The Southlands was just hit in a very big way, but it’s not likely that there will be getting up from this knockout, as Mordor has started to rise, and the volcanic explosion that covered the lands in ash and fire is just the beginning. With the way the previous episode ended, with Galadriel facing down the coming storm, it’s easy to feel the sense of utter hopelessness that was being thrust upon the people as they fled for their lives. The fallout of the eruption is immense as the people of Numenor and the Southlands have to scramble to find safety, only to find that not all of them are going to make it. In the meantime, the fallout isn’t felt just by the Southlanders since the harfoots have been hit by the volcanic spew as well, but their own situation might actually be bettered by the Stranger, who does make what amounts to an attempt to help revive the torched areas of their home. Unfortunately, his magic causes another accident, and he’s asked to leave. There’s a lot to unpack with this episode.
The harfoots aren’t much different from any other race, given that a lot of them are highly suspicious of the Stranger.
Up until now, it’s been assumed that the harfoots are tough and resolute in their way but that they’re also less judgmental than many other races. In times of peace, that might be true, but when confronted with the Stranger and the trouble that appears to come from his presence, whether he’s around or not, they definitely seem to be a little bit biased against him since the accidents that have occurred tend to happen when he’s around, where they can see the mishaps taking place. That’s highly unfair since the Stranger was trying to help in this episode, but when presented with something they don’t understand, a lot of people are bound to react in a way that isn’t entirely welcoming. But near the end of the episode, it is uplifting to see that a few of them are going to seek the Stranger out after an encounter with the strange trio that has been following the Stranger for a while now.
Galadriel continues to amaze everyone as her will continues to push her and those around her forward.
It was already established in Lord of the Rings that Galadriel was powerful, but this series makes it clear that she was tough before she became the lady of the wood since between her martial prowess and the iron will that she displays while seeking to help the humans, one can’t help but think that she’s one of the strongest people in Middle Earth at this time. A one-on-one match between her and Adar might be fun to see since the last one didn’t really count, given that it was a chase and a two-on-one fight that didn’t show much when it came to how good of a fighter Galadriel really is. But apart from fighting, her ability to inspire others has been legendary in the past, and it’s no less potent now.
The issue with the dwarves continues to worsen.
There’s no doubt about it, the king simply doesn’t trust anyone and is, as his son would say, living in the past when he needs to be making plans for the future that’s yet to come. It does sound as though Elrond and the elves have offered the dwarves a bounty that’s more than fair in return for what they desire, but for some reason, the king is less than receptive to the needs of those who could be their greatest allies. It’s been made clear throughout many stories that stubbornness is a trait that’s common in many dwarves, but it’s also been made clear that this same trait has led to the downfall of the dwarves as well in the past since the inability of the stout folk to accept change and admit that they need others has been a serious downside to the story. While they might think themselves safe in their mountain fortresses, they tend to forget that dangers lurk within the depths of their mountains as well as outside of them.
Numenor might have just become an uncertain ally.
Galadriel has no doubt that the Numenorians will return once they regroup and muster another army. But the fact is that it doesn’t feel as certain as she might like since the losses incurred in this war already make it clear that the humans might find a reason to reconsider their position. Despite being blinded, the queen appears to be resolute in her decision to come back, but that doesn’t feel like it will go for everyone, as it’s very likely that upon reaching Numenor that the humans might decide that going back isn’t the best decision for all involved.
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