Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 3: The hunt for Sauron continues


Following the breathtaking two-hour premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the hunt for Sauron continues in the third episode on Amazon Prime.

The two-episode premiere introduced the characters of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the stories told in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, delving into the Second Age of Middle-earth.

Thursday’s new episode reveals that Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) goes exploring with her new friend Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) while Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) gets captured and Nori (Markella Kavenagh) finds herself in hot water.

Hunt: Following the breathtaking two-hour premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the hunt for Sauron continues in the third episode on Amazon Prime

Middle-earth: The two-episode premiere introduced the characters of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the stories told in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, delving into the Second Age of Middle-earth

Middle-earth: The two-episode premiere introduced the characters of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the stories told in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, delving into the Second Age of Middle-earth

The episode begins with Arondir being dragged by several Orcs as he starts to awaken, finding chaos all around him before he’s thrown to the ground.

They are talking about someone (or something) dubbed Adar, as an Orc named Vrath (Jed Brophy) repeats the Adar name and picks him up and shackles one of his legs before tossing him into a field to get to work digging.

Someone picks him up and Arondir is ready to attack… when he sees it’s his old partner Medihor (Augustus Prew), with his former Watchmaster Revion (Simon Merrells) also captured.

They hear women screaming as Arondir wants to help but he’s spulled back into the hole, as we see the creatures beating on the women… when Galadriel wakes up.

‘She lives,’ Halbrand says while offering her some food, while she graciously accepts… for a moment.

She asks if their ‘hosts’ – the mystery men who picked them up on a ship at the end of the two-hour premiere – are ‘saviors or captors,’ though Halbrand assures her the food is not poisoned… ‘Not for humans anyway,’ he adds.

They are beckoned topside when we see a crew of humans, when they’re approached by Elendil (Lloyd Owen), who is surprised to see Galadriel.

‘One of the Eldar? On board my ship? Strange tides indeed,’ Elendil says, though it doesn’t put Galadriel at ease, asking what kind of vessel this is.

‘Be at ease. I’m obliged to deliver you safely to my betters. They will answer your questions, not I,’ he addss.

She asks where they are heading and he says she can see for herself, but he tells Halbrand they’re going home.’

They pass through a river of sorts with great carvings on the rocks, as Galadriel says there is only one place this can be – ‘The Land of the Star – The westernmost of all mortal realms. The Island Kingdom of Numenor.’

They pass through a great bridge ass the ship’s sails are lowered, as we see more stunning statues and architecture around the port.

They are brought to shore by Elendil and some of his men, as many of the longshoremen notice Galadriel is an elf.

Halbrand asks when men like him built kingdoms like this, and Galadriel says they are not men like him.

‘In the Great War, your ancestors stood with Morgoth. These men stood with the Elves. As a reward, the Valar granted them this island, which has changed much since then,’ she explains.

Halbrand asks if he detects a note of envy, but she says it’s sorrow, not envy, explaining that Elves used to come freely from these shores and they were considered ‘kin,’ before Numenor started turning away their ships and breaking off all contact.

Halbrand asks why and Galadriel says they may find out, as Halbrand stops and notices a blacksmith shop.

Up on the tower above the townsfolk, Galadriel and Halbrand are brought up, when a guard (Preston O’Brien) tells Elendir that the Queen Regent and the Chancellor are occupied… but he’s stunned when he sees Galadriel and lets them pass.

They are lead to Chancellor Pharazon (Trysstan Gravelle) and Queen Regent Miriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), as the crowd around them falls quiet.

Halbrand tells Galadriel to kneel, but before they can, the Queen Regent says, ‘No one kneels in Numenor, as Halbrand apologizes.

The Queen Regent tells Galadriel to speak and she says she’s Galadriel of the Noldor, Daughter of the Golden Houses of Finarfin, Commander of the Northern Armies of High King Gil-galad.’

Halbrand simply says he’s Halbrand of the Southlands, as they wonder what a man and an Elf are doing together.

‘We are companions y chance. Met on the open sea. Your captain here delivered us from certain death. All we ask is that Numenor continue his mercy, and grant us ship’s passage to Middle-earth,’ Galadriel says, which causes the crowd to murmur.

