Everyone is heading to war on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. In “Partings,” Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) prepares for war. Elrond (Robert Aramayo) is faced with a difficult decision. Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) and Isildur (Maxim Baldry) take their first steps toward destiny.
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The caravan takes a break from traveling. The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) is quickly learning Nori’s (Markella Kavenagh) language so he can communicate with his new friend. Nori talks about the perils of the world, making the Stranger wonder if he is a peril. She assures him that he’s good. Meanwhile, three ominous people come upon the Stranger’s crash site. They examine the crater, but say nothing.
The Brandyfoots enter the dark woods, usually full of wolves. Sadoc Burrows (Lenny Henry) considers the safest way through the woods. His advisers tell him to leave the Proudfellows behind. They are afraid of the Stranger, saying that he puts the entire caravan in danger.
A wolf appears and chases Nori and Poppy (Megan Richards). When the wolf catches up, the Strange arrives just in time to save them. He uses what magic he has to chase away the wolves and injures his arm in the process.
The Stranger finds a small pond and puts his hand in the water. He is chanting, trying to heal himself when Nori arrives. She brought some beeswax to help him, but he’s in a deep trance. The water begins to freeze. Nori gets worried when the ice climbs up his arm. She puts her hand on his arm, telling him to stop, but the cold overtakes her hand as well. Nori cries from the pain.
The Stranger ends his healing chant with a loud exclamation, causing the ice to break. The force throws Nori backwards. She gets scared, unsure of what happened. The Stranger’s hand is healed and he realizes she is there. He goes to check on her, but Nori runs away.
In the Southlands, Adar (Joseph Mawle) allowed Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) to return to the tower and inform the humans of his bargain. Surrender the tower and swear loyalty to Adar and he will let them live. Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) asks the people at the tower to stand and fight but Waldreg (Geoff Morrell) has a different idea. He thinks they should bow to the enemy and live. It doesn’t help that Arondir speaks up for Bronwyn. The Southland people really don’t like elves. Waldreg convinces half of the people to leave with him.
Isildur volunteered to sail with Galadriel to Middle Earth, but Elendil (Lloyd Owen) won’t allow it. He says they have more volunteers than they know what to do with. And he doesn’t think Isildur is ready to serve, especially after getting kicked out of the cadets.
Several people protest the decision to follow Galadriel into war, including Eärien (Ema Horvath). She pleads with Kemen (Leon Wadham) to stop his father, Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle) from sending the armies.
Halbrand is summoned by Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). He gives her a lot of information about the conflict in the Southlands. She expects that Halbrand will help lead the armies, but he has no intention of leaving Númenor. Galadriel’s plan is to take the Númenor armies, fight the darkness and give Halbrand back his crown. He makes it clear that he doesn’t want it.
Elendil asks Galadriel to give some instruction to the newbies since she’s fought orcs before. She challenges the newbies to spar with her. Elendil says anyone who can score flesh will be promoted. Four of the newbies take up the challenge. Galadriel fights all of them with ease. She gives them instructions on how to fight better as she comes close to stabbing all of them. More cadets join, all of them fighting Galadriel at once. One of the cadets is able to stab her dress in the arm. He is immediately promoted.
Kemen tries talking to Pharazôn about stopping the war. He questions why Pharazôn is allowing Míriel to return to the old ways when Pharazôn single handedly stopped the King from doing so. Plus, he knows his father would never take orders from an elf. Pharazôn tells his son that when it’s all over, the elves will take orders from them. His reason for going to war is for the future of Númenor. He believes there is profits to be made after they save the men of the Southlands.
The King summons Míriel. He is worried and says danger is near. Míriel says she is doing what he always wanted and restoring the relationship with the elves. She says she’s going to Middle Earth and he begs her not to. He says darkness awaits her there.
Isildur asks his friends for forgiveness, so that they will take him on the ship when it’s time to leave. They accept his apology but refuse to help him. He lets one of his friends hit him as a way to make amends, but his friends still won’t take him along.
Later that night, Kemen hops on board one of the ships with a small ax. He hits a couple of barrels, creating a leak. Someone coughs and Kemen finds Isildur hiding. Isildur realizes that Kemen is trying to burn down the boat. They fight for the lantern and end up dropping it. A fire starts and they run to the surface. Kemen hits his head and is knocked out.
The boat explodes, but Isildur and Kemen make it to shore. Several soldiers including Elendil pull them out of the water. Elendil asks what happened, but neither of the boys admit anything. Isildur says he found Kemen in a fishing boat and Kemen says Isildur saved his life.
Elendil reports the fire to the Queen Regent, Galadriel and Pharazôn. Galadriel tells the Queen Regent not to let the incident deter her from their mission. Pharazôn disagrees and thinks they should wait until more people are behind them. The Queen decides to wait until the next morning to make her decision. She tells Galadriel to make sure Halbrand is at that meeting.
