The third episode of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power finally takes viewers to its most anticipated location: The island kingdom of Númenor. Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) are escorted to the iconic Second Age location early in Episode 3 by Elendil (Lloyd Owen), a character who will be very familiar to all the devoted Tolkien readers out there.
Although he may not seem like it right now, Elendil is the perfect character to introduce viewers to Númenor. When we meet him, he seems to be little more than just one of the city’s many naval captains. He’s flown so far under the radar that not even the kingdom’s queen regent, Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), seems to know much about him.
However, Elendil is a far more important character than Episode 3 suggests, as is his son, Isildur (Maxim Baldry).
Father and Son — In the books, Elendil was born in Númenor and was likely named after an ancestor, Tar-Elendil, who reigned as the fourth King of Númenor. Elendil’s father was a former leader of the Faithful, the group of Númenóreans who wish to maintain their kingdom’s once-positive relationships with both the Valar and the Elves.
Isildur was also born in Númenor and, like his father, grew to become a prominent member of the Faithful. While Isildur’s mistakes near the end of the Second Age directly lead to both Sauron’s rise and Frodo’s quest, he actually lived a much more heroic life than casual viewers might think.
Based on where we meet Isildur and Elendil, it looks like viewers will see some of Isildur’s more heroic acts. He and his father are two of the most important characters in the Númenórean story that The Rings of Power is set to adapt, and their actions throughout the Second Age directly set the stage for many of the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, including those led by their descendant, Aragorn.
The Inverse Analysis — The Rings of Power has a lot of freedom to fill in blank spaces in both Elendil and Isildur’s backstories. Their lives in Númenor were only briefly outlined by Tolkien, which means The Rings of Power has been tasked with finding new ways for the two characters to grow into the heroic figures they’re destined to become.
Right now, Elendil seems happy to continue flying under the radar of Númenor’s leadership, but that won’t last forever. It looks like The Rings of Power is setting up a kind of Aragorn-esque arc for Elendil that will see him become increasingly dedicated to his beliefs.
Regardless of what lies in store, viewers should know there aren’t many characters more important or heroic than Elendil, and the same goes for his son.
New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiere Fridays on Prime Video.