Amazon Studios The Rings of Power is here. We want all Spoilerites to have the best viewing experience possible and have the widest knowledge base about the Second Age of Middle-Earth. This is a weekly Let’s Get Nerdy article series highlighting a different piece of Tolkien I think you need to know about!
In past articles I have answered the question:
- What Are the Rings of Power?
- What is Númenor?
- What is the Second Age?
- Who are the Harfoots?
- Who is Prince Durin IV?
- What is Khazad-dûm?
- Who is Celebrimbor?
- What is the Last Alliance of Men and Elves?
- Who is Elendil?
- New Pics! Who are Bronwyn and Theo?
- What is Rivendell?
- The Rings of Power First Reactions Are In!
- What is Lindon?
- What are the Nine Human Rings?
- Empire Magazine’s The Rings of Power Covers
- New Character Pictures
- Will Wizards Appear in The Rings of Power?
- New Promo for The Rings of Power
- What is Eregion?
- Leaked! Rings of Power Trailer Breakdown
- The Rings of Power Teaser Breakdown
- New EW Rings of Power Pictures
- SDCC Rings of Power Trailer Breakdown
- Who is Isildur?
- The Rings of Power is Here! Read the Reactions
- Who is the Stranger?
- Who is Queen Míriel?
- Who is Ar-Pharazôn?
- What is the broken black blade?
- What is Mordor?
- What is Mithril?
- What are the Silmarils?
There are certain characters, places, times, and objects which loom large over The Rings of Power series as a result of their importance in The Lord of the Rings films. The original text of course carries a tonne of weight (which I write about here often), but because the lion’s share of viewers came into The Rings of Power with a familiar visual language from the preceding duel trilogy of Peter Jackson films there are unique expectation associated with them as well. The moment the announcement was Númenor there were so many of us asking a single question:
“Will we see Narsil?”
TL;DR the answer is: Yes.
We did see Narsil.
“Wait!” you cry.
“What!?” you ask.
Yes, faithful Spoilerite, we saw Narsil in the fourth episode of The Rings of Power a.k.a The Great Wave. In many ways this is the greatest episode of the series in terms of Númenor as a country. The narrative thrust of the episode does a lot to set up Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), as a character with fears and hopes and dreams. At the center of her character the fear around the titular “Great Wave” which Tolkien purist and book readers will recognize as being an omen of things to come. In the background of a scene featuring Queen Regent Míriel and Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), eagle-eyed viewers can clearly see the iconic silhouette of Narsil before it was broken.
As with many aspects of The Rings of Power it is clear Amazon Studios purchased the design and look of Narsil from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and I happen to think that’s a good thing.
While it isn’t specifically known when Narsil was forged we do know by the time The Second Age of Middle-Earth rolls around that it had been around for moment. Most Tolkien scholars assume Narsil was forged during The First Age of Middle-Earth. It was wrought by a dwarf smith – as many of the greatest swords in the history of Arda have been – named Telchar. He also made swords for the armories of King Thingol in Menegroth.
From the time of its forging during (probably), The First Age to the time Narsil comes to be in possession of King Elendil (Lloyd Owen), there’s nothing we know for certain. Given that Elendil – and later Aragorn – are direct descendants of Elros (Elrond’s twin brother who elected to found the race of humans and leave behind his immortality), there’s a popular theory that Elros probably wielded Narsil and passed it down through his family line through the generations until it made its way to Elendil. I love this theory, particularly when you take into account the history of The Third Age of Middle-Earth. After Narsil was broken by Isildur the shards were protected and kept on display by Elrond in Rivendell until he eventually has it reforged as Andúril, the Flame of the West, and given to Aragorn in time for him to reclaim his birthright as Isildur’s heir and the Throne of Gondor in one fell swoop.
Given the high likelihood that Narsil was possessed by the House of the Lords of Andúnië (of which Elendil and the Faithful are members), it is entirely possible it found its way into Queen Regent Míriel’s throne room. Given what comes to pass for her in the season’s final episodes I don’t suspect we’ll be seeing the Queen Regent taking up the legendary sword, but given the careful placement and establishment of the weapon and heirloom in the first season it’s my hope to see it taken up in coming seasons of The Rings of Power.
If I may put my tinfoil hat of predictions on in the style of our leader, Stephen Schleicher, I suspect we’ll watch the transition of power (formally or informally), shift from Queen Regent Míriel to Elendil in the coming season with Narsil representing the shift in perspectives (and geography), for the Númenorean people.