The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – S01E01 – A Shadow of the Past | Transcript

Galadriel is disturbed by signs of an ancient evil's return. Arondir makes an unsettling discovery. Elrond is presented with an intriguing new venture. Nori breaks a deeply held community rule.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - S01E01 - A Shadow of the Past

Original release date : September 1, 2022

* * *

[Galadriel] Nothing is evil in the beginning.

Here! Over here!

[stick tapping]

[children laughing]

[Galadriel] And there was a time when the world was so young, there had not yet been a sunrise.

But even then there was light.


[children giggling]

Well, is it finished yet?

Even you couldn’t possibly believe that old scrap will float.

It’s not going to float.

It’s going to sail.


[children laughing]

No, don’t!


Stop, you’ll break it!

Stop! Don’t!

Come on.

Stop, you’re breaking it! Stop!

[boy] I told you it wouldn’t float.

[children laughing]


Get off me!

Lose your footing again, Galadriel?

It was a good ship, sister.

I made it just as you taught me.

[crickets chirping]

Do you know why a ship floats and a stone cannot?

Because the stone sees only downward.

The darkness of the water is vast and irresistible.

The ship feels the darkness as well, striving moment by moment to master her and pull her under.

But the ship has a secret.

For unlike the stone, her gaze is not downward but up.

Fixed upon the light that guides her, whispering of grander things than darkness ever knew.

But sometimes the lights shine just as brightly reflected in the water as they do in the sky.

It’s hard to say which way is up and which way is down.

How am I to know which lights to follow?

[Finrod whispering]

But that seems so simple.

The most important truths often are.

But you must learn to discern them for yourself.

[laughs] I won’t always be here to speak them to you.

You won’t?

Come along. Mother and Father are waiting.

[Galadriel] We had no word for death.

For we thought our joys would be unending.

We thought our light would never dim.

So when the Great Foe, Morgoth, destroyed the very light of our home…

We resisted.

And a legion of Elves went to war.

We left Valinor, our home, and journeyed to a distant realm.

One filled with untold perils and strange creatures beyond count.

A place known as Middle-earth.

[thunder breaking]

[dragons screeching]


[swords clashing]

[all grunting]

[in Quenya] Valaron kalanen!


[thunder breaking]

[Galadriel in English] They said it would be over quickly, but the war left Middle-earth in ruin.

And would last centuries.

Now, we learned many words for death.

[crows cawing]

In the end, Morgoth would be defeated.

But not before much sorrow.

For his Orcs had spread to every corner of Middle-earth, Multiplying ever greater under the command of his most devoted servant, a cruel and cunning sorcerer.

They called him Sauron.

My brother vowed to seek him out and destroy him.

But Sauron found him first and marked his flesh with a symbol.

One whose meaning even our wisest could not discern.

And there, in the darkness, his vow became mine.

And so, we hunted.

To the ends of the Earth we hunted Sauron.

But the trail grew thin.

Year gave way to year.

Century gave way to century.

And for many Elves, the pain of those days passed out of thought and mind.

More and more of our kind began to believe that Sauron was but a memory.

And the threat, at last, was ended.


I wish I could be one of them.

[wind whooshing]



[wind howling]

Commander Galadriel.

This company has followed you to the very edge of the world.

But none who ever dared search for this last stronghold has ever found anything.

It’s been years since the last Orc was sighted.

Is it not possible the other commanders are right and our enemy is no more?

Night is closing in.

How long can living flesh endure where even sunlight fears to tread?

Perhaps we would be wise to camp here.

And tomorrow, begin the journey home.

We are losing the light.

[thunder breaking]

[wind whooshing]


Commander, wait!

No. We keep moving.

Galadriel, stop!

[thunder breaking]

[Elf groaning]

There’s nothing out here. We should have been there by now.

[thunder breaking]

We are there.

[thunder breaking]

[Galadriel] This is it.

This is where the Orcs gathered after Morgoth’s defeat.

Far more must have escaped, than we ever imagined.

My hand is past feeling.


This place is so evil, our torches give off no warmth.

This way.

[Thondir] How can you be certain?

[Galadriel] It’s colder than the rest.

[wind whistling]


A door was filled in here.

Bring it down.


[door creaking]

What devilry is this?

[Galadriel] These Orcs were meddling with the powers of the Unseen World.

Some dark sorcery of old.

But what was their purpose?

Surely, it is lost to the ages now.

Whatever happened here was long ago.




Even stone cannot hide the mark of one whose very hand is flame unquenched.



He was here.

Sauron was here.

