Episode 6 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power sees several of the show’s subplots merge for a thrilling action-packed showcase.
Last week’s episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was seemingly the end of the show’s lengthy exposition-filled storytelling, with the shocking conclusion promising a much darker and more intense episode to follow – and that’s exactly what Episode 6 delivers. There’s hardly a moment to breathe in this week’s rocket-paced adventure, with the episode diving headfirst into the show’s central conflict and holding the audience there for the majority of the runtime. There’s no flicking back and forth between storylines, no unnecessary side characters, and no long-winded explosion dumps – just sixty minutes of raw action and emotion that will remind fans of the Lord of the Rings they know and love.
It’s no secret that the first half of The Rings of Power was met with heavy criticism. Why are there so many characters? How are these stories related? Where is this narrative heading? Thankfully, Episode 6 not only answers all of those questions that have been nagging at audiences’ minds, but also proves that the slow and gradual pace of the season’s first half was actually necessary to fully set up the emotional payoffs that now make the story so engaging. The complete scope of The Rings of Power’s story might not have been clear at the beginning (it may not even be fully clear now), but Episode 6 proves that there has been a plan all along, and all those seemingly unnecessary plot threads actually do have a purpose. It doesn’t fix the many problems of the show’s early episodes, but it certainly rewards those who stuck around even when the story was starting to drag.
And it’s not just the narrative that’s improved in Episode 6 – both the direction and cinematography are on another level, crafting some of the most immersive and exciting set pieces in the entire show so far. There are multiple scenes that wouldn’t feel out of place in a blockbuster movie, proving that the show’s reported $1 billion budget was put to excellent use. Episode 6 also marks director Charlotte Brandstrom’s first attempt behind the camera, and her dynamic style outshines every other entry in the show up to this point. The way she brings the fight sequences (and even the quieter moments) to life is exactly what the show has been missing, and her involvement in next week’s episode should certainly instill faith in all the show’s fans.
More than anything, Episode 6 of The Rings of Power belongs to Ismael Cruz Cordova and Nazanin Boniadi as Arondir and Bronwyn respectively – their particular narrative is the driving force behind this week’s story, and both actors are at the top of their game throughout. Joseph Mawle shines once again as the elusive Adar, whose character is given much more material this week, transforming him from a somewhat generic villain into a multi-layered antagonist around whom much of this week’s story centers. It’s so refreshing to see these characters (and actors) used to their full potential, rather than being sidelined as supporting figures in a much more sprawling story.
The only real criticism that Episode 6 suffers from is actually what isn’t included. Characters such as Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) played a huge role in last week’s episode, yet they’re completely omitted from this week’s entry. There’s so much left to explore with their respective stories, and it’s going to be extremely difficult for the show to give their subplots sufficient screen time in the remaining two episodes without killing the momentum that’s been so expertly crafted this week.
But ultimately, Episode 6 of The Rings of Power was a hugely pleasant surprise. It certainly took a while to get to this point, and you’d be forgiven for not making it this far, but the second half of this season is already shaping up to be an action-packed thrill ride that Lord of the Rings fans can fully enjoy. The effectiveness of these last few episodes admittedly doesn’t absolve all the issues that arose along the journey to get here, but now that we are here, it seems that The Rings of Power is ready to prove exactly what it’s made of.
Episode 6 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is now available to watch on Prime Video.