This article contains little spoilers for the end of episode 2 of Rings of Power.]
Orcs are quite rare in the first two episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. However, they are nothing like what weve seen on screen before. Though they are still a threat, they are no longer a swarm. Instead, the Amazon show shows how terrifying one might be.
The Lord of the Rings has taken a backseat before, but Rings of Power has carving out its own niche here. When Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) goes to warn the people that a nearby town fell to who knows what, it feels more classically drawn from a horror film, as her neighbors wave away her worries as flights of fancy. But it also highlights the different personalities in the orcs: they are more afraid of a returning occupying force than the whispers of
In these early episodes of Rings of Power, theyre no longer the horde that was introduced in The Fellowship of the Ring, merely a singular, terrifying monster that is slowly creeping into Bronwyns house. We can see its skull mask in its fuzzy profile, but we only notice its totality once Bronwyn discovers it.
The orc here is still a nasty creature who appears to be a mother and her son, despite the general canon. However, the threat it presents in a way that most of the rest of the Rings of Power cant quite grasp.
The prequel to Rings of Power is certainly enough to entice Bronwyn and her fellow townspeople to go to the elves at their first light, and it feels like a step in the right direction. It allows you to deconstruct what makes a thing tick, and then more deeply explore aspects of the story that are already familiar. It also highlights the bone-chilling terror of defeating an army of orcs.