The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 5 recap – “Partings”

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 23, 2022
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Episode 5 marks a vital checkpoint in the series as the pieces come together intrinsically. If you were not invested in this story before, you certainly are now.

This recap of the Prime Video series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 5, “Partings,” contains spoilers.

READ: the review of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Welcome back to another recap of The Rings of Power. I know what you are thinking, who is Sauron? There are so many theories online, some obvious, some less so. I suppose that’s the point. The identity of Sauron is not meant to be so easy to solve. Regardless, we are racking our brains every week. Is it The Stranger? Is it Halbrand? Or someone less obvious like Kemen?

I don’t usually provide coverage for this series. I am stepping in this week for episode 5. The Lord of the Rings is my favorite story of all time, both the books and the movies (though I am less excited about The Hobbit films). Many Tolkien fans, like me, have questioned the lore and encouraged many to fall out with this series from inception. As an avid LOTR fan, I’m not concerned about how the lore plays out in this series as long as the story brings sense and it feels like the world that The Lord of the Rings resides in.

We need more stories from this world. I could spend countless hours looking for contradictions and poking holes in a more condensed timeline between the ages, but honestly, having a series based in this world, with plenty of money, cast and writing pumped into it, makes a lot of sense. Anyway, let’s recap episode 5!

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 5 recap

First of all, let’s talk about Nori, who is a remarkably brilliant character to observe. At the start of episode 5, Nori speaks to The Stranger, teaching him words, sentences, and life. The migration of the hobbits continues. But while they venture on, a group of three mysterious characters (led by Bridie Sisson’s mysterious character from Rhun) visits the hole that The Stranger created when he fell from the sky. Their purpose? Still unknown. We’ll have to wait for an answer to this one.

Back to the migration, Nori is alarmed when she sees large footprints resembling wolves. The migrating group is chased down by the creatures in the woods, seemingly surrounded. However, The Stranger comes in handy, using his powers to fend the animals off. But, using his powers, he sees dark bruising forming on his arms. He tries to rest his arms in the water, but he turns the water into ice that runs over his arms.

When Nori tries to stop him, she starts to freeze over too, causing panic. She tries to stop The Stranger, but he strongly pushes her to the side, forcing Nori to topple over. There seems to be a darkness that The Stranger enjoys, and Nori now fears him. While The Stranger endured this experience, he had flashes of memories of when he landed in the world from the sky.

What this moment means is not clear. It feels easy to point to The Stranger and claim he is Sauron, but there’s still not enough evidence to make a final judgment. There’s certainly a twist coming.

And then episode 5 moves to the other side of the story. Adar is made aware that the tunnel he is building with the orcs is complete. Meanwhile, Bronwyn prepares the Southlanders for an attack and shouts a rallying war cry. However, Waldreg, seduced by darkness, resists the war cry and gathers his group of Men. The Southlanders are split.

The episode returns to Númenor; Isildur speaks to his father, Elendil; he’s curious as to why he’s not on the expedition to Middle-earth. He asks to be on the front line, but his father rejects him. As episode 5 shows, Isildur has much convincing to do with his family and acquaintances.

And with that, the expedition is in jeopardy. While Galadriel has been convincing, she still has a lot of work to do to get the ships sailing. When Queen Miriel tells Lord Halbrand that he will join the expedition with the Men, he is displeased, feeling that Galadriel made that decision for him. The two continue to clash with each other.

And there’s another resistor to the expedition; Kemen tries to persuade Pharazon to stop the war — he is not happy that his father is taking orders from an elf. Pharazon is disgusted at that claim, reminding him how much Men will benefit from this expedition; riches, resources, and infrastructure. Once again, the weakness of Men is on show — they only want to benefit from any war or mission.

As we could have all predicted, episode 5 shows Elrond in a sticky predicament. While we saw it coming, Elrond did not realize that the High King Gil-galad was using him to seek information from the Dwarves. The High King questions Elrond’s loyalty to the Dwarves. Elrond, sensing his mission was deeper than forging friendships, questions why he was sent to meet Prince Durin. And that’s when the truth arises; he learns from the High King that he was sent to the Dwarves to find the Ore of the Light of the Last Silmarils — the Mithril that Elrond caught Prince Durin mining in the last episode.

The High King realizes that the dwarves have found it and tells Elrond that the Light of Eldar is fading, and their people (the Elves) are in decline, with their immortality wasting away. The Ore, found by Prince Durin, is their last hope to help their race. Elrond has to choose his people, or the Dwarves, which means breaking his oath to his friend, Prince Durin. The High King warns Elrond that it will all be over if they do not stop the evil in Middle-earth.

The story of the Elves in The Rings of Power is beautifully complicated; the High King knew the evil had returned but sent Galadriel away regardless, sensing that she’d bring the evil back to their lands sooner inadvertently. The High King plots a higher plan.