Pharazon says it’s been ‘generations since a ship from Numenor has been permitted to make such a journey on an Elf’s behalf,’ though Galadriel reminds them, ‘It is because of the Elves that you were given this island. Surely you can spare a few planks and a rudder.’

The Queen Regent offers a polite smile before walking down to her guests, saying their people were not given anything.

‘They paid for this isle with the blood of their kin,’ she says, though Galadriel says if blood is the passage she will pay it, but one way or another I will depart.’

The Queen Regent smiles again and diplomatically says, ‘I welcome you to try.’

The Queen Regent and Galadriel start getting hostile as Halbrand steps in to intervene, suggesting that they stay a few days to give her time to weigh their request.

The Queen Regent looks towards Pharazon, who nods, and decreess, ‘Three days. And the Elf is to be restricted to palace ground.’

This clearly doesn’t sit well with Galadriel who says she will not be a prisoner but Pharazon jokes he would rather ‘kneecap a stallion than imprison the Commander of the Northern Armies,’ which gets a laugh from the crowd.

‘So you shall be Numenor’s guest,’ he adds, as Halbrand approaches Captain Elendir and gives him a hug, saying he has his ‘gratitude,’ which surprises the Captain.

Galadriel is not happy with this arrangement, stating she has lives to save but Halbrand thinks this place is rife with opportunity.

‘I have been searching for my peace for longer than you know. Please, for both our sakes, let me keep it. Perhaps some peace will do you good as well,’ he tells her.

He holds out his hand for her to shake, and when she does… he produces the dagger he took from her, adding, ‘But at the very least, do try not to make new enemies.’

The Queen Regent is approached by Pharazon, who tells her to resolve this quickly, but she dismisses his concern saying she’s just one elf.

‘We dare not invite your father’s cloud back over our head,’ Pharazon says, as the Queen Regent asks about Elendil.

He reveals Elendil was originally from a noble line but now he’s a Sea Guardsman with a son, set to follow him into the service.

We see scenes of his son Isildur (Maxim Baldry), working on the ships, hoisting the sails before looking out into the sea… when he hears a woman’s voice whispering his name… before he’s called back to work by Valandil (Alex Tarrant).

One of the cadets makes a mistake and is thrown out over the sea, but Isildur saves him from certain death.

‘There is no harsher master than the sea,’ Valandil states.

The Sea Guard cadets are seen taking their boats onto shore, as Valandil exclaims, ‘The sea is always right.’

Two of Isildur’s friends say his head was in the clouds again but he insists he’s just ‘eager to get out there.’ 

The friends say it’s just ‘nine more days’  until the Sea Trials, and then four years after that they make officers, and ten more till they get their own command.

Isildur jumps to his feet when his sister Earien (Ema Horvath) walks along the beach with a horse, and while she thinks he’s coming to hug her… he hugs  the horse instead.

The friends head off to the cantina but Isildur won’t join them, as they say he shouldn’t be like his brother because he has his whole life to be an old maid.

Isildur asks where father is, but Earien looks worried. 

Miriel is meeting with Elendir, talking about the petals of the White Tree, and when they fall, it is ‘no idle thing.’

‘A living reminder that their eyes and their judgment are ever upon uss,’ she says, asksing if he believes sit.

He thinks it’s unwise to live one’s life on signs and portents, which makes her smile.

She asks what his name means and he says, ‘one who loves the stars,’ but the Queen says, ‘that’s not the only translation, is it?’ 

He calmly states that in the ancient tongue of the Eldar it means ‘Elf-friend’ as she curtly asks if he is an Elf-friend.

‘I am a loyal servant of Numenor,’ he insists, but she says that Elves have been unwelcome on their shores since the reign of her grandfather’s great grandfather, wondering why he broke that tradition.

‘It was the sea that put her in my path. And the sea is always right,’ he says, but the Queen mentions the sea cannot commit treason.

He insists that, ‘given the circumstances’ he did what he thought was most prudent, as she says if he believes that, he will have to perform a service for her.

A knight hands Elendil a gold sword, as he looks up at the Queen Regent with concern.

The episode shifts to The Southlands, where Arondir is still enslaved, as he notices one of the Orcs running for cover when the sun comes overhead.

Arondir keeps digging as he talks with Medihor about the tunnels and that’s how they avoided their detection all these years.

