The following excerpts from The Rings of Power are spoilers.
Elrond (Robert Aramayo) goes to the workshop of Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) where he discovers the Feanor's hammer, revealing to the general public that Feanor forged the Silmarils, diamonds that would wreak havoc on Middle-earth. Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, almost turned away from his evil quest after weeks spent admiring the Silmarils' beauty.
Although the scene is a must-see for readers of J.R. Tolkiens' literary works, it might confuse viewers who only followed Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. So, to give you a proper background on the First Age of Middle-earth, let's look at the Silmarils and their relationship to Ardas history.
What Are the Silmarils?
Feanor, an Elf-lord, created the Silmarils at a time when Elves lived in Valinor, the land of the Valar. They were created by the One God to fill the Void with existence, spawning the world of Arda.
Feanor's Silmarils were so strong that no weapon in Arda would ever be able to break them; on top of that, Varda, the most powerful of the Valar, blessed the gems so that no evil person could ever touch them without being hurt. Unfortunately, their irrefutable value grew the seed of distrust in Feanor's heart, which soon became known as Morgoth, the first Dark Enemy of all life.
Why is the Silmarils so Important to Middle-Earth?
Morgoth and Ungoliant, a being born from Darkness who took the form of a giant black spider, attacked Valinor, murdered Feanor's father, and fled to Middle-earth after their evil act was completed. Feanor swears an oath to fight anyone who attempts to acquire the Silmarils. Ardas First Age is a period of conflict and destruction.
Feanor sent an Elven army across the ocean to Middle-earth, causing havoc to many kingdoms of Elves, Men, and Dwarves. The many conflicts that followed Morgoth's treason and vow are known as the Wars of Beleriand, or the Wars of the Jewels. After all, Sauron, the adversary who rose in the Second Age and nearly conquered the continent during the Third Age, was a general for Morgoth.
The Silmarils changed hands a few times until they were completely removed from the world. Beren is the father of Elrond Half-elven, a human hero who happens to be the father of Beren's granddaughter Elwing. The Silmaril was then handed to Earendil, the Valar's commander in the Battle of Beleriand.
The other two Silmaril remained with Morgoth until the end of the Wars of Beleriand. Once the Dark Enemy had died, the Valar intended to recover the lost gems. However, Maedhros and Maglor, two sons of Feanor who were still alive, decided to follow their oath and stole the Silmarils, which caused immense pain and suffering. Maglor cast his Silmaril into the ocean, and there it lies, forever lost in the deepest sea.
The three Silmarils became forever inaccessible to the people of Middle-earth and could no longer be the cause of any conflict. Of course, Sauron would soon forge the One Ring and other Rings of Power, bringing more dangerous jewels into existence and condemning Middle-earth to more bloodshed. However, the Silmarils are still remembered as legendary items that shaped history and it's nice to see the series diving deeper into Tolkiens legend.
The first two seasons of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are now available on Prime Video. New episodes are available every Friday.