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Everyone on The Rings of Power is pissed off and conflicted, thank god

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A big draw of the fantasy genre is the way it so often presents the world in binary terms: There are good guys, there are bad guys, and not much else in between.

Yet it’s this in-between area that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 5, “Partings,” largely concerns itself with, picking up where episode 4 left off, with our heroes continuing to serve as their own worst enemies. “Partings” takes this theme a step further, with several characters now forced to agonize over make-or-break choices not easily labeled “good” or “bad.” The upshot of this is an extra layer of moral ambiguity to proceedings that comes as a welcome addition — not just to The Rings of Power episode 5, but to the show’s wider vision of Middle-earth itself, too.

If this all sounds a bit too abstract for a show pulling from the J.R.R. Tolkien playbook, rest assured that episode 5’s murkiness also manifests in other, more tangible ways, even seeping into the story.

We get partial answers to many of The Rings of Power’s major ongoing mysteries — like why the orcs seem fixated on Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) — but we’re also left with plenty of questions, too.

Read more on polygon.com
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