Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power.The destruction of Finrod’s dagger isn’t just about forging the Three – this is what Galadriel’s decision truly means in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The final episode of Amazon’s The Rings of Power season 1 (« Alloyed ») finds Celebrimbor, Elrond and Galadriel crafting the three Elven Rings of Power with mithril, which will conserve the Elves’ light and prevent them from diminishing. As the episode title implies, they need an alloy to eke out the scarce mithril, but only the finest, purest gold and silver will do. Galadriel is left with no choice but to hand over her brother’s dagger, which was crafted in Valinor.
Throughout The Rings of Power, Finrod’s dagger has symbolized Galadriel’s bloody quest for vengeance. Carrying it ever since her brother’s corpse returned from Sauron’s lair, Galadriel struggled to hand over the weapon when traveling to Valinor in The Rings of Power’s opening episode, and grabbing it back proved she wasn’t yet ready to let go of chasing Sauron. The dagger represents her anger, her determination, and her rage. Finally handing the dagger over to be smelted proves Galadriel’s feelings are changing. In The Rings of Power season 2, audiences will likely see Morfydd Clark’s character less hellbent on hunting down Morgoth’s servants, and less feverish about avenging her brother at all costs. Letting go of the dagger represents letting go of the past.
The reason for Galadriel’s change of heart isn’t just because Celebrimbor needs pure metals. The Elf-warrior has spent centuries pledging to kill Sauron and trekking across Middle-earth to fulfill that aim. Instead, she ended up befriending Sauron, developing a crush, then bringing him straight into the Elven realm of Eregion to wreak havoc. By the time The Rings of Power’s season 1 finale ends, Galadriel has perhaps realized her anger cast a red mist over her judgment. By holding onto the single-minded desire to kill Sauron for so long, she played right into her enemy’s hands. Galadriel may now realize the need for a level head.
That brings The Rings of Power’s Galadriel depiction much closer to The Lord of the Rings. Morfydd Clark’s battle-hungry Galadriel is a far cry from the serene, graceful character described in J.R.R. Tolkien’s original The Fellowship of the Ring, as well as Cate Blanchett’s portrayal in the 2000s Peter Jackson movie trilogy. By letting go of Finrod’s dagger and relinquishing her rage, The Rings of Power’s Galadriel takes one small step toward becoming the Lady of Lothlórien audiences are more familiar with.
While you can certainly argue that The Rings of Power did Finrod a disservice by reducing him to « Galadriel’s dead brother, » smelting the dagger brings his story to a fitting end. Although Galadriel believes Finrod’s quest was to kill Sauron, his real aim was more likely bringing the Elves peace (this is one of the truer points Sauron makes while attempting to convince Galadriel he’s a catch).
The dagger symbolizes Finrod’s lingering presence in Middle-earth, and its destruction is responsible for creating the three Rings of Power that will prevent the Elven race from diminishing completely. In a sense, then, Finrod’s final act in Middle-earth is bringing his people salvation, honoring the goal he originally had while alive. In making the decision to hand over the dagger in The Rings of Power season 1’s finale, Galadriel is maybe acting as her brother would’ve wanted.
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