The finale of The Rings of Power (Season 1), Episode 8, concludes a tedious time revisiting Tolkien’s adored universe. We get big reveals about the identities of Sauron and Gandalf in the finale. They will have a huge bearing on how the upcoming seasons unfold. There is also the suggestion that a big war is coming in the upcoming, or the season thereafter, which was remembered as the defining moment of the First Age of middle earth. Season 2 is already in the works and will release sometime in 2024. Catch our recap, ending explainer, and review of episode 8, season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power below.


The Rings of Power (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8 ‘Alloyed’ Recap:

The finale begins with a setup for a red herring. The Stranger, having separated from the Harfiit community in the previous episode, is now on his own. He is trying to get to the place of “the Stars” and figure out his own identity. The piece of map in his possession is guiding him toward his ultimate destination and purpose. In the forest, he spots someone running around wearing a cloak, trying to hide from him. He figures it is Nori, and we think the same because that is who we see on the screen. But, as the mask comes off, The Dweller emerges from underneath the cloak. She has the power of spells to make her appear like anyone. From the sides emerge The Ascetic and The Nomad. They reveal to the Stranger that they have come to serve him. For he is Lord Sauron, the dark lord and nemesis of middle earth. But is he really? We will find out ahead of time. 


Elrond has accepted defeat. Although Gil-galad still hasn’t been informed of their failure to save the Elvendom, Elrond comforts Celebrimbor about the truth. The master craftsman is shaken and in disbelief as there is nothing more for them to do. All of a sudden, horses draw near their gates, and it is Galadriel and Halbrand. The latter is quickly taken into the healing room to tend to his wounds during the formation of Mount Doom. Elrond and Galadriel exchange information about the current situation. He also apologizes to her for not trusting her and sending her away on a ship to Valinor when she was clearly not ready. The wise lord also makes a promise never to repeat this mistake again.

Celebrimbor and Halbrand are introduced to each other. The former is impressed with the latter’s knowledge of welding and crafting. He is as avid a smith as the great Elf lord himself. Switching our focus to Numenor, we see the island covered with dark clouds, an ominous sign of something bad waiting to happen. Pharazon wants to immortalize the picture and honor of Tar-palantir in stone and art and has summoned drafters from all around the area to capture the King’s visage. Earien is one among them too. The King holds her hand as she sits beside him and draws on her board. Since he has lost his mind, Tar thinks that she is young Miriel, his daughter. He gets up from the bed and opens another door in his chambers leading to secret chambers, where the Palantir is kept covered. Earien moves toward it and uncovers it. But before she can, we cut to another scene in the Elvendom.


Halbrand and Celebrimbor suggest to Gil that they must use the Mithril in another ore to amplify its effect. Since that little amount of the substance won’t be enough for the kingdom, they offer to merge it in an “alloy” to see if the resultant substance can do the trick. Gil is suspicious of the suggestion, but Celebrimbor says it was only after talking with the Southlander that he found the “key to unlock the dam.” Galadriel looks at the craftsman with some doubt and amazement. Her shock grows stronger as Cemebrimbor talks about taking “power over the flesh” and harnessing “the powers of the unseen world.” Gil turns down the suggestion. As the King walks away, Elrond convinces him to change his mind and says, “hope is never mere, even when it is meager.” The Seen and the Unseen worlds exist everywhere at once. Only special beings can tap into the Unseen.




The famous workshop of Celebrimbor is once again opened to try and save Elvendom. Galadriel is on a mission of her own. She sends a scholar to the catacombs to get out the history of the Southlander’s banner’s lineage and probe the origins of Halbrand’s ancestry. The three witches continue their conversation with “Sauron.” They tell him that the dark lord is bound to rule middle earth, but before he can, his powers must awaken once again. A veil in his head blurs his identity and prevents him from realizing his greatness. He shows them the maps and the stars, and they say that is where he needs to go. Suddenly, “Sauron” is able to control the elements of nature around him, but the witches say he needs to take it slow. The Harfoots have tracked their trail and have hidden in the forestry. 

They have indeed hatched a plan to save “Sauron” from the three witches. The Dweller’s stick is powerful and she tricks them into coming out of hiding and presenting themselves. Through a combination of their teamwork and Sauron’s power and kindness to save them, they are able to overpower the witches. But in the process, Sadoc is fatally injured with a knife. “Sauron” holds the stick and commands nature’s elements once again, banishing the three witches to the depth of the shadows whence they come. The three suddenly realize that the man is not Sauron but “Istari,” the wise man, or the “Wizard.” He is Gandalf the White. How do we know this?


Flash your mind back to the trilogy movies. Gandalf and Galadriel interacted quite frequently with one another. She often referred to him with fondness and admiration and in fact, called him by that very name in The Two Towers. The buildup until now was towards revealing him as Gandalf, but according to the lore of Tolkien, this presumption is blatantly wrong. So, this is a fictional creation of the Prime universe to make the story’s narration easier. Gandalf must now travel to the land of Rhun, which is a far-flung land to the east of Middle-Earth. Its territories range far from the map into the unknown. 

As the sun comes up, Sadoc breathes his last. The Numenorian ships also arrive at the island. Miriel is comforted by Elendil as to her condition and her growing familiarity with it. She is scared about how the people will receive her, but Elendil gives her the support she needs to be a stronger ruler than before for them. The ships enter the island, and we see a handsome, tall visage of Palantir standing at the entrance. The bells start tolling, and we see a teary-eyed Pharazon standing beside the King’s bed, mourning his loss. That was indeed his last royal duty to the crown and now, the politics of Numenor will begin to elect a new ruler.


