“Rings Of Power” - Episodes 4 and 5 Review

Story posted September 30, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Ethan Hetrick

Who would have thought that “Rings of Power” would make some of the best songs on TV. “The Wandering Day” is the best bard song since “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” from “The Witcher.”

The score alone makes the episodes worth watching. As the aforementioned “The Wandering Day” opens up episode five and makes the audience reminisce about the journey in “The Hobbit” trilogy.

Also, to tie up all the threads or intertwining stories in episode four there was a beautiful opera scene that was playing throughout the different stories that made everything feel smaller yet still grand.

The two episodes do still have the issue of many unconnected stories, but it can be seen making progress. It seems that all this season is leading up to a massive battle in the Southlands and episodes four and five are the “politics” as in treaties are formed, the audience learns more about the orc army, and warriors are being brought up. It is a clear homage to several groups and their beliefs/standings in the foreshadowed battle.

On one side there is the evil orc army that is taking over villages in the Southlands raising an army. It is led by “father” Adan, but it is hinted that Adan is Sauron or just one of Sauron’s top-ranking officers because Adan went into a frenzy when he was “misidentified” as Sauron.

Then it can be seen there is a peace treaty between elves and dwarves. Although a rocky one, the elves and dwarves are making peace and arguably willing to go to war side by side with one another.

Then there is a civil dispute happening in Numenor. The royal half, who sees that Numenor will fall, and Galadriel's arrival is the start of it. After a debate, Galadriel manages to convince the royalty of Numenor to help aid the Southlands in a war against the orcs, but there is civil dis-rest in Numenor. The people over time have fallen out of favor with the elves and want to be above them, so there is a hint that a civil war may break out in Numenor. If a civil war breaks out that will be the fall of Numenor, and the Southlands will not have a big enough army to fend off invading orcs.

There are two story lines that are still in limbo and not connected. The one is more connected than the other so let’s start with that.

Theo is trying to get food for refugees of the Southlands, but he is on the run from orcs because he is magically wielding a sword that the orcs want. There’s not a lot of stories here and feels out of the blue but at least could show motives for the orcs later in the show.

The other plot line is the hobbit’s story. Although they were missing in episode four, they made a comeback. They had a very cute traveling scene that shows the adorable and fun side of Middle Earth, but it doesn’t connect with the rest of the show. Nori’s adventure with the Stranger doesn’t fit with the overall story. The only explanation why they are showing so much “backstory” for The Stranger is because he may be Gandalf. Nori’s teachings and friendship with The Stranger would explain while Gandalf is so fond of Hobbits. Other than the possibility of The Stranger being Gandalf, the Hobbits story does not fit in as well other than to bring a fun, smaller adventure in the mix.

The show's biggest flaw is still in these episodes. There are too many branching story arcs that don’t connect. It feels as if a viewer looks away for even a second, they could miss something important and be left confused for a long time. The show needs to start connecting the stories more sooner rather than later.

The show is still spectacular even with too many stories. The visuals are some of the best in the series. The makeup and prop designers deserve praise as well. This show deserves an Emmy for the best design and makeup, while also winning best visual effects because everything in the show looks beautiful. The look of the show makes it understandable why it costs $1 billion.

Overall, episodes four and five feel like the prepping stages for a war but it still feels magical and spectacular that only Lord and the Rings can provide. It is must watch television and viewers should be excited for episode six.

Rating: 4/5

Ethan Hetrick is a second-year telecommunications major. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu.