“Rings Of Power” Episode 6 Review
One, two, three, four they declare an elf war.
The buildup is finally paying off at least for the first half of the episode. The episode can be summed up in two halves: The battle and post-battle.
The battle half of the episode is an amazing action sequence. From start to finish, the action planning and execution felt on par with the rest of the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.
It starts off with a terrifying speech from the orc general Adar (although he’s an elf.) Then the orcs march to the Southlands.
First, there is a short mini-action sequence between Arondir and the orcs. Arondir is at the watchtower and fends off the orcs by destroying the tower and the bridge. That destruction managed to allow Arondir to escape and alert the Southlands that the orcs were coming.
The big issue with this scene is that the tower collapsing is the worst CGI sequence the show has. Simply put, it looks incredibly fake.
With the alert, The Arondir and fellow Southlands residents start booby-trapping the town and hiding the weak in the local tavern.
When the orcs arrive, they rush into the town thinking their superior force will win but the towns cleverness managed to prevail against the wave of orcs, but little did they know that was only the first wave and the people they fought against were only Southland slaves the Orcs captured.
The Orcs second wave emerges and starts to slaughter the remaining Southland warriors, but before they are killed, the Calvary arrives a.k.a Galadriel and the Numenorians.
This is exciting because not only another beautiful wave of action happens, but the show fixes a major problem. They start connecting stories with a bonus orc war beginning.
On horses, the Numenorians manage to rally the Southland residents and defeat the remaining orc army while Galadriel chases down and captures Adar.
That sums up the battle half of the episode.
The post-battle half really hurts the episode's quality because the writing is not good at all.
To start things off, Galadriel shows some major anger issues that makes it hard to root for her especially since she shows no sympathy to Adar’s children, who are slaves. She threatens to kill them all.
Then Bronwyn, the Southlands healer and Arondir’s love interest, is magically healed after being shot with an arrow and looks like she died during battle.
Then there is Halbrand, the deserting King, who is welcomed back with open arms from the Southlands’ residents.
The most frustrating part of the second half of the episode is its ending. One of the humans in the orc army gets ahold of the ring of blade and uses it to unleash a flood, but it's not really a flood. The water pours through elaborate tunnels and goes all the way to the nearby volcano. The water then is used to fuel the magma and the volcano erupts.
The episode ends with the volcano erupting and the smoke covering Galadriel like she wants it to kill her. It was a ridiculous turn of events. There are many plot holes in the episode like Also, there is some fast-traveling in the show that doesn’t make sense like the Cavalry traveling hundreds of miles to perfectly arrive in the Southlands when they are needed most or Galadriel’s heavy armor is suddenly a featherweight and she can perfectly dodge any attack coming her way while staying on top of the a horse.
Many of these can be forgiven except two.
The first one is Halbrand, becoming king. The whole show portrayed him in a negative light and can’t return home. So, him wanting to be a king again is far from the set up, but what’s even crazier is that the town was excited to make the man who abandoned them their worst king again. It felt like a missed opportunity to make him earn the title of king again.
Then the whole volcano eruption came out of nowhere. The orc battle had many episodes to lead up to it and felt in place. It was also exciting to see the war finally begin, but the volcano exploding just felt like the show wanted to flex its big budget and out of place because there was no foreshadowing to it.
Fighting a volcano feels like impossible odds and unrealistic as well.
The plot holes and poor writing choices hindered the episode.
The good thing the episode did was make the orcs terrifying. Unlike the previous “Lord of the Rings” projects the orcs had strategy in battle. Their brute force was also on display in their action-sequences.
The most notable moment that struck fear into the audience's heart was when Arondir was fighting a massive orc and when the orc got stabbed in its eye, it kept fighting. Why this was scary was because its overpowering brute force made it feel unstoppable especially as it took the knife out of its own eye and bleed on Arondir while trying to stab him.
Overall, the first half of the episode was truly a spectacle, but the poor writing in its second half and plot holes made “Rings of Power” look comical.
Ethan Hetrick is a second-year communication major. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.