As The Rings of Power wrapped up its first season, some important answers came to light. We get to see that Halbrand is actually Sauron. As Halbrand was providing ideas to Celebrimbor on how to use the mithril ore to mix it with other alloys without affecting its purity and properties of it, Galadriel became suspicious of him and his intentions. Eventually, Halbrand’s true identity came to light, and because of it, Galadriel suggested to Celebrimbor and Elrond that they should make three rings because that would be a perfect balance.
After the rings were forged, the episode ended with a suitable song playing in the background. But, what song plays at the end of episode 8 of The Rings of Power? We’ll explain the meaning of the lyrics below.
At the end of episode 8 of The Rings of Power, a song that is played is called Where the Shadows Lie. The main artist, composer, and producer of the song is Bear McCreary, and it is sung by featured artist Fionna Apple. The lyrics of the song are referring to some of the Rings of Power being crafted while it also narrates the story about what is yet to come in the show, and what we know for a fact that happened in the books.
When Galadriel found out that Halbrand can not be the King of Southlands because that lineage was broken many years ago, Halbrand revealed that he is actually Sauron and that his main goal is to have power and control. Galadriel then realized the Elves had been manipulated by Sauron, so she insisted there should not be one ring, for that would potentially create a ruler and a tyrant, nor should there be two because that would sow division. Instead, she suggested that three rings should be made, as that would be the closest to potential balance.
Elrond and Celebrimbor took her advice, and Celebrimbor crafted The three Elven rings of power. After that, Where the Shadows Lie conveniently started playing. So, let’s analyze the song and the meaning of the lyrics further.
The creation of the song Where the Shadows Lie
At the end of episode 8 of The Rings of Power, there is a song playing in the background with the lyrics most of us already heard before. The song is called Where the Shadows Lie and there is a perfectly good reason why the lyrics sound familiar. Where the Shadows Lie is written by Rings of Power composer Bear McCreary, and it originally appeared in instrumental form in the series’ opening episode.
McCreary wrote the song based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Ring Poem’ text and that is why the lyrics sound familiar. The song is performed by a Grammy awarded singer, Fiona Apple.
Here is, what McCreary said about working with Fiona:
“To embody all these narrative elements into one voice is no small task, and so I am especially grateful to have collaborated with legendary singer Fiona Apple. Inarguably one of the definitive musical voices of her generation, Fiona brought new depths and narrative intention to the song’s unique combination of my haunting melody and Tolkien’s ominous text. I have been inspired by her musicality for two decades, and I could not imagine an artist better suited to bring to life the mystery, majesty, and power of this song.I am thrilled audiences can finally hear ‘Where the Shadows Lie,’ a song we strategically withheld from the Season One album until now, so that it’s significance would not be spoiled in the early episodes.”Bear McCreary
As already mentioned, McCreary wrote the song based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Ring Poem’ text so the lyrics are already familiar to the fans of Tolkien’s books and the Lord of The Rings movie franchise. But let’s see the meaning of the lyrics anyway.
Where the Shadows Lie: The meaning of the lyrics
The lyrics of the song are based on Tolkien’s ‘Ring Poem’ and they go as follows:
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie,
One Ring to rule them all, one Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
As we already could imagine before the show even started, The Rings of Power will portray the making of the Rings of Power and ultimately the creation of the One Ring. Season one wrapped up with the creation of three Elven rings, Vilya, Nenya, and Narya. They are called like that in the books at least, not yet in the show. The first verse of the poem means exactly that, three Elven rings were forged.
Now, there are 20 rings in total, and 19 of them were divided between Elves, Men, and Dwarves. And there is the One Ring. The Rings were meant to seduce rulers of the Middle-Earth.
As the second verse states, The Dwarf-lords were given seven rings. However, the Dwarf Lords proved resistant to the malevolent magic of the rings, as they were hard to tame. They used rings for gaining wealth, so the rings made them greedy and also very rich.
The nine rings were given to nine kings of Men, and they were the easiest to corrupt. The Rings corrupted Men beyond recognition, and they eventually became the Nazgûl.
And eventually, there is the One Ring. The verses say ‘One Ring to rule them all, one Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.’ What this actually means is that the One Ring was forged by Sauron himself in the fires of Mount Doom and it had the ability to control other Rings of Power and domination of the wills of their users. Sauron through the One Ring could see and feel other Ring-bearers and he could also read the minds of the other Ring-bearers through their rings.
With the ending of the first season, we witnessed the creation of the three Elven rings, and what follows in the seasons to come is the creation of other remaining Rings of Power.