Things are officially heating up in Middle-earth, with The Rings of Power episode 5 raising the stakes to new heights. This week the fantasy series gave us plenty of drama, underhanded plots, and the looming presence of war for both the kingdoms of Númenor and the struggling people of the Southlands. But, with plenty of juicy storylines, and a bit of an information overload, you may be wondering what actually happened, and what all these events mean going forward.
While we may be at the halfway point of season 1 now, Rings of Power episode 5, ‘Partings’, is still pretty disconnected, as the story jumps between four very different storylines. First, there is the Harfoots and the Stranger, then the Kingdom of Númenor with Galadriel and Halbrand. We also have all the drama between the elves and the dwarves as Elrond and Durin make their way to Lindon, and finally, the Southlands find evil at their doorstep as the forces of Sauron start making their move.
In short, it can be tricky to keep track of it all. But, fear not Tolkien fans, The Digital Fix is here to help, and has a nice summary of everything that happens in the latest chapter with a Rings of Power episode 5 recap for you down below.
The Harfoots and the Stranger encounter danger
At the beginning of episode 5, we see the Harfoots continuing their migration with the mysterious meteor man, also known as The Stranger (Daniel Weyman), by their side. We are gifted with a very pleasant little montage as we see the Halflings travel across the map of Middle-earth, passing through the lush vegetation of the land as they trudge along. But not everything is all sunshine and rainbows.
The caravan is on its way to The Grove, which according to that map we mentioned earlier, is pretty close to Mordor. As the Harfoots approach land that was once fertile, they are met instead with an eery and bare forest; a little bit suspicious, isn’t it? And who do they blame straight away? Well, of course, it is Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and The Stranger.
Things don’t get much better for the crew as a pack of wolves (that’s right, those boar-faced monsters were wolves) attack them while they are foraging mushrooms. Luckily The Stranger manages to save everyone by using his powers. But by doing so, his arm turns black, again very suspicious, isn’t it?
Later in the episode, Nori is pretty happy that The Stranger’s big rescue managed to calm his detractors, and goes out to find him to celebrate. However, when she does, he is in a trance muttering magic words that is turning that black arm we mentioned frozen.
While he is healing himself via the ice, Nori touches him, gets hurt in the process and then runs away in fear. The interaction is pretty promising as it hints that Nori and the giant’s relationship is in jeopardy, meaning he may be abandoned by the first person to help him since arriving in Middle-earth. Or maybe there will be a big character reveal and a new villain in our midst?
The Southlands get ready for action
Since episode 1, The Southlands has had the worst of luck when it comes to attacks and the followers of the big bad Sauron. Considering they are pretty much standing in future Mordor, this fact won’t let up anytime soon. And in episode 5, it seems like war is finally going to be knocking on their door too. The question is will they fight against the Orcs or join them?
Adar (Joseph Mawle) has ordered his Orcs to get ready for an attack, as he seems pretty keen to get Theo’s (Tyroe Muhafidin) broken sword hilt. The sword is revealed to be some sort of key to The Southlander’s evil past with supporting Morgoth. From a ruin found showing the sword stabbing a man, we are pretty sure the sword somehow relates to the Cult of Morgoth, a religion dedicated to Sauron’s master that used to practise in human sacrifices.
Considering how the artefact was activated by Theo’s blood, this seems to check out, but no confirmation in the series has been made yet. Either way, Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) is adamant that it is dangerous and mustn’t fall into Adar’s hands.
However, this may be tricky as half of the Southlanders travelled to Ardar and swore allegiance to him, even killing their own kin to prove their loyalty. By the end of episode 5, the Southlands are divided, with only a few left to protect their stronghold while they wait for the massive army of Orcs to make their move.
Númenor starts its journey
Taking a step back from Middle-earth for the moment, the island kingdom of Númenor is preparing to set sail under the command of Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and Galadriel. But there are two big problems. The first is that Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) has lied to the queen about Halbrand’s (Charlie Vickers) desire to join them. The Southlander is very much still running away from his past, and is pretty annoyed that the Elf is trying to strong-arm him into being a king and leading his people against the forces of darkness.
Luckily, this problem resolves itself after a heart-to-heart, as Halbrand eventually agrees to join the crew. The bigger problem facing Númenor is the internal politics of the Kingdom. A group of high-up individuals, including chancellor Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle), his son Kemen (Leon Wadham), and Eärien (Ema Horvath), are against the mission to help the elves and offer military aid to Middle-earth. This results in some conspiracies and even some acts of terrorism.
The trio manage to blow up a few of the ships scheduled to leave. However, they can’t manage to take out the whole lot, thanks to the interference of Isildur (Maxim Baldry), who had stowed away on a boat in hopes of joining the expedition in secret.
Thanks to Isildur preventing more damage, the Númenors make their way to Middle-earth as planned, with Halbrand and Galadriel by their side. Even Isildur is officially welcomed to the cavalry, albeit in the stable section. But, with the Kingdom now pretty much left in the hands of Pharazôn, we don’t expect that peace will be kept in Númenor while Míriel is away.
Secrets exposed in Lindon
Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo) make their way over to the Elven stronghold of Lindon. The two meet with Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) and Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), and let’s just say we learn a lot about Elrond’s mission to reach out to the Dwarves.
Gil-galad reveals that he tasked Elrond with reaching out to the Dwarves due to the mineral Durin had found, Mithril. He tells the half-elf that Lindon is experiencing decay with its light dwindling – meaning the fate of the elves and their immortality is at risk. According to a legend, Gil-galad makes Elrond recite Mithril is an ore that contains the light of the lost Simirals, gems that were crafted from the essence of the Two Trees of Valinor.
Gil-galad believes that Mithril is the key to the elves’ survival. This belief is a bit of a stretch when it comes to Tolkien canon, who never mentioned anything about Elves requiring Mithril, but hey ho, maybe we will get some clarity on that matter in episode 6. Anyway, Elrond refuses to tell him if the Dwarves have found the prized ore, since he made an oath to Durin in episode 4 to keep his mouth shut.
In fact, Elrond truly proved himself to be a bro as he told Durin everything that Gil-galad told him. Basically, leaving the choice to save the elves purely in the hands of the royal dwarf. Obviously, we know Durin won’t leave his mate out in the cold or doomed, but still, it is a nice gesture nevertheless.
What can we expect in Rings of Power episode 6?
In Amazon’s preview of episode 6, we saw the Orcs marching towards the Southlanders – that’s right, a battle is finally coming! We also see Galadriel on land drawing her sword, so who knows, maybe Númenor will come to the Southlands aid for the big confrontation too.
Unfortunately, the teaser doesn’t offer much else information apart from this upcoming fight. No hints of The Stranger or Elrond and Durin at all. But considering episode 5’s information, we can make some guesses about where those storylines are heading too. Since Mithril has been found and Dwarf and Elf relationships are building, it is only a matter of time before the Rings of Power actually get made. We are pretty sure we will at least get some word of Celebrimbor’s plans to craft them by the next instalment.
Since episode 5 saw The Stranger progressing in learning how to speak and communicate, we are also willing to wager we get more explanation and backstory to that character soon. The whole wondering mysterious giant thing is starting to get stale, and let’s be honest; we are well due some more information on the man from the sky.
And that’s all, folks! A recap of Rings of Power episode 5, all done and dusted. You can watch the TV series for yourself now on Amazon’s streaming service Prime Video. To sign up for a Prime membership, click our link here.