The early episodes of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” set up some pretty big mysteries for the series, like the identity of the Stranger who fell out of a meteor. Another major puzzle fans were left to wonder about: exactly what’s going on with that sword Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) found. In episode six, the sword’s secrets are ultimately revealed — with devastating consequences. Let’s break it down.
Sauron’s Sword in “The Rings of Power”
At the start of the series, Theo and his mother, Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), live in what appears to be a quiet village in the Southlands. But it wasn’t always that way, since the people there and in the neighboring towns were wrapped up in Morgoth’s War of Wrath, and many of them fought on Morgoth’s side. Perhaps the biggest remnants of the war are the legion of Elf fighters who are still stationed near the town, including Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova). Arondir and Bronwyn are in love, despite the mistrust between Elves and men.
In the first episode, Arondir and Bronwyn travel to a nearby town to investigate a cow whose milk is pitch black and oily. While they’re gone, Theo and a friend go to a barn, and under the floorboard, Theo reveals a prize he’s kept hidden in a box: a mysterious broken sword. He doesn’t explain how he ended up with the weapon. It’s pretty clear, however, that the sword is bad news. It has Sauron’s symbol on it, which is also visible on Galadriel’s brother’s corpse and in a secret cave she leads her men to. Sauron was Morgoth’s lieutenant and is also the major villain in “The Rings of Power” (and, of course, the original Lord of the Rings series).
Things go awry for Theo and Bronwyn in the second episode when they’re attacked by an orc. Bronwyn eventually decapitates the orc, but when Theo checks his broken sword, it keeps glowing — and growing.
In episode four, viewers see that Theo, Bronwyn, and most of the people in their neighboring villages are hiding from orcs in a stronghold. Theo and his friend sneak out to town to try to get more food, but Theo is chased by orcs, who are definitely after his sword. Arondir ultimately saves Theo and gets him back to the stronghold.
Once he’s safe, an old man, Waldreg, confronts Theo about the sword. He tells him, “It is no sword,” and explains that it’s “power fashioned for our ancestors by his master’s own hand.” He talks about “the beautiful servant, he who was lost but shall return,” and points to the mysterious meteor as a sign that he’s on his way. The servant is Sauron, and, according to the old man, the sword was made by Morgoth himself.
In the sixth episode, the orcs attack the humans (and Arondir). The orcs gain the upper hand, and their leader, Adar (Joseph Mawle), threatens Arondir, Theo, and Bronwyn until they turn over the sword. Theo gives it to them, but the story doesn’t end there, since finally Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and the Númenóreans arrive to help fight. They win, and Adar almost gets away with the sword, but he’s stopped by Galadriel and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers). Arondir gives Theo the sword (wrapped in a cloth), and Theo reveals that it still calls to him. Arondir tells him to give it to the Númenóreans so they can throw it in the sea where it can never be found again.
But it turns out the item in the cloth is a decoy, and Waldreg has the sword. The sword hilt is actually a key, and he uses it to open some sort of shrine to Sauron. It brings about a flood, tremors, and a volcanic explosion. The result is the death, destruction, and the birth of Mount Doom, which literally bursts out of the earth. The Lord of the Rings fans know Mount Doom as Frodo and Sam’s ultimate destination in the original films, since its fires are the only thing that can destroy the one ring.
How Did Waldreg Get the Sword?
“The Rings of Power” secretly shows how Waldreg gets the sword before the ultimate reveal. When Adar originally gets it from Theo, he goes outside and tells Waldreg, “I have a task for you.” He must have given it to him then and swapped it out of the cloth for a decoy. So when Adar seemingly tries to escape with it, it’s just a ruse to distract attention.
Mount Doom in “The Rings of Power”
Through the course of “The Rings of Power,” Sauron, who’s in hiding, will slowly gain power and allies across Middle-earth. So far, we’ve yet to see Sauron on screen (though there are many mysterious characters who could eventually reveal themselves as him). By the time the Lord of the Rings series takes place, the area that’s called the Southlands in “The Rings of Power” has turned into Mordor, the realm of Sauron, with Mount Doom at the center. It looks like we’ll learn even more about the origins of Mordor during the show, since now Mount Doom has appeared. But after episode six, we’re left with some major questions about the fates of Theo, Arondir, Bronwyn, and Halbrand, who reveals himself as the southern king at the end of the episode. If his intentions are good, he has his work cut out for him.
“The Rings of Power” releases new episodes on Fridays.