Something foul is brewing in The Rings of Power, but we’re not sure exactly what it is yet. In the Southlands, a small army of orcs and their prisoners, led by the dark elf “Adar,” excavate series of tunnels. They seems to be searching for something — with the added bonus of giving the sun-sensitive orcs a way to travel during the day — but what if those tunnels are part of a more dastardly plot?
Sauron’s evil plan
On Reddit, a Lord of the Rings fan with the username PhilsipPhlicit speculates that Adar’s network of tunnels could be part of a plot to transform the Southlands into Mordor. We know that the two locations are one and the same, and it’s safe to assume Rings of Power will eventually show that transformation. But is it possible we could be seeing it play out already?
“I suspect that the trenches that the orcs have been digging are part of a plan to terraform Befordor and create the environment that later becomes Mordor,” PhilsipPhlicit theorizes, “and they are going to do it by channeling lava rivers directly from Orodruin.”
First, some quick Lord of the Rings 101. “Orodruin” is another name for the volcano best known as Mount Doom. “Beforedore” is a nickname fans use to describe the region before it becomes the hellscape of Mordor. (Before + Mordor. Get it?)
So with that out of the way, does this Rings of Power theory make sense? To back up the claim, PhilsipPhlicit quotes directly from The Return of the King, citing the moment when Samwise Gamgee looks down on Mordor with his own eyes.
“Sam was looking at Orodruin, the Mountain of Fire. Ever and anon the furnaces far below its ashen cone would grow hot and with a great surging and throbbing pour forth rivers of molten rock from chasms in its sides. Some would flow blazing towards Barad-dûr down great channels; some would wind their way into the stony plain, until they cooled and lay like twisted dragon-shapes vomited from the tormented earth.” [Emphasis added]
Could the “great channels” seen by Sam (as described by J.R.R. Tolkien) be the same ones Adar and his minions are currently digging in Rings of Power? It definitely seems possible, though it’s just as likely that these are just small tunnels compared to the larger channels of lava we’ll eventually see scar the soil of Middle-earth.
Either way, if that really is Adar/Sauron’s plan, then it’s probably only a matter of time before Mount Doom erupts and corrupts the Southlands. And when that does, we have a feeling it’s going to be one of the most epic moments in Rings of Power so far.
Rings of Power airs Fridays at midnight on Amazon Prime.