Home Television Recaps ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ – ‘Adrift’ – Review
‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ – ‘Adrift’ – Review

‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ – ‘Adrift’ – Review


Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power started with a bang thanks to Episode One, ‘A Shadow of the Past’, and director J. A. Bayona moves quickly forward with Episode Two, ‘Adrft’ which when paired with Episode One signifies the first solid chapter of this ambitious new series.

Galadriel finds a new ally; Elrond faces a cold reception from an old friend; Nori endeavours to help a Stranger; Arondir searches for answers while Bronwyn warns her people of a threat.

Following on from the immense scale and spectacle of Episode One, ‘A Shadow of The Past’ we now find our core characters moving forward in their respective journeys and Bayona ramps up the intensity and action in Episode Two, ‘Adrift’. Diving away from the Elvish homeland of Valinor, Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) finds herself lost at sea and brought into contact with the scarred human Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), who is running from the flames of his past. Elrond (Robert Aramayo) is brought into the service of revered Elvish smith Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) and charts an imposing quest to the realm of the Dwarf-lords of Khazad-dûm; Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh) begins to come to terms with the mysterious Stranger (Daniel Weyman) whose path she has crossed, while Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and Browyn (Nazanin Boniadi) come face-to-face with a dark force previously thought lost to history.

‘Adrift’ feels like it is the second part of this first chapter of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and Bayona, alongside showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay, fleshes out the initial characters we first meet, alongside a host of new additions to the cast. These new characters include the heavy-handed, irascible yet noble Dwarven Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), his wife, the elegant and good-natured Disa (Sophia Nomvete), and gruff human survivor Halbrand, who distrusts Galadriel and is hiding some painful secrets. ‘Adrift’ also brings audiences into the threat of this new series and for the first time, we lock eyes with the murderous Orcish presence. And these beasts are particularly foul and nasty. The presence of the Orcs in the Second Age of Middle Earth is handled with a compelling bit of suspense, and their twisted presence and dark threat will only grow as the series moves forward.

Where ‘A Shadow of the Past’ was about setting the introduction to the series and showcasing the scale of this narrative, ‘Adrift’ moves forward quickly into the action. The narrative moves at speed and the first appearance of problems and conflict begins to surface in our characters’ stories. All of our major characters come face-to-face with their first strifes and this keeps the viewing experience exciting. For favourite episode moments, I would have to count Elrond’s journey to the centre of Khazad-dûm as a particularly exciting moment due to its colossal scale and Bear McCreary’s heavy score that accompanies it. Arondir’s pursuit of the orcish horde brings plenty of shock and suspense, but it’s Browyn’s scrap with a violent and twisted Orc threat that takes ‘Adrift’ to a whole other level, and the intensity that Bayona captures will leave audiences flushed with adrenaline.

A greater narrative is beginning to build out in ‘Adrift’ and while we are only at the first stages and start of this new series, the first chapter of this new story is told by the completion of this episode. It’s an exciting watch, and the ability to see how Payne and McKay approach action is something that will excite fans. It’s not just the thrills that will only engage audiences, much mystery abounds in ‘Adrift’, and there are questions that follow. This mystery is chiefly present in the presence of The Stranger, the man who fell from the sky in a ball of fire and who was rescued by Nori Brandyfoot. Gripped by amnesia, and possessed of stunning, otherworldly power, The Stranger is an intriguing character and his presence inspires much wonder that is sure to be explored as we move further into this series.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has the promise of much intrigue, drama and action, and fantasy fans seeking their fix will be very eager to follow where the Second Age of Middle Earth takes us with its narrative.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power streams on Prime Video.

Image: Prime Video