The fourth episode “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” has proved to be a decisive turning point in the plot of the series: For a long time Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) resisted following in the footsteps of her father Tar- to kick palantir. He wanted to reconcile the people of Númenor and the elves again, hoping to avert the downfall of the island kingdom. Instead, Míriel prefers to protect the people of her homeland from the impending darkness by taking a cautious course.
Yet just as she has placed Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) in a boat, she sees the leaves of the White Tree of Númenor falling – just as they always did in the visions in the Palantir, showing the sinking of the island. We already know the Palantíri from the “Lord of the Rings” films by Peter Jackson, where Saruman (Christopher Lee) had one of the seeing stones.
And as Míriel reiterates in episode 4, the falling leaves are said to be the “tears of the Valar himself”, i.e. the gods of JRR Tolkien’s world. So Míriel can no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that her homeland is threatened with destruction if she does not act – and she decides to go to war against Sauron and his followers after all and to help the people of the Southlands.
The trailers for “The Rings of Power” have already shown that Míriel will then lead this fight herself, as she also announces in the episode. For example, she is seen in a scene in armor (see the cover of this article) and there are battle scenes with Míriel, Galadriel and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers).
Not everything that is shown in a palantir has to happen – that’s what Galadriel says to Míriel in episode 4. And yet both women seem quite convinced that the vision of the fall of Númenor is more than just a dream, but actually shows the future destiny of the island.
The question of whether the Great Wave (not least the title of Episode 4) can still be averted can’t be answered without spoilers, of course, so we’re issuing a warning here.
“The Rings of Power” takes a slightly different course than the book by JRR Tolkien, if only because the important events in the Second Age of Middle-earth are tightened and condensed in time. But even if the courageous intervention of Míriel, Galadriel and Co. in the southern lands might be the right decision in the short term, the downfall of the island kingdom is certain. After all, this event shapes the Second Age as only the forging of the eponymous Rings of Power does.
In the books of Tolkien, Sauron himself is eventually captured by the Númenoreans and brought to the island, where he gradually incites the already existing hatred and envy of the Elves and the Valar, prompting the Númenoreans to rebel against the ban, westward to travel to the paradisiacal Valinor. And so the island is actually destroyed as a punishment and only a few residents survive.
However, that will probably only be shown in a later season of “The Rings of Power” and a lot has to be done before then. Episode 5 of The Lord of the Rings series will be released on September 23, 2023.