What Is the Unseen World?

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the entirety of The Rings of Power Season 1.The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power explores a range of themes from the critically acclaimed books (the original source material for the wildly popular series) that its juggernaut predecessor made little or no mention of. The unseen world is one of the concepts from the books that The Rings of Power touches on, albeit quite succinctly. With the show appearing poised for a new season, it’s safe to assume that the topic will be covered in more detail in upcoming episodes. But what exactly is the invisible world and what do we know about it so far?

Is the unseen world a vague reference or a premonition of something else?

The Unseen World first appears in the series when Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) conquers Adar (Joseph Mawle) to find out the whereabouts of Sauron. Adar is the leader of the Orcs and one of the first of their kind, the one who attacked the Southlands. According to him, Sauron exploited the unseen world in his experiments for his own selfish reasons. After the death of Morgoth, Sauron and his forces embarked on a journey to the far north (which is where we see Galadriel and her company at the start of the show), apparently with the intention of “healing” Middle-earth. What “flesh” was had evidently exploited and ruined beyond repair Middle-earth. Sauron would then set things right by using a power that was “over flesh” – or at least he claimed it was. This “over flesh” power that Sauron sought after the fall of Morgoth was probably in the Rooted in invisible world. Although only mentioned very briefly, one can assume so The Rings of Power plans to explore the unseen world in more detail as the series progresses.


See also: Who are the ring-bearers in The Rings of Power?

What exactly is the invisible world and how do you see it?

As the name suggests, the unseen world is literal unseen in the eyes of ordinary beings like mortals and elves. As opposed to the more abstract concepts discussed in The Rings of Power, the invisible world is invisible but very real. In fact, this is the realm from which creatures like the Valar, Maiar, and the Wraiths exist in their spirit forms. What most people don’t know is that Sauron and even Gandalf come from the unseen world, as the true essence of their natures is imperceptible to the eyes of physical beings. This enigmatic and mysterious realm can be entered by acquiring and wearing the One Ring.

The One Ring has a variety of names, each more intimidating than the other. The ruling ring. The Master Ring. Isildur’s curse. Created by Sauron in the Fire of Orodruin, the One Ring is the most powerful artifact in Middle-earth. Not only does it bind all rings of power together, it also allows the wearer to partially “escape” the physical world and transcend into the realm of the unseen. The wearer would also become invisible to physical beings, but doing so would make them extremely easy for invisible creatures like Ringwraiths to hunt. The One Ring is essentially a vessel of the Dark Lord’s essence, and since its master hails from the Unseen World, the ring seems capable of removing the veil between the two worlds.

Are Nazgul invisible creatures?

The Wraiths, commonly known as Nazgûl (Black Speech: Ringwraiths, sometimes spelled Ringwraiths), are perhaps the most fitting example of the invisible creatures. The dark robed Nazgûl are the nine Ringwraiths whose sole purpose in life is to seek the One Ring to bring back to their master, Sauron. Also known as the Black Riders or The Nine, the Nazgûl were mortal men before being corrupted by the Nine Rings of Power and transformed into Sauron’s most feared servants. The Nazgûl, upon their transformation, became spirits – shells of their earlier versions, and so they belonged to the Unseen World. However, like their master, they could take physical forms to traverse the veil between the visible and invisible worlds.

What is significant about the invisible world?

Different creatures of the unseen world possess different powers depending on their nature. The Valar and the Maiar, for example, are capable of indescribable things when in their spiritual form in the realm of the unseen. As for the Nazgûl, they are able to sense the One Ring and all beings that come from the unseen world. Not entirely invisible by nature, the Nazgûl, being once mortal men, differ from most creatures of the unseen world, though deadly in their own way. As seen in the events of The Hobbit, the Nazgûl are also immune to earthly weapons. Precisely for this reason, no one could kill the Nazgûl and the Witch-king. Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who in possession of the One Ring could travel between the visible and invisible worlds, could see both the Nazgûl and Elves in their spiritual forms. The elves, as described in the books, appeared to glow in their original, invisible form.

The unseen world is home to a number of powerful creatures. It is to be expected that Sauron will eventually exploit the Realm of the Unseen – for that is how the Nazgûl come to life.

https://collider.com/rings-of-power-what-is-unseen-world/ What Is the Unseen World?

Sarah Ridley

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