A Shadow of the Past
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|A Shadow of the Past|
|Cover art for the episode's.|
|Director||J. A. Bayona|
|Writer||J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay|
|Music||Bear McCreary, Main Title by Howard Shore|
|Released||1 September 2022|
|Gallery||Images from The Rings of Power (TV series)|
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Throughout the narration, a group of elf children are seen playing before watching a young Galadriel building a paper ship. The children cause it to sink by throwing stones at it, causing Galadriel to try to attack them, only being prevented by her older brother, Finrod. Later, Galadriel talks to her brother, who tells her to follow the light and resist the darkness.
The older Galadriel then briefly relates the Darkening of Valinor, the War of the Great Jewels, and the rise of Sauron. Finrod was killed by Sauron and Galadriel takes his mission to hunt down and defeat Sauron upon herself. Leading a company of elves through Forodwaith, Galadriel finds a fortress within that was once occupied by Sauron, but one of the other elves, Thondir, refuses to go any further north in pursuit, and forces Galadriel to return to Gil-galad.
In the Norfield Glen, a community of Harfoots notice the passage of two travelling hunters through the hills of Rhovanion at an unaccustomed season. Elanor Brandyfoot and Poppy Proudfellow take a group of children out to hunt berries but soon return to the Harfoot camp to avoid a wolf. Elanor wonders about the world outside of the Harfoots' wandering, but her stepmother/mother Marigold reminds her that the Harfoot way of life is to avoid the cares of the wide world, stick together, and stay on the usual trail.
In Lindon, Elrond greets Galadriel on her return. In a welcoming ceremony, the king Gil-galad honours Galadriel and her warriors for their bravery and announces that, as a reward, they will be permitted to sail west to the Undying Lands. Galadriel confides to Elrond that she does not wish to leave Middle-earth until she has defeated Sauron, but he urges her to accept the gift and depart.
A Silvan elf, Arondir, arrives in the village of Tirharad in the Southlands, a land inhabited by Men who were once under the sway of Morgoth and are now watched carefully by a garrison of Silvan Elves. Arondir is not warmly received by anyone except the healer Bronwyn, whom Arondir appears to be falling in love with. Arondir tells an Elf, Médhor, who picks up on Arondir's feelings, that they should return to Ostirith, where Arondir is told by the Watchwarden Revion that the high king has declared that the war is over and the garrison is being recalled. Returning to the village to say goodbye to Bronwyn, Arondir encounters a man with a cow who got sick after wandering east as far as a village called Hordern. Arondir goes to investigate, accompanied by Bronwyn. Meanwhile, Bronwyn's son Theo shows another villager, Rowan, an old sceptre (bearing Sauron's emblem) that he found in Waldreg's barn.
In Lindon, Gil-galad admits to Elrond that Sauron may still exist, but Galadriel's presence only increased the danger. He then tells Elrond that the smith Lord Celebrimbor will need his help with a new project.
The Harfoot Trailfinder Sadoc Burrows wonders about strange signs in the stars. Arondir and Bronwyn arrive at Hordern, only to find that it had been burned down. Just before Galadriel's ship arrives in Aman, she realizes she is not ready to leave Middle-earth and dives overboard into the sea. Meanwhile, a meteor streaks across the sky and lands near the Harfoot camp. Nori investigates the crater where it fell and sees a bearded man lying there, surrounded by veins of hot rock.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- In order of appearance (in episode credits)
Uncredited[edit | edit source]
|Marris Collins||Village Man|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
Below is a list of trivia from Amazon's "X-Ray" feature that accompanied the episode.
- Scene 2 - "Most of the details and elaborations told herein are derived from 'The Lord of the Rings', its prologue entitled 'Concerning Hobbits', and its Appendices, A through F, where the intrepid traveller may journey to discover even farther horizons."
- Scene 3 - "Both Galadriel and her brother, Finrod Felagund, were High Elves, or Eldar, of the royal house of Finarfin. (Appendix F)"
- Scene 5 - "Galadriel was the noblest of the High Elves known as the Exiles, a branch of the Eldarin kindred called the Noldor who left Valinor to go to Middle-earth. (Appendix F)"
- Scene 8 - "Morgoth was known by many names, including the Dark Power of the North. His was a bitterly cold realm, and the snows linger still in the Forodwaith, long outlasting him. (Footnote, Appendix A)"
- Scene 10 - "Trolls were made in mockery of Ents by the Dark Powers of the First Age. (Book III, Chapter 4) Snow-trolls are merely one variation of them that long ago adapted to the harsh climates of the cold northern realms they call home."
