It took five long weeks, but The Rings Of Power is finally fantastic 1 month ago

It took five long weeks, but The Rings Of Power is finally fantastic

We had almost given up on The Lord of the Rings show, and then this happened...

We're about to embark on a long metaphor, so go with us for a bit.

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Imagine you go on a blind date with someone, and when you see them, you immediately spot that they're absolutely gorgeous.

We can't put into words just how beautiful they are. It almost doesn't seem real.

Over the course of the date, you also happen to discover that they're super rich. Like, super-duper rich. The richest person ever, in fact.

The first date also goes spectacularly well. They take you on a whirlwind tour of their neighbourhood, introducing you to all of their seemingly cool friends, all of the best places to hang out... you're practically dizzy after those first few hours.

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Then you both decide to take things back to their place, and you both know exactly where this is going. You can't believe your luck. You're already thinking about your longterm future with this gorgeous, wealthy creation before you, as they slowly begin to seduce you...

Five full hours later, and they're still in the early stages of foreplay mode, and your mind is now aggressively wandering. Every time you think the good stuff is about to start, nope, they suddenly stop everything to answer the door, and you're introduced to another very important person in their life.

After a certain point, no matter how good-looking they are, you do start questioning if you'll ever actually get to the, ahem, thrust of the whole endeavour.

That was where we were at the end of episode five of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Titled 'Partings', it was now well beyond the halfway point of the first season, and aside from nods of something potentially happening some time in the future, there's still nothing of note actually occurring. Ugh.

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And then we got to Episode Six, titled 'Udûn', and all hell literally broke loose.

THIS was the episode we had been waiting for all season, and it was honestly worth that long, LONG foreplay session just to see things get wrecked this gloriously.

It kicked off with Adar (Joseph Mawle) and the Orc army closing in on the grounds of the watchtower, only to find out that the tower itself had been rigged to collapse by Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) to take most of them out.

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In any other episode of this show so far, that would've been the most action so far, but 'Udûn' was just getting started!

From there, there is another assault on the townspeople at a local village, bringing on a volley of arrows and burning carts as traps. But we discover that the first wave of the "Orc" army were actually former townspeople, turned to the side of the Orcs, and the Orcs themselves have been hiding out nearby.

Another sneaky attack, and Adar and the Orcs have the townspeople survivors trapped in a barn, with all hope seemingly lost. Then, in true old-school Lord of the Rings fashion, the good guy army arrives just in time, bringing the sunrise with them. Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) kill the remainder of the Orcs, take Adar captive, and pretty much save the day, all while doing some eye-popping, Legolas-wished-he-could tricks on horseback. Amazing stuff.

We'd have been happy enough with that, but then the episode twists the knife a little further.

In a very, VERY topical face-to-face, Galadriel tells Adar to his face that she plans to wipe every last Orc off the face of the planet, while he tells her that all he wants is for the Orcs to be allowed to have their own place in this world. It puts a very interesting spotlight on J.R.R. Tolkien's own work, which many considered to be filled exclusively with white Elves, white Hobbits, white Men, and white Dwarves.

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It has long been debated whether the Orcs were Tolkien's own negative representations of people of colour and race mixing, which only then highlights the further outcry that some fans have had against people of colour cast as certain characters within this show.

We'll leave that particular debate for another day, but Galadriel's intention to exterminate the entire race does reveal someone who has been just as twisted by her interactions with the evil in this story as anyone else.

And as if THAT wasn't enough, it turns out that evil sword is actually an evil key, which Waldreg (Geoff Morrell) inserts into a mechanism, opening a set of floodgates. Water rushes in from a nearby dam, and we think we're about to see Míriel's (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) dream come true – the tidal-wave destruction of Númenor.

Instead, the mass of water goes underground, crashes into a giant pool of magma, and sets off an immense volcanic eruption. Rockets of lava shoot into the sky, and a pyroclastic cloud envelops the entire village that everyone was celebrating their victory in just moments earlier.

We have just witnessed the birth of Mordor. Shit just got outstandingly real. Last week, we were debating whether or not to even continue watching this show. This week, we're counting the minutes to the arrival of the next episode.

The penultimate entry for the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power arrives on Prime Video on Friday, 7 October.