Mithril and its importance to The Rings of Power explained


Mithril is a substance imbued with legendary qualities in the Lord of the Rings universe. Now the metal has been introduced in Prime Video’s The Rings of Power, setting the stage for the greatest endings in history.

There are a number of storylines and characters that ensnare the screen with their importance and weight in The Rings of Power so far.

Viewers were introduced to a slew of characters who will all be integral to the story moving forward, while also contributing to the platonic shifts in the show’s Prime Video lore.

Amid all the glitz and gravity of the grand character introductions, one low-key but very pivotal development might have eluded many who aren’t as familiar with Tolkien’s book lore as die-hard fans.

The subject of this crucial development is Mithril, the fascinating metal that has appeared in previous live-action adaptations of the LOTR books.

Mithril – the metal that illuminates with a divine glow – appeared in both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. So what is this precious discovery made by Durin IV and what future does it hold for dwarves and other races?

Mining, Mithril and Magic

Mithril is a rare metal found in the deep mines of Moria. It is one of the most exhilarating discoveries in the entire Dwarven realm, something that turns out to be the most auspicious of discoveries and ultimately, the reason for the destruction of Khazad-dûm.

It is a lighter metal than steel but also stronger than steel. It also has a unique type of luminosity, which causes it to glow in particular lighting, such as moonlight or starlight.

Viewers who have watched the LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies may remember the chain mail that Bilbo and later his nephew Frodo wear. It was given to Bilbo by Thorin Oakenshield and later passed on to Frodo.

Frodo’s Mithril shirt in LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring/Image source: New Line Cinema

This chainmail shirt, made of Mithril, was the very thing that saved Frodo from an otherwise fatal blow by an orc. It is a durable material like no other.

It is such a rare find that Durin IV holds his discovery of very high importance. So much so that he asks Elrond to take an oath not to tell anyone else about it. However, he could surprisingly break the oath, as Celebrimbor appears to get his hands on Mithril in the Episode 5 trailer.

Mining Mithril is almost courting death, as dwarven miners must dig deep into the perilous and treacherous terrain of Moria. An example of the perils surrounding mining is shown in Episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

The dangers Mithril mining invites are also what skyrocket its preciousness.

A bright future or a doomed fate?

In the books, Mithril is ultimately used to forge Nenya, the ring that Galadriel wears. There must have been other rings that were forged with the metal, but specific mention of this is not available in Tolkien’s works.

However, The Rings of Power has thus far been clear in its intention to deviate from the source materials. There have been many deviations that give way to a possibility where more, or maybe even all of the rings are forged from Mithril.

Durin IV holds the metal very close to his heart and regards it as a discovery that will lead Khazad-dûm to unprecedented prosperity. It’s true, as fans know from reading the books.

Galadriel nenya ring
Galadriel’s Nenya and other Elven Rings in LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring/Image Source: New Line Cinema

However, all Dwarven prosperity precedes a fate so bleak that it leaves all of Khazad-dûm in ruins.

Mithril is a metal of great value, and the nature of supply and demand is such that dwarves must mine more and more to extract all they can. As a result, they dig too deep and disturb a legendary monster called Balrog from its slumber.

The monster wreaks havoc and kills Durin VI, while scaring all the dwarves away from Khazad-dûm.

A similar fate seems to await Durin IV right now in The Rings of Power. Celebrimbor’s thirst for metal is sure to spark conflict with Durin, who is already very cautious about what Celebrimbor and Gil-galad want from him and their partnership.

Read also : Is Sauron already present in The Rings of Power?


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