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Why The Orcs Call Adar “Father” In The Rings Of Power

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 6That’s one mystery down – The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power finally explains the truth behind Orcs calling Adar “father.” Amazon’s The Rings of Power has introduced a raft of villains, each of them shrouded in mystery. With Joseph Mawle’s Adar, audiences were left to question where he came from, why he was leading Orcs to the Southlands, and most curious of all, why his followers refer to him as “Adar,” which means “father” in the Elven tongue.

The Rings of Power episode 6 addresses each and every point. Morfydd Clark’s Galadriel figures out Adar is a Moriondor – a Son of the Dark. This unlucky bunch were once Elves as innocent and wholesome as Galadriel herself. Getting captured by Morgoth changed that, and the Moriondor were twisted into Middle-earth’s first Orcs. Not all Orcs are ex-Elves, of course, and while The Rings of Power doesn’t go into gross detail on the subject of Orc reproduction, viewers can assume the race was bred from Adar and other Moriondor. Hence, Adar is considered the “father” of the Orcs he leads. He may not have literally sired every single one (or he may have!) but his blood runs through the Orcs’ veins regardless.

Are Rings Of Power’s Moriondor Tolkien Canon? It’s Complicated

Adar’s entire narrative is absent from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings mythology, and was invented exclusively for The Rings of Power. The name “Moriondor” is similarly TV-original – and that’s largely because Tolkien never explicitly revealed how Orcs were created. Official canon attributes the Orcs’ genesis to Morgoth, sure, but his means of achieving that grim feat go unspoken. Tolkien does, however, write about Morgoth capturing Elves during the early First Age, and how some suspected these prisoners were warped by their captor into the first known Orcs. Though this story is mere rumor in the source material, The Rings of Power runs with it, cementing the Orc-Elf connection and even introducing one of the poor victims. While Adar and the Moriondor aren’t canon, therefore, The Rings of Power is staying within the lines Tolkien sketched out.

How Old Is Adar In The Rings Of Power?

If Adar is indeed one of the Moriondor, he’s potentially one of the oldest Elves in The Lord of the Rings mythology. Amazon’s The Rings of Power deliberately doesn’t specify which year of Tolkien’s timeline it occupies, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume it’s around year 1500 of the Second Age, when the forging of the Rings of Power began. That’s 1500 years since Morgoth’s defeat.

Going back further, another 590 years pass from Morgoth’s defeat to the darkening of the Two Trees of Valinor. Tolkien’s measurement of time then changes to Valian years, one of which the author (eventually) decided equates to 144 solar years. From the Two Trees’ destruction back to the Elves’ awakening represents 450 Valian years. Add the 2090 (as if there’s much point), and Adar could be anywhere up to 66890-years-old. Based on when Morgoth was taken away from Middle-earth as a prisoner, Adar must at least be 61130-years-old. Among Middle-earth’s Elves, only Círdan – a character yet to appear in The Rings of Power – was born in such an early period of Tolkien history.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video.

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