Tell the others to rest while they can.

At sunrise we move on. We’ll take the search further north.

Further north?

This mark was left as a trail for Orcs to follow.

The last time I saw it was on my brother.

We must follow it.

[Thondir] The mark is centuries old.

Whoever left it could be long dead.

Or lying in wait, gathering strength, perfecting whatever dark art eluded him here.

We exceeded our orders months ago.

Surely we must first return home to take counsel with the High King.

I promise you there is not a soul amongst our company who yearns for home more than I.

I can still feel the light of the Trees on my face.

I can still see it.

And until we are certain every trace of our enemy is vanquished…

I can never return.

[thunder breaking]

[low growling]

[in Quenya] Snow-troll!

[snow-troll roaring]


[snow-troll roars]

[Elves scream]


[snow-troll growling]

[Elves shouting, groaning]


[Elf screaming]




[in English] We should never have come in here.

We leave soon enough.

The order is given.

We march at first light.

Then you shall do so alone.

[swords unsheathing]

[thunder breaking]

[breathing heavily]

[birds chirping]

[young Man] Something’s wrong here. Nothing to hunt.

Wolves in every thicket.

Don’t you think it’s the least bit strange?

World’s strange.

If I let ’em pitch-kettle me, I’d never get off me bar stool.

[footsteps, rustling]

[young Man] Oi, oi!

Keep walkin’.


Looked like a badger. Maybe a fox.

More likely a Harfoot.

A Harfoot?

Ugh. Don’t care to be seein’ none, but if you do, watch yourself.

Dangerous creatures they are.

You’re making it up.


Come on. Rattle your dags!

Let’s just get to the lake before sundown.

[blows flute]


[both] Huh? Huh.

[flute blows]



Clear and clear.

[creaking, rustling]



[lively chatter]

[Marigold] Nori!

[Harfoot exclaiming]



[chattering continues]



Travelers? At this time of year?

It’s an omen, I warrant ya.

[Sadoc grumbles]

Mmm-hmm. Bad one. As bad as they come.

Easy, Malva.

The last time we had travelers this early, it was the Great Frost.

And there’s no misremembering how bleak a season that was.

More than likely they just got lost, that’s it.

[snaps fingers] Has to be the reason.

[Largo] You’re gonna spoil dinner.

[Marigold] I’ve looked high and low again.

The wee ones are still out there.

They’ll be fine, Goldie.

Nori’s with them. You know Nori.

Yes. I do.

[children giggling]

[Poppy] Can we turn back now?

There’s 110 things out here that could kill us.

[Nori] Hundred-eleven if you count you worrying to death.

[Poppy] You know the rules. We’re not supposed to be out this far.

Don’t be… If we didn’t do everything we weren’t supposed to, we’d hardly do anything at all.

[child] Me first!

[Nori] Go on, now. Watch the puddle.

Watch your head.

[children giggling]

[Nori] This way!

[Poppy] Nori!

I’m stuck.

I’ve got you.

[both grunting]


Nori! Ow!





[laughing] Come on.

Can we turn back now?

Oh, but you haven’t even seen it yet.

[Poppy whining] Seen what?

Good place for a hill-troll to hide, if you ask me.


Oh, great glory and splendor.

[laughter, lively chatter]

[Poppy] Oh!

[Poppy] Nori!





[exclaiming playfully]

[Dilly] Nori!

I found something.

There’s something in the mud.

What is it?

It looks like a footsie.

A dog.

Just a dog. You know how dogs love berries.



[wings flutter]

Is he going to eat our berries?

Not if he doesn’t see us, he isn’t.

Hey. Twos and hands, everyone. Time to go.

[mouthful] What’s the big rush?

[whispers] Wolf.


You heard your sister. Time to go.

Go on, now. Come on.

First one back to camp gets the first pie at Harvest Fest.

Let’s go.

[children chattering happily]

Remember, if anybody asks, we were just out digging for snails.


[birds chirping]

[Elrond in Quenya] “I Palannúmen… I Alfirimë Nóri…

“Na metta avantë…

[in English] “Home.

“For centuries, they have swept across crag and crevice, washing away the last remnants of our enemy. Like a spring rain over the bones of a… Dead animal.”

“Spring rain over the bones of a…”

[Elf] Herald Elrond.

At last.

Yes. It’s almost as if I didn’t wish to be found. [chuckles]

What tidings?

The Council regrets to inform you you won’t be permitted to attend the next session.

Elf-lords only.

Is there anything else?

Yes. Your friend has arrived.

She’s here? Why didn’t you say so?

