March 25, 2023

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for a few elf characters in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 3.]

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy has the unenviable activity of prequel-ing not solely probably the most beloved and acclaimed film trilogies of all time, but additionally constructing out a brand new battle that everyone knows will probably be resolved in a couple of thousand years (give or take a couple of hundred years, with the present’s timeline). And whereas I discover myself emotionally at odds with what the present is doing with its characters, belief me after I say nobody was extra stunned than me when the elf buddy died making an attempt to flee the orc jail camp. The elf buddy!

Thondir (Fabian McCallum) won’t have made the largest impression on anybody else watching. However for me, I appreciated him because the odd elf with a humorousness, the one razzing his buddy for being in love with a mortal, who managed the tough steadiness of feeling human (if not like the remainder of Tolkien’s Males) and acknowledging the sticky place elves occupy within the narrative. So when he bought his throat slit by an orc as a present of power, it really felt form of shocking within the second. All of a sudden he was simply gone, and Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) was heartbroken sufficient to chop down a tree to stop extra bloodshed.

It doesn’t work — extra elves die later within the tried jail escape — however with every new loss of life I used to be pressured to confront one thing our personal Susana Polo, resident Tolkien lore professional, retains citing in conferences: These elves aren’t really dying. Like, they’re, however they’re not gone ceaselessly like people are. They’re simply going to Valinor, aka the Timeless Lands, aka the place Galadriel opted out of within the opening episode, aka the elf heaven the place all these elves are literally from.

See also  ‘The F.B.I’ Star William Reynolds & ‘Seinfeld’ Actor Richard Roat Die

Picture: Prime Video

It has different names, relying on the place or what you’re referring to (the West! Aman! That place you noticed within the very starting of the pilot!), however suffice it to say it’s the place all elves find yourself, whether or not they get there by boat or their spirit resurrects there after they die in Center-earth. It’s, I’m informed, like if each time you died in the true world you respawned someplace distant like Italy and also you weren’t allowed to return again.

It’s nonetheless tragic, don’t get me mistaken, but it surely’s additionally like in case you and your buddy had been hanging out and residing your lives between a tree and a tough place, after which, abruptly, they only pop up in a special continent. And so you understand you’ll see them once more, but additionally you had been imagined to go see a film with them and now you’ll should go to the flicks alone, over and over and over till you die (which, in case you’re an elf, may very well be a couple of thousand years from now).

As Susana tells me, Center-earth is sort of a “poorly designed zoo enclosure for them” with Aman being “the totally enrichment-filled, meals with all of the nutritional vitamins they want, existence that solely the gods can create.” So whereas there are different methods to repopulate in Valinor, on the whole it might probably additionally trigger a suggestions loop of ennui that results in loss of life in Center-earth and in actual life (for all intents and functions, mainly by withering away from being uninterested in life).

See also  KTM X-Bow GT-XR Debuts: Highway-Authorized Monitor Toy With Cover And Audi Energy

That is all apparently pulled from “actually fucking deep” Tolkien lore that’s pieced collectively from particulars in his notes and different collections, quite than the textual content of his books. As we lined within the final elf heaven freakout, Tolkien didn’t concern himself a lot with elves as predominant characters, so we don’t get a way of how they mourn the “lifeless” (if in any respect). However as Susana additionally informs me, elves don’t at all times come again the identical. And with the entire Noldor curse crimson tape — properly, it will get sophisticated.

So what does it imply for Arondir to lose his brothers in arms? Do elves concern the opportunity of loss of life? Who’s to say. RIP Thondir and firm, you had been gone too quickly. See you on the street to Valhalla Valinor.