I will bask in the knowledge that I’ve just watched the first season of The Rings of Power and I loved every moment of it.
It’s been a week since The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power concluded with a powerful finale that has had me buzzing. After rewatching the entire season and absorbing the story with a clearer eye, the show is one of the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long time. And while it’s not without its flaws there are some shining moments in this series that I had to highlight for their remarkable nature.
5. A Moment of Conviction
The seventh episode of The Rings of Power focused on the characters’ grief and how they handled the events of Mount Doom erupting. No character suffered more in that episode than Elendil who believes he’s lost his son, Isildur, in the chaotic aftermath of the mountain’s eruption. He goes through every range of emotions in that episode. Quiet despair and shock, hope, immense sadness, and even anger.
When we see him again in the finale he’s still burdened by the sorrow of losing a child in the war. But, along with the now-blinded queen, he’s ready to take that despair and turn it into action. He and the queen vow to do what’s right for Middle-Earth, “come what may”, and there’s just something so powerful about that moment.
The bonding that Elendil and Miriel share in that scene feels like the perfect place to leave us heading into the new season. They can’t exactly be seen as vulnerable. But with each other, they can and it is this solitary comradery that I love the most in these stories. Whether we’re talking about the moment when Sam assures Frodo that there are good people worth fighting for in The Two Towers or the moment when Legolas and Aragorn apologize before the Battle of Helm’s Deep; these stories thrive on highlighting the personal journeys of these characters as well.
I can’t wait to see Elendil and Miriel’s stories develop over the seasons. And even though I know how their stories conclude, I know I’m going to cherish every moment we have with them.
4. The Power of Light and Song
The Great Wave was the first episode following the series premiere that blew me away. Suddenly, the story was shifting into something even more significant. Moving past its introduction to characters and places on the map and finally settling into the story.
The scene that utterly moved me in that episode, however, was the one featuring Arondir saving Theo from the orcs. What began as a dramatic but beautiful slow-motion chase through the forest transitions into a scene that I am willing to claim is one of the most striking I’ve seen. As Arondir, Theo, and Bronwyn brace for battle against a terrifying horde of orcs the sun rises, bathing the clearing in pure light. If that wasn’t gorgeous enough as it is, Sophia Nomvete’s soul-piercing singing accompanies the moment, adding an otherworldly essence to the utterly chill-inducing moment.
And it’s not even finished! The scene then transitions to Disa pleading to the rocks for the miners. Her echoing voice only became more and more incredible. There are so many reasons to love this scene. But one of the reasons why I cherish it is because it gives an extra dimension to female dwarves that we didn’t know about. I didn’t know they sing to the mountains and that their very vocals can affect the rocks. It’s quite remarkable and is a detail I’m very glad this show gave us.
3. The Interrogation
Udun is deemed one of the best, if not the best, episodes of the season for a reason. It’s fantastically crafted, the action is intense and the stakes feel legit. And there are so many good scenes in this episode. The interrogation scene between Adar and Galadriel, however, takes the cake for me. There is just something so profoundly spellbinding by this scene. From the way the camera is tilted to make you feel the uneasiness of this moment to the dialogue that not only invokes fascinating bits of lore but provides so much to the ongoing story. Oh, and did I mention that Joseph Mawle is an absolute scene-stealer?!
Ever since he made his official debut in The Great Wave he rose quickly to the top of my Rings of Power list because he was just so darn fascinating. His acting is some of the best in the show and the character he plays is the type of character I’ve always wanted to see in this story. Which is, of course, a dark elf. Or in his case, the first orc. This scene is so riveting all the way to its final moments with Halbrand that I had to add it to this list.
2. The Forging of the Great Rings and the Final Shot
I was skeptical about the finale’s chances of sticking the landing and living up to my expectations. But it did so with flying colors and its final scene is astounding to witness. I know some wanted the relationship between Sauron the Deceiver and Celebrimbor to be fleshed out more. And that the forging of the rings happened quite swiftly. But I understand why acceleration was necessary.
First off, you can’t have a show called The Rings of Power and not have a single ring in it. Secondly, if they were to build the relationship between Sauron and Celebrimbor the reveal of the series’ main antagonist would have been delayed until sometime in Season 2. And that’s not fun for the casual viewer. And because the showrunners understand that Sauron’s inclusion throughout the second season will make the show far more engaging I am grateful they went ahead and got that out of the way.
Because of that decision, the series ends with an incredible final scene. One that allows us to see the three rings given to the Elves for the first time and it is jaw-droppingly mesmerizing to observe. And then there’s that final shot which I’m not ashamed to admit brought me tears upon my first viewing. It’s such an incredible shot to leave lingering in our souls heading into the next season. And one that is steeped in nostalgic Peter Jackson iconography.
1. Sailing to Valinor
Despite the many lovable scenes in this show none managed to quite affect me as much as this one did. Ever since I was a little girl I wondered what it looked like to sail into the West. Specifically when I watched Return of the King. And that is where Frodo would end up going. It was a question that I never expected to be answered. And much to my utter awe, it was even more magical than I could’ve possibly imagined.
The CGI is flawless, the visuals are utterly transportive, the music is dynamite, and the acting is sublime. And the tension is some of the best in the entire series. I loved it when I first watched it and even to this day, eight weeks later, it still stands as the pinnacle of this show’s potential.
I cannot wait to one day share my weekly reviews of the second season’s episodes and geek about the newest moments that made me incredibly giddy. Until then, I will bask in the knowledge that I’ve just watched the first season of The Rings of Power and I loved every moment of it.
“The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power” is now streaming on Prime Video.
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Hello everyone. My name is Annlyel James. I’m a young woman who loves movies of all genres (specifically ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel movies.) I am also a Senior Correspondent for The Future of the Force.