In the third episode “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” one thing quickly becomes clear: there is bad blood between the Elves and the Men of Númenor. However, it is unclear how it came about and what role Númenor’s queen regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) plays in it. Does she side with the Elves or the Númenoreans? For that we have to do something…
While Míriel doesn’t mention a specific name, she does say in The Rings of Power Episode 3 that Elves have not been allowed in Númenor since the time of her grandfather’s great-grandfather – and this is actually the same as in Tolkien’s books, albeit the timings in The Rings of Power have been tightened significantly compared to the original.
Responsible for the break between Elves and Númenoreans is the 20th king of the island kingdom: Ar-Adûnakhôr – the same great-grandfather of Míriel’s grandfather mentioned in the series. He was the first king to give himself a name that was not in the Elvish Quenya language, and he severed ties with the Elves for good.
The reason for this is the increasing envy of the Númenoreans of the immortality of the Elves and the growing dissatisfactionnot being allowed to travel west to the paradisiacal Valinor – a topic that will be of crucial importance in the coming episodes and seasons of “The Rings of Power”.
Míriel herself is therefore the 25th ruler of Númenor, which is actually a difference to the books. Here Míriel is not an independent queen or regent, but as the rightful heir to the throne is married against her will by her cousin Pharazôn, who seizes power. We also met Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle) in Episode 3.
The differences between the book and the series are probably related to Míriel’s father, who was not yet seen in “The Rings of Power”, but is visited by Míriel at the end. Míriel’s father is named Tar-Palantir – an Elvish name, for he tried to mend the relationship between the Númenoreans and the Elves and the Valar (the gods of Tolkien’s world), but in vain. You can find out more about this in the video by DashFUN YouTube moderator Sebastian at minute 8:50 linked above.
We learn in Episode 3 of “The Rings of Power” that Tar-Palantir abdicated or was forced into exile (in the home tower) because of his openness to the elves. Presumably, therefore, his daughter Míriel became the queen-regent – mind you, but not the queen. And Pharazôn may have played an important role in this.
That leaves the most intriguing question for the remaining episodes of The Rings of Power: Whose side is Miriel really on? The series implies very strongly that Míriel, like almost all humans in Númenor, harbors a grudge against the Elves, after all, she doesn’t greet Galadriel warmly. And at the end of the episode, Míriel tells her father that with the arrival of the elves, the moment they fear has come.
However, it’s hard for us to imagine that the series executives rewrote the character Míriel so much. Much more Míriel’s dismissive behavior should only be a facade, as her Elvish name suggests – similar to her father’s (which means “jewel daughter”). So not only Míriel’s father might be on the side of the elves, but probably also Míriel herself, only that she just has to hide this.
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The arrival of Galadriel shakes the difficult political relationship on Númenor and will likely force the egent and former king into action. The two may have secretly made plans for the so-called faithful.
The Faithful are the few Númenoreans who still stand by the Elves and the Valar, including Elendil (Lloyd Owen). The term is actually used in the series (namely in the scene in which Elendil is given the sword by Míriel), but only in the original English version. In the German synchro, however, this possibly important moment is neglected.
We will most likely find out more about Míriel, Tar-Palantir and the political intrigues on Númenor (“House Of The Dragons” sends regards) in episode 4 of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”, which will be released on September 16, 2022 appears on Amazon Prime Video.
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