The Purpose Of Earien’s Palantir Scene In Rings Of Power’s Finale

Isildur’s sister discovers Númenor’s secret stone in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 finale, but what does Eärien see in the palantír? Ema Horvath’s Eärien cuts a curious figure throughout Amazon’s The Rings of Power season 1. Though she’s one of many TV-original creations, Eärien’s direct relationship to canon juggernauts Elendil and Isildur leaves her strangely straddling two sides of Middle-earth lore. The Rings of Power season 1 ends with Eärien hearing a prophecy from Númenor’s Tar-Palantir himself, then being led to his palantír seeing stone. Eärien’s season ends with her whipping away the sphere’s cloth cover…

This scene sets up a big question for The Rings of Power season 2, whenever that may come: did Eärien touch the palantír, and if she did, what vision was shown to her? Given how The Rings of Power goes to the trouble of getting Eärien to the stone’s chamber, it’d be a waste of narrative if she simply walked away. Learning the royal family possess a palantír isn’t exactly a huge revelation on its own, and Eärien probably wouldn’t recognize what the ball is by sight alone. Ema Horvath’s character must, therefore, touch the orb off-screen, leaving The Rings of Power season 2 to handle the fallout from whatever Eärien’s palantír vision might be.

The Rings of Power’s next question is clear: what does Eärien see in the palantír stone? Míriel, Galadriel and Tar-Palantir all communed with the mystic orb, and all three witnessed the same vision of Númenor’s destruction. It’s logical to assume Eärien’s own prophetic experience will follow that pattern, and she’ll see those exact same waves crashing over Númenor. Eärien carrying knowledge of her island’s imminent doom sets up a dilemma for the character in The Rings of Power season 2. How does she react to this heavy burden of knowledge? Does she tell someone? Take action? Start building an ark?

Eärien’s The Rings of Power season 1 journey doesn’t offer a clear enough idea of her characterization to predict precisely how she’ll react to an apocalyptic vision. Eärien rallied against Númenor’s mission in the Southlands, and seeing her island decimated may strengthen that anti-Elf resolve – despite the King’s warning that Númenor should return to the old ways. On the other hand, Eärien may take Tar-Palantir’s words and ball-palantír’s images at face value and strive to correct Númenor’s path. It could even be Eärien who restores her father’s trust in the Faithful after his torrid experience in Middle-earth.

By The Rings of Power season 1’s ending, Isildur is still presumed dead. J.R.R. Tolkien says otherwise, however, and The Lord of the Rings fans will know Isildur has important business to attend to later in the Second Age. Unfortunately for him, Isildur’s fellow Númenóreans departed Middle-earth without their trusty stable sweep, so it’s not immediately clear how he’ll get back home.

Eärien’s palantír vision can bridge that gap. The magical seeing stone may be stuck playing reruns of « Númenor’s Biggest Natural Disasters » for the royal family and Galadriel, but Tolkien’s palantíri share many varied visions – not just of the future, but of present happenings far away. While everyone else believes Isildur died, it’s possible the palantír will reveal his survival to Eärien. Her job across The Rings of Power season 2 will then be to convince everyone the King showed her a secret chamber containing a crystal ball on his deathbed, and that the visions inside said crystal ball prove Isildur is alive.

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