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The Rings Of Power’s Khazad-Dum Is The Site Of One Of The Lord Of The Rings’ Most Gripping Sequences

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Contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 Episode 2

It was inevitable that fans of JRR Tolkien’s epic fantasy world, occasional or not, would prick up their ears in all elfish ways at the mention of certain names and locations in the first two episodes of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings. Set in the Second Age, long before the One Ring was seized by the most unlikely creature imaginable, the new show is still littered with characters playing their part in the future events of Middle-earth. To these long-lived legends features Elrond, the upcoming Elven Lord who, after being brought to iconic life by Hugo Weaving in the Peter Jackson films, is played in the series by Robert Aramayo.

In The Rings of Power, before becoming Lord of Rivendell, Elrond sees the Vice Regent and Herald of the High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), who gives him an important job in Episode 2 (Edwards) building a new forge, the boy suggests Elb plans to visit his old dwarf friend, Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), and ask for his help. This prompts Elrond to take a trip to Khazad-dûm, and while the meeting beneath the mountains is a heated one, it is nothing compared to the altercation, which for fans is one of the most iconic and epic battles in all of Tolkien’s work.

In Khazad-dûm, Gandalf has his final battle against the Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring

You shouldn’t pass on knowledge of “Lord of the Rings” if mention of Khazad-dûm hasn’t triggered flashbacks of Ian McKellen confronting a giant fire monster. Yes, the beautiful dwarven realm introduced to us in The Rings of Power is the same place that the Balrog eventually ruins in the Third Age. The fiery demon that eventually slew King Durin VI and many of his kind was awakened by the dwarves, who, as Saruman explains, “have dug too greedily and too deeply” to search for the precious metal mithril. It would take Gandalf the Gray restraining the demon to ensure the escape of Frodo (Elijah Wood) and the rest of the Fellowship lest he be eventually defeated.

After Morgoth was defeated in the First Age, the fiery foe retreated into the darkness beneath Khazad-dûm and held off until his rude awakening in the Third Age. Of course, millennia will pass before this Durin meets his fate and the Balrog (later known as Durin’s Bane) takes over the kingdom fully, but could this potential work venture between Elrond and his bearded sidekick show the first steps that will break off what we consider an animal blink-or-you-miss-it San Diego Comic-Con trailer?

Is the Balrog from the Rings of Power trailer Durin’s Bane?

At the end of Episode 2, Durin IV has secret talks with his father, King Durin III (Peter Mullan), assuring him that Elrond knows nothing of something the dwarf kings are hiding. Durin III is skeptical as he sees that his son’s Elvish friend’s visit fits in with what has recently been discovered and is being kept in a chest under guard. In a Tarantino-like moment, we see father and son gaze at the contents that are still hidden from us, but may be the first few shards of mithril that trigger the doomed excavation. This is where the putative plot changes of Tolkien’s beloved work could well come up.

We’re not dwarven miners, but the excavation (at least in the books) takes place in the third age, not the second age when “The Ring of Power” takes place. With that in mind, and considering what we saw in the teaser trailer, could the showrunners move forward with Balrog’s big comeback tour with the dwarves? Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete) advises her hairy husband to “leave things alone,” in what may be one of the biggest “I told you so” enactments in Middle-earth history. Here’s hoping The Rings of Power goes a little deeper (much as we’d prefer) when it returns to Amazon Prime next week.



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