The popularity of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is undoubtedly increasing. The show may have gotten off to a sluggish start, but as the plot develops and more intricate links between the program and J. R. R. Tolkien’s mythology are revealed, it seems to be concentrating on making a mark with each new episode. While the previous three episodes served as an introduction to the world of LOTR, the fourth episode marks the start of the story’s main aspects taking shape as important secrets and reasons are made clear.
Major revelations are made in the fourth episode of the show, titled The Great Wave, as Elrond (Robert Aramayo) learns a dwarven secret and Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) keeps trying to persuade Queen Regent Mriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to uphold her ancestors’ legacy and support the Southlands in their struggle. Additionally, Muriel teases a vision in which she predicts impending disaster for Numenor. In the meantime, as anti-elf sentiment starts to flare up, there is also rising restlessness among the males of Numenor.
Things are getting rough at the watchtower when Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) discovers that there isn’t enough food left to feed everyone. Bronwyn is against the concept of anybody taking a chance on their lives, but Theo (Tyrone Muhafidin) advises going to the hamlet to get as much stock as they can of what is left to assist manage supplies for everyone. Theo disobeys Bronwyn but carries out his plan, and as a result, orcs pursue him through the hamlet as they hunt him down.
Elrond (Robert Aramayo) believes Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) is withholding information from him in Khazadun, the city of Elven smiths at Eregion. The secret box kept by the dwarves is ultimately exposed in the episode, and Mithril is found within. For those who have read The Lord of the Rings books, Mithril is the same material from which Thorin constructed a vest for Bilbo and gave it to him. Later, Bilbo also gave the identical Mithril coat to Frodo.
The most important parts of the fourth episode—which, at first glance, looks a little cramped—involve Muriel’s vision of the Great Wave and her discussion with Galadriel (Clark) about forgoing her father’s path. The biggest shock, however, occurs near the conclusion when Galadriel boards the ship and Elendil bids her farewell after failing to persuade Queen Regent. Though the white tree’s leaves, which stand in for the Valar’s tears, start to fall as the ship starts to sail away, making Muriel second-guess her choice. The Queen Regent addresses her court at the end and adamantly declares that she will personally accompany Galadriel back to Middle Earth.
The fourth episode once again delivers a visual impact, especially in the segment showing the visions of N’menor’s future. Theo is being pursued by the orcs when he is saved by Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), and this chase scene is equally intense and well-shot. Another captivating moment is between the Morgoth-corrupted elf Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) and Adar (Joseph Mawle). As he sends Arondir a message to deliver to the watchtower, Adar talks about the prerequisites for the establishment of a new planet.
Overall, the fourth episode of the show is powerful and moves along steadily. While the show’s eye-catching aesthetics have taken center stage thus far, it appears that as the season’s halfway point approaches, the attention will shift to story elements.