For the ceremony.

[birds chirping]

[Elrond] Galadriel.


[in Quenya] Lindon receives you with grace.

With grace, I am received.


[in English] I hear it’s said that when you cross over, you hear a song.

One whose memory we all carry.

And you are immersed in a light, more intoxicating than any sensation in all of Middle-earth.

When I was a child, it was the only feeling I knew.

And look at you now.

Commander of the Northern Armies. Warrior of the Wastelands.

I half expected you to arrive caked in grime and mud.

This time, frostbite and troll blood.

And no army.

Tell me everything.

[Galadriel] This mark’s very existence proves Sauron escaped.

He’s still out there.

The question now is, where?

I intend to ask of the King a fresh company.

If he supplies enough to…

You have only just arrived.

Must you speak of leaving again so soon?

You know very well why I must.

There will be ample time later to discuss official matters.

I want to hear about you.

Your harrowing journey.

Why, Elrond.

You really have become a politician.

You make it sound so grim.

I am not some courtier to be placated by idle flattery.

I demand to speak with the King directly.

You have made that plain.

So I will be equally plain.

It was not your company who defied you out there, but rather you who defied the High King, by refusing to heed any limit placed upon you.

In an act of magnanimity, he has chosen to honor your accomplishments…

Rather than dwell upon your insolence.

Test him again and you may find him less receptive than you might have hoped.

Are you going to arrange an audience or not?

If after the ceremony that is still your wish, you shall have it.

[lively chatter, laughter]


Ah. She has returned.

How fare thee?

Well and well, Father.

And look at her!

You found all that down by the river bank, did you?


Did you hear about the travelers?


Mm-hmm. Hunters.

Two of them.

Big as great boulders.

Right up on that ridge.

I can’t believe I missed them.

Maybe you ought to stick closer to home, that way you don’t miss anything, hmm?

[sniffs, gasps]

[both laugh]

You went to the old farm again.

Didn’t you?

I was careful.

But the children might not be.

I’m sorry, I didn’t know.

We never get hunters up here before the harvest.

[Marigold] Mmm.

Or wolves.

I wonder if there’s trouble down south.

And what concern is that of yours, Elanor Brandy foot?

Haven’t you ever wondered…

What else is out there?

How far the river flows or where the sparrows learn the new songs they sing in spring?

I can’t help but feel there’s wonders in this world.

Beyond our wanderin’.

I’ve told you.

Countless times.

Elves have forests to protect.

Dwarves, their mines. Men, their fields of grain.

Even trees have to worry about the soil beneath their roots.

But we Harfoots are free from the worries of the wide world.

We are but ripples in a long, long stream.

Our paths set by the passing seasons.

Nobody goes off trail and nobody walks alone.

We have each other. We’re safe.

That is how we survive.

[sighs] Go on. Help your father.

That’s your problem. You see, a wheel’s supposed to be round.

[Gil-galad] These most valiant of warriors kneel here before us, victorious.

For though Morgoth fell an Age ago, some feared a new evil might arise from his shadow.

So for centuries now, these soldiers have swept across crag and crevice, washing away the last remnants of our enemy like a spring rain over the bones of a spoilt carcass.

And now, at last, they return to us in triumph, for they have proven beyond any doubt that our days of war are over.


Our days of peace begin.


And as a measure of our gratitude,

these heroes shall be granted an honor unrivaled in all our lore.

They will be escorted to the Grey Havens and granted passage across the sea to dwell for all eternity in the Blessed Realm, the Far West.

The Undying Lands of Valinor.

At last, they are going home.


[fireworks whistling, exploding]

Are you just going to stand there, breathing like an Orc?

It is said the wine of victory is sweetest for those in whose bitter trials it has fermented.

I do not feel victorious.

You deserve the honors of this day.

Your brother would be proud.

I remember when the first of these were carved.

The likeness of one fallen, preserved upon a living thing.

I suppose some part of me always believed my rest would be here, with them.

But instead, I am to leave them.

This is the gift of your king.

A gift I have decided to refuse.

Galadriel, you…

My brother gave his life hunting Sauron.

His task is now mine.

I go to seek the enemy that escaped us in the north.

Alone, if I must.

Ah, yes. Your mystery sigil.

I shared it with the High King.

Then why would…

Because seeing a sigil does not mean you’re any closer to finding Sauron.

It is over. The evil is gone.

Then why is it not gone from in here?

After all you have endured…

It is only natural to feel conflicted.


I am grateful you have not known evil as I have.

But you have not seen what I have seen.

I’ve seen my share.

