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Latest ‘Rings of Power’ News: Episode 4 dives into Tolkien lore as fans wonder about the origins of Orcs and the sword Narsil

The origins of Orcs, the return of Palantíri, and the barest nod to Narsil.

Different species from The Lord of the Rings preparing for battle against a red backdrop
Image via Prime Video

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power might not amount to much in the eyes of the most ardent Tolkien gatekeepers out there, but the show is certainly showing off with all of these lore elements from the Second Age. The fourth episode was full of references and nods to both Peter Jackson’s cinematic trilogy and J.R.R. Tolkien’s back catalogue, so we’ve tried to break down the most important developments in today’s roundup.

Orc-sympathizers, Seeing Stones, legendary swords, and miracle ores are episode 4 in a nutshell

Image via Prime Video

The Rings of Power critics had brought our attention to the fact that the show doesn’t have much in the way of a cohesive plot, but the latest fourth episode almost over-corrects in that regard by jamming as much lore and as many narrative threads as possible into a one-hour outing. From the political divide in Númenor, to Miriel showing off Armenelos’ seeing stone, to the Dwarves mining Mithril, and the mysterious Elven villain Adar being depicted as something of a father figure to Orcs (as weird as that sentence might sound), episode 4 simply tries too hard. So let’s hope that all of these buildups have satisfying resolutions down the line.

Was the actor portraying Adar a bit familiar? That’s because you’ve seen him before in another fantasy series!

Photo via Prime Video

The Rings of Power had already revealed to the press that Game of Thrones alum Joseph Mawle would be portraying the mysterious villain called Adar. But for those who weren’t expecting it, seeing Uncle Benjen’s face must have definitely raised a few eyebrows. It’s still unclear who or what the character. Some even speculate that he might be Sauron himself, disguised as an Elf, and one commanding Orcs, at that.

The White Tree of Númenor and a glimpse at Narsil

Image via Prime Video

One of the upsides of adapting the Second Age of Middle-earth is getting to write about Men at the pinnacle of their power; of the glory that Elros and his sons achieved, and the White Tree of Kings which remains an heirloom of their power for thousands of years, even when Isildur takes a sapling of Nimloth the Fair to Minas Ithil to plant the first White Tree of Gondor. And to top it all off, the show gave us a glimpse of Narsil, the future sword of King Elendil, which he’ll use in the final push agaisnt Sauron in Mordor. Three thousand years later, Elrond of Rivendell would reforge the shards of Narsil into Andúril, and Aragorn would use it in the war against Sauron to unite the kingdoms of Men.

There’s definitely more where all of these came from, but for now, we’ll have to leave you with your thoughts of Middle-earth and the timeless tale lying at the center of it. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for more breakdowns and updates on The Rings of Power.

About the author

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan is a religious consumer of movies, TV shows, video games, and speculative fiction. And when he isn't doing that, he likes to write about them. He can get particularly worked up when talking about 'The Lord of the Rings' or 'A Song of Ice and Fire' or any work of high fantasy, come to think of it.