After watching six episodes of The Rings of Power and being generally unmoved by what is clearly meant to be an epic and sweeping tale, I believe I am finally invested in this show and its characters. While the majority of viewers seem to have been amazed by episode 6 and felt episode 7 fell flat, I feel exactly the opposite: the focus on friendship and hope in this installment has truly drawn me in. I can at last say I actually like The Rings of Power.
This isn’t to say the episode was perfect. I am disappointed the thing about mithril being able to heal the Elves seems not to be a fabrication from Annatar, as many fans were hoping (or, there’s at least some truth to it, considering the mithril healed the diseased leaf from Lindon). This entire plot line is bizarre, from the implication there’s a Silmaril involved to the timeline that the Elves are going to fade by spring. The only interesting facet is that it opens the door to portray the Dwarves as selfless rather than greedy; they won’t dig for the mithril because they’re treasure-obsessed but because they want to help the Elves.
Implying Isildur is dead was also an interesting choice, since pretty much everyone must know he’s not. I assume this is for character development, such as moving Elendil from being in favor of aiding Middle-earth to regretting the mission. And I guess something interesting will happen to Isildur while he’s missing from the main narrative, but it was a little hard to feel *too* bad for Elendil since we all know Isildur is not dead!
However, the character development in general in this episode really helped win over my heart. I like Theo more. I can even believe he’d hug Arondir, when I’m not sure I would have been sold on that before. The Harfoots became more interesting, as well. I loved seeing some of them rally and realize perhaps they should help the Stranger, who tried so hard to help them even when things didn’t turn out the way he intended. Sadoc, of course, has some of the best lines. Elrond and Disa and Durin continue to be stars, and the scenes between Durin and his father (also Durin lol) were fabulous. Galadriel is still a bit of a miss for me because I don’t think she’s coming across as fearsome or awe-inspiring. (So it fell flat for me when Theo joked about being unable to imagine her dancing because I have no issue imagining that at all.)
Annoyingly, I am also beginning to see why people think Halbrand is Sauron, though I’ve been hoping the entire time he is not and that Sauron has actually been off screen.
So sign me up for episode 8 (and the rest of the seasons) because I’m finally truly excited!
6 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Episode 7 of “The Rings of Power””
I don’t know. Obviously, not all Dwarves are greedy and I wouldn’t advocate for a show depicting an entire culture/race as such, but I think Tolkien’s work does reflect a lot on the ability of our deepest interests and passions to lead us to dark places, if we don’t keep them in check and use them appropriately. There is nothing wrong with Dwarves loving gold and mithril, or with loving the work of their hands. But I think Tolkien, as a writer and a craftsman himself, understood that passion for what one does can lead to obsession, and I always thought that was an interesting aspect of his work.
I think it would be in the spirit of Tolkien to explore the possibility that some Dwarves WERE led astray by their love of mithril. Doesn’t Gandalf say, “They delved too greedily and too deep?” That always seemed to be a bit of a moral: that the Balrog was unleashed because of passion turned to greed. I wouldn’t look askance at the show if they went with that interpretation.
I also just think it’s weird in general to suggest that mithril has magical healing properties, or that the Silmarils are somehow imbuing metal with it. That’s obviously non-canonical and contradicts both the books and the LotR films. I don’t expect the show to adhere to everything in the books exactly, but I don’t like a new mythology/entire magic system being introduced into a world that already had established rules. I’m more okay with new characters and plotlines being introduced that don’t change the fundamental worldbuilding.
It would have been easy to depict the Dwarves as generous and not uniformly greedy with a different plot point, one not involving mithril with magic healing powers.
They’re trying to put some nuance in it. You can tell Disa wants to help Elrond but also wants to dig mithril out of ambition. I don’t really have a problem with the Dwarves’ plot line here, but the idea that mithril is magically healing and holds the light of a Silmaril is stupid in my opinion.
Unfortunately at this point I’m 98% Halbrand is Sauron I think they’ll confirm it next week. I don’t understand why we waited seven episodes for Galadriel to be like oh yeah and also my husband… I’m not big on her character at all but I can see how making it about finding out what happened to her husband from the beginning would have helped with her character. Instead we get long dead brother, vengeance, Halbrand, I need to fight evil and oh yeah… I had a husband once blurted out to Theo.
I really did not want Halbrand to be Sauron, but here we are. He’s a blacksmith. He’s obviously done evil things in the past. He’s making relationships in all the right geographic places. Sigh.
Yes, the Celeborn thing is wild! I can’t believe she didn’t mention having a husband before! I know she apparently thinks he’s dead, but wouldn’t having lost him to the war have ALSO been a motivating factor in her quest to find Sauron? I know Finrod was directly killed by Sauron, which might make it feel more personal than Celeborn (allegedly) dying in the war in general but . . . it’s like she doesn’t even care about him!
From a writing perspective, I don’t even know what was going on there. The writers didn’t know what to do with Celeborn so it came out awkward like this? They were trying to surprise us all by mentioning him offhandedly seven episodes in so we’d freak out about it? It’s just so odd!
“While the majority of viewers seem to have been amazed by episode 6 and felt episode 7 fell flat, I feel exactly the opposite: the focus on friendship and hope in this installment has truly drawn me in.” YES!!! I immediately texted my friends after I finished the episode to say “I think this is my favourite ep since ep 3”. No surprise that I also agree the mithril plot is bizarre, but the actors involved are doing a great job with it. I actually kind of agreed with elder Durin’s reasons for not wanting to bust out the mithril for the elves (will have to see if my opinion changes on rewatch). I appreciated the pairing of Galadriel and Theo (even if I don’t really get how/why they were separated from everyone else…). I think my biggest surprise this episode was the Celeborn name drop?? I was expecting him to be introduced later, with him and Galadriel having yet to meet.
I was also confused how Galadriel and Theo ended up together. She finds him in the ruins and says to stick with her (despite the fact she doesn’t really even know him??), and then they just walk off together and leave everyone else??? It’s just another example of how stuff doesn’t make sense in the show but viewers are apparently just meant to go with it. Like how anyone survived the volcano in the first place.
I genuinely have no idea what was up with that decision about Celeborn. She should at least have mentioned him previously? So she’s obsessed with the loss of her brother, but her husband is eh whatever?