- Scene 12 - Long before Hobbits became a single group of people, whose most ancient legends hardly looked further back than their Wandering Days, there were halflings called Harfoots. They were travellers of highlands and hillsides. (Concerning Hobbits)."
- Scene 15 - At the end of the First Age, Elrond was given a choice - he was one of the Peredhil, or Half-elven, and had to decide between the fate of the Eldar, or of Man-kind. (Appendix A)"
- Scene 17 - Harfoots are little people, and while the later Hobbits ranged between two and four feet tall, in their ancient days they were slightly taller. They were beardless, bootless, and browner of skin. (Concerning Hobbits)"
- Scene 19 - Gil-galad was acknowledged as the High King of the Elves of the West, for he was the last heir of the kings of the Noldor in exile. (Appendix B)"
- Scene 20 - Valinor is the Land of the Valar, the angelic Guardians of the World. Their land goes by many names, among them: The Undying Lands, the Blessed Realm, Eldamar, or the Uttermost West. (Appendix A, etc.)"
- Scene 26 - "Different from the Eldar, the Silvan Elves or Wood-elves lived further east from the Sea, in forest realms such as Greenwood the Great. (Appendix B)"
- Scene 29 - In Middle-earth the Two Kindreds, the Firstborn elves and later humans, became estranged as each kind walked further down their sundered roads. (Book IV, Chapter 5)"
- Scene 34 - From the Grey Havens, or Mithlond, the elves set sail into the West, never to return to Middle-earth. (Book I, Chapter 2)"
- Scene 34 - It is said that on the High Sea while sailing to the Blessed Realm, a sweet fragrance on the air and the sound of singing voices comes over the water to meet the elven-ships - then the grey rain-curtain turns to silver glass and rolls back to reveal white shores and a far green country under a swift sunrise. (Book VI, Chapter 9)"
Production[edit | edit source]
Differences[edit | edit source]
This article or section is in the early stages of construction and should not be viewed as complete, or even close to being finished.
He is shown to be taking an oath resembling the Oath of Fëanor, which is a major departure from the source material, as he was opposed to the Fëanorians both before and after coming to Middle-earth. The manner of his death is also changed: the Appendices tell us he died saving Beren whilst helping him to find a Silmaril. While in The Silmarillion it is specified he died wresting a wearewolf the series says he died "hunting Sauron" and shows claw marks on his body, no mention of his connection with Beren or his hunt for the Silmaril is made. The Silmarillion tells is was buried at Tol Sirion, so none of his siblings could mourn over his body.
The impact of Finrod's death on Galadriel is never mentioned in any source, much less the idea of her ever desiring revenge. In fact, we are told he was almost immediately re-embodied in Valinor, and once Galadriel learned of that, she would have been relieved and comforted. She did have, however, have concerns about the Shadow rising during the Second Age, which moved her to political affairs. The same concerns resurged during the Third Age following Sauron's apparent death at the hands of Isildur at the end of the War of the Last Alliance. As a result she and Celeborn made journeys into various parts of Middle-earth to investigae before settling in Lothlórien. Beyond this, anything related to Galadriel's quests as told in the series are complete inventions.
In the legendarium, the ban on the Noldor was lifted after the War of Wrath and all were allowed to sail back to Valinor. This was a personal decision and not a reward or punishment doled out by the high king, Gil-galad. Galadriel was free to return on her own but continued to choose a self-imposed exile for other reasons. In fact, Galadriel could have never been a subordinate to Gil-galad: she apparently helped him to become king, she was at least a generation above him, and she was born in Valinor during the Years of the Trees, while he was born in Middle-earth thousand of years later.[note 1]
All the Harfoot and Southland characters were invented for the show.
- Gil-galad's birth and parentage are a difficult matter, but in anycase, in all its different versions, his relation with Galadriel is always inferior.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Flight of the Noldor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", p. 1082
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn", p. 235-6
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel", pp. 243-5
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part One. Time and Ageing: XI. Ageing of Elves", p. 81
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Tables: I. The House of Finwë and the Noldorin Descent of Elrond and Elros"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
Reception[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Analysis of the first two episodes on Rings & Realms (with Corey Olsen)
- Scoring A Shadow of the Past by Bear McCreary
|The Rings of Power series' episodes|
|Season 1||1. A Shadow of the Past · 2. Adrift · 3. Adar · 4. The Great Wave · 5. Partings · 6. Udûn · 7. The Eye · 8. Alloyed|
|Season 2||TBD ·|