REVIEW: The Rings of Power – Episode Four

Last Updated on September 18, 2022

The Rings of Power E4 continues the fantasy series based on the work of Tolkien as Galadriel searches for a way to return to the Southlands with strength to defeat an old foe, Elrond grows suspicious of Durin’s actions, and Arondir meets the strange and unnerving Adar who gives him a warning.

The Rings of Power E4 is a slow one. The series as a whole has been slow and this episode feels like a misstep in the that the series needs to kick into gear at some point. The friendship between Elrond and Durin continues to be charming and wholesome with the discovery of mithril and an accident in the mines adding to the intrigue. But it feels as though at this point the show should be doing more. It’s still beautiful and it’s a joy to be back in Tolkien’s world but the show needs to do a bit more to keep the casual fans watching over the planned five season arc. Arondir releasing arrows in slow motion calls back to fan-favourite Legolas and you can see the potential of the show as the action ramps up towards the end of the episode. Fans of The Lord of the Rings may have the patience to wait for the titular rings to come into play along with Sauron but many casual fans will be used to the political intrigue mixed with the huge, bloody battles of House of the Dragon and they may not wait for long.

Adar is a strange villain in this episode. He seems to be some twisted elf who the orcs obey but this isn’t made clear in the episode. He releases Arondir with a warning to the humans but this in fact leads to a rescue and prevents Adar from retrieving an important item. The move seems careless and made only to ensure that Arondir survives but it lessens Adar in the eyes of the audience in the process. Meanwhile, Galadriel is being as stubborn as ever and offends the Queen Regent enough so that she is thrown into a cell. The impulsive Galadriel has been a bright spark in the show so far but I thought she would show a bit more wisdom than she did this week. Isildur acts rashly and ends up getting himself and his friends booted off the ship they had worked hard to get onto. Thankfully, his actions also lead to a chance to escape Numenor and become a big player in the events of Middle-earth. Whereas in House of the Dragon characters act in a way you would expect as the pieces begin to be set in place, in The Rings of Power E4, the actions of the main cast are sloppy and confusing, but they still end up in their desired position ahead of what will hopefully be a stronger episode next week.

The weakest episode to date. The Rings of Power E4 has moments of magic that display what this series could evolve into, but it will need to do better to keep its huge audience. At a time where fantasy fans are gorging on excellent TV shows like House of the Dragon, The Sandman, and The Witcher, The Rings of Power needs to be more than just a pretty face.

Watch The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime.

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Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

Aaron S. Jones is the author of Memories of Blood and Shadow, and The Broken Gods trilogy. He is Head of School at a school in Kent, UK and when he is not tearing his hair out at students struggling with their, they're and there, he is tearing his hair out as he dies for the thousandth time on Elden Ring. You can find him on Twitter @HereticASjones where he is most likely procrastinating for hours at a time instead of focusing on his Orc murder mystery.