Rings of Power Episode 3 review: A meandering but exciting journey

arondir in the power ringsAmazon Prime Video

The Rings of Power continues its journey across Middle-Earth and beyond, and despite there not being much sense of direction, the journey is still exciting.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, while not as successful as the recent Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, has still managed to make a splash with audiences.

So far we have been enjoying the series here at Dexerto, and you can read our review of the first two episodes here.

Episode 3 continues the pattern that the first two episodes did, and we are learning more and more about this age old world. But first, WARNING: while we will attempt to keep things vague, there may still be RINGS OF POWER SPOILERS AHEAD…

Rings of Power has plenty of characters, but not plenty of plot

Now that we’ve had over three hours of screen time, one may expect a overarching plot to rear its head – or in Sauron’s case, its eye. But one issue that audiences may start to realise by this episode is that there isn’t really an overall story, at least, not as of yet. There’s plenty of subplots, and the threat of Sauron is always felt, but in comparison The Lord of the Rings was clear in it’s mission – destroy the ring and Sauron.

In this show, we are simply meandering around the characters, who are unknowing of each other, while they each face there own issues. In this regard, it is faithful to the tone of the Silmarillion, as it feels more like we are learning about the customs of this world rather than watching a whole story.

That being said, the subplots themselves are interesting to watch, as despite each having varying levels of danger, each is still tense enough to keep you invested.

In particular, while Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) had appeared rather uninteresting prior to this episode, he quickly becomes the most intriguing to watch, due to the dire situation that he is forced into this time. His storyline quickly becomes both excitingly action-packed and hopeless, not unlike a miniature version of the battle’s atmosphere in the Twin Towers. The episode delights in setting you up and undercutting you in order to create genuine tension.

Rings of Power balances the dark with the light

There’s thankfully some charm to ease away the tension, particularly with the Hobbits and The Stranger, which leads to some funny hijinks and a genuinely heart-warming moment near the episode’s end.

Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) is also given more development, both in his abilities and his past, which leaves you excited to learn more. With many of the character dynamics having firmly been established at this point, and the actors having settled into their roles nicely, it’s easy to care about these characters and their individual plights, in spite of their interweaving plot still being a mystery.

halbrand rings of powerAmazon Prime Video
We learn an exciting secret about Halbrand this episode.

Most of the new characters introduced this episode will now have to take that same establishing journey, though Elendil (Lloyd Owen) has already become very likable.

Episode 3 takes us to new worlds

This series stands out, as it does not solely confine itself to Middle-Earth. The new characters we meet, including Elendil, all hail from a seriously majestic looking island, named Númenor. We shan’t spoil much about this place, but if you’ve read the book, no doubt you’ll be expecting something epic.

The Island is beautiful, it’s lore seemingly vast, and its towns people…well, there are a certain group of characters who well overstay their onscreen time, since fight-picking gangs of men are a trope you would think The Lord of the Rings would be above. The tension that Galadriel creates with the citizens and rulers of the island is somewhat interesting, at least.

Is The Rings of Power as good as the original?

Not really; it’s safe to say that nothing will ever reach the lightning in a bottle that was the original trilogy. And like we said, it’s already poorer in regards to a wider plot.

But overall, The Rings of Power Episode 3 and its many characters manages to keep the momentum of the series going, revealing just enough to keep us invested. We can only hope that they keep this up until the end.

The Rings of Power Episode 4 will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on September 16.