In the first episode of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” we saw Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) return from her expedition to find Sauron, as it was her brother’s last wish. She was forced by the High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) to sail to Valinor and essentially take an early retirement because of her service to the Elves. However, she jumped from the ship at the last moment, thereby rejecting what was being forced upon her. We met Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and his romantic interest, Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), as they found out that the neighboring village of Hordern was decimated. Since Hordern was located near Mordor, it indicated that Sauron has started building his army and spreading his rot around him. Amidst all this, a meteor flew across Middle Earth and landed in Rhovanion. When the Harfoot, Nori (Markella Kavenagh), approached it, she saw that a man was lying on the molten piece of rock.
Elrond And Celebrimbor Travel To Khazad-dûm (Or Moria)
The first thing that we see in the second episode of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is Galadriel floating in the sea and looking up at the stars. Then we shift our focus to Nori, who starts to approach the Stranger (Daniel Weyman). Poppy (Megan Richards) tries to stop her, but she doesn’t listen to her and pokes the man’s face. The Stranger doesn’t respond initially. But once he gets up, he grabs Nori’s hand and starts bellowing. Not like an ordinary bellow, though. Everything around the crash site starts to float and rotate as he howls. It’s only after he calms down that things go back to normal. And by “normal,” I mean the crash site starts acting like a crash site again and not a pit for some kind of black magic. However, that doesn’t discourage Nori from helping him out, as she steals a cart and begins transporting him to a secure hiding place.
Bronwyn and Arondir examine whatever is left of Hordern. They notice that there aren’t any corpses. After entering a skeleton of a house, they see a passage that has been dug by something that’s not human. Arondir tells Bronwyn to tell her village to evacuate while he goes into the underground tunnels to search for answers. The narrative moves to Eregion (Realm of the Elven Smiths), where Elrond (Robert Aramayo) is bonding with Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) over Fëanor’s hammer, which was used to “wrought” the Silmarils (the jewels that contain the light of Valinor). After making some small talk about Morgoth and the Silmarils, Celebrimbor breaks out his blueprint for a tower that he wants to make, one that can hold an incredible forge and help him create things that can transform Middle-earth. Since that needs a large workforce, Elrond and Celebrimbor travel to Khazad-dûm (Realm of the Dwarves), expecting to be welcomed with open arms due to Elrond and Durin IV’s (Owain Arthur) friendship. But all they receive is antagonism.
Seeing that Durin IV is in no mood to open the doors of Moria to him, Elrond invokes the Rite of Sigin-tarâg. He turns to Celebrimbor and tells him to go back to Eregion, which is where he’ll meet up with Durin IV’s workforce. When he goes inside (and sees how much Moria has changed) and comes face to face with Durin IV, he’s met with some more hostility. Durin IV, in a mocking tone, tells his audience how Elrond wants to conduct the Sigin-tarâg (which is a kind of endurance test for Dwarves that was fashioned by Aulë, i.e., the creator of everything that Arda is made of). So, what does this test exactly entail? Well, apparently, they have to hammer away at large blocks of stone. The first one to give up will be the loser. The conditions are that if Elrond loses, he’ll be banished from all Dwarven lands forever. If he wins, he’ll be granted a single boon.
See More: Why Did Celebrimbor Want To Make A Forge Tower? Did The Dwarfs Find Mithril In Khazad-dum?
Durin IV And Elrond Bury The Proverbial Hatchet
As Elrond and Durin IV start hammering away, the show cuts to Nori trying to communicate with the Stranger, who freaks out again. This time, as he screams, he starts yet another storm, which bends all the trees around him. Nori calms him down, tries to get his name, and gives him some food. And although he eats the food, he fails to convey his scribblings on the forest floor and the bark of the trees. But before Nori can delve into that, she’s called away by Poppy as her father, Largo (Dylan Smith), has suffered an accident; thereby rendering him incapable of migrating like the Harfoots usually do. We finally go back to Galadriel swimming in the Sundering Seas and getting rescued by a group of people who are floating around on broken pieces of a ship that have been haphazardly tied together. They are hesitant about bringing her aboard because they have limited space and rations. All that argument goes sideways when a giant monster arrives and wrecks that raft, killing almost everyone.
After some more aimless swimming, Galadriel is rescued by one of the guys on the rafts who has somehow managed to hold on to a piece of a ship that somehow still floats. They exchange names, and the man introduces himself as Halbrand (Charlie Vickers). FYI, there is a theory on the interwebs that this dude is actually Sauron in disguise (yes, Sauron apparently has the ability to shape-shift). Which doesn’t make too much sense. But since Galadriel is randomly paired up with him like this, there’s a good chance that it’s his way of taunting her that her brother’s killer is that close to her, and she still can’t figure it out. The show goes back to the hammering contest. Elrond performs excellently. However, he realizes that by doing so, he’s probably showing Durin IV up. So, he forfeits. Like he said, Durin IV tells him to get the hell out of there. Elrond requests him to at least walk with him to the doors of Moira.
So, that’s when we get to know the reason behind Durin IV’s hostility towards Elrond: The Elf hasn’t met him in the last 20 years. He has missed his wedding, and he has missed the birth of his two children. And now he has shown up because of a “job.” That’s pretty legitimate ground for being angry at one’s friend. Nevertheless, as Elrond seems apologetic, Durin IV invites him to his house to meet his wife, Disa (Sophia Nomvete), who then invites him to dinner. They become close again while chatting about Durin IV and Disa’s first meeting and how Durin IV takes care of the tree from Lindon like it’s his third child. As Elrond prepares to leave, Durin IV orders him to sit down and tell him about his king’s proposal. Back on the raft, Galadriel notices that Halbrand is wearing a pouch around his neck with a weird symbol on it, which he hides when he senses that she’s looking at it.
‘The Rings of Power’ Episode 2: Ending Explained: How Does Galadriel Survive The Dangers Of The Sundering Seas?
After some bickering about their true identities, Halbrand reveals that he was chased out of his homeland by Orcs, which indicates Sauron’s presence. So, Galadriel asks him where he’s from. He doesn’t answer and says that it’s ashes now (maybe it’s Hordern). They break into an argument again about their motivations. And before they can decide where they want to head (Galadriel wants to go to the Southlands because that’s where the Orcs are, and Halbrand has other plans that he doesn’t want to share), they wade into a vicious storm and barely survive it. Bronwyn returns to her village to warn the people about the tunnels that are heading toward them. But nobody listens to her. Soon after, Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) and Arondir encounter Orcs, separately. Bronwyn comes to Theo’s rescue and uses the freshly severed head of the Orc to convince everyone to evacuate. Nori and Poppy meet the Stranger, who uses the fireflies in their lanterns to show a constellation of stars, and she assumes that she has to help the Stranger find the places under those stars.
In the final moments of the episode, we see King Durin III (Peter Mullan) warning Durin IV about his alliance with Elrond and then opening up an unseen weapon. While evacuating, Theo takes one last look at the broken sword, which creepily sucks up the blood from his open wound and apparently starts reforging itself, while Sauron’s sigil glows brightly. Thankfully, that’s stopped as Bronwyn calls Theo to join the evacuation party. And then, we see Galadriel and Halbrand getting rescued by an unknown figure on a big boat. Now, going by the trailers, that figure is Elendil (Lloyd Owen), a Númenórean sailor and, drum rolls please, Isildur’s father. Who’s Isildur? That’s the dude who is going to lead the last alliance between Elves and Men, become the King of Arnor and Gondor, and cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand.
See More: ‘The Rings Of Power’ Episode 3: Recap And Ending Explained – Is Queen Regent Miriel Hiding Something?