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The Rings of Power Just Set Up Its Own Helm’s Deep Moment


The best sequence of the episode sees the Silvan Elf fending off a horde of orcs with his bow as Theo and Bronwyn run through the woods to reach a sunlit clearing where their pursuers can’t follow. By the end of the episode, Arondir, Bronwyn, and Theo have escaped but their trouble is far from over when they reach the watchtower. Arondir has brought back a message from Adar, the mysterious leader of the orc army terrorizing the Southlands.

According to Arondir, Adar let him go so that he could deliver an ultimatum: the men of the Southlands can either swear fealty to him and abandon all claim to their land or die. “And if we refuse?” asks Bronwyn. “He’s coming for Ostirith,” Arondir says gravely.

But whether they accept or refuse Adar’s offer, an attack is all but a certainty after the villain learns that the sword he seeks is being kept behind the walls of the watchtower. The stage seems set, then, for man’s last stand in the Southlands, a scenario that might feel more than a bit familiar to those fans who love the Battle of Helm’s Deep section of The Lord of the Rings.

If you’ve read or watched The Two Towers, you likely remember that this installment ends with a climactic battle at a massive, seemingly impregnable stone fortress, Rohan’s final defense against Saruman’s army of Uruk-hai. It’s here that Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, King Theoden, and the people of Rohan make their final stand against the White Wizard, with the help of a battalion of elf soldiers from Lothlorien in the film version. But even all of these heroes aren’t enough to repel 10,000 Uruks carrying a bomb. And when the walls of the Hornburg are finally breached — for the first time ever, according to the history books of Middle-earth — it seems that all hope is lost for the kingdom of Rohan. That’s when Gandalf shows up with the cavalry, saving the day.

The Rings of Power seems to be setting up something equally dramatic for its (we assume) Battle of Ostirith — whose name combines the Elvish word “Ost” which means fortress, with “tirith” or guard. (It also calls back to Gondor cities Osgiliath and Minas Tirith.) While Adar’s orc forces far outnumber the people hiding in Ostirith, we also learn in “The Great Wave” that Numenor has decided to join Galadriel in her fight against the Sauron, and that they’ll be sailing to Middle-earth to aid the Southlands very soon. And with the Harfoots leading Almost Definitely Gandalf around Rhovanion, which borders the Southlands, there’s even the possibility The Rings of Power will give the wizard his first chance to rescue the people of Middle-earth from the forces of evil.

A last-ditch effort by brave men to defend their land from Sauron, and when all seems lost, the bright light of Numenor to pierce through the darkness. Sounds like a great way to pay tribute to one of the best sequences in all of Lord of the Rings.

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