Medihor thinks they are searching for a weapon to take to their leader, as Revion says, ‘It seems Morgoth has a successor,’ which Arondir knows is Adar, though it confuses Arondir because it’s an Elvish word.

‘Sauron was said to have many names in the days of old. Perhaps this is one of them,’ Revion suggests, adding there is more at work than they can see.

Revion suggests that they find the nearest tree line and when the sun is closest they can make their escape and find their people.

‘We can return in force and sweep the enemy like salt from a table,’ Revion says, as they are interrupted by a large Orc named Lurka (Edward Clendon) telling them to keep digging.

Arondir says the roots are in their way and Lurka says to ‘rip the whole stinkin’ tree down.’

Revion suggest that would take too long and they will go around the roots, but the Orcs start to get nasty.

Revion says the tree has been there longer than whatever place they crawled out of and it deserves its place in these lands, when another Orc named Magrot (Luke Hawker) arrives.

‘You showed strength. You just earned your company a water ration,’ Magrot says, though Revion doesn’ trust it.

Magrot pours the water on his hand, as a way of showing it’s good, as Revion takes it from the Orc and slowly drinks… then quickly.

He hands the water to Arondir who drinks as swell, as the Orcs look on, while Arondir passes it to Medihor… but when he starts to drink, Magrot slices his throat.

The Orc laughs maniacally as Arondir lays him to the ground, as Magrot insists on cutting the tree down, which Arondir says he will do.

He climbs to the top of the trench, seeing the sun shining bright on the decimated land, as he says something to the tree before chopping it down.

Back in Numenor, guards are scattering about trying to find Galadriel, but she slips over to the pier, before she’s found by Elenndir.

He says she can’t let her take it and the Queen has charged him with making sure she causes no further disturbance.

She says she’ll take her chances on a skiff, and wishes he never brought her here, as he threatens to shout for her minders, when she pulls out her brother’s dagger.

He smiles, saying if he could should she’d be in chains, even further from her destination. 

He tells her he has a son who runs fast and a daughter who runs blind and she has the eyes of both, but Galadriel doesn’t care and wants to leave because she thinks everyone hates her here.

Elendir tells her in Elvish that not all hate her, which stuns Galadriel, telling her Elvish language is still taught in their Hall of Lore, as she asks him to take her there. 

They ride on horseback to the Hall of Lore – a quarter day’s ride – as they’re seen riding along the stunning beachfronts as Galadriel can’t contain her smile.

Halbrand returns to the blacksmith shop saying he is here to start anew, though he’s told that until he earns his Guild Crest, he can’t forge steel.

He is shucking oysters when some other men ask if he’s the man who came in with the elf, as one asks how close he iss to the She-elf.

He thinks the man has it made, wondering what he will take next, when Halbrand jokes he’ll take their women, when more men surround him.

They say the She-Elf might prefer someone of better breeding, when Halbrand appeases them, saying he hasn’t shown them the slightest bit of gratitude… before buying everyone a round of drinks.

After many rounds, they think he’s ‘not so bad’ as they all cheer when he leaves before they get a bad opinion of him.

One of the men Tamar (Jason Hood) corners him with his friends as he’s flipping a coin, though Halbrand says he should take it since he doesn’t want any trouble.

They think it’s a bit late for that as sthey shove him into the wall but he can’t escape, as Halbrand says, ‘Pleases, don’t do this.’

Tamar says, ‘Why not, low man?’ before uppercutting him and sending him to the ground… but not for long as Halbrand springs up and attacks everyone with much fury.

He grabs Tamar’s head and says, ‘Call me Halbrand,’ before smashing his face into the concrete wall.

A number of guards arrive and surround Halbrand, while we cut to Galadriel and Elendir.

She writes something down for Elendir and he takes it to a desk, as she explores the countless scrolls.

Galadriel is surprised that the Hall of Lore was assembled by Elros himself, adding she was close with his brother.

She thanks him for bringing her here and he says to thank the last King, revealing he was – and still is – loyal to the Elves, forced from the throne and exiled in his own kingdom.

An old man brings texts over, revealing the location of Sauron’s tower, written by a human spy from an enemy dungeon and he drew the location of the tower.

