[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 7, “The Eye.”]
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 is nearly complete. Episode 7, “The Eye,” debuted Friday, October 7 on Prime Video, showing the calamitous aftermath of the creation of Mordor. While most of our heroes are safe, not everyone made it out alive.
There are still a slew of storylines in need of conclusions heading into The Rings of Power finale on October 14. Here, we break down the biggest questions from The Rings of Power Episode 7.
6. Where is Isildur?
The beginning of Episode 7 shows Isildur (Maxim Baldry), Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), and Valandil (Alex Tarrant) scouring the Southlands wreckage for survivors. Tragically, the boys find their close friend, Ontamo (Anthony Crum) dead in the debris. They enter a burning house that soon collapses on top of them, and that’s the last we see of Isildur for the remainder of the episode.
Given his importance later on in the Second Age, we know Isildur can’t be dead. So where is he? Míriel and Valandil must believe he was killed in the collapse, otherwise they wouldn’t let his father, Elendil (Lloyd Owen) think as much. Elendil is desperate to bring his son’s horse back to Númenor to honor his memory, but Bereck won’t leave. The horse charges off, and our money is on the creature finding Isildur alive in the finale. Fingers crossed the future king wasn’t taken by the Orcs after Míriel (blinded by fire sparks in the collapse) and Valandil left to join the other survivors.
5. Who are the mystics?
The mystics were tracking down The Stranger in Episodes 6 and 7. And Nori (Markella Kavenagh), whose trust in Meteor Man has been broken now that his magic hurt her and her sister, points them in his direction after he leaves the Harfoots. Their threatening presence prompts Nori’s dad, Largo (Dylan Smith), and others to come to her defense, prompting the mystics to set fire to all of the Harfoots’ caravans. Hopefully, their identities will be revealed along with others’ before the season ends.
4. Is The Stranger Gandalf?
We are of the belief that The Stranger is not Sauron, Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) is (we back up our theory here). Episode 7 shows Meteor Man’s powerful, but well intentioned magical abilities again when he healed the Harfoots’ grove following Mount Doom’s eruption. The magic seemed to make things worse at first, causing a tree branch to fall on Nori and her sister. But the next morning, all of the vegetation was lush again. And with their faith in him restored, the Brandyfoots, Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards), and Sadoc Burrows (Sir Lenny Henry) are going off the trail with The Stranger to help him find the stars he’s looking for.
Should we be taking the mystics’ tracking of Meteor Man as a sign that he’s actually evil? Or perhaps he is a Wizard from Valinor sent to fight evil in Middle-earth and the insidious mystics are aiming to snuff him out? While we’re hoping he’s one of the Blue Wizards (the only two Istari Wizards not yet shown in a LOTR adaptation), the internet seems to believe The Stranger is Gandalf. We weigh the possibilities here, but like Sauron, it’s high past time to learn this man’s true nature.
3. Is Celeborn really dead?
Celeborn and Galadriel are the figureheads of Lothlorien in the books and the Peter Jackson movies, but Galadriel’s husband has not been mentioned in The Rings of Power until now. Some may have guessed Galadriel simply hasn’t met or married him yet in this iteration. But surprisingly, Morfydd Clark‘s Galadriel reveals in a vulnerable moment with Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) that she had already married Celeborn and lost him before this adventure began. Is this really all we’ll hear of Celeborn in The Rings of Power?
2. How will the Elves solve their mithril problem? And is Khazad-dûm in mortal danger?
King Durin (Peter Mullan) rejected Elrond’s (Robert Aramayo) plea to save the Elves with mithril, and he stripped Prince Durin (Owain Arthur) of his titles when he and Disa (Sophia Nomvete) went against his wishes and mined deeper for the ore anyway. Elrond was kicked out of Khazad-dûm as a result and must return to Eregion empty-handed.
How will the Elves restore their life source now? Celebrimbor’s forge was always part of the plan, but without mithril, could it already be time to introduce the show’s namesakes? The books tell us Celebrimbor is the Elf who forges the rings of power, per Sauron’s (under the guise of Annatar) suggestion. Perhaps we haven’t met Sauron yet, and his disguised self has been in Eregion this whole time, planting seeds in Celebrimbor’s mind about the benefits of all-powerful rings. Galadriel meets Annatar in Eregion in the books and is one of the few who correctly suspects he shouldn’t be trusted (more on this, below).
The Rings of Power Episode 7 ended on a fiery note like its predecessor. High King Gil-Galad’s (Benjamin Walker) dying leaf was revived by the mithril, prompting Durin to choose to help his friend’s race at risk of his relationship with his father. But the king threw the leaf into the deepest part of the mine Durin unearthed, and what did it find at the bottom of the chasm? The Balrog. Yup, the evil creature that killed Gandalf the Grey is currently awake deep in the depths of the Misty Mountains, which could bring armageddon-level destruction to the Dwarves of the Mines of Moria sooner than book readers may have expected.
1. Who/where is Sauron?
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) October 6, 2022
Seven episodes in, and still no Sauron. At this point, we’re starting to think The Rings of Power never intended to introduce the Big Bad this season at all. But all of Prime Video’s promotion for The Rings of Power Episode 8 all but state that Sauron will be revealed next week, so we’re holding out for a little bit longer.
Galadriel is setting off with the wounded Halbrand to get him medical aid in Eregion. If our theory is right and Halbrand is Sauron, this would place him right at the foot of the forge that will one day make his rings of power. And while Galadriel already trusting Halbrand/Sauron would be departure from the books (as stated above, Galadriel senses something wrong with Annatar), her missing the clues that her new companion was her ultimate foe would be fitting failure to humble the series’ main hero and set her up for a compelling Season 2.
Perhaps there’s no Sauron mystery to be unpacked from Episodes 1-7, and he’s actually been in Eregion in disguise this entire time. That possibility is intriguing, and frankly, more interesting than making The Stranger the ultimate villain. Given Halbrand’s shady past, his behavior in Númenor, and what his tension with Adar in Episode 6, we’re still betting the king of the Southlands is actually Morgoth’s successor. Whatever the outcome, this is hopefully the last week viewers are kept in the dark.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Fridays, Prime Video