Amazon’s new TV sequence The Rings of Power is a bit controversial for some. There are vocal teams involved showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will not make each effort to make sure this present is consistent with J.R.R. Tolkien’s collected works and should add issues Tolkien would not approve of. For a lot of Tolkien followers, it is a tune we have heard earlier than. There have been doubts solid on each trendy Tolkien story delivered to display screen, together with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films. 

Whereas each episode of The Rings of Energy goes to have a recap article courtesy of CNET’s personal Erin Carson, this text might be devoted totally to the evaluation of how properly every episode sticks to what Tolkien wrote.

 To be clear, this evaluation does not embody:

  • Whether or not individuals of coloration ought to be on display screen as dwarves, elves or Harfoots (they should, finish of dialog).
  • Whether or not dwarven girls ought to have full beards (Tolkien was by no means clear on this, so I will not be taking a place).
  • Whether or not Tolkien is OK with individuals inventing issues in his world (this letter from Tolkien to his writer in 1951 makes his place clear).

Episode 1: Shadow of the Previous

Galadriel, swathed in gray fabric, flies over snow-covered mountains

Galadriel within the new Amazon Sequence Rings of Energy.


This episode broadly introduces the world, and a handful of the separate tales seemingly destined to intersect. Check out our full recap for more.

Finrod Felegund’s Dagger

In our opening scene, younger Galadriel’s lovely boat is destroyed, and her large brother stops her from beating the responsible social gathering inside an inch of his life for being such a software. This scene is the primary time we see Finrod’s dagger, which Galadriel takes as her personal whereas she seeks out the enemy answerable for his dying. 

This dagger is gorgeous, however there is no proof of it having existed in any of Tolkien’s work. Canonically, we all know Finrod had a sword and a bow. However we additionally know he was the Aristocracy, and within the few items of pre-Rings of Energy artwork we now have of Finrod he is acquired some lovely nonstandard jewellery and weaponry on him, together with the Ring of Barahir, which ultimately finds its solution to Aragorn’s hand. The dagger is not one thing Tolkien wrote, however it’s additionally believable he’d have a dagger like this.

It is clearly a illustration of Telperion and Laurelin, the dual timber of Valinor, which created daylight and moonlight for the world earlier than they had been destroyed and their final remaining fruit and flower had been changed into the solar and moon for Center-earth. There seem like three comparable spheres on the dagger, in between the silver and gold timber, which might virtually actually be a illustration of the three Silmarils. Finrod was a significant a part of the conflicts surrounding the destruction of the timber and the Oath of Feanor, so having an emblem of these occasions on him is completely believable.

The place issues get slightly fuzzy is Finrod having that dagger within the preliminary scene with Galadriel. In line with Tolkien, Galadriel was born round 90 years earlier than the creation of the Silmarils. Elves bodily mature within the first 100 years of their existence, after which age far, far slower after that. At age 90, Galadriel would have regarded at the least a number of years older than what’s proven on display screen. 

Is that this an enormous deal? Under no circumstances. Do I nonetheless need a type of daggers? Completely.

Crossing the Sundering Seas

There’s nothing technically improper about this scene. The elves left Valinor to wage a thousand years of battle throughout a lot of Center-earth, which led to Morgoth being stopped and Sauron going right into a kind of hiding. 

However my goodness did this scene go away lots out. There might’ve been a complete season of this present devoted to simply that handful of sentences, recapping how the elves discovered themselves in Center-earth. Should you’re curious, learn the ninth chapter of the Quenta Silmarillion titled Of the Struggle of the Ñoldor.

The village of Tirharad

If the title of this village did not sound acquainted to you, you were not alone. Tolkien did not create Tirharad, however he did not create something on this space that will later change into Mordor. We all know there have been males dwelling in what was then known as the Southlands, as a result of Tolkien wrote of how Shelob would prey upon males and elves earlier than Sauron claimed the land as Mordor. 

