Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Rings Of Power Episode 5 Tells An Origin Story That Tolkien Never Envisioned

Season 1 of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has set out to expand J.R.R. Tolkien's lore rather than adapt it beat-for-beat. Of course, this was always inevitable as the Amazon series takes place during the Second Age of Middle-Earth, which isn't covered in great detail in the author's writings. So, the show's writers have been tasked with filling in the blanks in an attempt to create a fully-realized universe that complements the "Lord of the Rings" books and movies.

As such, "The Rings of Power" has also been an unexpected journey at times. The show's creators have introduced some of their own ideas into the proceedings as well, some of which cannot be found in any previous "Lord of the Rings" story. For example, Adar will upset Tolkien purists as he's a brand new character who was created for the Amazon series. Furthermore, he's nothing like the Elves in Tolkien's stories, though his existence indicates that "Rings of Power" fans can look forward to a few surprises.

The fifth installment of "The Rings of Power" picks up the pace and continues the trend of adding fresh elements into the mix, including one new origin story that doesn't exist in Tolkien's writings.

What is mithril in The Lord of the Rings?

Before we get into how "The Rings of Power" reimagines the origins of mithril, let's discuss its history in Tolkien's stories. The "Lord of the Rings" books describe mithril as a silvery metal that was primarily found in the Mines of Moria. The material is both lightweight and strong, which makes it ideal for creating battle armor. However, it also boasts a shiny glow that makes it perfect for creating beautiful jewelry, meaning that it was often craved by those who enjoy the finer things in life.

Mithril is viewed as a source of wealth and power in Middle-earth, having been worn by some of its most notable figures. For example, Galadriel's ring, Nenya, was made of mithril and that's one of the three Rings of Power that was given to the Elves. Expect that ring to factor into "The Rings of Power" sometime in the future.

Of course, any treasure that's so widely craved brings out the worst in people. Mithril was the main source of the Dwarves' wealth before their kingdom was overtaken by the Balrog. Basically, the Dwarves became greedy and craved more mithril, causing them to dig deep into the mines and disrupt the fiery demon that dwelled in the shadows. Naturally, the demon wasn't willing to share it with anyone who entered the mines afterward.

The Rings of Power adds a new origin story to mithril

Episode 5 of "The Rings of Power" sees Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) provide some fresh insight into the history of mithril. The Elf connects it to the Simarils, which are gems forged by the elf FĂ«anor from the Trees of Valinor.

During the episode, Gil-galad tells Elrond (Robert Aramayo) about a legend pertaining to a pure-hearted Elven warrior who got into a scuffle with the Balrog over a tree in the Misty Mountains. The Elf poured all of his good into the tree to protect it. The Balrog, meanwhile, tried to destroy the tree and instilled it with his evil powers. Their combined might caused lightning to strike, and their powers combined to create mithril. According to Gil-galad, the metal is "as pure and light as good, as strong and unyielding as evil."

Mithril will now play an important role in "The Rings of Power" as Gil-galad believes that it's needed by spring to prevent the Elves from experiencing a blight in Middle-earth. As such, Elrond must convince Durin (Owain Arthur) to give the elves some mithril and save the day. Tolkien didn't associate mithril with the Simarils, nor did he have the Elves require the light to stay fresh. So, we can chalk up this backstory up as another example of "The Rings of Power" being unpredictable.