Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Rings of Power.
Since the first time they shared the screen, the friendship between Elrond (Robert Amayo) and Durin IV (Owain Arthur) has been one of the strengths of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. It’s not just about their chemistry and deep connection, but also about the rare joy of seeing an elf and a dwarf as comrades and not enemies, as they have often been in Tolkien’s lore. In episode 4 we saw how that friendship was consolidated when Durin shared his deepest secret with Elrond: the existence of Mithril. But just one episode later, that precious mineral could be at the center of a huge betrayal. However, as The Rings of Power shows us, the bond between Durin and Elrond is stronger than any potential conflict, and leads to a great moment that answers an even bigger question that has long remained in the minds of fans of The Lord of the Rings.
The real reason Elrond went to Khazad-dûm is revealed
While we know that Elrond truly values his friendship with Durin, he has not been truthful about why he first returned to Khazad-dûm. It wasn’t simply to seek out his best friend, but to try to forge a union between the elves and the dwarves to help Celebrimbor forge his next great creation. In his defense, Elrond attempted to convey this to Durin. But what no one knew was that Elrond was manipulated by Celebrimbor and High King Gil-Galad. Both elves already knew about Mithril and wanted to confirm that the dwarves were capable of extracting it. It’s a great reveal showing the power and cynical cunning of the elder elves and Elrond’s naivete and arrogance. But he once again demonstrates his personal growth and his dedication to his relationship with Durin by instantly telling him the truth.
Thanks to their friendship and Durin’s profound generosity, we now know how the elves had access to mithril even though the substance was only found in Khazad-dûm.
What do the elves want with the mithril?
Although we know that the Elves have processed Mithril and used it to create numerous things, Celebrimbor reveals to Elrond that there is a more drastic reason. why they need it. After Celebrimbor reveals that he already knew about the ore, Elrond asks if it could be the salvation of the elves. “If we can get massive amounts of it fast enough to saturate every last elf in the light of valor once more, then yes, it could be,” replies the famed blacksmith.
It remains for Elrond to break his oath and ask for Durin’s help. Exposing the importance of the ore and how it could save the elves, Elrond begs his friend to help him. And Durin, pleased at the chance to hold the fate of all elves in his hands, accepts. This is a very important moment, not only because we know that Celebrimbor will end up using the Mithril to forge one of the Rings of Power, but also because This fills a huge gap in the classic Lord of the Rings story..
A Decades-Old Lord of the Rings Question Finally Answered
One of the biggest questions about the relationship between the elves and the dwarves in The Lord of the Rings is how the elves came to possess mithril. Although “trading” with the dwarves has been mentioned in the books, it has always remained unclear how the deal was struck. It’s a vital part of Tolkien’s story, as mithril is incredibly rare and only found in a few places, one of which is of course the Mines of Moria. This episode answers that question and lays the groundwork for expanding the relationship between elves and dwarves.
The reason the elves were able to process mithril and create jewelry, armor, and artifacts boils down to one thing: Elrond and Durin’s decades-long friendship. Not only is it the reason that Elrond was able to enter the mines and confirm that the dwarves were mining the mithril in the first place, but it also created the bridge between the two communities. If Elrond hadn’t been honest with Durin and told him what the elves wanted, they would never have been able to access the mithril. And if Durin had not loved Elrond so much, he would never have considered allowing the elves to share his treasure. The big question now is how Durin will convince his father to allow the elves access to the mithril.
We’ll have to keep watching The Rings of Power to find out. But with only a few episodes of the epic first season to go, we think we’ll probably get our answer sooner rather than later.