Back in Númenor and Galadriel trains a few men to fight. Valandil is the one man able to get near her as she shows impressive swordsmanship. Due to getting close to her with his sword, Valandil is promoted to Lieutenant from the expedition. Later on, Isildur speaks to Valandil about getting him on the expedition, but he’s again rejected by his friend, who refuses to forgive him.

Kemen makes a second attempt to stop the expedition. He heads on one of the ships and laces it with explosive material to sabotage the mission. However, Isildur hides on the ship to join the expedition and catches Kemen trying to bring down the ship. Both men fight, which leads to setting the ship on fire, and it explodes.

Luckily, both men escape, and they are saved from the sea. For whatever reason, Ilsiduer lies to his father, claims Kemen saved him and that an accident occurred on the ship.

The explosion on the ship encourages Pharazon to doubt the expedition, believing it is an omen, but Galadriel is adamant that they must continue their mission. Queen Miriel has one condition, she wants Halbrand on the expedition, and he will be the decider in the final decision, leaving Galadriel’s intentions in a precarious position.

And so, Galadriel uses a more emotional angle with Halbrand, admitting that she was wrong to use him, and asks the man to help her convince Queen Miriel to continue the expedition. Halbrand goes off on a tangent and tells Galadriel that he did something to survive in the past that is unknown to his people, and when this secret is discovered, he will be cast out. As he brings this non-contextual statement, the scenes flit to Waldreg and his men, surrounded by orcs and Adar. How and why Halbrand’s story is linked to this scene is unknown, but it will strike many theories.

And so, Halbrand asks Galadriel why she keeps fighting, which is met with an emotional response. The elf tells him she cannot stop because her company mutined her when she was on her mission to find Sauron, and her best friend conspired against her. She feels she was not distinguished from the evil she was fighting. This monologue was a terrifying admission that light and dark are blurring lines. Galadriel still sees the darkness seeping in slowly from the light.

Halbrand apologizes, but why? His apology did not feel like a sympathetic one.

The next scene shows Waldreg and his men surrounded by Adar and the orcs. Waldreg pledges his allegiance and asks Adar if he is Sauron. Adar aggressively throws Waldreg to the floor and tells him that “only blood can bind,” implying that he must kill one of his own to prove allegiance.

Meanwhile, the other Southlanders are preparing for war at the tower. Theo shows Arondir the sword helm he has found. Arondir moves away some overgrowth and leaves in the tower to reveal a stone formation that looks like the sword and a man falling at the bottom of it (the helm). This was a purely symbolic moment. Arondir tells Bronwyn that the sword helm is part of a key used by evil to bring down Men. Despite the omen, he tells Bronwyn that they can defeat the enemy and that there will be a way.

However, Bronwyn is doubtful, and she feels that her Men are destined for darkness. Meanwhile, in the distance, the orcs move closer to them in their masses, chanting along the way, stomping with intent. War is coming.

The ending

As we draw nearer to the end of episode 5, we learn the consequence of Elrond’s burden with Prince Durin and Halbrand’s decision.

Elrond speaks to Prince Durin about his burden; that inadvertently, he has not been truthful to him. He reveals to his friend that he visited him on behalf of Elves for Mithril. He explains that without it, the Elven race will perish, and their immortal souls will dwindle to nothing. Prince Durin looks smug that the fate of the entire Elven race is in his hands, bringing humor to the episode’s final moments. Prince Durin does not seem bothered by the breaking of the oath, obviously realizing that his friend has been used, and agrees to speak to his father, the Dwarf King, about mining Mithril for the Elves.

Episode 5 sees Halbrand decide to join the procession with Queen Miriel and the army of Men — the decision has been made; the expedition will go ahead. Earien is dismayed that they are going to Middle-earth. Isildur also joins the ranks. The ships are prepared, and Galadriel gets on one of them, fully armored and ready, and she shakes hands with Halbrand before setting off to Middle-earth.

Episode 5 marks a vital checkpoint in the series as the pieces come together intrinsically. If you were not invested in this story before, you certainly are now.

Additional points

  • King Tar-Plantir warns Queen Miriel not to go to Middle-Earth due to the darkness engulfing it.

What did you think of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 5? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Prime Video.

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1 thought on “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, episode 5 recap – “Partings”

  • September 25, 2022 at 2:30 am

    Are you on crack mate? Did you actually watch this episode? 4.5 out fo 5 Stars? Someone just lost all their credibility and exposed themselves me thinks. This was a trash episode, the writing, the characters, their performances continue to get worse – The fight scene is hilarious in how pathetic it is, looked way better when i saw it the first time in the Matrix. Galadriel continues to be even more obnoxious and arrogent then the last episode…. and did anyone catch the council meeting scene? This cost a billion dollars to make this series and Amazon copy/paste the same 2 people in the crowd over 5+ times – Your telling me a billion dollars and they can’t get a cast of 100 extra’s in for this scene. Amazon needs to investigate where the money all went – oh i know! It went to media schills to compromise their credibility and rate this show higher than 1 star.

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