The Lord of the Rings canonizes two trees with a significant technological innovation

The Lord of the Rings canonizes two trees with a significant technological innovation ...

Amazons The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has much to teach us about Middle-earth's history, or at least its version of that history. The most interesting has to do with mithril, a legendary elf, and the Misty Mountains itself.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 5, Partings.]

During the final episode of Episode 5, High King Gil-Galad and Elrond shared their thoughts on Middle-earths history. When Elrond refused to reveal what he learned from Durin after his oath last episode, Gil-Galad asked him to recount The Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir.

Elrond describes the poem as depicting a pure-hearted elf warrior and a balrog of Moria over a beautiful tree at the top of the Misty Mountains. According to the legend, the tree was believed to hold one of the lost Silmarils, a set of gems against whom the conflict with Morgoth was waged.

The elf poured his light into the tree, while the balrog attempted to deceive it with its own evil and darkness. In the midst of this battle, the tree was struck by lightning, and its essence soaked deep into the Misty Mountains below and became mithril.

No one knew for sure that mithril was real until Durin and his group discovered it beneath their halls in Khazad-dum, but Gil-Galad seems to have always suspected it, and was holding out hope that it would be mined.

Why is mithril so important to the Elves? Because, apparently, of another tree. This tree, Gil-Galad explains, is slowly devoting itself to corruption. This, Gil-Galad explains, is an outer manifestation of an inner reality: The elves who remain in Middle-Earth are losing their power and their ability to influence the world around them. Only by infusing mithril, which derives from the light of the ancient trees that once grew in Gil

With all of this lore, it is probably worthwhile to note that almost all of this is an adaptation of the show rather than Tolkiens original work. Mithril was never discovered in other mines than Moria, such as those in Numenor, and it has an important role to play in the series.