Galadriel apologizes to Halbrand for using his situation to convince the Queen to join her. She asks him again to join her fight, if not for her, for his people. He reminds her that his people fought with Morgoth. She doesn’t know what he did before he ended up in the Sundering Seas, or what he did to survive. Halbrand says when his people find out what he did they will cast him out. Galadriel says sometimes to find the light, they must touch the darkness.
Halbrand asks for the real reason Galadriel is seeking this battle. She tells him about her brother and he realizes she is out for vengeance. He asks why she keeps fighting and her answer is that she cannot stop. She believes that everyone turned on her because they couldn’t distinguish her from the evil she’s fighting. Galadriel says there is no peace for either of them in Númenor. She fought for centuries to earn her lasting peace. Going back to Middle Earth is how Halbrand earns his peace.
Waldreg and his group arrive in the village and bow to Adar. He addresses the orcs saying he waited for the day they would return. He pledges his undying service and loyalty to Sauron, thinking Adar is Sauron.
Adar approaches Waldreg and looks angry. He slams Waldreg to the ground, causing Waldreg to grovel. An orc hands Waldreg a blade and Adar grabs Rowen. He tells Waldreg to kill Rowen to prove his loyalty. Waldreg approaches the boy as Rowen begs him not to kill him.
Arondir attempts to teach Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) how to shoot a bow and arrow. Theo questions his motives. Arondir sees the bravery in Theo, even though he’s very young. After watching them for so long he knows their strengths and weaknesses. He wants to help those who stayed fight for their lives. Theo accepts his help and tells him about the hilt.
Arondir recognizes the hilt and takes Theo to a part of the tower covered in shrub. He removes the shrub and reveals a carving of a mask with a sword in front of it. He takes the hilt to Bronwyn and says it’s actually a key, but they don’t know what it’s for. He says Theo has what he needs to use the key, but it’s too dangerous to find out what the key is for.
They look out into the distance and see the enemy army gathering. Arondir says they can survive the night but Bronwyn has lost all hope and wants to surrender. He tries to convince her not to give in and she asks him to find another way. Otherwise they are destined for darkness. In the village, the orc army sets out for the tower.
Elrond took Prince Durin (Owain Arthur) to meet the High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker). Durin and Gil-galad politely question what the other has been up to, making it clear they are suspicious of each other. Durin shuts down the exchange by asking where Gil-galad got his table. He says the material used for the table is rare and sacred. Gil-galad gives the table to Durin as a sign of honor and to gain his trust.
Elrond realizes Gil-galad lied to him about Khazadun. He knew there was a new ore there. Gil-galad in turn questions Elrond’s loyalty to his own people. He asks Elrond to recite the Song of the Roots of Ithildin. The song recounts a battle on the peaks of the Misty Mountains over a tree. The battle was between an Elven warrior and a Balrog. The Elven warrior poured all of his light into the tree to protect from the darkness of the Balrog. Lightning struck the tree, pouring all of the power from both into the roots. That power seeped deep down into the mountain and became mithril.
Durin was right, the elves are after their ore. Elrond doesn’t reveal that Durin found the ore. Gil-galad finds his loyalty to be admirable, but says it will send their people to their doom. He shows Elrond the black decay that is infecting their golden tree. They hoped the darkness would go away when they sent Galadriel away, but it’s only gotten worse. The light of the Eldar is fading.
Elrond is conflicted. He made a promise to Durin to not tell anyone about the ore. Gil-galad says the armies of darkness are marching. This will be the end of all peoples. He asks Elrond to reconsider his oath to Durin.
THE FATE OF THE ELVES
Elrond seeks advice from Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), but Celebrimbor already knows the King’s intentions. He also says he tested the mithril and nothing diminishes its light. They believe if they can secure a large quantity of it, they can saturate every elf in the light of the Valar once more. It could be the only salvation for the elves. Celebrimbor apologizes for Elrond’s dilemma.
Later, Elrond escorts Durin out of the Elven woods. He knows Durin made up the tale about Gil-galad’s table. Durin says he promised Disa (Sophia Nomvete) a new table and now he’s delivering.
Elrond says he hasn’t been truthful to his friend. He didn’t know it, but he was sent to Khazadun for mithril. Elrond admits that the Elves are in danger. Durin is amused to hear that the fate of the Elves is in his hands. He actually likes it. He invites Elrond to return home with him so they can talk to his father. Gil-galad watches the exchange from afar. Elrond agrees only if Durin tells Disa that the table is from him.
Halbrand attends the Queen Regents meeting and later, rides next to her when they leave the city. They are both dressed in full armor. Isildur is also dressed in full armor, much to Eärien’s dismay. They all arrive at the ship and prepare to sail. Isildur is put on stable duty but he doesn’t care. He’s just happy to be a part of the guard.
Galadriel is the last to board the ship. She too is dressed in full armor, similar to that of her elven armor. She approaches Halbrand and offers her hand in friendship. Elendil gives the signal to set sail.
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