Monday, September 19, 2022

TROP: Episode 4


Each episode of The Rings of Power is better than the last, weaving more and more Tolkien lore into the story, including many things I had forgotten. I have even dusted off an old copy of The Children of Hurin. From AV Club:

Míriel and Pharazón work in perfect tandem, even if their personal life is opaque, offering a revealing juxtaposition to Elrond and Galadriel. Galadriel, who tries and fails to convince the Queen Regent to join the Elves and fight Sauron, finds herself jailed for sedition. The Elf might be a skilled warrior and rider, but she’s an awful diplomat, as Halbrand, her cellmate, points out. “There is a tempest in me,” Galadriel says as negotiations collapse. “It swept me to this island for a reason, and it will not be quelled by you, Regent.” Hard to believe that that didn’t get her a meeting with the exiled Tar-Palantir (Ken Blackburn). Galadriel could really use a skilled diplomat like Elrond right about now. After all, politics requires strength and finesse.

Still, Galadriel will have it her way. After scaling Palantir’s tower in a breezy dress and sandals, she finds Míriel waiting for her. Unfortunately, things are not what they seem. The people ousted Palantir and installed his daughter Míriel because of the king’s hardline belief that Númenor had defied the gods. As he grew older and more righteous in his beliefs, he repented by pledging fealty to the Elves, an unpopular opinion, leading to revolution and the installation of his daughter as queen. However, his decline was also a mental one. He now remains out of sight, bedridden, and unable to rule.

Palantir, meaning “far sighted” in an ancient form of Elvish, shares his name with the seeing stones. That’s no coincidence. Tar-Palantir is known as a clairvoyant, having prophesied the downfall of Númenor, beginning with the death of the great tree and ending with a greater flood. Appropriately enough, Tar-Palantir has one of the seven seeing stones, and Míriel invites Galadriel to take a gander. From there, she sees the queen’s nightmare: The white leaves, the flood, and the city’s destruction. (Read more.)


So many questions, so many mysteries. And who is the stranger who fell out of the sky?

And where is Celeborn? People are wondering.


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