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Galadriel's Best Moments In The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Season 1

Now that "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Season 1 is over and everyone's had their big Sauron-is-finally-revealed moment, fans can take a minute and appreciate the best part of the series: Morfydd Clark's portrayal of Galadriel. While horror fans will already be aware of Clark's serious acting talent due to her role as Maud in "Saint Maud," others might be more familiar with the Welsh actor's turn in the TV series "His Dark Materials," in which she played Sister Clara.

Clark's Galadriel is easily the most significant character in "The Rings of Power." Her impulsiveness and quick thinking often get her into trouble, but she is ultimately willing to own her mistakes and do whatever is necessary to rectify them. Part of Galadriel's character is also her skill on the battlefield. "She's so otherworldly and powerful that her fearlessness was something I found very liberating to play because I'm quite fearful," Clark told Collider. "I'm also not physically powerful. As women, a big part of our existence is not feeling physically powerful, so I had to rewire my brain to feel that I could play someone who could take down who she meets."

She did all that and then some over the course of the show's debut season. Here are Galadriel's best moments from "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Season 1. Spoilers ahead.

An icy introduction

Audiences are first introduced to Galadriel as she's hanging off the side of an ice wall, using her brother's dagger for some extra support. It seems like no quiet life for Galadriel as she leads a company of Elves into an ice cave, carrying on the search for Sauron. Most believe he's ancient history at this point in time.

"The Lord of the Rings" fans know how difficult it is to kill a highly trained Elf, and we're assuming that any Elf who rides with Galadriel is probably a pretty outstanding soldier. However, the ice troll the company runs into manages to take down at least seven of the Elves before Galadriel arrives. One of her troops is about to meet a sticky end when Galadriel saves the day. She appears to have done this before, as one of the soldiers immediately kneels and sets his sword at an angle, allowing Galadriel to run up it (yes, the blade of the sword), catapulting herself directly at the creature.

A few strokes of a sword later and Galadriel has managed to split open its jaw and drive a dagger into its brain, and (minus the assist from her fellow fighter) she does it all single-handedly. This epic takedown gave audiences more than just a taste of what Galadriel is capable of as a fighter and a leader. Well, considering they all mutiny a minute later, maybe less of a leader and more of a vigilante. Not to worry, though — Galadriel's obsession with finding Sauron will pay off later.

Going overboard

By the end of Episode 1, viewers understand that all is not well between Galadriel and the High King of the Elves, Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker). Frankly, he wants her gone. True to form, Galadriel has a tough time accepting that there's true peace in Middle-earth, especially after seeing a symbol relating to Sauron during her troll encounter. In order to get her out of the way, the king orders Galadriel onto the ships heading to the Grey Havens, where it'll be peace forever. The helpful Elves take away her dagger (unwillingly) and it falls to the ship's deck.

This is a critical crossroads for Galadriel: Enjoy eternal peace and please her king, or listen to her instincts. Finrod's dagger is a touchstone for Galadriel, one that she relies on whenever making big decisions, and the sight of that dagger brings back memories of her brother. At this moment, the audience finally learns what Finrod whispered to her as a child when she asked, "How am I to know which lights to follow?" He answered: "Sometimes we cannot know until we have touched the darkness." As someone who has touched the darkness of Sauron, Galadriel knows she cannot follow that brilliant light taking her home, because her fight is not over yet. She flings herself off the ship, diving into the ocean and watching from the water as her ship sails on.

Fighting the sea monster

The worm, a giant sea monster that harasses Galadriel and her distrustful raft companions, is genuinely terrifying, and for most of Episode 2, Galadriel is trying not to get eaten. The raft holds a mysterious stranger, the opportunistic Halbrand (Charlie Vickers). At this point in Middle-earth history, it's tricky for an Elf and a Man to become friends, and harder still for them to trust each other.

When the worm returns to finish his earlier meal, Galadriel is shoved into the water and later saved by Halbrand, the only survivor of the sea monster's second attack. Surely this would make any intelligent Elf suspicious? "What kind of Man leaves his companions to drown?" she asks, which is an excellent question that foreshadows Halbrand's true identity — evil incarnate, that's the kind of man who casually allows others to die when he sees no use for them.

As a raging storm builds around them ("Basically two men standing with buckets of water just throwing it in our faces," Clark told Glamour), Galadriel latches herself to the remains of a mast. And even though it's going to cause her some trouble down the line, Galadriel offers Halbrand her hand, saying, "Bind yourself to me." This moment exemplifies Galadriel's bravery and empathy. She feels responsible for someone she just met and doesn't fully trust yet.

No chance meeting

In Episode 3, Galadriel shows the audience that she's a woman of action. There's no sitting around or hoping for the best. She's not afraid to jump into the future, even if it isn't always the wisest choice. The Galadriel of "The Lord of the Rings" is from the third age of Middle-earth and is thousands of years old, while the Galadriel audiences meet in "The Rings of Power" is more like a teenager in her impulsive nature. Even Morfydd Clark felt like the character was impetuous, telling Glamour, "I quite like the idea of hoping that Galadriel of the Third Age would look back at Galadriel of the Second Age with compassion, like I try to look at myself in my teens with compassion."