The title Tirharad is a mashup of “watch” and “south” in Sindarin, which makes some sense given the way in which the village is actually policed by the Silvan elves from their watchtower. This episode lays out how the descendants of males who served Morgoth settled within the surrounding space, and the elves preserve an in depth eye on them out of concern that corruption might as soon as once more enter their hearts. We all know that some males did serve Morgoth, whose fortress Udûn existed within the northeast a part of the realm that later turned Mordor, so it is not a stretch that males would’ve settled right here after the wars.

Galadriel’s return to Valinor

It is lengthy been suspected that Galadriel was both banned from returning to Valinor or did not imagine she deserved to return to Valinor, due largely to this line in Galadriel’s Tune of Eldamar:

What ship would bear me ever again throughout so extensive a Sea?

This scene exhibits Galadriel being rewarded (kind of) with the power to return residence, together with the remainder of her firm. Although Tolkien did write that some elves had been permitted to return residence after the Struggle of Wrath, it was by no means explicitly acknowledged that Galadriel was amongst them. It was written that many excessive elves opted to stay in Center-earth whilst extra of their variety returned residence, and Galadriel’s actions right now aren’t properly documented, so this new story is filling in these gaps with new adventures of types.

Episode 2: Adrift

A small humanoid character called a Harfoot

One of many Harfoots, a race seen in The Rings of Energy and ancestors to Hobbits.

Amazon Prime Video

With a pair of mischievous Harfoots making an attempt to look after The Stranger, Galadriel making an attempt to swim throughout the Sundering Sea solely to seek out a number of methods that may go improper, Tirharad experiencing a pest management problem and Prince Durin having an axe to grind with Elrond, it is a busy episode. Check out the full recap here, and the lore evaluation under. 

Nori’s not-so-hot foot

It is simple to listen to Nori say the hearth is not sizzling and instantly consider Frodo’s response to the One Ring because it got here from the fireside to his hand, however the two virtually actually aren’t associated. All through Tolkien’s works, there aren’t mentions wherever of magic hearth that is not sizzling, however there’s lots concerning the character recognized solely as The Stranger that does not fairly line up but. 

This scene has additional rumors that The Stranger is a wizard, and that fireside is definitely the Flame of Anor or gentle of the Solar. For now, it is unclear how this character and his powers match into what we all know of Center-earth.

The Ceremony of Sigin-tarâg

Not a ton is understood about what dwarves stand up to of their halls underneath the mountains, as a result of they do not typically invite individuals in who aren’t of their kin. The few exceptions within the Second Age are largely elves who labored intently with dwarven smiths to create a ton of various issues, which we’d get to see on this present however not on this episode. So, although Tolkien by no means wrote about Elrond claiming the Ceremony of Sigin-tarâg, there is a ton of empty house on the subject of figuring out what dwarves did in non-public. 

Sigin-tarâg does not consult with some form of competitors. The phrase interprets to longbeards, which is the opposite title for Durin’s people or this explicit form of dwarf. On this context, the Ceremony of Sigin-tarâg is precisely as Durin explains it, a take a look at of endurance his individuals created to settle inside disputes. It isn’t one thing we have ever seen earlier than, and never one thing we would ever see within the Third Age due to what occurs to Durin’s people, so it is believable a problem like this may exist. 

Disa’s resonance

As this is not a personality created by Tolkien, there is no document of the particular manner she helps dwarven miners do their factor. Dwarven girls had been saved from battle, and consequently aren’t actually talked about a lot in any respect in Tolkien’s works. However we do know that dwarves had been stated to be the most effective mining people on the earth as a result of they had been created with that function in thoughts. 

Tolkien by no means actually expands on what particular skills the dwarves have on the subject of mining, solely that Aulë taught them particular abilities whereas creating the seven unique dwarf lords. 

Orcs underneath the floorboards

There are a lot of examples of Orcs tunneling in Center-earth, and people tunnels usually result in what Tolkien known as Orc-holds. A few of these Orc-holds had been small, like those seen on this episode, whereas others occupied total mountains, like these seen in Mount Gundabad, which Orcs maintain for many of the Second Age.

We all know Tirharad is not a spot Tolkien created, however its proximity to what would quickly change into Mordor makes it an ideal place for Orcs to be digging underneath. 

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