Isildur And Eärien's Brother From The Rings Of Power Episode 3 Is More Important Than You Think

When we meet Isildur in Season 1, Episode 3 of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," he's a young cadet just nine days away from the sea trials. The apparently grueling test will decide whether or not he's ready to join the Númenórean navy — a career path that his father Elendil, who is a captain of his own ship, is already fully committed to. When Isildur sits down to have a chat with his dad and his sister, Eärien, the latter quietly encourages the young sailor to let his father know that he's considering delaying the trials.

This event leads to an angry response from Elendil, who is clearly displeased. At that point, Isildur brings up his brother, Anárion, mentioning that there's already a history of deferring more than once in the family. Elendil asks what this mysterious sibling has to do with the conversation. Looks are exchanged leading to dad telling his son the same thing he told Anárion, "There is nothing for us on our Western shores. The past is dead. We either move forward, or we die with it." From there, the talk moves on, focusing on Isildur's poor choices and how difficult it was for his father to convince the Sail Master to give him a spot on a ship.

While the reference to Anárion is brief, it's clearly loaded with deeper meaning. The knowledge that Elendil's wife is recently passed — as explained by Elendil actor Lloyd Owen himself in an interview with Looper — also clearly weighs heavily on the situation. Whatever the future may hold for this group of Númenórean royal misfits, though, chances are it isn't the last time we're going to see Anárion impacting the story.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Anárion ends up escaping Númenor with his dad and brother

When "The Rings of Power" kicks off, Anárion is out of sight — although not out of mind. Clearly, the son is gone for some mysterious reason that continues to be a point of tension within his family. Whether he's out at sea searching for Valinor, trying to make contact with Gil-galad in Lindon, or something else, it seems from the various hints and riddles that Elendil's missing son is busy with some pro-Elvish activity.

As far as Tolkien's source material goes, there isn't much out there regarding Anárion's whereabouts or interests at this point in the story. We know that he's one of Elendil's sons and that he's alive. But apart from that, Anárion doesn't have much history until a bit later on in the narrative.

During a catastrophic event called the Akallabêth, which also goes by the foreboding title "The Downfall of Númenor," Elendil and his two sons escape from their island nation and flee to Middle-earth, literally riding a title wave. "The Silmarillion" describes the event thusly, "They were mighty men and their ships were strong and tall, but the tempests overtook them, and they were borne aloft on hills of water even to the clouds, and they descended upon Middle-earth like birds of the storm.

When the Elendil clan arrives on Middle-earth, they crash land in a couple of different spots. Papa Elendil ends up way in the north, near the Elvish king Gil-galad in Lindon, where he founds the kingdom of Arnor. Isildur and Anárion end up farther south, where they form the kingdom of Gondor. Eventually, they reconnect with dad, and Elendil becomes the High King over both realms, although Anárion and his brother continue to co-rule Gondor on a daily basis.

Anárion helps take Sauron down

When Sauron becomes a threat once again at the end of the Second Age, Isildur and Anárion join their father and Gil-galad, who form the Last Alliance of Elves and Men in an attempt to overthrow Sauron once and for all. This massive coalition attacks Mordor, which leads to the creation of the Dead Marshes and a rolling series of catastrophic battles, which are depicted in the opening sequence of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Anárion is an important leader throughout this fighting until he, like so many others, tragically loses his life. In "The Fellowship of the Ring" book, Elrond briefly references the death of Anárion, but we don't get any details. In the appendices to "The Return of the King," we see the event pop up again a few times, but it laconically says things like "Anárion slain" or "Anárion who was slain before the Barad-dûr." However, there's one mention in a random footnote, where it details that "the helm of Anárion was crushed by the stone-cast from Barad-dûr that slew him." Yikes.

While there aren't a lot of details about Anárion, there's no doubt that the future king has an important role in Tolkien's original story. The two-part question here is, when will we see him in "The Rings of Power" and how much will he be involved in that particular adaptation? It's an inquiry that can only be answered by watching the five pre-planned seasons of the show play out.

The first two episodes of "The Rings of Power" aired in early September and set a Prime Video record for most global viewers in the first 24 hours. Episodes continue to drop weekly on Fridays at 12 a.m. ET for the remainder of the first season.