In the dungeons of Númenor, Galadriel speaks with Halbrand, trying to convince him to join her in protecting the Southlands, falsely believing that he's the heir to the southern kingdom. "Be careful, Elf," Halbrand warns her. "The heir to this mark is heir to more than just nobility." Thinking of Galadriel as a young adult helps make sense of the massive error she commits in trusting Halbrand so quickly. This Galadriel is not one for slowing down or taking her time to consider things. "Ours was no chance meeting," she insists. In her desire for vengeance, Galadriel tries to inspire Halbrand, saying, "Come with me to Middle-earth, and together we will redeem both our bloodlines." It would be hard for anyone to argue with Galadriel's passion and certainty.

Galadriel gets thrown in jail

Few would argue that "The Rings of Power" delivers laugh-out-loud moments regularly. For the most part, the epic fantasy is content to stay in the lane of dramatic battle scenes and "Where is Sauron" riddles. However, Episode 4 was finally ready to deliver a light-hearted moment in the form of Galadriel's unbending and rebellious nature.

Galadriel is desperate for an army after the mutiny in the ice cave; the Queen Regent of Númenor is understandably hesitant about heading into a war she's not even sure exists yet. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Galadriel delivers an impassioned speech. Standing in the throne room in front of the Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), the camera pans up to Galadriel as she shouts, "There is a tempest in me that has swept me to this island for a reason, and it will not be quelled by you, Regent," her voice ringing throughout the throne room. Galadriel is promptly thrown into the dungeon, at least slightly quelled.

Director of Episode 4, Wayne Che Yip, talked about the amusing moment, which was written into the script even in its earliest drafts. "Something that was important to us was to make sure that there were opportunities to undercut things with a little bit of humor," he told IndieWire.

Teaming up with Míriel

A stint in the dungeons of Númenor is not enough to stop Galadriel from pursuing her single-minded goal of finding and destroying Sauron. Galadriel is at least wise enough to realize she can't beat him alone; she must have the support of Númenor. Finally, after two episodes of conflict and mistrust, Galadriel and the Queen Regent begin to see each other's viewpoint, especially once Galadriel discovers that the actual king — Míriel's father — is ailing.

Softening towards Míriel, Galadriel shows compassion and empathy toward the ruler, and fans begin to hope that these two inspiring women can become allies and possibly even friends. Míriel relents and takes her to the palantír, which shows the downfall of Númenor. The two women commiserate over the loneliness of leadership. "I know what it is to be the only one — the only one who sees, the only one who knows," Galadriel says.

In one of her better moments of empathy, Galadriel reaches out to Míriel, saying, "Perhaps neither of us have to bear that burden alone any longer. I beg of you, Míriel, choose not the path of fear, but that of faith." Galadriel's insistence on hope and her belief that they can change the future unites the two women, bringing the Elves and humans back together as allies.

Combat training

Galadriel is one hell of a sword fighter, something that fans witness early on when she takes down the Snow Troll. While walking around the fantastic world of Númenor in Episode 5 (those city walkways are real sets built for the series), Galadriel spies a few soldiers preparing for their upcoming battle with the Orcs. Not one to pass up a moment to show her skill with a blade, Galadriel offers to put a few of the cocky young ones through their paces. "There are many ways to kill an Orc, but for you, I will keep it simple: Stab, twist, gut." Cool.

"Come at me," she says to the five soldiers-in-training. "We will see who can score flesh." This doesn't seem like the safest way to make a point, but Galadriel is nothing if not unconventional, though Elendil is clearly into the idea, throwing in after her: "Anyone who does, I will promote." Talk about in-class motivation. Naturally, Galadriel soundly beats all five of the lieutenant hopefuls, and it's more than a little satisfying to see how quickly she defeats them.

Interrogating Adar

Adar, the so-called "father" of the Orcs (Joseph Mawle), seemed like a good candidate for Sauron in the first half of "The Rings of Power" Season 1. Galadriel meets him after arriving in the Southlands with her massive Númenórean army, ready to do some damage to the Orc horde. This is the first time we see her in full battle mode, and it's pretty glorious. According to Morfydd Clark, these physical scenes were just as impressive to perform as they were to watch. "I had to be really connected to my body and know that it could achieve madness — magical things, because she's an Elf," she told Glamour.

Her most madly magical moment during the battle? When Adar tries to pull a runner and Galadriel chases after him. Still on top of her horse, an Orc throws a spear at Galadriel, which she evades by deftly slipping sideways on the horse before killing the Orc and continuing her pursuit. Galadriel and Halbrand manage to bring Adar down. He still taunts the pair, but Galadriel has the best response ever: "Eat your tongue." Crude but effective.

