The Rings of Power: Elendil and Isildur, and How They Affect Middle-earth

You may want to rewatch LOTR if you want a crash course on their legacy.

by J.R. Waugh

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power recently introduced viewers to their first glimpse at the kingdom of Númenor, a Second Age island nation of Men that saw some of the race’s greatest technological advances and military prowess. Galadriel and Halbrand are brought to Númenor by a mysterious, cautious stranger who is later revealed to be Elendil, father to Isildur. The names might ring a bell, even if you’ve only watched the Lord of the Rings films. But Who are Elendil and Isildur in The Rings of Power, and How do They Affect Middle-earth?

The Rings of Power: Elendil and Isildur, and How They Affect Middle-earth

Introduced in The Rings of Power in episode 3, Elendil and Isildur are pivotal characters who were instrumental in defending Middle-earth against Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance which ended the Second Age in the original Tolkien mythology. Elendil, who fought and died alongside Elven high-king Gil-Galad while carrying out the Siege of Barad-dûr, and wielded Narsil, the famed First Age sword forged by Telchar of Nogrod, saw his defeat at the hands of Sauron, only to be avenged by his son. In the battle, Narsil was shattered by Sauron, but Isildur managed to use the blade and cut the One Ring, to which Sauron tied most of his power, from his hand, defeating the dark lord.

Are Isildur and Elendil Featured in LOTR?

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In The Rings of Power, his name is noted, meaning “one who loves the stars” but also “Elf-friend” which, while provoking suspicions from the distrusting ruling parties of the kingdom, would play in his favor after Númenor’s downfall. Elendil’s legacy as one of the Faithful who evaded his kingdom’s destruction, was the union of two realms of Men, Arnor and Gondor, becoming their first king and ruler of the surviving Númenóreans in Middle-earth.  Elendil was also, canonically, shockingly tall, standing at 7’11” which helped him stand out among his brethren. It’s his bloodline that eventually produces Aragorn millennia later, the heir who would help defeat Sauron’s forces in The War of The Ring.

His son, Isildur, would take the role of the king after his father’s death, refusing to destroy the One Ring despite being at Mount Doom, enchanted by its dominating hold over him almost instantly. Unlike his heroic father’s legacy, Isildur turned out to be a far more fallible character. He would die at the Gladden Fields, losing the ring in the process, where it would eventually be found by Sméagol, later identified as Gollum. It’s Isildur’s foolish decision that would set the events of The Lord of the Rings in motion, and his heir Aragorn, who takes up the sword Isildur used to defeat Sauron, to help rectify it. Their Númenórean lineage would live on in Aragorn, and thus their legacy was preserved into the Fourth Age.

This concludes our coverage of Who are Elendil and Isildur in The Rings of Power, and How do They Affect Middle-earth! Be sure to check out our entertainment column for more stories like this!

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on September 1, 2022, with a 2-episode premiere. The first season will have 8 episodes total, so check every Friday for new content!

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