Adar’s Reveal Underwhelmed — but That’s a Good Thing

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Episode 6 of The Rings of Power.This week’s episode of The Rings of Power, “Doom,” brought us a mountain of revelations. Literally. Alongside thrilling battles and the birth of Mount Doom, the true identity of one of the series’ most mysterious characters to date, Adar (Joseph Maules), was revealed. Ever since he first appeared on the show in the third episode, his true calling and character have been the subject of speculation across the internet. Now we finally know, and Adar is… Adar. He is his own character, with his own goal to fulfill in the now Ashen lands of southern Middle-earth.

The moment he revealed himself was powerful, if not for the information itself. Adar was interrogated by Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), and both were engaged in an exchange of veiled insults and jabs, heightened by the performances of their two actors. He is then revealed to be one of the Moriondor, Elves who were captured and tortured by Morgoth himself until they lost their very essence and turned to darkness. No longer elves, they are a whole new species called the Urûk, known as the first race of Orcs. That’s why he still wears his Elvish features and can resist sunlight, and that’s also why the other Orcs call him “Father”.


The episode itself was action-packed, but Adar’s reveal wasn’t among the highlights. With so many options JRR Tolkien‘s legendarium that Adar was just himself wasn’t a disappointment in any way, it’s actually the best he can be. Let’s see why.

Who were the possible identities of Adar?

Adar’s identity has been a huge source of excitement among fans of Lord of the rings, with many possible identities thrown around. The first and most obvious connection was the Dark Lord himself, Sauron. Adar was not heavily marketed as he had only appeared on posters and never with his face, only his left hand (which was covered by black armor) and his sword. The fact that his name also means “father” in Quenya was also taken as a sign that Sauron is the one the orcs obey. But as Adar punishes Waldreg (Geoff Morell), confusing him with Sauron, this thesis lost most of its power, leaving it to other characters.

RELATED: “The Rings of Power”: Who Are the Moriandur/Uruk Orcs?

But there were other options. Lord of the rings is full of tragic stories, many involving elves. One of these tells the story of Maglor, one of the sons of Feenor, and one of the speculated identities for Adar. This name is familiar to those watching The Rings of Poweras Celebrimbor (Karl Edwards) holds Feenor’s hammer in his study in the realm of Eregion. He was the greatest elven smith and forged three jewels of unspoken beauty, the Silmarils. Feenor had many sons, and all vowed to defeat Morgoth and reclaim their father’s gems. They were responsible for many bloody affairs, including the genocide of the Teleri elves, so being part of this family isn’t really a sign of good character. At the end of this whole bloody affair against Morgoth, only two of the sons of Feenor remained: Maedhros and Maglor. They recovered two of the Silmarils, but the gems have an interesting property: they burn the hands of evil beings who hold them. Needless to say, Maedhros and Maglor burned their hands and, while the first son committed suicide thereafter, Maglor threw his Silmaril into the sea and supposedly wandered the shores of Middle-earth, singing songs of anger and regret.

The third possibility also related to the Elves: it was Maeglin, one of the worst traitors in the history of Middle-earth. He lived in the hidden elven kingdom of Gondolin. Morgoth sought its location for centuries, but was only able to find it after Maeglin abandoned its location after being rejected by Idril, an Elf in love with a human, Tuor. He was eventually thrown to his death by fire during the fall of Gondolin, but many have argued that Adar’s scars may be related to him being burned. Now we know it’s not.

Why is it important for Adar to be his own character?

Today, there’s an almost insatiable hunger for lore among fans of almost every major pop culture real estate franchise. We see a character we don’t know much about and immediately start speculating about who he “really” might be. war of starsfor example, has suffered a lot on this front as fans have in the past acted so viciously after deciding to make characters their own people that now most of their lore inevitably goes back to the Skywalker family.

The Rings of Power has a vast lore to draw from if he chooses. showrunner JD Payne and Patrick McKay could easily have chosen to bring back a familiar character. They could have jumped into this self-made trap, but successfully averted it. Of course it would be cool to see an actual Son of Feenor or someone directly involved in the fall of Gondolin, but these two chapters of JRR Tolkien’s Legendarium don’t really fit The Rings of Power. It would add another layer of research to an already deeply cut series and confuse most viewers who aren’t that familiar with the franchise.

Adar Being Adar shows how committed Payne and McKay are to bringing new, original and fresh additions to the Tolkien lore. Adar, being simply an Urûk, expands the show’s own world and also the legendarium itself, as orcs aren’t really something that mature. Although his reasons and goals are ultimately evil, Adar’s quarrel with Galadriel actually makes sense, and being one of the first orcs fits that perfectly.

And in terms of storytelling, too, Adar opens up a lot of possibilities for the future of the show. While most of us expected Sauron to be the villain from the start, that would deliver what we wanted far too soon. There are many seasons left, and now perhaps we will see the Dark Lord properly introduced, perhaps even with a thirst for vengeance on Adar… If what he said of their skirmish were true, of course.

The connection to Peter Jackson’s trilogy and earlier Tolkien lore

Although The Rings of Power proves to be a very self-sufficient series and Adar’s reveal definitely helps, it’s inevitable to compare it to that Peter Jackson‘s film trilogies, the other great ones Lord of the rings property around. The influence is clear, with most of the elf and dwarven aesthetic coming from Jackson’s films.

Well, another connection is the word “Urûk” itself, a reference to the Urûk-hai. Of course, the Urûk-hai weren’t specific to the films, they were created by Tolkien and incorporated into the feature film adaptation. This race of monsters is the result of crossing orcs with humans, resulting in beings as vicious and strong as orcs, but as intelligent and sunproof as humans.

It’s still unclear what role this new species will play in the future of the show, or if it inspired or is directly connected to the future rise of the Urûk-hai. What we do know is that while Adar is nobody’s son, he is the father of every orc we’ve seen so far, and that’s just as important. Adar’s Reveal Underwhelmed — but That’s a Good Thing

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