Warning! SPOILERS for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is already making one of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring character’s death much more tragic. The Rings of Power episode 3 introduced the island kingdom of Númenor to the series, along with many characters who inhabit the kingdom. One of these characters was Isildur, son of Elendil, both of whom are characters showcased in the prologue for Fellowship of the Ring.
Elendil is introduced as a sailor in the Númenórean Sea Guard, with his son Isildur training to take the Sea Trial in order to become part of the institution himself. However, over the last few episodes, it is made clear that Isildur’s heart yearns for more than the Sea Guard, and he gets himself intentionally dismissed. In The Rings of Power episode 6, Isildur joins the company of Númenóreans traveling to Middle-earth to lift the siege on the Southlands by Adar and his orcs.
Throughout episode 6, alongside the first five episodes, Isildur is already being made a much more tragic character given his death in the prologue in Fellowship of the Ring. In the prologue of Jackson’s first film, Isildur is briefly portrayed as a hero before being used as a catalyst for the remainder of Aragorn’s story in the trilogy, that being that men are easily corrupted by power. Through The Rings of Power though, the show is providing Isildur with the necessary backstory to make his death in Fellowship hit harder emotionally, as opposed to simply being the power-hungry man who succumbed to the One Ring.
The main way this is done is through Isildur’s, his family’s, and his people’s connection to water. In The Rings of Power, the Númenóreans are shown to almost worship the sea, as being part of the Sea Guard provides the utmost honor for men of the kingdom. The Númenóreans have a mantra that is uttered many a time throughout The Rings of Power’s first five episodes: « The sea is always right. » This reliance on the sea is made a lot more tragic when thinking about Isildur’s death in Fellowship and how he met his end trying to evade orcs by swimming and drowning in a river after being shot.
Another thing The Rings of Power episode 6 reveals is that Isildur’s mother died by drowning. This, alongside his dismissal from the Sea Guard and the Númenóreans’ dedication to the ways of the sea, makes his death in Fellowship all the more tragic. Before The Rings of Power, what was known of Isildur (from the movies at least) was that he cut the Ring from Sauron’s hand and succumbed to its power, meaning his death wasn’t all that affecting. However, through The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the revelation that the thing that Númenóreans worship killed Isildur’s mother, and will ultimately kill him, makes The Fellowship of the Ring that much more upsetting.
Next: Who Was Isildur’s Mother & What Happened To Her In LOTR
New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power release every Thursday/Friday on Amazon Prime.