You have not seen what I have seen.

Evil does not sleep, Elrond.

It waits.

And in the moment of our complacency, it blinds us.

Let us say that all is as you fear, and this enemy is out there somewhere, lying in wait.

Do you truly believe seeking him out will satisfy you?

That one more Orc upon the point of your blade will bring you peace?

If you are wrong…

I’m not wrong.

If you are wrong,

will you lead more Elves to die in far-off lands?

To convince yourself you have done enough, how many more statues would you add to this path?

No one in history has ever refused the call.

Do so now, it may never come again.

You will linger here, an outcast, poisoned in dark whispers and dreams.

And in the West, do you think my fate would be better?

Where song would mock the cries of battle in my ears?

You say I have won victory over all the horrors of Middle-earth.

Yet you would leave them alive in me?

To take with me?

Undying, unchanging, unbreaking, into the land of winter less spring?

Only in the Blessed Realm can that which is broken in you be healed.

Go there.

Go, and I promise you…

If but a whisper of a rumor of the threat you perceive proves true,

I will not rest until it is put right.

You have fought long enough, Galadriel.

Put up your sword.

Without it, what am I to be?

What you have always been.

My friend.

[Men grunting]

[goat bleating]

[dog barking]

[indistinct chatter]


Caraes in three moves.



Poisoned more likely.

Poisoned? By who?

[Waldreg] For all we know, the onion-eyed scut done it himself.

[chattering stops]

[Waldreg] Arondir. [chuckles]

Has it really been a fortnight already?

[Arondir] It has.

[dog whimpering]

Uh, very little to report this go-round, I’m afraid.

A couple of shabby disputes, a bit of uneven dice-handling.

And… Oh, yes!

Had a bit of a thrill in here, Trewsday last.

Bit of a row over a girl.

His eye was lazy, hers over active, if you take my meaning.


Do you care for a drink, soldier?

Well, my well is yours, as ever.

And the poisoning?

What poisoning?

The one you were just discussing.

No, no, no, no…

It was but poisoned grass he was twattlin’ about.

A fellow passed through, said his grazing’s gone rotten.

That only weeds will grow.

This fellow, where was he from?

Didn’t say. East, I think.

On what day was he here?

Oh, let it go, knife-ears.


It’s a bloody patch of grass.

The lot you lump us in with died off a thousand years ago.

When are you people gonna let the past go?

The past is with us all, whether we like it or not.

One day, our true king will return.

And pry us right out from under your pointy boots.

Easy, lad. Quench the fire now.

[glass shatters]

[patrons gasp]

Come on, lad.

Will there be anythin’ else then?

[lively chatter continues]

[birds chirping]

Give me your hand.


Alfirin seeds.


I’ve not seen this flower since I was a child.

Where did you find these?

I had to trade with another healer who was passing through.

We crush the petals to form a salve.

You crush them?

[chuckles] Gently.

Are there healers among your kind?

There are.

But we call them artificers.

Most wounds to our bodies heal of their own accord, so, it is their labor instead to render hidden truths as works of beauty.

For beauty has great power to heal the soul.

Then I hope you find alfirin flowers beautiful.

[door opens]

[both gasp]

Until next time, then.

Soldier. [sighs]

Anything to report?

Nothing out of the ordinary.

And the well…

How was it?

Did you draw some water?

We are awaited at Ostirith.

Have you considered the consequences I might face if the Watch warden were to discover what it is that you’re doing?

Afraid I don’t take your meaning.

It’s difficult enough keeping watch over them without having to keep one eye squarely on you.

Or do you think me blind?

No. I think you talk too much.

And you smell of rotten leaves.

No, I don’t.

Yes, you do.


[Médhor] My point is this. Only twice in known history has a pairing between Elves and humans even been attempted.

And on each occasion, it ended in tragedy.

It ended in death.

You need not remind me.


Then why do you persist?

Give me one reason. One.

[Elf] Arondir! Médhor!

The High King has declared the days of war are over.

All the far outposts are being disbanded.

We’re leaving.

[wind whooshing]

Taking a last look?


Seventy-nine years I’ve been stationed here.

I suppose I’ve grown accustomed to it.

[Revion] Can you believe this place was once a barren scrap of rock?

It has changed much, Watch warden.

But the Men who live here have not.

The blood of those who stood with Morgoth still darkens their veins.

That was long ago, Watch warden.

What were you before the war?

A grower.

Then you shall be returning home to far more than you left.

Honors, title.

Your life will begin anew.

