The Rings of Power: Theo’s Sword, Explained

The first four episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power posed some pretty big mysteries for the series, like the identity of the stranger who fell from a meteor. Another big puzzle fan is still working to figure out what exactly is going on with the sword that Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) found. Episode four, which released on September 16, gave viewers the most important information about the sword yet, and it is closely related to the direction of the series.

At the beginning of the series, Theo and his mother Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) live in a seemingly quiet village in the Southlands. But it wasn’t always like this, as the people there and neighboring cities were involved in Morgoth’s War of Wrath and many of them fought on Morgoth’s side. Perhaps the greatest remnants of the war are the legion of elven fighters still stationed near the city, including Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova). Arondir and Bronwyn are in love, despite the distrust between elves and humans.

In the first episode, Arondir and Bronwyn travel to a nearby town to examine a cow whose milk is pitch black and oily. While they’re gone, Theo and a friend go into a barn. Under the floorboard, Theo reveals a prize he has hidden in a chest: a mysterious broken sword. He does not explain how he got the gun. However, it’s pretty clear that the sword is bad news. For one, it has Sauron’s symbol on it, which is also seen on Galadriel’s brother’s corpse and in a secret cave to which she leads her men. Sauron was Morgoth’s lieutenant and is also the main villain in The Rings of Power (and of course the original Lord of the Rings series).

In the second episode, things go wrong for Theo and Bronwyn when they are attacked by an orc. Bronwyn eventually decapitates the orc, but when Theo examines his broken sword, it continues to glow – and possibly grow.

In episode four, viewers see that Theo, Bronwyn, and most of the people in their neighboring villages are hiding from orcs in a fortress. Theo and his friend sneak out into town to try and get more food, but Theo is being chased by orcs who seem to want his sword. Arondir eventually rescues Theo and takes him back to the fortress.

Once safe, an old man confronts Theo with the sword. He tells him “It is not a sword”, stating that it is “Power made by the hand of its Master for our ancestors”. He speaks of “the fair servant who was lost but will return” and points to the mysterious meteor as a sign that he is on his way. The servant is Sauron, and according to the old man the sword was made by Morgoth himself.

Over the course of The Rings of Power, Sauron, in hiding, slowly gains power and allies across Middle-earth. So far we haven’t seen Sauron on screen (although there are plenty of mysterious characters that could eventually reveal themselves to be him). It’s not clear if Theo’s affinity for the sword is a sign that he will also turn to the dark side and support Sauron in the days to come. He’s an entirely new character for the show, so fans will have to wait and see his fate. In The Lord of the Rings series, the area called the Southlands in The Rings of Power has turned into Mordor, the realm of Sauron, so we’re not betting on a happy ending.

“The Rings of Power” releases new episodes on Fridays.

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