REVIEW: The Rings of Power- Episode Six

Last Updated on October 2, 2022

The Rings of Power E6 is the best episode so far from Amazon’s TV series based on Tolkien’s works. Finally, The Rings of Power delivers an episode with some action and answers, leaving its audience excited for what is to come. For too long the show has rested on the fact it is a stunningly shot series based on a much-loved world; now, it has delivered an episode that newcomers to Middle-earth and longtime fans can be proud of.

Adar and his army of orcs, or Uruk, attack the humans in the Southlands, looking for the magical, dark hilt found earlier in the season by Theo. The humans are outnumbered and out-skilled but the clever elf Arondir who, along with Galadriel, continues the Lord of the Rings tradition of elves getting all the cool things to do in battles. His romance with the human Bronwyn kicks up a notch in the episode as the danger she finds herself in defending her people’s village ramps up the tension in the episode. Meanwhile, the men of Numenor are racing towards the village to fight the orcs, giving the episode the feel of an echo of Helm’s Deep when a human force held off against a greater force before Gandalf and the riders of Rohan entered the fray. Whilst the episode feels like a retread of that battle, it is well done, with unexpected twists and turns to keep the excitement ramped up throughout. The Rings of Power E6 feels like the episode that closest resembles Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and that is no bad thing at all.

It is often difficult with prequels to surprise an audience. We know what happens to many of these characters but The Rings of Power E6 does a great job of surprising its audience and making us care about the journey. It plays with things that are familiar to fans of Lord of the Rings and the end of the episode had me on the edge of my seat eagerly waiting for the next episode to drop. Adar and Galadriel are two of the most fascinating characters in the series for different reasons and in this episode, further layers are added to their characters that add some depth to the show. One criticism of Tolkien’s work has always been in the depiction of race. Adar’s character, whilst true to the history and lore of Middle-earth and the world created by Tolkien, allows the audience to see the orcs as more than just mindless beasts who kill. Their history is a cruel and sad one, and Adar is able to shine a light on the relentless nature of the elves such as Galadriel who are almost fascist in the way they wish to wipe out a whole race. It has been interesting to see the way elves treat the other races with such arrogance and it leaves room for Galadriel to grow as the series continues and evolve into the character we see in Lord of the Rings. Little things like this are what make such adaptations stand out – instead of just rehashing what the audience has already seen or knows. It no longer feels like a show about good and evil and I know that fans of grimdark will be pleased with the areas soaked in grey morality.

Full of some of the best action seen in any fantasy TV series to date, The Rings of Power E6 finally quickens the pace and delivers an episode full of confidence and intrigue. It uses the history of Middle-earth wisely and the new characters created for the show are now a clear sign of strength showing that the showrunners are not just willing to rest on what the audience already knows. The show is taking risks and in The Rings of Power E6, those risks are starting to pay off. No sign of the rings just yet, but there is a power in this episode that cannot be denied. The most brutal, yet thoughtful episode yet. Brilliant.

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.