Significance Of Mithril & Hilt, Explained: One Represent Light While Other Will Bring Upon Darkness


The conflict was always between good and evil. It was a battle between light and darkness. There were a few who fought to save that unblemished light. But there were others too, who wanted to put a veil over that light and make the darkness last forever. In “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” there were two objects that were the personification of light and darkness, respectively. There was a Hilt that was in possession of Bronwyn’s son, Theo. It was something that Adar and his army of orcs desperately needed. They were digging underground tunnels and searching for the Hilt. The kind of effort they were putting into looking for it made us realize that the Hilt was something that held a lot of significance for them and that it would play a crucial role in the furtherance of their evil plans. When the fate of Middle Earth seemed bleak, there was a discovery that rekindled hope. A magical ore was found in the mines of Khazad-dum by Princess Disa. She and her husband, Prince Durin, knew that Mithril, as the elves called it, was more precious than gold or any other prized element, but what he didn’t know was the fact that it would play an important role in the battle against the dark lord, Sauron.

The Significance Of The Hilt

Waldreg had the Hilt in his possession before Theo took it from his barn. Theo knew that it had some magical powers in it, but he also couldn’t understand the real nature of the trident-shaped weapon. Waldreg told him that they were destined to serve the dark lord. The mortals taking shelter in the Tower of Ostirith were divided into two factions. A bunch of people left with Waldreg to swear their allegiance to Sauron. But there were a few who stayed. Theo was one of them. He showed the Hilt to Arondir, who instantly realized that it was not a common object. The Hilt was like a key that would unlock some unknown magical powers. That is why Adar needed it so desperately. The Tower of Ostirith was built by men who helped Morgoth in the great battle. When the elves took over the place, they realized that, though Morgoth was defeated, the tower still had remnants of his evil powers. One such mold is unveiled by Arondir in Episode 5 of “The Rings of Power.” He looks at the wall, the protrusions, and the cavities and realizes that the Hilt had the power to conjure a dark spell that would once again enslave Middle Earth. Arondir, too, didn’t understand a lot of things. But he knew that he wouldn’t go down without putting up a resistance. Bronwyn was scared. She knew that the mortals couldn’t withstand the might of Adar, but she still didn’t want to back down. She knew that either way, they were going to meet their fateful end. She was ready to die, but she didn’t want to compromise her dignity. Her kind was always accused of helping Morgoth during the War of Wrath. She wanted to remove the blot from their history once and for all, though she knew that she would have to pay a huge price for it.

The Mithril-Origin Story

Gil-Galad makes Elrond privy to his real intentions. He tells him why he sent him to Khazad Dum. The High King wanted to know whether the miners of Khazad Dum had found Mithril or not. In a cryptic manner, Gil-Galad emphasizes the importance of the magical ore. He asks Elrond what he knew about the song about the roots of Hithaeglir. Elrond recounts that it was a kind of folklore, but nobody knew how much of it was actually true. It was said that once, a battle was fought over a tree. It was claimed that the last of the lost Silmarils were hidden in that tree. An elf warrior tried to save that tree with all his might. He was up against a Maia named Balrog of Morgoth. Balrog channeled all his hatred, his devilish fervor, into the tree. The light of the elven warrior clashed with the darkness that resided in Balrog. The amalgamation of the two opposite forces created an anomaly that encompassed the qualities of both good and evil. That anomaly that was created was called Mithril, which the miners of Khazad Dum had already found. Gil-Galad said that Mithril contained the light of the lost Silmaril. After the two trees of Valinor were destroyed by Ungoliant and Melkor, the jewels crafted by Feanor were the only things that contained light. Now, if a part of that light existed in Mithril, it meant that it would help the elves in fighting for their survival and saving the middle earth from the wrath of Sauron. 

In Peter Jackson’s trilogy, “Lord of the Rings,” we see that Gandalf tells Frodo, Aragorn, Legolas, and others that the actual wealth of Moria was not in gold but in Mithril. He tells them that Thorin, the king of dwarves, had given Bilbo Baggins a shirt made of Mithril. Gimli, who was accompanying them, says that it was a royal gift that marked the alliance of dwarves and hobbits. Gandalf says that the Mithril was more valuable than the entire shire. The deep and dark abyss of the Misty Mountains was home to many horrifying creatures. One such creature, called a “Cave Troll,” attacked Gandalf and his small fellowship. Frodo Baggins was stabbed by the cave troll with a spear. But he didn’t die because he was wearing the Mithril vest. Frodo’s quest to save the shire and Middle Earth from Sauron was still on, due to this magical element that was the pride of Khaza-dum.

This non-canonical origin story of Mithril was created for the purpose of the series and is not mentioned in the accounts of J.R.R. Tolkien. We don’t know in which direction the makers wanted to take the narrative, but one thing is certain: they wanted to create a conflict through the personification of good and evil. Mithril signified all the good that was left in the world. It metaphorically represents the light and encapsulates the essence of the Two Trees of Valinor within itself (according to the series). The Hilt, on the other hand, was an equally powerful object that was crafted to unleash evilness and wreak havoc on Middle Earth. How Mithril exactly saves the Elves from perishing and how the Hilt will aid the warriors of darkness in their endeavors is something that we will get to know in the upcoming episodes of “The Rings of Power.”

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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