A Shot of Finrod, With Ice: Another Amazon Series Update

Well, that was unexpected. As per Fellowship of Fans (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3vOJLBzVzs) we have some idea of this character’s identity. Contrary to conventional wisdom (and my own speculation) it is not actually Galadriel.

It’s her brother.

Now, in theory there are a number of possible candidates here: Finrod Felagund, Aegnor, or Angrod. If one were to run with the (widely rejected) notion in the 1977 Silmarillion, there is also Orodreth. But I think we can safely say it is Finrod.

(Angrod being Gil-galad’s grandfather is simply too much of a stretch of Second Age plot-relevance, while Aegnor’s romance with Andreth is an even bigger stretch. Besides, Finrod is the one who is actually referenced in The Lord of the Rings).

Now, I had previously considered and rejected Finrod’s candidacy, on the basis that he dies during the First Age, and has zero connection to the Second Age. However, as Fellowship of Fans points out, that is not entirely fair:

  • He’s Galadriel’s brother. Showing her emotional attachment (and eventual loss) will impact on her character. Second Age Galadriel will miss Finrod, so it’s not outlandish to show their initial connection in a Prologue.
  • He dies in Sauron’s dungeon. Showing this gives Sauron some antagonist power (rather than piggy-backing off his portrayal in the Jackson movies), and creates personal animosity between Galadriel and Sauron.
  • He’s the first of the Eldar to interact with Men. That does set up a major theme of the Second Age – the relationship between the two peoples.
  • He interacts with the Dwarves. The Second Age show will presumably show Celebrimbor’s relationship with Dwarves, so Finrod provides some precedent.
  • He assists Beren on his Quest, thereby allowing Elrond and Elros to be born at all.
  • His gift of the Ring of Barahir creates an heirloom that endures for Ages to come.

It is unclear how much Finrod the Second Age series will give us, and how many of these points will prove relevant. My guess it that he will be a Prologue-only Wonder, existing largely to set up Galadriel, and maybe Sauron, but we’re not talking a mere ten seconds here, or even Jackson’s Isildur. Seeing as Amazon delights enough in backstory to bother with both him and the Two Trees, I think it will be quite the extended Prologue. Stretching across an episode or two, perhaps. Wait and see, I suppose (also, does Finrod have short hair here, or is he sporting a man-bun?).

The other point of interest discussed by Fellowship of Fans is the rumour that we’ll see Galadriel crossing icy mountains. As they note, this is clearly a reference to the Helcaraxë – the Grinding Ice (and possibly the most Metal name in all of Tolkien). And, apparently, we’ll see an Ice-Troll or something.

I think the Helcaraxë news is (appropriately enough) the tip of an iceberg, quite apart from the scene being inevitably breathtaking at the visual level. If they are going to the trouble of showing the Two Trees, Tirion, Finrod, and the Helcaraxë, that really does imply that they will have to give us Morgoth and the War of Wrath in the culmination of the Prologue (Ancalagon the Black on screen?). And at least a cameo from Fëanor earlier on, to explain why Galadriel and her people are chasing the Dark Lord across these frozen wastes at all.

Speculatively then, I’d suggest this extended Prologue will consist of:

  • Establishing the Elves as a people.
  • Establishing Melkor and the origin of the Orcs (recall the references to concentration-camp-style nudity). Maybe Sauron’s role as Melkor’s lieutenant.
  • Galadriel and Finrod living in the bliss of Tirion, complete with their sibling affection for each other.
  • At least sketching out Mad Uncle Feanor and his Silmarils (Feanor’s rebellion is, of course, briefly mentioned in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings). Maybe the strands of hair incident?
  • Establishing Galadriel’s darker side – her desire to Rule.
  • The Destruction of the Trees by Melkor, and the theft of the Silmarils.
  • The Noldor leaving Valinor to pursue Melkor. Rather than focusing on Mad Uncle Feanor, it’s all about Galadriel and Finrod – probably skip the Kinslaying or even the Doom of the Noldor.
  • The Helcaraxe.
  • Finrod encountering Men and Dwarves. Maybe the Ring of Barahir?
  • A fast-forward through the Noldor getting curbstomped by Morgoth and his Orcs.
  • Finrod dying in Sauron’s dungeon.
  • The War of Wrath. Gloss over Silmaril stuff.
  • Galadriel, Celebrimbor, Gil-galad, et al, deciding to stay in Middle-earth. Men getting Numenor.

Phew. Quite the summary of the First Age… one that I still think can’t be too detailed, since it would destroy the ability of Amazon to fully develop the First Age material, if it eventually becomes available. Eru only knows how the legal rights issue works here, but it seems Amazon have licensed enough of The Silmarillion (in conjunction with Unfinished Tales, and the summarised Appendix material) to provide some meaty backstory. They clearly want to lay the groundwork for the Second Age proper. Otherwise, why bother with Finrod and the Ice at all?

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