In an episode about travels home and to the unknown — and what we’ll sacrifice for other travelers — Poppy sings, “Not all who wander or roam are lost.”
“Not everyone who wonders or wanders is lost,” Poppy (Megan Richards), the last Proudfellow left in the Harfoot caravan, says in her mother’s traveling song. Wanderers worldwide will put that tune to the test in “Partings,” the fifth episode of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. When is it safe to return home, and when is it dangerous? When do we set sail for unknown lands? What if the home is a foreign land? And what are the consequences for our fellow travelers along the way?
Harfoots, welcome back! I was missing you! Nori (Markella Kavenagh) is educating the Stranger (David Weyman) about the Harfoots’ migrations (“Snails?”). Humans, wolves, and various trolls are among the “a hundred perils ‘tween here” and the Grove. “I’m in danger,” the Stranger declares, recalling the extinguished fireflies in his palm. But Nori assures him that he’s fine, which makes him immensely pleased. “I’m fine,” he says again. We can only hope. Poppy sings, “Past eyes of pale fire, / black sand for my bed, / I trade everything I’ve known for the unknown ahead,” as the Brandyfoot party creeps into the Grey Marshes, past waterfalls and the Braids, through thunderstorms and teas and shared laughter.
Images of the Starfall pierce the song’s spell, the Stranger in the crater’s heart like the dark pupil of a fire eye. The fires have long been extinguished, but the mystery has not. Whispers in the wind lead us to three mysterious people, pale-eyed and shrouded in white, above the burnt crater. One climbs and places a hand above the singed dirt of the hole. They sense… something. And they don’t appear to be pleased.
Ships prepared to go to the rescue of the Southlanders jam the harbor at Numenor. Elendil (Lloyd Owen) is giving Isildur (Maxim Baldry) the silent treatment amid all the hustle and commotion. Isildur cannot travel west until he has “done something worthy of Numenor,” thus he was not picked to accompany the expedition. Elendil will not assist him Because Isildur decided when he was thrown off the Sea Guard. However, while half of the population wants to board the boats, the other half pleads with Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle) to end the battle. One of them is Eärien (Ema Horvath), who enlists Kemen (Leon Wadham) with a soft hand on his arm.
This week's Rings is the longest yet, featuring nearly every major character and location while setting the stage for the season's final stretch. Some magical moments throughout, but yeah… It was long! My @nytimes review: https://t.co/OwuTO8ttyI
— Noel Murray (@NoelMu) September 24, 2022
Meanwhile, Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) is forging a blade in the armory. How did he obtain the guild crest? Keep that concept in mind – he has been summoned to Muriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). Despite his protests, she believes Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) will be useful when they arrive. Galadriel and Halbrand dispute over who is exploiting who while they are alone in their conflict. The price of his guild crest, it turns out, was exposing Galadriel’s plan the night she broke into the tower. “Find another head to crown,” he spits, severing their tenuous union and pulling the symbol of his people from his neck.
The Harfoot migration makes its way through an unusually sparse forest. Leafless trees slash through the dark day, and Nori discovers massive wolf prints in the dirt. However, the greatest danger may come from within. Malva (Thusitha Jayasundera), usually suitable for a disgusting dose of Harfoot comedy, thinks “the big fella” is to blame for the trees’ peculiar lifelessness. She wishes to strand the Brandyfoot party — “take their wheels and leave them.” Malva, you’re far too severe. Sadoc (Lenny Henry) does not say yes, but he does not say no either.
Nori and Poppy go to find Malva and tell her about the footprints. Right on cue, the wolf howls rip through the air, sending the women fleeing back to camp. But they’re too late: giant wolves are sprinting for them (reader, I shrieked). One jumps at them, its wet jaws open to tear Nori apart. Standing between his buddies and the animals, the Stranger lifts it into the air and tosses it aside. They are dangerous. He’s great. The tremor flings the wolves aside as he pounds the dirt. He has saved his buddies but has inflicted harm on himself, forming a serpent of purple-black winds from his wrist to his forearm.
Valandil (Alex Tarrant) and Ontario (Anthony Crum) practice sword combat in Numenor under Elendil’s supervision. He proposes Galadriel lend her skills, which is precisely the invitation she’s been looking for. “Take a swing at me. “We’ll see who can score the flesh,” she says to five trainees, and Elendil offers a promotion to anyone who can score a point on her. She flits away from Valandil’s strikes without looking back, then flies away from Ontamo’s punches. All five charge her simultaneously, and she glides through their swords like water, never losing her smirk. Valandil, on the other hand, manages to nick the material on her arm. Lieutenant Valandil, congratulations! Speaking of weapons, Kemen does not want Eärien to touch his again, so he works with Pharazôn to halt the mission. When he insists that Pharazôn “would sooner die than receive commands from an elf,” his father’s ears are unblocked for the first time. “When this is over, the elves will take our commands.” The conflict is a weapon for trade and power for Pharazôn, who desires to give the men of Middle Earth a monarch in Nmenor’s debt. It was always capitalism!
The Stranger’s daring has altered the Harfoots’ tune, but he doesn’t hear Nori tell him because he’s busy healing his wound, magically freezing a pool. The chill crawls up his arm like frozen ivy, and Nori gets locked in the frost. She begs him to stop, but he keeps going until she is tossed through the air. As she plummets to the ground, she recalls his flaming descent to Middle Earth. He returns to himself as Nori cowers and flees his touch. Is he, after all, good? Is he in danger?
