Episode 5 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power finds Elrond facing a difficult choice as Númenor prepares to go to war. Oh, and Durin is an absolute legend. You will understand why.

If you need a refresher, we’ve already recapped Episode 1 , Episode 2 , Episode 3 , and Episode 4 . Here’s our look at the action from the latest installment — be warned: spoilers ahead.

Ice collection

ON THE ROAD — Catching up with the Harfoots this week. Nori and her family pull further back. We even get a little map montage as they drag their carts across the expanse of Middle Earth. Norrie and the Stranger have a conversation whose mood somehow straddles the line between Obsessed with Phonetics and freshman philosophy about the nature of goodness.

At one point, Nori’s family and the rest of those Harfoot fools who wanted to abandon them (one even has the audacity to offer to steal their bikes and leave them to die) are chased by wolves. The stranger rushes to the rescue and punches the ground so hard that it creates a shock wave and scares the wolves away. Unfortunately, he injures his arm. But hey, those cranky old discriminating Harfoots like him now.

From here we get another look at the strangerthe ability to manipulate the elements. He soaks his hands in some water and begins to turn them to ice, but is so wrapped up in his spell that he doesn’t notice that Nori touches his hand and it begins to freeze like Harfoot’s tiny butt.


sorry Anyway, it’s okay in the end, but it scares her. Norrie is that guy who posted on Facebook that he rescued a lost dog, but the attached photo is a rabid coyote. oops

Elsewhere, a trio of creepy people in white (including the face with bleached eyebrows from the trailer, who everyone thought was definitely Sauron) are exploring the crater where the Stranger landed. Damn tourists.

Massive bets

LYNDON — Time for family dinner. Durin, Elrond, High King Gil-galad, and probably others I didn’t pay attention to, to share a meal and a toast to the union (FOR THE REVOLUTION! Any Hamilton fans out there? Heh? Heh?) of their people. But like many family dinners, it’s a little tense. Gil-galad asks probing questions about what the hell the dwarves are working so hard on in Kazad-Dum, and Durin informs him that the stone table they are eating at is a rare stone that the dwarves only use in monuments and tombs. Imagine serving someone a charcuterie board on their grandfather’s tombstone. It’s a statement.

Here’s the deal. Gil-galad actually knows that the dwarves have found the mithril, and he bullies Elrond into confirming it. Elrond is like look i pink promised my BFF. Gil-galad has Elrond tell the story of the creation of the mithril, involving an elven warrior and a Balrog (fire demon) fighting over a tree believed to contain one of the lost Silmarils. The reason this all matters is because Lyndon is starting to fall apart and the light of the elves is fading. But if the elves could get their hands on a lot of that sweet, sweet mithril that contains the light of the Silmarilla, they could saturate all the elves in that light.

Let me offer this comment: What?

Otherwise, the elves will have to leave Middle-earth and Sauron will be dancing around in his shirt and socks like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. And in case you’re wondering, no, none of this is by Tolkien.


Elrond’s hair looks shiny.

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The next day, as Durin leaves Lyndon with the stone table (and the revelation that he actually cheated Gil-galad out of his furniture), Elrond explains to Durin the problem. And you know what? Despite all this Elven drama the night before, Durin tells Elrond to “bring your down shirts and let’s go” so they can go talk to Durin’s father.

Communication, kids. That’s the magic.

Orcs just want sun

SOUTHLANDS — If you thought Adar was weird last week, he’s even weirder this episode. An orc walks up to him while he’s soaking in the sun, and Adar starts a little riff about how soon he won’t be able to enjoy the sun like he is right now. (Me, after seeing a dermatologist.) Looks like he’s going to undergo some kind of transformation? He’s the guy at the party you try not to talk to.

Anyway, SUMMON THE LEGIONS and whatnot.

Back in Ostirith, Bronwyn addresses the crowd and gives a rousing speech about how they should stand and fight against Adar instead of pledging allegiance. The crowd seems relatively convinced until Waldreg shows up to spark opposition. I swear, I had no idea his dude would cause so much trouble. He convinces half the crowd to leave Ostirith. That evening, Waldreg and his merry band of misfits meet up with Adar and the orcs, and as we say in the south, he runs his mouth, pledging allegiance to Sauron. Because the emo elf is Sauron, right? shameful. The last we see, Adar will have him kill a youth to prove his loyalty. And maybe his butchering skills?

In Ostirith, Theo has finally developed a shred of reason and shows Arondir the hilt of the sword. Arondir has seen something like this before, and in one turn of Legends of the Hidden Temple, he sweeps back some vines and BOOM there’s what looks like a skull carved into a rock, along with a stone version of the sword. Amazing how that was there all along. Arondir tells Bronwyn that the handle is something like a key and that Adar knows Theo has it. The fires from the invading orcs coming towards the tower cause stress.

Isildur speaks to his father, Elendil.

“Can I get $20 to go to the mall?” — Isildur probably

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Ships are fine

NÚMENOR — The ships are about to set sail for Middle-earth. They are loaded with horses, provisions and drama.

Isildur wants to go, but his father won’t let him because he was kicked out of the Seawatch. Earien and her lover Kevin (I know his name is actually Kemen, please don’t email me) don’t want Númenor to interfere. Farazon supports the war, but only because it will give Númenor dominion over the people of Middle-earth. And Halbrand just wants to be left alone. Everyone is constantly cringing and talking through their teeth.

There’s a scene where Galadriel shows some recruits how to fight and puts them all to shame with her elven moves. So that’s fun.

Later, Galadriel and Halbrand finally have one of those air-clearing puffs when he tells her that he made some really bad stuff and she talks about how her brother died and her best friend betrayed her *cough Elrond* and how she has no rest. But hey, maybe they can have something approximately peaceful if they go and fight. Because that’s how it goes.

The big hub-bub comes the night before they sail. While everyone is having fun, Kevin sneaks onto a ship with arson in his heart. However, he runs into Isildur, who is trying to hide. After a brief battle, Kevin’s lantern shatters and the resulting explosion destroys not only that ship, but another as well. Somehow, they both get out in time.

It’s chaos. Farazon wants to delay the mission. Miriel states that they will decide in the morning, but it will really come down to whether Halbrand is on board with the whole king thing. Fortunately, he decides he will, and everyone sets sail, including Isildur, who finally gets a post — sweeping after the ship’s horses.

What awaits them in the Southlands? Emo Elf Adar and whatever Waldreg is up to these days. What a welcome wagon.