The political side of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power unfolded during the events of episode 5 as we saw the ultimate ambition of High King Gil-galad in relation to his relationship with the Dwarves. In that regard, that was when he asked Elrond to tell him the Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir because of its overall importance to the goal of the Elves. So, what is the Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir about?
The Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir talks about a tree that is said to contain the last of the Silmarils. This story is about an Elf protecting the tree from a Balrog, and that battle caused lightning to hit the tree and force the light of the Silmaril to seep into the earth to create mithril.
It was amazing to see that The Rings of Power still references some of the things that happened way back during the First Age or even before that, as it was still clear that the Elves still value the Silmarils, which have been lost for a very long time already. Now, with that said, let’s look at what the Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir is all about so that we would understand the goal of the Elves.
What Is The Song Of The Roots Of Hithaeglir About?
While The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power focuses a lot on the growing power of the Orcs and Galadriel’s quest to muster up a Númenorean army so that she could destroy Sauron’s armies once and for all, there are also side stories that are happening in the background. One such story is in relation to the partnership of the Elves and the Dwarves regarding the project that Celebrimbor wanted to undertake. Of course, Elrond was the one tasked to work with Celebrimbor because of his close relationship with Prince Durin IV.
We saw in episode 4 that Prince Durin had discovered an ore called mithril, which is stronger than iron but as light as steel. He wanted to keep this discovery a secret because of the fact that it was perilous to mine in the depths of Khazad-dûm. As such, he wanted Elrond to keep this a secret from the rest of the Elves.
Nevertheless, the political side of the storyline progressed during episode 5 when High King Gil-galad wanted to know what the Dwarves were up to in Khazad-dûm. Of course, both Durin and Elrond kept the information about mithril a secret, but the High King suspected that Elrond had been keeping a secret from him. That was when he told Elrond to tell him the story of the Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir. So, what is the Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir all about?
As Elrond said, the Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir talks about a tree that’s located in the Misty Mountains on Middle-Earth. The very song describes that this one single tree was where the last of the Silmarils were located. Take note that the Silmarils are precious jewels that Fëanor himself crafted way before the First Age. The Silmarils are said to contain the light of the Two Trees of Valinor themselves, and that’s why they are precious to the Elves and to the one who coveted them—Morgoth.
It is the Silmarils that forced the Elves to go to war against Morgoth because the dark lord stole them from Valinor and retreated to Middle-Earth. Nevertheless, the Silmarils were lost during the end of the First Age, as they were never seen again.
The Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir says that one of the Silmarils was contained within a tree. In that regard, a solitary Elf had to protect the tree from the darkness as he was forced to battle a Balrog of Morgoth in his attempt to keep the Silmarils away from the forces of darkness. This battle between the Elf and the Balrog was so fierce that it is said that lightning struck the tree.
When lightning struck, the Silmaril was said to have been destroyed as its light seeped into the earth. As such, the Silmaril was never seen again, but it is said that the very light that came out of it was able to bless the ores hidden within the earth.
Is The Song Of The Roots Of Hithaeglir About Mithril?
As we saw in episode 4, Elrond described the mithril as a rock that is capable of catching light itself. This is eerily similar to one of the qualities of the Silmaril in the sense that these jewels were capable of producing their own light.
So, with that said, Gil-galad believes that the Song of the Roots of Hithaeglir talked about mithril as the very light of the Silmaril contained within the tree blessed the earth and produced these ores that were capable of producing their own light as well and had properties that were far stronger than the most precious ore in the world.
It is the very fact that High King Gil-galad suspected that the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm have been quite active recently that made him believe that they have found mithril hidden beneath their mountain. That’s because Khazad-dûm is located in the Misty Mountains, which is the common tongue term for Hithaeglir. In that regard, it is quite possible that the mithril that the Dwarves found hidden in the depths of Khazad-dûm are the ores that the light of the Silmaril blessed.
That is why Gil-galad chose Elrond for this task, as he made him believe that he was only going to talk to the Dwarves for the purpose of completing Celebrimbor’s project. He and Celebrimbor chose to keep this knowledge hidden from Elrond on purpose. In that regard, King Durin III was right when he suspected that High King Gil-galad only sent Elrond to mend things with Prince Durin IV so that they could learn more about the mithril.