Let’s be honest, The Rings of Power has been moving at a slower pace than most fantasy series, but, finally, episode 6, ‘Udûn,’ has ushered in action and plenty of story development for us to sink our teeth into. In the latest entry of Amazon’s TV series, based on the writing of JRR Tolkien, we get to see war, Middle-earth lore and even the creation of Sauron’s base of operations – Mordor.
While there are no Dwarves or Harfoots in this week’s entry (sorry, Elrond and Durin fans), episode 6 is by far the best episode yet, and officially ushers in a major shift to the entire show. Evil is no longer hiding, more battles are looming on the horizon, and the search for the missing baddie Sauron will be kicked up a gear.
Big things are coming to the Middle-earth-based series, and we are here to help you keep track of it all by summarising what happens in ‘Udûn’ and what its events mean for The Rings of Power episode 7.
Episode 6 starts with a full-on siege. Adar, who is after the mysterious sword hilt in Theo’s possession, instructs his army of Orcs to march on Ostirith, the watchtower in the Southlands where the villagers are taking shelter. If you can’t remember The Rings of Power episode 5, the broken sword was revealed to be some sort of key to an ultimate power that the forces of darkness needed for Sauron’s evil aspirations.
Well, unfortunately, the sword and the villagers aren’t in the watch tower at all, and the orcs are ambushed by Arondir, who, with his Elf-like grace and archery skills, bests them and triggers a series of booby traps that brings the entire watch tower down, crumbling on his enemies.
The Southlanders watch the small victory from a distance before returning to their village seen in episode 1 to fortify and get ready for Adar’s next wave of Orcs. The village begins to set up some pretty poor-looking traps and defences, but hey, this is Middle-earth; as Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies have shown us before, the underdogs have a habit of surprising us.
As predicted, Adar makes his way to the village, and the place is turned into a full-out bloody battlefield. Orcs are being killed left, right, and centre and tension is high as the kingdom of Men band together to protect the villages’ tavern – filled with those who can’t fight – as well as protect their lands from Sauron’s forces.
Everything seems to be going well with Arondir taking out a beast of an Orc (or half-troll?), and the Southlanders holding their own. However, the winning streak of Men does falter, as the Orc numbers continue to increase, and Arondir notices that the enemies he has killed were some of the villagers and his past comrades who swore allegiance to Adar back in episode 5 – pretty heavy, right?
More tragedy strikes once Bronwyn – Arondir’s love interest, who he had just shared a kiss with the morning before – gets pierced with two arrows. For the first time in The Rings of Power, it looks like one of our main characters could be at death’s doorstep! Arondir carries Bronwyn to the tavern with the rest of the villagers, unable to fight and begins addressing her wounds with the help of Theo, her son.
But lo and behold, without his help on the battlefield, Adar manages to force his way into the village and takes everyone hostage. Adar demands to know where the location of the sword hilt is, and once Bronwyn’s life is threatened, Theo decides to reveal its location to save his mother. Arondir had originally hidden the sword, but somehow (don’t ask us how, because we are also baffled), Theo escaped his Elf-like senses and saw him store it under the floorboard of the tavern.
However, it is almost like you can’t trust bad guys as Adar, once he gets what he wants, instructs the orcs to kill the Southlanders, going back on his promise to spare their lives (gasp). But, fear not, no one dies as the Númenorians, led by Galadriel and Halbrand, come to the rescue in the nick of time. The new army, decked out with battle horses and impressive spears, easily defeated the orcs, causing Adar to flee in a panic.
Galadriel isn’t too keen on letting her enemy escape. She and Halbrand pursue Adar, eventually capturing him and retrieving a package that may or may not have held the broken sword (wink, wink). In an exciting scene, Halbrand comes close to killing the Orc leader after asking whether Adar remembers him. Adar doesn’t, but this relationship is pretty juicy, and we are hoping that it will segway into the show uncovering more of Halbrand’s backstory.
Now in captivity, Galadriel interrogates Adar, who reveals himself to be one of the first Orcs, known as the Sons of the Dark, created by Morgoth during The First Age. Adar claims that he has killed Sauron, which Galadriel calls out as an obvious lie. But, unfortunately, Adar isn’t willing to talk or explain his wild claim.
Outside of the interrogation hut, Halbrand is officially welcomed and hailed as the one true king of the Southlands, Elendil and Isildur have a cute bonding moment over a horse, and Bronwyn is safe and sound. But, the episode doesn’t really end on a happy note, friends. It turns out that the wrapped-up package Adar was carrying wasn’t the broken sword but a dull hand axe instead. The real broken sword was taken by the village traitor Waldreg.
Waldreg stabs the sword into the ground and begins to turn it, activating some kind of machine that begins to shift the landscape. The tunnels we had seen the slaves of the Orcs making in the past episodes of the show are filled with water as the rivers, and lakes begin to dry up, and a mountain reveals itself to be a volcano – erupting balls of fire. Looks a lot like Mount Doom if you ask us.
In short, it is all kicking off in The Rings of Power now. In episode 7, we will see how the Dwarves, Elves, and Harfoots are getting on, what Galadriel’s next move will be in her hunt for Sauron, and how the two Kingdoms of Men will cope with evacuating the Southlands before the volcano kills them all.
Rings of Power episode 6 recap
With action, suspense and a proper cliffhanger, Rings of Power episode 6 is the best outing in the TV series so far.