Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 5Wait, is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power pulling a villain swerve with Eärien?! Amazon's The Rings of Power introduces Lloyd Owen's Elendil and his son Isildur, played by Maxim Baldry, but also adds a TV-original sister to their family - Ema Horvath's Eärien. Related to two of Númenor's greatest heroes, one would assume Eärien ranks among The Rings of Power's protagonists. That certainly appears to be the case in episodes 3 and 4, where she's diligently working as an apprentice and making valiant attempts at keeping peace between her bickering father and brother. Alas, The Rings of Power episode 5 subtly drops hints that could foreshadow a darker side to Eärien.
Númenor's citizens broadly split into two camps. On one side there's the Faithful - supporters of the Valar who seek friendship with the Elves. On the other, most of Númenor resents these immortal folk. Isildur and Elendil (even if he doesn't show it) fall under the former category, which becomes perfectly clear when the father and son happily sail to Middle-earth as part of Galadriel's army. Eärien has a very different reaction. While her dad and brother are merrily preparing to depart, Eärien is screaming at Pharazôn to halt the mission, making clear that she disagrees passionately with the Queen Regent's support for Galadriel. Eärien then leverages her fledgling romance with Pharazôn's son, resulting in the love-struck Kemen setting fire to two Númenórean ships. Eärien isn't just concerned about the sailors' safety either - her anger is very much political in nature.
Why Eärien Could Be Vital To Sauron In The Rings Of Power
Eärien's skepticism toward the Elves, her support for Pharazôn, and the dark influence she holds upon the Chancellor's son could foreshadow a future split from Elendil and Isildur, who clearly hold a different philosophy. In Tolkien's original story, Elendil and Isildur quietly resist Ar-Pharazôn's rule when he seizes the throne and appoints Sauron as his High Priest. With The Rings of Power throwing Eärien into the mix, it's distinctly possible that she'll side against her family in favor of Pharazôn and Sauron.
If so, Eärien's profession could become instrumental. Recently accepted into the Builder's Guild, Eärien harbors a passion for architecture and construction. When Sauron arrives in Númenor and slithers his way into a position of power, he and Pharazôn commission the construction of a massive temple in Morgoth's honor. As a talented up-and-coming architect holding anti-Elf opinions and dating Pharazôn's son, Eärien might find herself deeply involved in this construction project.
Eärien As A Villain Explains Why She's Not In LOTR
Because Eärien was created specifically for The Rings of Power, the Amazon series may eventually find itself needing to explain why she isn't around when her father and brother are in Middle-earth establishing Gondor. Turning Ema Horvath's character into a villain could be the perfect excuse. Elendil and Isildur would get pardoned by the Valar for staying true to the old ways and be safely whisked to Middle-earth, but Eärien gets condemned to the same fate as Pharazôn and his other acolytes for siding with Sauron. Númenor sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and canon harmony is duly restored to The Rings of Power.
Eärien's death in The Rings of Power could add a personal edge to Elendil and Isildur fighting Sauron during the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. The two Númenóreans would probably blame Middle-earth's Dark Lord for corrupting their sister and denying her salvation from the Valar, so when Elendil joins Gil-Galad fighting Middle-earth's big boss (and when Isildur jumps in at the very last minute to slice off Sauron's finger), the father and son may have Eärien foremost in their minds.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video.