In its first two episodes, the Prime Video show has an epic scope that feels unlike anything on TV, taking its time to reintroduce us to Middle-earth while showing it to be a much different place than we’ve seen before. This is a Middle-earth that’s gone through unspeakable tragedy, and is awaiting the next one. While there are clear hints of big stories being built on, like the return of Sauron that Galadriel foresees, the mystery of the meteor man, and the appearance of the titular rings, there are plenty of moments and scenes that seem to just be painting a picture of a larger world than we saw in the movies. One of those moments is the introduction of Khazad-dûm, or Moria, which in the films we only got glimpses of, as a ruin and a tomb.
In “The Rings of Power,” we meet Elrond long before he became a wise leader and a grumpy old man. Here, he’s a hungry elf wanting to leave his mark in history. In episode 2 he is tasked with joining Celebrimbor the master smith in the realm of Eregion, who desires to build a massive tower with a forge that can create many wonders. To help build such a thing, Elrond suggests calling on the dwarves of Khazad-dûm, as he is friends with Prince Durin IV.
But rather than the royal welcome he is expecting, Elrond is shunned and rejected by Durin. The reason? Elrond has apparently ghosted his friend for 20 years, a blink of an eye to an immortal elf, but an entire life for a mere dwarf. In that time, Elrond has missed Durin’s wedding, and even the birth of his two children.