Rings Of Power Episode 6 Eruption Is Actually Possible, Confirms Scientist
The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power episode 6 features the devastating eruption of Mount Doom that geologists confirm is based on real volcanic explosions. Rings of Power is an adventure fantasy series set in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and produced by Amazon Prime. The show takes place thousands of years before the events of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, featuring familiar characters and settings. The debut season aired earlier this month, with just two more episodes left in season 1.
Prior to episode 6, Theo discovers a cursed sword barring the sigil of Sauron that captures his attention. In a shocking twist, the blade is stolen and is used as a key to unlock the Southlands’ floodgates. Water pours into the Orc-dug tunnels and rushes towards the magma-filled center of Mount Doom. Steam pockets burst through the ground, alerting Galadriel and the others of the catastrophe to come. The floodwaters collide with magma causing a massive eruption that rains fire upon the pastoral landscape. Episode 6 concludes with a dark cloud of smoke and fire hurtling towards Galadriel and engulfing the idyllic farmlands.
A scientist confirms that the apocalyptic explosion in episode 6 of Rings of Power is actually possible. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Jeffrey Carson, a professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Syracuse University, whose area of expertise is volcanic activity. Carson explains how water often plays a crucial role in volcanic activity, particularly when they are located along the seafloor. Check out his full quote below:
“Violent volcanic eruptions occur in large part because water is involved. The water is dissolved in the magma. The magma rises to the surfaces, the water makes bubbles that can turn to steam and the steam and water expand so rapidly that they basically blow the magma apart. That stuff piles up near a central vent and that’s what makes big volcanoes. If that water is in a confined area, like a bottleneck, there’s going to be a steam eruption — we call it a phreatomagmatic eruption. We see that happening in Hawaii all the time where lava flows into the ocean, and some of the lava can get blown around if the water gets trapped under it.”
Episode 6 of Rings of Power reveals the creation of the infamous Mount Doom and the region that will come to be Mordor. The transformation of the landscape into scorched earth further sets up Sauron’s awaited reveal. Both locations play a pivotal role in the events of Lord of the Rings, by then, Sauron controls all of Mordor and Mount Doom is the location where he forges the One Ring. The true identity of Sauron in Rings of Power continues to be a mystery that remains to be revealed, however this episode establishes an important chapter in his rise to power.
Rings of Power showrunners wanted to explore Tolkien’s themes of anti-industrialization and environmentalism. Believing this to be central to the messaging of the show, the writers posed the question, « What if Mordor was beautiful? » In Tolkien’s writing, there is explicit mention of the creation of Mordor beyond the suggestion that the volcano was not always active. This gave the showrunners an opportunity to fill in the gaps with how such a drastic transformation could occur. In spite of the high fantasy setting, the creators needed to base the eruption of Mount Doom as geologically accurate as possible in order to align with Tolkien’s environmentalist message.
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