But mark this, Arondir, that for 79 years, you’ve kept watch over the men and women of Tirharad, not because of what their ancestors once did…

But because of who they still are.

And be grateful.

That you need never see them again.

[ladder creaking]

[wind whooshing]


Careful. That’s fire-root powder. You have to do it slowly.

Go any slower, I’ll be stuck here all day.

You’re in a boil this morning.

Hardly slept. Mice were dancing a proper jig under the floorboards.


Last three nights. Scratchin’ and scrapin’.

What’s one of them doing here?

I heard you were leaving.

We are.

Where’s the rest of your company?

Most likely searching for me at this very moment.

Then why are you at my home?

Say what you wish to say.

I have said it already.

A hundred times over, in every way but words.



There’s a man here for you.

[knocking on door]


[Tredwill] You heal animals, too?

[cow moaning]

If you could just give her a look.

She’s got some sort of a sickness.

[Arondir] What manner of sickness?


[Bronwyn] It isn’t a fever.

And she doesn’t appear to have any sores.

Where has she been grazing?

Hmm. She wandered east a few days ago.

Think she might have ate something?

[cow groaning]


What was that, squirted out of her?

How far east?

[Tredwill] She might’ve made it as far as Hordern.

Where are you going?

Hordern’s a day’s journey. If I leave now, I can reach it by dusk.

[Bronwyn] I’m going with you.

[door creaking]

Be quick about it.

He finds us in here, he’ll knock our teeth out.

[chickens clucking]

Only spotted it by mistake.

Stepped on a lucky board.

So, tell me,

is it true? About your mum?

Is what true?

Heard Waldreg caught herself and one of the pointies mighty sweet back of his well the other day.

Who told you that?


It’s a lie.

Maybe that’s why your father run off like he done.

My father didn’t run off.

Then what happened to him?

You don’t even know, do you?

Salty rascal’s got the King’s bounty down there.

[Theo] This is the real bounty.

Watch it!

[door creaks]

Go on, quick.



[voices whispering in Black Speech]

[waves crashing]

She has passed beyond my sight.

Galadriel was so certain her search should continue.

[Gil-galad] We foresaw that if it had, she might have inadvertently kept alive the very evil she sought to defeat.

For the same wind that seeks to blow out a fire may also cause its spread.

Then the shadow she sought…

You believe it does exist?

Set your mind at peace about it.

What you did was right.

For Galadriel and for Middle-earth.

It’s hard to see what is right…

When friendship and duty are mingled.

Such is the burden of those who lead and those who would seek to.

Galadriel sails to the sunset.

You and I must look to the new sunrise.

To that end, are you acquainted with the work of Lord Celebrimbor?


The greatest of Elven-smiths, of course.

I’ve admired his artistry since I was a child. Why do you ask?

He is about to embark on a new project. One of singular importance.

And we’ve decided that you will be working with him.

But I’ll allow you to explain the details, Lord Celebrimbor.

First the big people, now the stars.

Eyes open when they should be sleeping.

Almost like…

Like they’re watching for something.

Watching for what?


A tongue-lashing, if you don’t mind your own cartwheels.

What is it? What do you see?

Elanor Brandy foot, with your father’s nose, and always poking it into trouble, you are far too curious and meddlesome to have been born a Harfoot.

Are you quite certain you’re not part squirrel?

[slams book]


Sadoc. Sadoc, please.

Tell me.

[whispers] The skies are strange.

[whispers] Strange.

Strange how?

[Largo] Nori! Do you have that grease?

On my way.

[crickets chirping]

How familiar are you with the townsfolk of Hordern?

Very, I should hope. I was born there.


The people of Hordern were known for having been especially strong in their loyalty to Morgoth.

What did you just say?

The truth.

You’re talking about my friends.

Close kin, I know them. There are good people there.


That is why I’m here with you.

Instead of the Watch warden.


You’re the only kind touch I’ve known all my days in this land.

[rumbling in distance]

[Bronwyn panting]




[wind blowing]

[birds singing in distance]

[birds trilling]

[trilling continues]


[Finrod echoing] Do you know why a ship floats and a stone cannot?

[whooshing, crackling]

[whooshing, crackling]

[Thondir] Galadriel.

[whooshing, crackling]

Give me your hand.

[young Galadriel] But sometimes the lights shine just as brightly reflected in the water as they do in the sky.

How am I to know which lights to follow?

[whispering] Sometimes we cannot know until we have touched the darkness.

[Thondir] Galadriel!

[whooshing, crackling]


[rumbling, whooshing]

[crickets chirping]

[voices whispering in Black Speech]




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