The Rings of Power: Our In-depth Analysis Of Episode Four “The Great Wave”
Mae Govannen, Mellyn
Here we are at the analysis of the fourth episode of “The Rings of Power”, entitled “The Great Wave”. As for the previous one, we have Wayne Yip in charge of directing, while to take care of the writing was Stephany Folsom, known for her work in Toy Story 4 and Thor: Ragnarok. Without wasting any more time, lets dive in the analysis, trying to make an account of what we have seen in this very particular episode.
Enjoy the reading!
The episode opens with Miriel’s powerful vision of the fall of Numenor, a fact that feeds the queen regent’s concerns about the decay of her people. Galadriel is increasingly determined to persuade Miriel to help the people of the Southlands, but her proposal is refused due to the delicate political situation of the realm, and the resulting discussion leads Galadriel to be locked up in the jails of Armenelos. The intent of the island’s leaders is to grant a passage to the elf in Middle-earth, as her presence throws the population into discontent, and in this regard, one of the most beautiful scenes of the episode concerns precisely this situation, in which we see Pharazon displaying his political talents reassuring the people of Numenor about the presence of Galadriel. As evening falls, the Finarfin’s daughter is released in order to allow the queen regent to announce her departure from the island, but the Nolde gets rid of the guards and heads for the Tower, intent on submitting her proposal to Tar-Palantir.
Here comes one of the most important moments of the entire episode. Galadriel and Miriel manage to understand each other, as the queen regent was raised by her father as a faithful, and therefore to be a friend of the elves. Despite the harmony that the two characters creates, Miriel does not want to jeopardize the balance of the kingdom, and decides to refuse Galadriel’s request once again. Also present in the scene is one of the splendid Palantirs that the elves of Tol Eressea gave to the people of Numenor. To the touch, the seerstone shows Galadriel the same vision as Miriel at the beginning of the episode, and they both understand that the fall of the mighty kingdom may already be underway.
In the episode we also see another very significant scene involving Isildur, who continues to be tormented about his future. During an offshore exercise we once again hear an ethereal voice calling him back (perhaps his mother? Or perhaps Uinen?), And his distraction leads him to be expulsed from the sea watch, along with his friends Ontamo and Valandil. Meanwhile, Eärien makes the acquaintance of Kemen, the young son of Pharazon, and between the two seems to be born a sintony that could become more important than you can imagine. The scene that concludes the events of Numenor in this epiosode gives chills. Galadriel is escorted to the ship that will accompany her to Middle-earth, but suddenly Nimloth begins to lose his white petals, and at that point Miriel realizes that the judgment of the Valar is upon Numenor. In the final scene we see the queen regent make a speech about the past glory of the kingdom, and she decides to personally accompany the Nolde in the Southlands along with the army, in order to free the peoples of the south from the threat of Sauron.
“And i am no god … at least, not yet”
Arondir is brought before Adar, who turns out to be a corrupted elf with a very ancient and ruined appearance. The two talk about their origins and Beleriand, also citing the Sirion (The river) and the lands that surroundings it. Arondir asks Adar what he is, but the mysterious character replies that he (Arondir) grew up believing many lies, and that it would be impossible to erase them, except by creating a new world, and therefore something that only the gods can do. Adar decides to free the Silvan Elf, asking him to bring a message to the peoples of the south, ordering them to join him or embrace the death. Meanwhile Bronwyn and his people arrive at Ostirith’s tower, hoping to find refuge from orc attacks. However, food is scarce and in order to feed the people it is necessary to go back to get the provisions in Waldreg’s pantry. Theo and Rowan take charge of the task and return to the village while the sun is still high. Theo insists on finding more food, but as the sun goes down, Rowan decides to abandon him and returns to Ostirith, leaving him alone in the company of the orcs.
The boy manages to hide from the orcs in a well, and at one point he becomes the protagonist of an escape from the village in Assassins Creed’s style, but Vrath finds out and prepares to kill him. At the right moment Arondir arrives and takes the stage, killing the orc and helping Theo escape from that situation. The next scene shows us the escape of the two in the forest, in a spectacular sequence that shows us the skills of the silvan elf with the bow. Bronwyn comes to the rescue to help her son (who was injured), and the three miraculously manage to escape from the forest. Arondir runs out of arrows and Theo is unable to stand, but when the orcs come out they find the sunlight radiant, and decide not to continue the chase. The three then arrive in Ostirith safe, but the threat of Adar looms over them and the people of the south, and they must therefore prepare to fight.
KHAZAD DUM AND EREGION
We arrive to the last storyline present in the episode, as well as one of the most interesting. In the Eregion elves and dwarves are working together to build the mighty forge wanted by Celebrimbor, but Durin IV is hiding something, and Elrond is on the move to find out what it is. After some investigations, including a nice dialogue with Disa, the half elf realizes that something is wrong, and thanks to the powerful hearing of the elven race he is able to overhear a conversation between Durin and Disa. Elrond discovers that the dwarves are digging in a secret tunnel, and decides to go there personally to find out what is going on. Upon his arrival, the herald of Lindon and the prince of Khazad Dum have a confrontation that culminates in an oath: Durin will tell Elrond the secret of Khazad Dum, but the elf will not have to tell anyone. Eärendil’s son takes the oath and discovers that the longbeards have found an extraordinary mineral, which will take the name “Mithril” from now on. It is a silver steel as powerful and strong as light and elegant, and according to Durin, this discovery could represent the beginning of a new era for the dwarves.
Rich crone, kiss the stone, polish your gems and gold pic.twitter.com/SzGgUWHLhR
— Fellowship of Fans (@FellowshipFans) September 19, 2022
Later comes a collapse in the gallery involving some dwarves, and the two rush inside to avoid the deaths of the dwarves diggers. Following this event we witness a powerful dwarven ceremony in which Disa performs a song aimed at freeing the spirits of the dwarves buried before death. The dwarves survive, and obiously Durin and Disa are visibly relieved of the thing. The prince of Khazad Dum, however, is angry with his father, who in the meantime has decided to close the gallery to avoid further deaths, and it is at that point that one of the most beautiful scenes of the series arrives. Elrond talks about how much he wishes he could have a conversation with his father, and how he would like to feel proud to carry on his legacy. The half elf advises his friend to enjoy his father’s company, and not to waste it. Finally we have a nice dialogue between King Durin III and Durin IV, in which there is talk of an invitation in Lindon by Elrond to the prince, who asks his father for advice on accepting the proposal or not.
The episode gives a noticeable acceleration to the various storylines, excluding the harfoot, which are not seen in the episode. Yip’s direction is extremely modern and full of not indifferent artistic flashes, such as the change of scene with Palantir and the interesting zoom out on Elrond’s hearing. Scene changes are visually pleasing, and Stephany Folsom’s dynamic writing helps a lot to enjoy each scene. The episode is also very rich in references to books, and in fact we hear mentions several times a character of great importance such as Eärendil, in addition to the mentions of Elros Tar-Minyatur, Armenelos, Beleriand and the Valar. The goodies are also present in the sets and props, in which we see Dramborleg, the axe of Tuor and his shield too. We also see Narsil, the famous sword of Elendil that will cut Sauron finger, forged by Telchar in the First Age. From a narrative point of view, this transition episode elegantly takes us to the next, very eventful and denses episodes. Some situations seem more accelerated than others, but managing the timelines in such a complex works inevitably leads to differentiating the course of events for each scenario.