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Where is Rhûn in Middle-earth and why is it important in Rings of Power?

October 14, 2022

*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power Episode 8*

After teasing fans with a number of mysteries throughout its first season, Amazon’s The Rings of Power finally offered some answers in Episode 8.

The gripping episode, finally, confirmed Sauron’s identity and also hinted that the stranger might actually be a wizard we’ve met before.

In the final moments of the episode, Nori and the Stranger begin a new adventure together as they set out to explore the lands of Rhûn, but where exactly is this mysterious place and why might it be important in The Rings of Power?

  • TOUCHING TRIBUTE: THE RINGS OF POWER DEDICATE THE FINAL TO DR JOHN DUNDEE PAYNE

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power | SDCC Trailer

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The Stranger and Nori must go to Rhûn

After battling the three mystics earlier in the episode, the stranger is revealed to be one of the Istari, a wizard.

His last line of dialogue in the episode is also a nod to the audience almost confirming that he is Gandalf.

But there’s still a lot the enigmatic figure doesn’t know about his place in Middle-earth, so he informs Nori that to find out more, he must travel to the land of Rhûn.

It appears to be the final farewell between the two, but Nori’s family knows her fate is not on the Harfoots’ trail, and they give her their blessing to accompany the wizard.

  • A FAMILIAR FACE: THE STRANGER’S “ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR NOSE” LINE EXPLAINED
The Stranger and Nori in episode 8 of Rings of PowerRings of power © Prime Video

Where is Rhûn in Middle-earth?

Rhûn is the easternmost land of Middle-earth.

It is located directly east of Rhovanion where the Harfoots traveled as well as northeast of Mordor, formerly known as the Southlands.

The geography of Rhûn is little known because it is little explored by the Men, Elves and Dwarves of the western regions of Middle-earth.

Extant maps of Rhûn show the great inland sea of ​​Rhûn which is bordered by forest and a range of hills and further to the east it is known that there is another body of inland water known as sea ​​of ​​Helcar.

A band of Men known as the Easterlings inhabit the lands of Rhûn and many of them served Morgoth and later Sauron in the great wars of Middle-earth.

In addition to this, several clans of Dwarves are also known to live in the region, some of whom sought refuge in the western lands of Middle-earth when evil began to spread there.

Nori and The Stranger embark on their journey to Rhun in The Rings of PowerRings of power © Prime Video

Why Rhûn could be so important in The Rings of Power

Rhûn is a crucial location in Tolkien’s lore as it is home to two ancient regions, Cuiviénen and Hildórien, where the first Elves and Men awoke after being created by Eru Ilúvatar, the god of Middle-earth.

As such, the bloodlines of most beings trace back to Rhûn, and thus the Stranger is almost certainly seeking to learn more about their origins and purpose in Middle-earth.

In Tolkien’s original texts, it is never revealed whether Gandalf ever went to the Rhûn. Doing so in The Rings of Power will therefore be his first visit to the region – and ours too, as the land has never been shown on screen before.

Later in the Middle-earth timeline, in the Third Age, Saruman and the two blue wizards travel to Rhûn but as Saruman returned west, the blue wizards were never seen again.

The land was also home to Sauron himself for a time after his defeat by Isildur and the Last Alliance, while he also took refuge there after the White Council forced him to flee Dol Guldur as seen in The Hobbit movies.

Sauron in The Rings of PowerRings of power © Prime Video

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is available for full streaming on Amazon Prime Video after Season 1 ends on October 14, 2022.

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