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The Rings of Power Just Connected Nori's and Frodo's Journeys in a Fun Way

Blink and you might miss this subtle nod to the Peter Jackson films in Episode 5 of Rings of Power.

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Russell Holly
Russell Holly is a Managing Editor on the Commerce team at CNET. He works with all of CNET to assemble top recommendations as well as helping everyone find the best way to buy anything at the best price. When not writing for CNET you can find him riding a bike, running around in Jedi robes, or contributing to WOSU public radio's Tech Tuesday segment.
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Russell Holly
3 min read
Images of Nori and Frodo with concerned expressions, side by side
Katie Aiani


Each episode of Amazon's Lord of the Rings series The Rings of Power has been a feast for the eyes in a ways that only really compares to Peter Jackson's excellent films. And that makes sense: Middle-earth is a big, beautiful place even in its darkest hours. Because all of the things happening in Rings of Power take place thousands of years before the films, there are a lot of places in Middle-earth we're seeing in a new light. Khazad-dûm is a thriving underground kingdom, while Nùmenor is a vibrant island full of art and armor. 

It's amazing, but leaves little room for crossover between this series and what we've seen in the film. So when something happens that ties these two stories together, it's fun to point out for everyone to enjoy. My favorite example of this so far just happened in episode five, so if you haven't watched yet beware of spoilers below!

We know from the end of episode three that Nori has conscripted The Stranger into helping push their caravan from the back so her father Largo doesn't break something else trying to keep up with the rest of the Harfoots in this migration. In episode five, Nori takes a moment to explain to The Stranger that this migration to a place called The Grove is something their people do regularly. Shortly after, Poppy starts to sing a song to make the migration more pleasant and we see a little more of the "travel by map" this series is becoming known for. During this travel montage, there's a brief stop in a place called the Grey Marshes where a caravan gets stuck for a moment. 

For those who have read or watched The Lord of the Rings, you've seen these marshes before. Only, in the Third Age, they're known as the Dead Marshes. 
In the Peter Jackson films, Frodo is seen being led through the Dead Marshes by Gollum on the way to Mordor. In these scenes, Gollum warns not to touch the water because the spirits of the long dead in the marshes will try to pull you down and join them. Gollum then saves Frodo from becoming one of the "candles" alight in the marsh, earning a little more of Frodo's trust.
The reason this spot on the map is knows as the Grey Marshes in The Rings of Power and not the Dead Marshes is pretty simple -- the war that ended in all of those bodies taking residence in the marshes hasn't happened yet. That fight, known as the Battle of Dagorlad, doesn't happen until almost the very end of the Second Age. This event is a major battle in the War of the Last Alliance, where Sauron is separated from his One Ring and things get quiet until the events of The Hobbit. 
On the one hand, it's very cool to see another little nod to a place Tolkien fans have seen before in The Rings of Power. On the other hand, this scene tells the audience that Harfoots are perilously close to The Southlands, where it looks like a very big fight is about to happen. But I'm sure there's nothing to worry about there, especially with The Stranger there to protect Nori and her friends. Unless, of course, The Stranger turns out to be one of the perils Nori is trying to avoid.