The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power had an interesting topic that was briefly mentioned by Adar when he was interrogated by Galadriel. He mentioned that Sauron was trying to utilize the power of the Unseen World in his experiments regarding the Orcs, and that was what forced Adar to “kill” him. This was the only time that the Unseen World was mentioned in episode 6, as it was never explained what it actually is. So, what is the Unseen World?
The Unseen World is literally an unseen world that is invisible to the eyes of physical beings, such as Elves and Men. This is the world in which the spirit form of the Valar, Maiar, and the Wraiths dwell. In The Lord of the Rings, one can access the Unseen World by wearing the One Ring.
While JRR Tolkien wasn’t always literal in the way he described the different concepts and entities in his works, the Unseen World is one of the concepts that literally means what it means, as it is a realm that exists in the same world but is simply unseen. As mentioned, Sauron was trying to utilize this power in his experiments. Now, with that said, let’s look at what the Unseen World is.
What Is The Unseen World?
One of the things that a lot of us have noticed in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is the fact that it has continued to expand on the lore written by JRR Tolkien in his Legendarium. Some of the different concepts that were never explored in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies were actually mentioned and explored in The Rings of Power. And we saw something like this during the events of episode 6.
Galadriel captured Adar, the leader of the Orcs that attacked the Southlands. She was able to decipher the fact that he was one of the Moriondor or the first Orcs. However, she understood that even the Moriondor had masters, and she was referring to Sauron, whose whereabouts and identity she was trying to extract from Adar.
The father of the Uruks told the story behind Sauron, who he said wanted to “heal” Middle-Earth after Morgoth’s demise. Adar said that Sauron took his forces to the far north, where we saw Galadriel and her company journeying at the start of The Rings of Power. He said that Sauron was trying to seek a new power that wasn’t flesh but “over flesh,” as he described this to be the power of the Unseen World. So, what is the Unseen World in The Rings of Power?
Unlike a lot of the different concepts that we have heard in the adaptations of Tolkien’s Legendarium, the Unseen World is something that hasn’t been fully explored or talked about but has been present ever since the first The Lord of the Rings movie. That’s because the Unseen World is literally the world of unseen entities that exist in ethereal spiritual forms. A good example of the Unseen are the Valar and the Maiar, as they only exist in spiritual forms in their original state but are capable of taking physical shape.
Sauron himself and Gandalf and the Wizards are originally of the Unseen World, as their true forms are divine spirits that are unseen to physical beings like Men and Elves. However, they have chosen to take physical form so that they could also affect the physical plane.
But probably the best examples of the Unseen other than the Ainur (Valar and Maiar) are the Wraiths. We’ve seen Wraiths before in the form of the Nazgûl, who are the nine Ring-Wraiths that are clad in dark robes and are forever seeking the One Ring to Rule Them All so that they could bring it back to their master, who we know is Sauron himself.
And the reason why the Nazgûl are of the Unseen World is the fact that they are actually Wraiths or sprits in their original form after they were corrupted by Sauron when they were men. However, they are also capable of taking forms that are somewhat physical in nature whenever they don their black robes. But the fact is that they are essentially spirits that walk the boundaries between the physical realm and the Unseen World.
What Are The Powers Of The Unseen World?
The beings of the Unseen World have various powers that depend on the nature of these entities. For example, the Valar and the Maiar, whenever they are in their original spiritual and unseen forms, are capable of godlike powers and abilities that are in line with the different powers and elements of the world.
But as far as the Nazgûl are concerned, they have different abilities in relation to the Unseen World, as they are not completely unseen but actually exist between the two realms. Whenever they are in their Wraith forms, the Nazgûl are capable of sensing the One Ring and seeing any other beings that exist in the Unseen World as well.
On top of that, the Nazgûl are made to be unkillable by conventional weapons in the sense that physical blades are not capable of destroying them due to their nature as beings that can exist between the two realms. It was only the fact that Merry possessed a blade that was capable of killing the Unseen that the Witch-king was defeated. That is exactly why “no man” can kill the Witch-king and the other Nazgûl, as we saw in the events of The Hobbit when they couldn’t die no matter what Elrond and Saruman did.
Those who possess the One Ring are also capable of accessing the Unseen World whenever they wear it. This allows them to travel between the two worlds at will, as Frodo was able to see the true forms of the Nazgûl when he was in the Unseen World. In Tolkien’s writings, Frodo was also able to see the true luminous forms of the Elves whenever he was in the Unseen World.
Was Sauron Trying To Create Wraiths?
The fact that Adar mentioned the Unseen World was quite interesting because he said that Sauron was trying to utilize the power of the Unseen World through his experiments related to the Orcs. In that regard, it was clear that he was trying to create something unnatural and capable of traversing the Unseen World, much like how the Valar and the Maiar could.
That means that it was possible that what he was doing to the Orcs when he was in his fortress in the far north was his early attempts at creating Wraiths, which we know exist in the form of the Nazgûl during the events of The Lord of the Rings. But Adar did say that something was missing and that Sauron, as much as he tried, could not succeed in his experiment because he didn’t have the dark power that had been eluding him.
We know for a fact that Sauron eventually succeeded in utilizing the power of the Unseen World when he created the Nazgûl, which are essentially Men that were corrupted through the Rings of Power. And it is possible that the dark power that Adar was talking about is the power of the One Ring, which was responsible for corrupting the nine kings of Men that ultimately turned into the Nazgûl.