The Rings of Power: What Pelargir Means for the Future of Middle-earth
After the destruction of the Southlands (known as Mordor by the end of episode 7), Bronwyn says she's taking survivors to a place called Pelargir. Here's what you need to know about this Middle-earth location.
This article contains spoilers for The Rings of Power
In the penultimate episode of The Rings of Power, we see the immense destruction and devastation wrought by the awakening and subsequent eruption of Mount Doom at the end “Udûn.” The Southlands once full of life have now been transformed into the fiery, volcanic wasteland we know as Mordor from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The human survivors, displaced by this not-so-natural disaster, now need a new home. In “The Eye,” Bronwyn (Nanzanin Boniadi) reveals that she is leading many of the survivors to a place called Pelargir, which has major implications for the future of the Men of Middle-earth.
In Tolkien lore, Pelargir is a port city located in the southern part of the land that will eventually come to be known as Gondor, along the banks of the Anduin river. According to J.R.R. Tolkien in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings, the city was initially formed by humans fleeing the decline of Númenor. These humans, known as the Faithful, still saw value in aligning with the Elves and remained loyal to the Valar (God-like immortal beings that are believed to rule over Middle-earth). The Faithful sought refuge from the King’s Men, also known as Black Númenóreans, who served Sauron.
You can see exactly where Pelargir is located on the maps below:
After the fall of Númenor during the Second Age, Gondor becomes the largest Kingdom of Men, with Pelargir as its primary port. Elendil and his children eventually make their way to Middle-earth as well, where Elendil becomes the first king of Gondor as well as the northern land of Arnor. Given that Isildur (Maxim Baldry) is presumed dead by his father Elendil (Lloyed Owen) after a fiery wall collapses on top of him in The Rings of Power episode 7, Elendil is anxious to leave the cursed land that he believes claimed his son. But when Miriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) declares that Númenor will return in force to help the Men of Middle-earth, the show has set the stage for Elendil’s eventual return to the land he will one day rule.
While the reason for his journey to the future kingdom of Gondor could be somewhat different in The Rings of Power, it still keeps Elendil close to the path set up for him by Tolkien. And since Isildur is the one who will eventually “kill” Sauron at the end of the Second Age, and the reason why the One Ring isn’t destroyed during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, we know father and son will be reunited eventually.
Meanwhile, with the absence of Miriel, Elendil, and his allies from Númenor, it’s likely that Sauron’s influence has grown stronger in that kingdom. Even though the Dark Lord’s true form hasn’t been revealed yet, the seeds of his darkness have been plaguing Númenor all season. As Queen Míriel’s (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) vision in episode 4 suggests, the fall of Númenor is looming, and it’s only a matter of time before the city is completely lost to Sauron. Then the show will be on the road to Gondor.
Even if The Rings of Power isn’t quite ready for Elendil to become the kingof Men, this early version of Pelargir is poised to become an important location moving forward. Its proximity to Mordor and the Anduin river will make it a crucial stronghold in the eventual war against Sauron, no matter who is in charge.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.