While the mysterious Adar and his Orcs continue to ravage the Southlands, Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) finally find some common ground with the people of Numenor in Episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, entitled The Great Wave
The last episode found Galadriel and Halbrand brought to the island kingdom – once friendly to elves but no longer, as they tried to find a way to continue their mission.
The fourth episode – marking the halfway point of the eight-episode series – finds Galadriel and Halbrand finally finding some allies to their cause.
Common ground: While the mysterious Adar and his Orcs continue to ravage the Southlands, Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) finally find some common ground with the people of Numenor in Episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The episode begins in Numenor, where Queen Regent Miriel (Cynthia Addai Robninson) gathers with her court, meeting the young babies of the kingdom.
She meets with the young mother (Laura Medes) who says she will name the child Alinel, as Miriel tries to bless the child when a rumbling is heard.
Miriel tries to put the women at ease, stating, ‘Sometimes our island just needs a stretch,’ though the rumbling continues even greater.
The rumbling winds make way for a tidal wave of water, rushing over the mountains that guard the kingdom, as bridges and buildings crumble… before it’s revealed to be one of Miriel’s nightmares.
She wakes up to one of her chambermaids saying it is a ‘perfect day’ and asking what business she would like to start her day with.
The episode cuts to the streets of Numenor, where the wounded Tamar (Jason Hood) bemoans the queen calling Galadriel and Halbrand to court.
‘Elf’s mate attacks four guildsmen and Miriel has her up for tea?’ Tamar says, as Earien (Ema Horvath) walks by and overhears.
Tamar tells a group of his guildsmen, ‘And while the elf whispers poison in our Queen’s ear, who’s speaking for us?’
Meanwhile, Kemen (Leon Wadham) seeks out his father, Chancelor Pharazon (Trystan Gravelle), who tells Kemen to keep his voice down.
‘Statecraft is the art of attending to small matters as diligently as grand ones,’ Pharazon tells the youngster.
Kemen jokes that he was only trying to be clever, while Pharazon adds, ‘Cleverness is for men of small ambition. I’d much rather it if you were wise, my son.’
Pharazon finally asks what is the trouble, as Kemen says they may have a ‘squall on our hands.’
The episode cuts back to Tamar, who is still speaking to a growing crowd about the possibility of elves taking their jobs.
‘I say the Queen’s either blind or an elf lover,’ Tamar says, as one worker adds, ‘Just like her father,’ as Earien looks on solemnly.
The crowd starts chanting, ‘Elf lover!’ for a few moments, before Pharazon enters their fray.
‘And if the elf were here now, what would she see? Men of Numenor or a gaggle of mewling children?’ Pharazon asks.
‘We are sons and daughters of the Edain, of Elros Tar-Minyatur, whose house conquered Morgoth himself,’ Pharazon tells the crowd.
‘But now one Elf, a castaway, could threaten us? Look down, each of you, at the guild crests you bear. The heritage of mighty hands. Of men who laid the Sea Wall, who raised Armenelos, triumph of our civilization, but now one elf could threaten us?’ Pharazon asks, the crowd now putty in his hands as he takes the steps.
‘My friends, trust in me, for by the calluses on my hands, I swear that Elven hands will never take Numenor’s helm,’ he says to much applause.
‘She will remain, as always, a kingdom of Men,’ as the crowd erupts and Pharazon calls for drinks all around.
Pharazon greets many in the crowd and hugs Tamar, still sporting a black eye from the attack, as Kemen approaches Earien, saying there isn’t a person here he doesn’t know, which Earien adds is ‘impressive.’
Kemen jokes, ‘I was going to say it’s infuriating,’ as he hands a glass of wine to Earien that is from the vineyards near Meneltarma that is supposed to make one ‘forget their worries.’
This finally makes Earien crack a smile, though she says, ‘My troubles have been too hard-won.’
He says that she must be the new apprentice and introduces himself, but before she can say her name, her boss finds her and off she goes, though she gives a glance back at Kemen.
The episode cuts to the Queen’s chambers, where she’s looking over the ancient papers from Galadriel, saying, ‘You vex me, Elf,’ while Elendil (Lloyd Owen) is by her side.
