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The Rings Of Power's Khazad-Dum Is The Site Of One Of The Lord Of The Rings' Most Gripping Sequences

Contains spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Season 1, Episode 2

It was inevitable that fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy world, casual or otherwise, would have their ears prickle up all elf-like at the mention of specific names and places in the first two episodes of Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." Set during the Second Age, long before the One Ring was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable, the new show is still littered with characters that play their part in the future events of Middle-earth. Among these long-living legends is elven-lord-in-the-making Elrond, who, after being brought to life in iconic fashion by Hugo Weaving in the Peter Jackson films, is played by Robert Aramayo in the series.

Before he becomes Lord of Rivendell, "The Rings of Power" sees Elrond as vice-regent and herald to High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), who gives him an important job in Episode 2. Tasked with helping master smith Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) in constructing a new forge, the young Elf suggests visiting his old Dwarf friend, Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), to ask for assistance. This leads Elrond to take a trip to Khazad-dûm, and while the meeting beneath the mountains is a heated one, it's nothing compared to the altercation that, for fans, is one of the most iconic and epic battles in all of Tolkien's works.

Khazad-dûm is where Gandalf has his last stand against the Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring

You shall not pass in "Lord of the Rings" knowledge if the mention of Khazad-dûm didn't spark flashbacks of Ian McKellen squaring up to an enormous fire monster. Yes, the gorgeous Dwarven kingdom we're introduced to in "The Rings of Power" is the same spot that the Balrog eventually ruins in the Third Age. The fiery demon that eventually killed King Durin VI and many of his kind was woken by the Dwarves who, as Saruman explains, "delved too greedily and too deep" looking for the valuable metal mithril. It would take Gandalf the Grey holding off the demon to ensure the escape of Frodo (Elijah Wood) and the rest of the fellowship for it to finally be defeated.

After Morgoth was defeated in the First Age, the fiery foe retreated into the darkness below Khazad-dûm, laying low until his rude awakening in the Third Age. Of course, there are millennia to come before this Durin meets his fate and the Balrog (thereafter known as Durin's Bane) completely overtakes the kingdom, but could this potential work venture between Elrond and his bearded buddy show the first steps that will chip away at what we've seen in a beastly blink-or-you'll-miss-it San Diego Comic-Con trailer?

Is the Balrog from the Rings of Power trailer Durin's Bane?

In the closing of Episode 2, Durin IV has secretive talks with his father, King Durin III (Peter Mullan), assuring him that Elrond doesn't know about something the Dwarven royals are hiding. Durin III is doubtful, seeing the visit of his son's Elvish friend to be conveniently timed with whatever has recently been discovered and is being kept in a chest under guard. In a Tarantino-esque moment, we see both father and son look upon the contents, which are still hidden from us but could be the first few slivers of mithril that spark the doomed dig. It's here where the presumed plot tweaks of Tolkien's beloved work might well begin to appear.

We're no Dwarf miners, but the excavation (in the books, at least) occurs in the Third Age, not the Second Age, when "The Ring of Power" takes place. With that in mind, and factoring in what we've seen in the teaser trailer, might the showrunners be pushing Balrog's big comeback tour with the Dwarves forward? Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete) advises her hairy hubby "to leave things alone," possibly setting up one of the biggest "I told you so"s in Middle-earth history. Here's hoping "The Rings of Power" digs a little deeper (as much as we'd prefer it didn't) when it returns on Amazon Prime next week.