The Númenor storyline, nevertheless, desperately wants some extra work on the human politics facet of issues. There’s a variety of potential for some actually attention-grabbing developments in these characters and their relationships per Tolkien’s outlines, however none of that potential has up to now been realized within the collection. The King Tar-Palantir is barely coherent and Queen Regent Míriel is mired in storylines about mysterious prophecies and forebodings and dilly-dallying over whether or not she ought to go to Center-earth or not, when she ought to be on the coronary heart of politicking and energy performs in Númenor.
We lastly get a tiny bit extra perception into Chancellor Pharazôn on this episode, however not a lot. To this point his plan doesn’t appear particularly evil regardless of the sinister music within the background – he’s in favor of serving to the Southlands and restoring Halbrand to allow them to arrange commerce routes and so forth, which is completely wise and suggests a fairly respectable potential ruler. Provided that the present is clearly setting him up as an Evil Chancellor, it may do with providing one thing greater than anti-Elf racism as an perception into his character and motives to indicate us why him ruling, or advising the ruler, is a nasty thought.
The Southlands are much more desperately in want of some consideration to their management points and human relationships. Bronwyn appears to have develop into their de facto chief just because it was her suggestion that they transfer out, though she is a healer and there’s no apparent cause for her to guide them. Arondir’s place of management makes extra sense, since he has navy expertise, however half the inhabitants comply with the outdated barman to go and serve the Orcs as an alternative, whereas the remaining appear to simply grasp round ready for Arondir and Bronwyn to resolve what to do. We all know their king has deserted them, however isn’t there anybody else on this group with opinions about who ought to lead them or what they need to do?
This episode additionally goes a way in the direction of addressing one of many different weaknesses of the primary 4 episodes, which is the collection’ overreliance on some stage of familiarity with Tolkien’s work – or, on the very least, with the Peter Jackson movies – to ensure that something that is happening to imply something. Questions like “Who’s the Stranger?” or “Is Halbrand a future Ringwraith, and even Sauron himself?” are utterly meaningless to new viewers, who merely see a mysterious outdated man who does little or no, and a considerably duplicitous king in exile.
We nonetheless don’t know who the Stranger is, however on this episode, his thriller turns into a extra pressing and extra simply comprehensible query. Reasonably than “is he Gandalf, or Sauron, or one of many Istari, or Saruman?” questions which imply nothing in any way for those who’re new to Tolkien’s world, the query on this episode focuses in on the straightforward problem of “is he good or unhealthy?” Clearly, practically everybody on this world or every other is a few type of combination of these issues, however how a lot of 1 and the way a lot of the opposite is the important thing right here.
On that topic, for individuals who do know a few of Tolkien’s characters, we nonetheless don’t suppose the Stranger is in any respect more likely to be Sauron, who has little or no of excellent in him, and we nonetheless suppose Gandalf is the more than likely candidate. This episode does trace that maybe he might be Saruman; Gandalf was all the time extra strongly related to fireplace than with ice, whereas it was Saruman who turned the snowy climate in opposition to the Fellowship of the Ring on the mountain of Caradhras. And Saruman was one of many good guys earlier than he turned corrupted. However judging from the best way the present has tried to emulate the sensation of the films up to now, the familiarity of a wizard adventuring with little Hobbits does extra strongly recommend Gandalf.