Adar (Joseph Mawle) looking down at a dying orc in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode...

An Unexpected Journey

Rings of Power: Adar’s terrifying plan will likely change Middle-earth forever

Big changes are coming to the Southlands in The Rings of Power.

Prime Video

The first five episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have done their best to draw out certain key storylines. That includes Adar’s (Joseph Mawle) invasion of the Southlands, which was set up in The Rings of Power’s premiere but has since progressed at a noticeably sluggish pace. In The Rings of Power Episode 5, Adar’s mission finally starts kicking into gear.

Of course, while The Rings of Power lets Adar take on a more active role in its latest installment, the series does so without divulging too many details about his backstory and his plan for the Southlands. Fortunately, The Rings of Power Episode 5 gives us enough information to make some important assumptions about Adar’s mysterious endgame.

Joseph Mawle as Adar in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 4.Prime Video

Adar’s Plan — Early on in The Rings of Power Episode 5, Adar has a brief but notable conversation with one of his Orc lieutenants. Throughout the scene, Adar not only forces his companion to painfully expose some of his bare skin to the sunlight, but the villain also hints that the Sun may not have much of a presence in the Southlands for much longer.

That moment, combined with Adar’s stated desire to create “a new world,” gives us a pretty good idea of exactly what he has in store for both the Southlands and the human beings that populate the region. Spoiler alert: None of it’s good.

Middle-earth’s orcs are on a mission to build a new home for themselves in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.Prime Video

Creating a New World — In The Rings of Power’s third episode, Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) makes the shocking discovery that the symbol of Sauron she’s been tracking for literal centuries is not just a sigil, but a portion of the map of Middle-earth. Specifically, the symbol outlines the mountain ranges that separate the Southlands from the rest of the continent — the same mountain ranges that will one day surround Mordor, the land where the shadows lie.

Sauron, it turns out, had a contingency plan in place at the end of the First Age in case his master, Morgoth, was defeated, one that would ensure that he and his orc followers would still have a kingdom of their own. Now, while his connection to Sauron remains unclear, it’s looking increasingly likely that Adar intends to follow through on Sauron’s contingency plan.

That is to say that Adar seems hellbent on guaranteeing the safety of both himself and his orc “children,” and it’s hard to think of a better way for him to do that than to begin transforming the Southlands into Mordor. How exactly Theo’s blood magic-powered sword is meant to help Adar do that is a mystery, but it’s clear now that it was designed to play some kind of role in the inevitable transformation of the region.

Adar (Joseph Mawle) has turned out to be a pretty formidable villain in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.Prime Video

The Inverse Analysis — Only three episodes remain in The Rings of Power’s first season, which hopefully means fans won’t have much longer to wait before they find out the answers to many of the questions they’ve been asking since the Amazon series premiered. Indeed, while Lord of the Rings fans have learned a lot over the past two weeks about Joseph Mawle’s Adar, there’s still plenty about him that has yet to be revealed.

When it comes to his plan for the Southlands, though, it seems pretty clear now that Adar intends to turn the region into one that’s more hospitable for himself and his orc army — and less hospitable for pretty much everyone else.

New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiere Fridays on Prime Video.