The eruption

In the final moments of Episode 6, a massive plume of smoke bursts from a nearby mountain, and fire, lava, and ash clouds consume the horizon. Adar and the Orcs, the audience now understands, were building tunnels as new waterways into the volcano, thereby causing it to erupt. As the burning hot lava and ash rush down to the village, everyone scatters, trying to find somewhere to hide.

However, one figure is still facing down the oncoming wave of fire that is roaring towards them: Galadriel. Is it shock or bravery that keeps her in place? There's no way to know. But one thing's for sure — it looks epic when the volcano explodes and the darkness engulfs her, grey ash encasing the Elf as the episode ends. As cliffhangers go, it's a pretty good one. It left fans wondering who would be able to survive the fiery lava and how Galadriel planned to fix everything now.

Comforting Theo

Galadriel manages to survive being engulfed by ash, waking up to a grey wasteland. The Southlands is now a fiery hellscape fit for the name Mordor. In all the commotion, the grumpy teenager Theo is separated from his mother, found instead by Galadriel. She isn't too bothered about dealing with a bitter adolescent (a true demonstration of the patience of the Elves) and takes the youngster under her wing.

As impulsive as Galadriel is, the scenes where Theo and Galadriel search for the rest of the survivors is a surprising demonstration of her wisdom. Their unlikely friendship seems to allow Galadriel space to reflect, soften, and show the knowledge of her age, especially after she's been lectured by Adar about her search for revenge and her bloodthirsty nature. When Theo begins to worry about the future of his people, Galadriel tells him, "What cannot be known hollows the mind. Fill it not with guesswork." A quote for anyone struggling with worry for the future.

Galadriel also starts to let go of her vengeful purpose during this time, realizing that she's become someone she's no longer proud of in her obsessive search for Sauron. "It darkens the heart to call dark deeds good," she says, finally realizing how dark her own heart has become. As they reach the end of their journey together, Galadriel begins to understand that she might not be able to fix everything herself or even have all the answers. The older, wiser Galadriel shines through here, giving fans a glimpse of who she will become.

The big reveal

In the final episode of "The Rings of Power" Season 1, Sauron's identity is finally revealed, and Galadriel realizes she's made a big mistake. Despite all the early clues that Halbrand might not be a good guy (Adar constantly asking who Halbrand comes off differently upon a rewatch), it takes Galadriel until Episode 8 to realize it.

To be fair, Galadriel and Halbrand have been through some stuff together. They've almost drowned, hung out in a jail cell for a while, and taken down an army of Orcs, enough significant events to make two people feel like they know each other. But it's Celebrimbor who offers the big reveal. When he says the words "power over flesh," Galadriel realizes she's heard those words before — from Adar.

Galadriel looks at Celebrimbor, the unease evident on her face. Audiences can see all the clues slipping into place: Halbrand's skill at the smithy and with a sword, and his question to Adar, "Do you remember me?"

Sauron's vision

Now that the truth is out and Galadriel realizes she's made friends with her greatest enemy, she's got some cleaning up to do. But confronting the Dark Lord Sauron is no easy feat, and he immediately throws her into a vision, attempting to manipulate her over to his side. Sauron creates a flashback, a conversation with her brother (Will Fletcher) where Sauron assures her that his task was to ensure peace, speaking again the words Finrod whispered to her as a child, "Sometimes to find the light, we must first touch the darkness."

Eagle-eyed fans might have recognized the "Dark queen" lines he says to her, which she will repeat later to Frodo when he offers her the ring, saying, "I would make you a queen. Fair as the sea and the sun. Stronger than the foundations of the Earth." He promises that he will "bind her to power," and she will "bind him to the light" (echoing her early cries of "Bind yourself to me" while they're on the raft).

Admitting her mistake, Galadriel presses her brother's dagger to Halbrand's throat and says, "I should have left you on the sea." Halbrand claims that her people will hate her once they have discovered she was once allied to Sauron, that she saved his life. But she's not done yet: "You will die because of me," she promises.

Giving up Finrod's dagger

After all her fighting, her rallying of the troops, searching for an army, and her long fight against Adar and the Orcs, Galadriel is finally ready for peace. Because of Halbrand's betrayal and the realization that her enemy duped her because of her desire for revenge, Galadriel does everything she can to find a way for the Elves to survive. It's Galadriel's idea to create the three rings, understanding that one leads to ultimate power, "two divides," but three will bring them together, making the Elves stronger. However, the rings require pure gold and silver of the finest quality, because the mithril will not mix with lesser metals and alloys.

And so, Galadriel offers up her brother's dagger, the weapon she's refused to relinquish throughout her entire quest. Her sacrifice of the dagger is symbolic. It shows that she's releasing herself from her vengeful obligations, crafting peace for the Elves with the dagger instead of fighting with it. All good characters deserve redemption, and Galadriel achieves that in the final episode, her journey for revenge culminating in extending and nurturing the lives of the Elves rather than ending Sauron's.