Celebrimbor and Halbrand try to merge the mithril with other ores. But they aren’t able to. The element will not settle for low-grade ore. To combat this, Celebrimbor says they would need silver and gold of the highest quality from Valinor. The focus is on Galadriel’s dagger that Finrod gave to her. It is fitted with those jewels, and she gladly gives it to them. The plan seems to work. Halbrand chases after Galadriel as she wanders outside. She asks him to tell her the truth about his identity. There was no evidence found in the catacombs about his lineage and symbol. And then we get the big reveal. Halbrand is “Sauron”. The great enemy that Galadriel was seeking all along was right with her, under her nose.  She tries to kill him, but the dark lord holds her hand, and we see Galadriel’s mind taking her to places. First, she goes out to the meadows, where she sees Finrod. They talk for a bit, bringing a smile to Galadriel’s face. She soon realizes it is a trick of the mind and walks away. She is next taken to the wooden plank she first met Sauron on. The dark lord entices her to become his queen and be his companion.

What would the Elves think when they learn that Galadriel was fooled by her greatest enemy like this? Sauron shows his true intentions when he says that he wants to rule middle earth to “heal” it and finish Morgoth’s work. She is thrown into the sea by him, tied to a plank. It is Elrond who pulls her out of the trance as Galadriel is actually drowning in the Glanduin. Sauron is nowhere to be found, and Elrond takes Galadriel back to Cemebrimbor. They had earlier planned to make two rings, but she says there must be three, for one corrupts, two divides, but three bring a balance. The gold and silver in Finrod’s dagger symbolize the Two Trees of Valinor that gave off golden and silver light in the Undying lands in the Elder Days. 

The Rings of Power (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8 Ending, Explained:

Where does Sauron go, and what do the Rings mean?


Gandalf has got his tongue back and can talk with Nori in clear terms. She says she will come with him on the voyage to Rhun and bids farewell to her Harfoot mates. It is quite like the half-lings we will see later in the third age travel with Gandalf to change the world. Galadriel’s sacrifice led to the creation of something truly powerful to save the world. Celebrimbor’s apprentices carefully work for days to forge the three rings of power for the Elves. This will be their destiny and fate. In the Glanduin, Elrond finds the scriptures and learns the truth about Halbrand, casting doubts on his bond with Galadriel.


She sees the scripture in his hands and shoes away her eyes from his. Celebimbor smiles at his greatest creation. The fire from Mount Doom burns in Sauron’s eyes, who has reached his true home: Mordor. The Three Rings for the Elves were not made for strength or domination or hoarded wealth but for understanding, making, and healing; to preserve all things unstained. We do not get any more indication as to how the other rings were forged for the Dwarves and the Men. And, of course, Sauron. Adar resides in Mordor right now, and it is probable that the two will lock horns. The former has beaten the latter before, and it will be interesting to see how it will pan out for them.

Sauron was a master craftsman and without his expertise, the rings would never have been forged. So in a way, he created a great nemesis for himself by thinking that the Elves would give in to greed and that he could control the minds of everyone on middle earth. Nori accompanying Gandalf gives credence to the film version where the Wizard told Bilbo about the undying courage of the half-lings. It does not fit right in the scheme of the books, though.


The Rings of Power (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8, Finale – ‘Alloyed’ Review: 

Season 1’s conclusion does not bring too much loss for viewers who have stayed till the end. In fact, Tolkien and Lord of the Rings Trilogy franchise admirers like yours truly are glad to see it over. The best part about season 2 is that it is two years away, giving us enough time to recuperate from this chaotic, insulting, and untruthful interpretation of the “precious” lore. The Rings of Power would perhaps be one of the biggest flops of the decade if it could do box office numbers. The mind-numbing characterization of key actors in the saga of middle earth is probably the first culprit. A rising consciousness disregarded Morfydd Clark and Robert Aramayo, among others. The spoilsport was well-rounded across factions.

The second is writing. It could have been the first one, but seeing those words coming out was worse than hearing them. There is no heart or sincerity in the dialogue. They just seem like regurgitated passages from the books and the idea of mystique, not the element itself. The use of rousing music makes them more unbearable every time they’re spoken. Why do you have to try so hard? It makes these legendary characters immortalized into cinematic annals by thespians like Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving look cartoonish.




The third and final is narration. Because of fastidious and visionary storytelling, the Lord of the Rings is so dear to us, and so many other stories are based on mythology or set in fantasy worlds. That is perhaps Peter Jackson’s biggest strength. It is a quality few directors have. This talent is why Steven Spielberg is so cherished and trusted when bringing to life big-scale projects. Not all the many moving parts of the story were tied up in the end. The Dwarves and Southlanders were completely skipped in the finale. The Harfoots went on a sabbatical in the middle. And the Elves were excluded conveniently from time to time to lessen their significance, only to make them the center of attention in the finale.


Season 1 of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a raging disappointment. What was billed as Prime’s “House of Dragon”, the next big thing on television, has become a laughing stock and a constant reminder that money, scale, and resources are hollow and empty without heart? To make them whole in an audience’s reckoning, you must have heart. 



Where to watch The Rings of Power (Season 1), Episode 8

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