— TheOneRing (@theoneringnet) September 25, 2022
Elrond (Robert Aramayo) toasts the union of the elves and dwarves at a moonlit forest supper party in Lindon. King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) congratulates Durin (Owain Arthur) on Khazad-advancement. dûm’s Durin would observe the same thing about Lindon’s rapid expansion – “Typically, you guys take weeks to decide to take a sh—.” Elrond rescues his friend (and the TV-14 rating) by cutting him off and defusing the apparent tension. However, after dinner, Elrond and Gil-galad accuse each other of lying. The king takes Elrond to the yellow tree, where he “rewards” the troops for returning home. Sending Galadriel away didn’t work because black blight was creeping up the tree’s trunk and into its massive branches, seeping into the veins of the leaves. “The Eldar’s light, our light, is waning,” Gil-galad adds. Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) later reveals that only Durin’s mithril can restore it and, perhaps, save the world from the looming evil. Elrond is left under the stars with his mithril chunk, balancing the destiny of his people against his commitment to his companion.
Back in Numenor, Isildur asks his friend Valandir to arrange for him to board a boat. But, as with Elendil, love and history (and, in this case, free punches) aren’t enough to justify doing another favor for a man who hasn’t deserved the ones he’s already received. The calendar cannot — and will not — assist. So Isildur stows away on a ship, just in time for Kemen to try to burn it down at night. They fight, and the boat blows up. Isildur swims to the dock, bringing a wounded Kemen with him, and is delivered into the waiting embrace of Elendil. Has Isildur earned his place by protecting the chancellor’s kid and covering for his attempted arson?
Halbrand would want to keep out of the fight entirely. He is sweeping the armory when Galadriel appears with an apology and a request: “Stop fighting me and let us battle them together.” But he remains troubled – she has no idea what he did before ending up on a raft in the Sundering Seas. Galadriel quotes her brother from eons ago: “Sometimes, to find the light, we must first touch the darkness.” Halbrand feels sorry for all that has happened to her, but she wants action, not compassion. “There is…no lasting calm on any route except that which lies across the water,” she replies, tightening her fist around his chain.
However, there may be no sustainable peace in the Southlands. The deserters had arrived at their burned-out town and bowed before Adar (Joseph Mawle). “Lift us out of the mire and filth and into our rightful place by your side,” Waldreg begs. “I swear allegiance to Sauron.” At the mention of that name, Adar becomes a fierce ghost against the empty blackness of the sky. “Are you Sauron or not?” Adar grabs Waldreg by the throat and throws him to the ground. Is he Sauron, enraged at being discovered? Or is he a different evil, with Sauron still lying in wait? To Waldreg, it’s all the same: “I’ll serve you, then, whatever you are.” Adar seizes Rowan (Ian Blackburn), forces him to the ground, and throws a dagger at Waldren. Adar snarls over Rowan’s scared pleads, “Only blood can bind.”
We’re back in the tower before we see Waldreg strike, and Theo (Tyrone Muhafidin) has chosen to stay — and to trust Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) by showing him the unusual hilt. Arondir recognizes it and peels ivy from a stone wall, revealing the carved likeness hidden under the roots. “It’s a key,” Arondir explains to Bronwyn, referring to Adar’s desire to become a god. He believes they will be able to withstand the upcoming conflict, but Bronwyn knows the way out — surrender. “We’re doomed to be in the dark.” “It’s how we survive,” Bronwyn adds, her willpower fraying as the orcs’ torches approach.
Durin’s escort return to Khazad-dûm is also on the road; as elves carry the massive stone table, he fooled Gil-galad into giving up. Elrond may have breached his word, but he still trusts this friend: he admits to coming to Khazad-dûm for mithril despite not knowing it. He reminds Durin that without it, the elves have no alternative but to flee Middle Earth or perish. Durin appreciates this unexpected strength and persuades his father to allow them to mine it.
Halbrand has also decided with whom he will stand. As the war procession marches on, he’s astride a horse, soaked in sunlight (and water and soap!). Muriel stares as petals fall around her, not the white petals of the Valar’s tree but her people’s crimson, pink, and purple blossoms. The procession goes onto the battleships, and Isildur is a part of it, having finally done an act worthy of Numenor. In addition, his father has gotten him another essential job: mucking out the stables. There are two other passengers on board: Galadriel, who trades rippling gowns for the armor she can’t put away, and Halbrand, who has recently become regal. They hold hands. Sails spread out. The wind is blowing. The ships sailed away from the sun-warmed coasts of Numenor, destined for Middle-earth and battle.
In Rings of Power Episode 5, who is the Stranger?
The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) is even studying English (or Common, as Tolkien may have called it), so he may communicate with Nori (Markella Kavenagh) in ways other than bursts of power and energy. He still has that authority, though.
What were the 19 Power Rings?
Nineteen rings were created: three for Elves, seven for Dwarves, and nine for Men. At Mount Doom, Sauron fashioned an additional ring, the One Ring. The strength of the One was related to and dependent on the nineteen smaller Rings.
Who are the Rings of Power’s keepers?
Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond (originally Cerdan and Gil-galad) were the Keepers of the Three Rings, also known as the Three Keepers. They possessed the three Elvish Rings of Power.