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The Rings Of Power Episode 3 Just Introduced A Key Character From Tolkien's Mythos

This article contains spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power"

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" uses a large portion of Season 1, Episode 3 to introduce viewers to the island nation of Númenor. As Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) arrive at the powerful kingdom of Men, we meet a lot of new faces. Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and her chancellor Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle) are both important characters that we'll see a lot more of down the road. Elsewhere, we meet the young buck Isildur (Maxim Baldry), whom fans already know as the fella who eventually chops the One Ring off of Sauron's hand. His sister, Eärien (Ema Horvath), is an interesting character who also comes with a lot of potential — although it's worth pointing out that she's made up for the show, so it's hard to tell where her story's trajectory will take her.

Along with these active characters, we also hear references made to several other key Tolkienien Númenóreans. Elrond's brother, Elros, is brought up at one point. He's the one who chooses a mortal life and founds the kingdom of Númenor in the process. Isildur and Eärien's brother, Anárion, is also mentioned, but he's not present during the episode. Míriel's father, Tar-Palantir, is also almost seen, although he's mysteriously kept just out of view.

Suffice it to say, we meet a gosh dang lot of Númenóreans in this episode. And yet, there's one face, in particular, who is an absolutely critical character from J. R. R. Tolkien's mythos, even if he's nothing but a humble sea captain when Galadriel and Halbrand first run into him.

Elendil is one of the most important characters in all of Tolkien's writings

Elendil (Lloyd Owen) is a ship captain in Season 1, Episode 3 of "The Rings of Power," but don't let those military trappings and simple demeanor fool you. This guy is descended from some really important people, and he has greatness in him. This is hinted at when Pharazôn and Míriel talk about him in the show, with the former mentioning that he is "originally of a noble line, but now a sea guardsman with a son, if memory serves, set to follow him into the service."

This loaded statement just scratches the surface. Elendil is directly connected to the royal line of Númenor. His ancestors are an offshoot of the group, and if you trace them back far enough, some of them actually sat on the throne itself. By the time Elendil is born, his family is living out of the limelight, comparatively speaking, on the western shores of their island (that is, facing the far-off land of Valinor). As is hinted at in the show, Elendil's family is important because they play a crucial role as leaders of "The Faithful." This is a group that chooses to preserve their ancestral connection with the Blessed Realm in the West and its inhabitants, the angelic guardians called the Valar, and the many Elves who dwell under their protection.

Over time, Númenor becomes increasingly hostile to the Elves and Valar, and, without giving too much away, let's just say that eventually, things go really badly. After all (and we're in major spoiler territory here) Númenor is literally known as J. R. R. Tolkien's Atlantis.

Elendil remains important throughout The Rings of Power's story

Elendil remains a key figure throughout the fallout of the epic events that follow the downfall of Númenor. Eventually, he even steps into a role in the same vein as the Biblical Noah by leading many of The Faithful on a harrowing seaborne escape to Middle-earth.

Once on the mainland, Elendil sets up his own kingdom in the north, called Arnor. His sons, Isildur and Anárion, are separated from him at sea, and they establish a kingdom in the south called Gondor. Yup. That Gondor. Throughout all of this, Elendil continues to remain pivotal, and he's even given the title of High King over both kingdoms.

As the Second Age draws toward its conclusion, Elendil joins forces with Gil-galad to form the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and finally overthrow Sauron. This is the event that ultimately leads to his doom (as anyone who remembers the opening scene of "The Fellowship of the Ring" movie knows well).

There's no doubt that Elendil is an epic, heroic, and tragic figure throughout J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He's so important that Aragorn is still shouting the name of his ancestor as a terrifying battle cry thousands of years later. And yet, when we meet him in "The Rings of Power," he's an unassuming sea captain, a father, and even a widower (a detail made up for showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay's adaptation). It will be fascinating to see how the creators turn this simple Númenórean into one of the greatest heroes in all of Middle-earth history.