Recap: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Episode 5 – "Partings"
Galadriel’s army encounters setbacks, while Elrond learns the elves are in need of Durin’s Mithril in this week’s episode of ‘The Rings of Power.’
This week’s episode of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ continues to make viewers question their assumptions about who the show’s most enigmatic characters actually are.
Take the opening scene of “Partings,” in which Nori (Markella Kavenagh), in the process of explaining death to the still out-of-it Stranger (Daniel Weyman), tells him that he’s a good person. He repeats her words to himself as though he, and the audience, shouldn’t be quite so sure. On the other hand, the group of sinister-looking cultists that investigate his crashdown site can’t possibly be up to any good.
Things aren’t much better in the Southlands. Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) tries to rally her people against Sauron’s forces. But Waldreg (Geoff Morrell) shouts over her and takes half of them to join the orcs.
In Numenor, Elendil (Lloyd Owen) refuses to allow his son Isildur (Maxim Baldry) to join the army journeying to Middle-earth with Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), arguing that the boy hasn’t proven himself as a servant of their people. Meanwhile, his daughter Earien (Ema Morvath) tries to sweet talk Chancellor Pharazon’s son Kemen (Leon Wadham) into getting his father (Trystan Gravelle) to talk Queen Miriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) out of helping Galadriel.
But the queen is now fully supporting the elf warrior, granting her 500 of her troops and five ships. Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), however, is still not interested in joining them. In fact, we learn he tried to sabotage Galadriel’s impromptu meeting with the king in last week’s episode – by informing Miriel of her intentions in exchange for a guild crest.
As the Harfoots continue their migration, Malva (Thusitha Jayasundera) tells Sadoc (Lenny Henry) she doesn’t trust the Stranger. That is until he saves her, Poppy, and Nori from a pack of hungry wolves. The Stranger stops them by punching the ground with superhuman force, and in the process injures his arm. He freezes it in order to heal it, and winds up freezing Nori’s hand when she interrupts him. He breaks her icy grip, but not before she sees a fiery vision that terrifies her.
Back in Numenor, Kemen tries to convince Pharozon to stop the fleet from leaving, reminding him that he’s said he’ll never take orders from an elf. “When all this has ended,” replies the chancellor, “elves will take orders from us.” He explains to his son that he has a plan to win the support of the Southlands.
Miriel visits her father, and the King tells his daughter that darkness awaits her in Middle-earth. While in the streets of the city, Isildur begs his friends to take him with them on their voyage, but they too refuse him. Fortunately, fate intervenes. Kemen tries to set one of the ships on fire, but he’s confronted by Isildur, who rescues him and is henceforth rewarded with a post in the army.
In Lindon, Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), Elrond (Robert Aramayo), and the elves entertain Durin (Owain Arthur) at dinner. The dwarf questions the High King as to his plans. But Gil-galad only reveals his true intentions to Elrond after they eat, telling him he wants to acquire Mithril from the dwarves. It seems the elves’ light is dying, and the only thing that can save them is the ore, which contains the light of a lost Silmaril. Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) concurs, revealing to Elrond that he knows of Gil-galad’s plan, has tested Mithril, and learned that they could save every elf with it.
Galadriel has one last talk with Halbrand. It turns out he’s afraid his fellow men won’t forgive him when they learn just how he survived Sauron’s wrath. She at last tells him the story of her brother, and how she faced the darkness within herself.
In the Southlands, Adar (Joseph Mawle) is displeased that the renegade Southlanders believe he is Sauron, but accepts their loyalty nonetheless. He makes Waldreg prove that loyalty by killing one of his own people.
In the refugees’ tower camp, Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) teaches Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) archery, and Theo shows him the broken sword he stole from Waldreg. Arondir tells Bronwyn that Theo’s sword is a key to giving the orcs a home in their lands. Believing they’re already finished, she too considers surrendering to Adar. But her thoughts are interrupted by the orcs' chants of “Nampat!” as they march on the tower.
Elrond tells Durin of the elves’ need for Mithril, expecting his friend will feel betrayed. But Durin surprises him by agreeing to help. In return, he only wants to hear Elrond tell him repeatedly that he holds the fate of all elves in his hands. Gil-galad quietly observes their banter.
Galadriel and her army leave Numenor at last, with Halbrand at her side...
The highlight of ‘Partings’ finds Galadriel giving sword-fighting lessons to the new recruits in her army. Her fighting style is more than a little reminiscent of ‘The Matrix.’ Which is fitting, since Halbrand’s technique – as we saw two episodes ago – calls to mind ‘John Wick.’
If Adar is no longer suspected to be Sauron, that leaves the Stranger and Halbrand as the next most popular fan theories. I’m leaning on the Stranger, given Nori’s vision in this episode and the fact that Halbrand looks right at home in his new armor. Of course, Gil-galad now looks like he’s up to no good either.
Next week: Galadriel rides into battle. But will she save the Southland in time?