Power rings spoilers ahead.
As The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues, as does the engagement in Tolkein’s expansive world.
We’ve now been introduced to the Seeing Stones, which fans of the franchise already know will end up having a big part to play in future events, especially those involving Sauron, Saruman, and Denethor.
But for the uninitiated, here is what the Seeing Stones actually do and why they are so important within the realm of Middle-earth.
What are Seeing Stones and what can they do?
The Seeing Stones – technically known as Palantiri – have several abilities, including the ability to communicate with each other, see the future, and see through space and time.
The largest of them, known as the ‘Master Stone’, is based in Aman (the elven civilization above the sea), while seven others were spread across the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor.
They are perfectly circular objects that vary in size and weight, and are/were/will be (depending on when you join the story) guarded by the heirs of Elendil.
Over time, several were lost.
How are they significant in The Rings Of Power?
Spoilers are coming based on Tolkein’s books, so beware if you don’t want to spoil the viewing experience.
During the performance, we discover through the stone that the queen regent is aware of the fall of Númenor, with the kingdom finally sinking into the sea.
Ar-Pharazôn, King of Númenor, blinded by a desire for eternal life and lured in by Sauron’s lies, ultimately destroys the realm by his actions. He is the nephew of the current king Tar-Palantír, and ascends the throne after Tar-Palantír has no heirs of his own.
Sauron later manipulates him into raising an army to attack Valinor and gain immortality when Ar-Pharazôn begins to fear old age.
So far, we have only seen one of the seven stones that are supposed to be in Midgard. So keep an eye out for them going forward.
Were they seen in Lord of the Rings Movies?
Yes, actually they had quite a role to play in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
One of them is in Saruman’s possession Fellowship Of The Ringwhen Gandalf discovers that he is under the influence of Sauron.
Sauron later uses the stone to command Saruman to build an army worthy of Mordor.
Further in the story, the hobbit Pippin is mentally attacked by Sauron via Saruman’s stone, which he had found in the water at the tower of Orthanc. In Minas Tirith, the Steward of Gondor Denethor (offscreen) uses a palantír to see (and fear) the rise of Aragorn.
IN The return of the king, Sauron is confronted by Aragon after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, who have taken Denethor’s stone from Minas Tirith’s throne room. Sauron, holding another of the palantíri, uses his power to manipulate Aragon, telling him that Arwen is dying. This scene is only in the extended version of the film.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power sent on Fridays Amazon Prime Video.