The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 3 recap – “Adar”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 9, 2022
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Picking up where Episode 2 left off, “Adar” introduces new locations, revelations, and a bit more action to get stuck into. Another must-watch. 

This recap of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 3, “Adar”, contains spoilers.

ACCESS: the archive of recaps, news and reviews for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

After a breathless first two entries and a whole bunch of internet controversy, episode 3 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is finally here. As with the first two, there is a lot of plot, and the action moves quickly, so strap in for a recap of episode 3: “Adar”.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 3 recap

Arondir is being dragged back through the tunnel by the orcs. We see cages full of humans begging for their lives. The Orcs throw him a wooden pickaxe and tell him to dig, the prisoners are being used for manual labor. Among those prisoners Aarondir discovers are his fellow Elvish soldiers, the Orcs have captured them all. 

Aboard the ship she was taken onto at the end of Episode 2, Galadriel wakes and is handed a bowl of food by her new companion Halbrand. Their new captain greets them on the deck of the ship, he reveals that he has instructions to deliver her to his master, where she will receive more information about who they are. The ship arrives at its destination, the Land of the Star, the Island Kingdom of Numenor. 

Galadriel fills Halbrand in on some history, this Kingdom was granted to the humans who stood alongside the elves during the fight against Morgoth. Over time, the humans that inhabit Numenor become more distant from the Elves, closing themselves off from them. 

Upon their arrival at the port, Galadriel and Halbrand are escorted through the city to a palace. Once in the palace, they are waved through to an audience with the Queen Regent (amid her many courtiers). Galadriel boldly requests the use of a ship for safe passage back to Middle Earth. This doesn’t go down especially well. Fortunately, Halbrand demonstrates a surprising gift for diplomacy and defuses the situation. They shall be granted three days’ stay in the Palace whilst the humans consider their request. 

In her deliberations, the queen asks her advisor for more information about the ship’s captain that discovered and brought Galadriel and Halbrand to their door. His name is Elendil and he is of noble birth, he has a son, who is due to follow his father’s naval career.

The scene shifts to the scene of a young man aboard a ship, he is capable and heroic, saving the life of his crewmate. His name is Isildur. Young Isildur is due to pass his sea trial in a few days, after which he will be out on the sea. He is greeted by his sister on the beach, she has news about their father. 

Their father, Elendil is in the palace with the Queen, his name is translated as Elf-friend. The Queen wants to understand his motivations, to know why he brought Galadriel, an Elf, to their shores when none have been on their land before. To prove his loyalty, he is tasked with a job. 

Forced to perform backbreaking manual labor in the heat of the day, Arondir takes stock of his surroundings. With his colleagues, they begin to plan an escape but are interrupted by the Orcs, who command them to chop down a large and very old tree. The ranking Elf stands up to the Orcs, defying them. He is rewarded for his bravery with a flagon of water. As the water is passed around the Elves the Orc strikes, slicing the throat of Arondir’s friend, killing him. Arondir volunteers to be the one to cut down the tree to save his remaining friend from the Orcs. 

Galadriel is busy scouting for ships she might be able to steal to make her escape. Elendil offers her some sage council, speaking to her in Elvish, bringing down defenses. Together they head for the Numenor Hall of Law on horseback (time for some majestic slow-mo of horses on the beach!). 

Halbrand is making friends among the locals. He wins them around with his quick wit and readiness to buy a round. As he leaves the party, we see that he has been pickpocketing his new friends, unfortunately for him, they noticed and follow him into a quiet alley. It turns out that Halbrand has some fighting chops and easily dispenses with the 4 locals that try to give him a beating. Perhaps there is more to him than meets the eye? 

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Law, Galadriel is leafing through the documents. She is excited to discover that within those halls, there is a painting featuring none other than our friend Elrond. We learn that the previous King of Numenor was loyal to the Elves and was deposed for it, he now permanently resides in the tower. A pile of documents reveals that the sigil, the mark of Sauron, is not simply an insignia but a map marking, indicating the center of Orcish operations in Middle Earth. Also among the pile of documents is a statement that reveals that Sauron is alive and is firmly Morgoth’s successor. Middle Earth is in grave danger. 

The nomadic Harfoots are on the move, chanting as they go. We check in with Nori’s parents, her Dad’s ankle has still not healed and they are worried that they will be left behind. Meanwhile, Nori is sneaking around, she wants a closer look at the book where the Harfoots document their history, thinking that might contain some clues about how they can help the giant. As she leafs through the pages, she finds something that might be useful, gingerly she lifts the page in question (with the help of Poppy) from under the nose of Sadoc. 

In an emotional scene, Sadoc addresses the Harfoots on the eve of their migration and leads them in prayer, in remembrance of all those that have fallen behind in previous migrations. 

Whilst the list of remembrance is read out, the mysterious giant sits fireside, looking at a map of constellations by the light of the fire. Inadvertently setting his piece of paper on fire, he staggers around before talking about a gazebo and alerting all the Harfoots to his presence. They rather predictably react in fear. He looks to Nori for reassurance, effectively grassing her up for helping the man. 

She is dragged in front of the rest of the Harfoots, as punishment, the Brandyfoot family will start the migration at the back of the caravan, with her father’s ankle as it is, likely consigning them to falling behind.

Elendil is with his son and daughter discussing the events of the day. Isildur informs his father of his plans to defer his Sea Trials for a season, much to his father’s annoyance. After a heated exchange, his daughter Earien is called away. She has news, she has been accepted into the Builder’s Guild. 

Galadriel pays a visit to Halbrand, who is residing in a cell. She confronts him with evidence that he is the rightful King of Men, and it is his destiny to unite the tribes of Men, despite the failings of his forebears. She proposes that together, they can drive the Orcs and Sauron from Middle Earth but first they need to escape from Numenor. 

The Harfoots are at last on the move and as predicted, Nori’s father is struggling to keep up. Just as it looks like they are doomed, the mysterious Giant appears from within their cart. He declares himself Nori’s friend and he helps them to keep up. 

The ending 

The prisoners are ready to stage a fight back against the Orcs. They spiritedly fight with Arondir at the front of the battle. He sees an axe lying on the ground and uses it to bring down the structure on their heads. Under pressure, the Orcs release an ugly, snarling beast to attack the prisoners. It makes short work of a couple of prisoners that attempt to take it on, before Arondir traps it inside the tree he was chopping down. The lead Elf escapes and as Arondir follows behind, he reaches the top of the pit just in time to see his friend take an arrow in the chest, killing him. Arondir is apprehended and taken to see the ranking Orc, Adar. 

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