Miriel adds, ‘I welcome you as a guest and you gallop off to our countryside to steal ancient scrolls whilst your Southlander companion assaults our citizenry.’
‘He is understandably quick to temper. His people are dying,’ Galadriel says, explaining that she believes Halbrand is ‘no common brawler’ but the ‘lost heir in exile to the throne of the Southlands.’
The Queen Regent jokes, ‘And I suppose Elendil here is a Rhunic emperor,’ while causes him to chuckle and say he’s just a ‘petty lord.’
Galadriel says that Halbrand’s people are ‘leaderless’ but with her backing they might ‘unite behind his banner and fight.’
Galadriel explains that Sauron was once her people’s enemy as much as he was hers, adding, ‘I call on you to finish the task left undone.’
‘To reforge the alliance between Numenor and the Elves and fight with me to save the men of the Southlands before Sauron claims the lands as his own,’ Galadriel says, causing Miriel to give Elendil a glance.
Miriel says she hears many proposals and hers is the most ambitious she’s heard in weeks… though, ‘Nevertheless, Numenor has chosen another path.’
Galadriel quietly says, ‘Not all Numenor,’ as a frustrated Miriel says, ‘King or carpenter, the Southlander will face judgment. This audience has ended.’
As Miriel walks away, Galadriel says she has ‘no choice’ but to ask for another audience, ‘one with Numenor’s true ruler. Your father, the King.’
Miriel angrily says she should not speak of matters she does not understand and Galadriel says she should stand aside, ‘so I may present my proposal with one who has the authority to answer it.’
Elendil tries to step in, saying, ‘Lady Galadriel, that is quite enough,’ as Miriel asks with what authority she speaks.
‘Or are you a castaway, grasping for a handhold in a tempest?’ Miriel asks, as Galadriel says, ‘There is a tempest in me!’
‘It swept me to this island for a reason. And it will not be quelled by you, Regent,’ Galdriel says… as the episode cuts to her being locked in a cell.
Halbrand, a few cells down from her, jokes, ‘Don’t tell me. Tavern brawl?’
‘Sedition,’ Galadriel answers, as Halbrand can’t help but laugh.
The episode cuts back to the high seas where Isildur (Maxim Baldry) and his friends are taking their sea trials.
Their sail-master tells them they’ve nearly made it, and in a few more days, ‘I’ll have the pleasure of calling you all shipmates.’
As the sail-master tells them all to pull, Isildur once again hears a mysterious female voice calling his name.
He finds himself drifting off again as the sail master keeps telling them to pull… as the line pops loose as Isildur helpss his friends Ontamo (Anthony Crum) and Valandil (Alex Tarrant) pull the line in.
The sail-master demands an explanation, and while they all try to take the blame, Isildur steps in front of all of them and says he ‘let it slip.’
‘I’ve seen you ease that halyard proper a hundred times. That was deliberate. You’re off the Sea Guard, all three of you!’ the sail-master proclaims, which stuns his friends.
Isildur explains that he thought the sail-master would only dismiss him, after telling them about ‘the west’ that his brother always talked about.
Isildur apologizes, but an enraged Valandil says, ‘You just set our whole lives on fire!’ as Ontamo says he thinks he will be sick.
Isildur says he will speak to his father and try to get them both reinstated, when Valandil says, ‘Leave it to you to get kicked out of something you never earned in the first place.’
Valandil approaches Isildur, saying his whole life he has wanted on that boat, and he did everything he could to earn it.
‘What did you do? What have you ever done but brood and blabber about your dead mother?’ Valandil says, leading Isildur to punch his friend in the face, as Ontamo holds back Valandil.
The episode cuts back to Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova), who, the last time we saw him at the end of Episode 3, was being captured by Orcs after discovering their tunnels.
Adar makes his way to Arondir, Orcs bowing at his feet as we finally see the face of Adar (Joseph Mawle) for the first time.
Much to Arondir’s surprise, Adar appears to have elf ears, as Adar kneels before the Orc named Magrot, who is lying on the ground in pain.
Adar smiles at the Orc… before thrusting a blade into him, watching the Orc die in front of him.
