The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Udûn – TV Review

TL;DR – Could I see some of the plot points of this episode coming? Yes. Did that stop it from ripping my heart out? No, it did not.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

Adar looks over his armies.

The Rings of Power Review

When watching a show or movie, you never quite know when something will connect with you, like really connect with you. Will a story pierce your heart like a barbed arrow and break through even the most hardened layer of cynicism? After not gelling with last week’s Partings, I wondered if the series was running out of steam with me, but nothing prepared me for today.  

So to set the scene, the orcs had completely surrounded Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) and the remaining townsfolk in the watchtower of Ostirith. However, as Adar (Joseph Mawle) and the Orcs storm the watchtower, they find it empty. Well, almost empty. But while this delays the Orcs, the townsfolk know that soon the horde will be upon them and sure enough, in the distance, torches glow. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Adrift – TV Review

TL;DR – We continue to explore this world full of wonders and dangers.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

Nori looking into the creator.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Review

In the realm of binging tv on streaming services, you can drop them all at once, creating an event weekend, or you can do a weekly realise that feels old-fashioned, but then you can build it up week to week. Or you can follow the Amazon model and employ a hybrid approach where you drop a couple of episodes up-front and create that event feeling while doing the rest week-by-week. This has been a successful model for the streaming service, and it is what we are doing this week with the next episode of The Rings of Power.

So to set the scene, at the end of Shadow of the Past, Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) comes face-to-face with the undying lands, a reward for all her hard work. It is a great honour that no one has ever turned down before, but just as the boat approaches the threshold, she dives off because she can not enter with an unfulfilled oath. Meanwhile, across Middle Earth, there are rumblings of things being out of place and evil returning when a meteorite strikes through the air, crashing down near the home of Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh). But when she arrives, she does not find a rock in the ground, but a man, ‘The Stranger’ (Daniel Weyman). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Shadow of the Past – TV Review

TL;DR – This might be a foundation episode, but it is a strong foundation that I hope they build something grand upon.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this episode.

The Two Trees of Valinor, Laurelin and Telperion

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Review

I don’t think I have ever come into a project with such fraught feelings as I do with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. For all those who love cinema, there is always a gateway film that first lit that spark in our heart, and for me, that film was The Lord of the Rings. I revealed in its visuals, narrative, and soundscape in the cinemas, devoured it on DVD when it came out at home, and then delved into every aspect of the behind-the-scenes documentaries in the extended editions. They are such a strong foundation in my cinematic world that diving back in was always going to be precarious, even before the thought that its success or failure might change the course of the streaming business.

So to set the scene, it is 5000 years before the events of the Lord of the Rings films, in what is called the Second Age. When the world was young, there was no Sun, but the light was given from the Two Trees of Valinor, Laurelin and Telperion until Melkor came and destroyed them. The elves fought a centuries-long war again Melkor, travelling from their home all the way to Middle Earth to finally vanquish him. But one of his acolytes remained, Sauron, and after he killed Galadriel’s (Morfydd Clark) brother, she swore an oath that she would destroy him. Centuries later, in the frozen wastes of the north, she is the last one chasing down her foe, but when they find his last bastion empty [well, almost empty], her company demands to return home. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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