Nazgul, too. With the sword he’s got?) And THE HARFOOTS WERE SO MEAN FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. How hard would it be for a couple of other people to help them push their cart!? Ugh.


    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      People keep saying Sauron and I don’t really see it! How is Sauron influencing Celebrimbor if he’s just floating around the sea? I also don’t think I’d love Sauron as a kind of conflicted person. I guess there’s some textual evidence for “maybe he did actually reform briefly before being evil again,” but I wouldn’t love the show trying to humanize and make us like Sauron.

      Liked by 1 person

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