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Amazon's Rings Of Power Episode 2 Includes A Sneaky Tarantino Reference You Likely Missed

Contains spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Episode 2

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Episode 1 is very Elf-heavy, and since it has to introduce Middle-Earth as it was thousands of years ago, it has to do a whole bunch of world-building and character-introducing. After all, apart from the scores of new characters, even familiar folks like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo) are very different from their regal "The Lord of the Rings"-era counterparts. 

Episode 2, however, isn't afraid to explore what a Middle Earth-themed show can really do. There's a mysterious, magical stranger (Daniel Weyman) who fell from the sky. There's a rock-smashing contest and an uneasy rekindling of friendship between Elrond and Dwarven prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur). The viewer even gets to see what an abject terror a single orc can be when you're a normal human being instead of a legendary warrior. However, perhaps the most surprising thing in the episode is a single moment that doesn't appear to belong in a project based on J.R.R. Tolkien's work at all. There's a short scene toward the end of the episode that you might associate with another, very different creator — none other than Quentin Tarantino, in fact. Here's the sneaky Tarantino reference you likely missed in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Episode 2. 

The Dwarves' glowing chest resembles the briefcase from Pulp Fiction

Toward the end of "The Rings of Power" Episode 2, Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) and King Durin III (Peter Mullan) have a discussion. However, the conversation ends in a thoroughly unpredictable fashion when the pair opens a chest that contains a great, unseen treasure that illuminates their faces with an otherworldly glow. The scene is highly reminiscent of "Pulp Fiction," in which a briefcase with similarly glowing contents is a major plot device. The way the Durins open their mystery chest is shot from the same angle you see Vincent Vega (John Travolta) opening the briefcase to check its contents ... with their faces lighting up in the exact same way his does. 

Could this be a simple coincidence? Sure. Then again, the episode also has a scene where Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) crawls in a tunnel, and realizes what he's up against when he finds an Orc fingernail lodged in a wall. This could very well be a stealthy nod at "The Silence of the Lambs," in which Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith) realizes she's been captured by a serial killer when she finds a fingernail from the wall of her prison pit. One low-key reference to a famous film might be a coincidence, but two in the same episode?

Quentin Tarantino's strange connection to The Lord of the Rings universe

The "Pulp Fiction" briefcase has inspired strange fan theories that even place the movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's unlikely that the contents of the Durins' chest will become such an enduring mystery, though. Certain details in the full-length trailer of "The Rings of Power" hint at the fact that the Dwarves of Khazad-Dûm have mithril, so the contents of the box might be either a bunch of the valuable metal, or perhaps some magical object made of the stuff. Still, combine the similarity of the scenes with Tarantino's weird real-life connection to "The Lord of the Rings" franchise, and it doesn't exactly seem unlikely that "The Ring of Power" would include a nod at the guy.

Yeah, Tarantino absolutely has a connection to this fantasy universe, though it's a fairly surprising one. Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and several Tarantino movies are all Miramax projects, and as The Independent notes, studio head Harvey Weinstein was known to fly into a rage and threaten to fire Jackson ... and have Tarantino direct "The Lord of the Rings" in his place. 

A Tarantino-helmed Tolkien movie would no doubt have been a curious sight, and in this brief Dwarven Episode 2 moment, "The Rings of Power" gives us a stealthy glimpse at what might have been.