Adar wipes the black blood from the blade, as other Orcs start taking his armor before removing his corpse.
Adar is left with Arondir, who discretely picks up a sharp rock, as Adar asks Arondir in Quenya (one of many Elvish languages), ‘Where were you born, soldier?’
A confused Arondir answerss, ‘Beleriand,’ as Adar asks if he was born, ‘by the mouth of the river?’
Arondir asks in Quenya, ‘Who are you?’ as Adar says in English, ‘I went down that river once, when I was young. I remember, the banks were covered in sage blossoms, miles of them.’
Arondir asks in English why the Orcs call him father, as Adar takes a seat near Arondir, but before he can answer, a warg growls behind him, as Adar gets closer and Arondir readies his rock.
‘You have been told many lies. Some run so deep, even the rocks and roots now believe them. To untangle it all, would all but require the creation of a new world,’ Adar explains.
‘But that is something only the gods can do, and I am no god, at least not yet,’ Adar says cryptically.
‘What are you?’ Arondir asks again, as Adar says, ‘Go to the old men who have taken refuge in the old watchtower. Deliver to them a message.’
Arondir asks, ‘What message?’ though we don’t hear what the message is, as the episode cuts to the watchtower where Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) is helping lead her people to safety.
She asks Treadwill (Peter Tait) where this latest group is from, and he says Iorbad, as Bronwyn notes they have gathered every village from there to Orodruin.
Bronwyn goes to Waldreg (Geoff Morrell) who shows them the last of the potatoes as Bronwyn says they have to cut rations again, though she clearly doesn’t know how they’ll eat.
Bronwyn’s son Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) suggests sending a small party back to town to bring back whatever is left of Waldreg’s root cellar.
Theo says he’ll go if no one else will do it, but Bronwyn protests, saying they will forage the hills first, telling Treadwill to ‘gather the hunters.’
Theo argues that he’s sick of seeing everything go to tatters, though his mother says, ‘You can either help me or you can make it harder.’
Theo takes matters into his own hands anyway, recruiting Rowan (Ian Blackburn) as they find a group of dead sheep with flies buzzing around them.
Rowan starts to head back as Theo hides his evil dagger and grabs Rowan by the arm, telling him to stop being a ‘soft-belly’ as they head back into town.
They come back with a cart full of roots as Theo suggests they stop by the tavern because there might be more food.
Theo insists this place is ‘deserted’ as Theo hands his bags to Rowan and says he’ll go inside.
Rowan takes a look around the village, finding rotting animal carcasses all around.
Theo heads inside the tavern and finds a bushel of grain or oats, scooping it back into the burlap sack… when he hears something.
The sun is hidden by a cloud as a terrified Rowan takes off running with the cart, leaving a bushel behind.
Back in the tavern, Theo is attacked by an Orc, but when he brandishes the broken sword, the Orc stops in his tracks.
‘Where did you get that?’ the bewildered Orc asks, as Theo jabs the bottom end into his forearm… as the sword starts to forge itself with black magic… which stuns the Orc.
He says, ‘Give it here,’ but Theo slashes his hand with it and runs outside.
The orc runs out and says he ‘found the hilt,’ saying ‘a boy has it’ and he’s ‘hiding here somewhere’ as we see Theo is hiding in the well.
The Orc tells the others to fan out and says nobody sleeps until he’s found. Theo is nearly found in the well but he disappears under water until the Orc leaves.
The episode cuts back to Eregion – Realm of the Elven-Smiths – which we first saw in the second episode, Adrift.
The early beginnings of a massive tower are seen, as Elrond (Robert Aramayo) marvels at it.
‘Elves and dwarves working together. Remarkable. It is everything you said it would be,’ he tells Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards).
Celebrimbor marvels at Elrond for a moment, saying he was a ‘the very image of your father,’ as Elrond wasn’t aware they had met.
Celebrimbor pours them both a drink and says he met Elrond’s father many times
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.
History: The show made history long before the first two episodes debuted on Thursday evening, since it’s considered the most expensive series ever
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.
Estate: 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.
Production: 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
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.
Teased: ‘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.
New episodes: 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
Finale: 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