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'The Rings of Power's penultimate episode sets up a tense finale

Journey back to Khazad-dûm ahead of the final episode.

An image of the three armored, mysterious characters in _The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power_ Credit: Prime Video

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The first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is nearly at a close, and episode seven draws taut all the various strings leading us toward the finale—and the revealed identity of Sauron. Last episode gave us a generous helping of great moments, from Arondir and Bronwyn's kiss to Elrond and Durin's reforged friendship. Episode seven, "The Eye," is sedate by comparison, but no less rife with reveals.

If you're looking to get caught up with series ahead of the finale, look no further. You can find our recaps of the first episode and beyond. The final episode premiered on October 14, 2022—stay tuned for our recap of the finale.

What happens in the seventh episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

Fire consumed the Southlands at the close of episode six and we open in the aftermath as Galadriel rises amid smoke, fire, and ash. The village has burned, and the remaining villagers try to help one another escape. Galadriel cries out for Halbrand and finds Theo in the wreckage, leading him away. Isildur finds Valandil buried beneath a burning building, and with Miriel's help manages to free him. To save the rest of the villagers, he ventures into a crumbling house, but the building comes down around him as Míriel gets ash and embers in her eyes.

In the woods, the Harfoots are having a better day than the Southlanders, though not by much. The volcano has spewed fire as far as the hills and burned down a few of the Harfoot wagons, as well as trees in the apple orchard they were trying to locate. The Stranger attempts to revive a burnt apple tree but ends up breaking a branch and nearly crushing Nori and Dilly.

In Khazad-dûm, Elrond makes his petition to the king, requesting mithril in exchange for resources for the Dwarves—for the next five centuries. He pleads on behalf of his people: "I am Elrond Half-Elven, and I see in Elves that which they cannot see in themselves." After his audience, Durin and Durin III discuss the request. The king fears that digging for mithril will destabilize the mines, noting, "We do not dig in earth that cannot support it." Prince Durin pleads with him to save Elrond, his friend—the king refuses.

Durin tells Elrond and Disa the news, and Elrond begins to depart. Namárië, he says to Durin—go towards goodness, rather than goodbye. Furious, and devastated, Durin tosses the offending piece of mithril Elrond left across the table, where it causes the blight plaguing a leaf from the Elven tree to recede. He calls Elrond back, with the intent to mine the mithril against Durin III's wishes.

Back in the ruin of the Southlands, Galadriel, and Theo work to get out of the fire, as Elendil leads a group of villagers through the woods. Míriel and Valandil find him and inform him that Isildur is missing, likely dead. Míriel's eyes have been extremely damaged by the burning building, to the point that she can no longer see.

The Harfoots are still salvaging what remains of their wagons in the Greenwood, and Sadoc bids the Stranger part ways with them. As he leaves, the tree he'd been trying to repair sprouts new leaves and Nori gives him an apple for his journey—eventually, the orchard grows anew. Meanwhile, Galadriel and Theo continue their trek to find the villagers, and Galadriel brings up Celeborn, her husband, for the first time in the series. She reveals that she doesn't know what became of him, but blames herself. She and Theo discuss the nature of guilt, before several Orcs nearly discover them.

In the mines of Khazad-dûm, Elrond and Durin dig and find mithril, but Durin III discovers them. He banishes Elrond from the mountain, and he and Prince Durin fight about the nature of their royal legacy. Prince Durin and his father have struggled to see eye to eye throughout the series, Prince Durin chafing against the boundaries of Dwarven tradition. At the end of their fight, Durin III strips his son of his princely collar and leaves, essentially signaling that Prince Durin is not worthy of the Dwarven throne.

Things begin to heat up in the Southlands as the three mysterious figures from episode two make a reappearance. They seem to be looking for the Stranger, and discover the magic he wrought on the apple orchard. When the Harfoots confront them, the lead figure with a shaved head and pale blue eyes casts magical fire into the orchard, destroying it and the Harfoot wagons.

Galadriel and Theo find the villagers in a hastily constructed shelter, along with the remaining Númenoreans. Theo quickly moves to the medical tent, where he reunites with Bronwyn and Arondir. Galadriel finds Míriel and Elendil, who announce that they will return to Numenor—Elendil believes Isildur to be dead, though Isildur's horse ran off seemingly in search of him. Galadriel is prepared to take the blame for Numenor's losses, but Míriel vows that they will return to help the Elves. Her eyes are seemingly permanently damaged from the fire, lending new importance to the episode's title.

The Harfoots regroup in a rather emotional scene before Poppy, Nori, Nori's parents, and Sadoc all leave together to find the Stranger. The Númenoreans leave as Arondir and Galadriel discuss the future, and Galadriel learns that Halbrand is still alive, but gravely wounded. She goes to him and insists on taking him to the Elves to heal.

In the episode's final moments, Disa and Durin discuss their frustrations with the king. Disa pledges to support him no matter what, and that the mithril belongs to him. They go to seal the mines, and in their depths, a balrog awakens.

Adar finally appears near the episode's close. He reveals that the Southlands, in their ruined state, have a new name. The location marker over the Southlands shifts to a new word: Mordor.

Where can you watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

You can watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power through your Prime Video subscription. Prime Video is included with a general Prime membership, but you can also subscribe to Prime Video as a standalone service. Prime Video is available to Prime customers in more than 200 countries and territories and can be accessed through most web browsers with an internet connection. Prime Video is also available as a streaming app on numerous devices, including iOS and Android, Amazon Fire TV devices, Roku devices, Xbox, PlayStation, smart TVs and more.

You can watch the new Lord of the Rings series as well as other Amazon Originals, popular films and series, Thursday Night Football, and more than 100 additional channels (like Starz, HBO Max and Shudder) through your Prime Video subscription.

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