Galadriel is confused since that is Sauron’s symbol… but she realizes it’s not a sigil… but a map of the Southlands.

‘It is as Halbrand says,’ she acknowledges, adding the Black Speech is of a plan to create a realm of their own where evil will not only endure but thrive.

The plan was to be enacted by Morgoth’s successor in the event of his defeat, as Galadriel says it is worse than she imagined.

‘If Sauron has indeed returned, the Southlands are but the beginning,’ Galadriel says.

 

The show made history long before the first two episodes debuted on Thursday evening, since it’s considered the most expensive series ever.

The show’s inception can be traced back to July 2017, when a grueling lawsuit between Warner Bros. – the studio behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films – and the J.R.R. Tolkien Estate, was settled.

Both the studio and the estate started offering the television rights to the franchise to streaming services, with Amazon quickly becoming a front-runner.

Front runner: Both the studio and the estate started offering the television rights to the franchise to streaming services, with Amazon quickly becoming a front-runner

Front runner: Both the studio and the estate started offering the television rights to the franchise to streaming services, with Amazon quickly becoming a front-runner

Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos has previously given a mandate to the Prime Video streaming service that he wanted a large-scale franchise.

Bezos was also reportedly a huge fan of the franchise and was personally involved in the negotiations for the just the rights alone, which were ultimately acquired in November 2017 for a whopping $250 million.

Amazon also struck a deal with the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust where they are believed to have given the green light for upwards of five seasons of the show.

Mandate: Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos has previously given a mandate to the Prime Video streaming service that he wanted a large-scale franchise

Mandate: Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos has previously given a mandate to the Prime Video streaming service that he wanted a large-scale franchise

Deal: Amazon also struck a deal with the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust where they are believed to have given the green light for upwards of five seasons of the show

Deal: Amazon also struck a deal with the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust where they are believed to have given the green light for upwards of five seasons of the show

With an estimated production commitment of between $100 million and $150 million per season, Amazon is expected to shell out $1 billion for the production costs and the rights, when all is said and done.

The series was created by Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, who had previously only worked on 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond as uncredited writers.

The duo pitched a series that would be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, a history glossed over in a five-minute prologue during the Lord of the Rings films.

Commitment: With an estimated production commitment of between $100 million and $150 million per season, Amazon is expected to shell out $1 billion for the production costs and the rights, when all is said and done

Commitment: With an estimated production commitment of between $100 million and $150 million per season, Amazon is expected to shell out $1 billion for the production costs and the rights, when all is said and done

They wanted to expand this into roughly 50 hours of television, which would include the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of the dark lord Sauron, the fall of the island kingdom Numenor and the final alliance between men and elves.

There will be characters fans will recognize, though, most notably Galadriel, played in the LOTR movies by Cate Blanchett, with the much younger version played Morfydd Clark.

There have been rumors that a white-haired character shown in the trailers, played by Bridie Sisson (previously thought to be Anson Boon), is actually Sauron himself, though producers have not confirmed that.

Characters: There will be characters fans will recognize, though, most notably Galadriel, played in the LOTR movies by Cate Blanchett, with the much younger version played Morfydd Clark

Characters: There will be characters fans will recognize, though, most notably Galadriel, played in the LOTR movies by Cate Blanchett, with the much younger version played Morfydd Clark

Executive producer Lindsey Weber would neither confirm nor deny Sisson’s character, she did offer a hint as to his origins to Time.

‘We are enjoying all the speculation online and can tell you Bridie Sisson is an incredible actor,’ Weber began.

‘We also thought fans might like to know that her character is traveling from far to the east—from the lands of Rhûn…’ Weber teased.

The new episodes will roll out simultaneously across the globe, with the first two episodes dropping on Thursday at 6 PM PT/9 PM ET/2 AM UK.

The final six episodes will roll out weekly at 9 PM PT/12 AM ET/5 AM UK, with the finale of the eight-episode season arriving Thursday, October 13 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Weekly: The final six episodes will roll out weekly at 9 PM PT/12 AM ET/5 AM UK, with the finale of the eight-episode season arriving Thursday, October 13 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video

Weekly: The final six episodes will roll out weekly at 9 PM PT/12 AM ET/5 AM UK, with the finale of the eight-episode season arriving Thursday, October 13 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video

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