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Yes, Bronwyn Just Set Up Gondor In The Rings Of Power

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 7The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues to pave a road toward Gondor – this time through Nazanin Boniadi’s Bronwyn. When The Rings of Power episode 7 begins, the Southlands have been completely roasted by Adar’s forces, leaving only a desolate waste of fire, ash and shadow. The Southlanders, it goes without saying, are left to find themselves a new home that isn’t utterly ravaged, and Bronwyn tells Galadriel of plans to lead her people toward “an old Númenórean colony by the mouth of the Anduin. Pelargir.

Though Gondor doesn’t yet exist in any recognizable form, The Rings of Power‘s Pelargir reference brings the famous The Lord of the Rings kingdom one (big) step closer to fruition. Pelargir is not a new addition to Middle-earth’s map – it exists in The Lord of the Rings. Bronwyn describes Pelargir as having fresh land and water, but in the future, this humble “old Númenórean colony” actually becomes Gondor’s grand port city – a sprawling hub of human life, seafaring and prosperity. The Rings of Power‘s Southlanders moving west from now-Mordor and settling in future-Gondor marks the early indication of a mighty new kingdom arising.

Why Did The Númenóreans Build Pelargir?

Bronwyn describes Pelargir as an “old Númenórean colony,” but The Rings of Power‘s Númenóreans seem isolated upon their own island. Why (and when) did they build a settlement near the River Anduin? In J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional history of Númenor, the island enjoys a period of sailing freely between their own kingdom and Middle-earth, trading goods and offering their knowledge to the local mortals. Centuries later, however, Númenor becomes an insular, self-interested kingdom. In the books, Númenórean kings actually begin oppressing parts of Middle-earth, but in The Rings of Power they seem to have simply abandoned their former colonies instead, retreating inward to Númenor itself.

Bronwyn talks of Pelargir as if no one currently lives there, but in Tolkien lore, Gondor’s future port was originally a gathering point for Númenor’s Faithful – those who still honored the Valar, valued the Elves’ friendship, and sought to escape their ever-darkening home. The Faithful have been mentioned in The Rings of Power, so it’s entirely possible that Bronwyn’s people will encounter some friendly Númenóreans when they eventually reach Pelargir.

The Southlanders Could Become Gondor’s First People

Now The Rings of Power has revealed the Southlanders will settle in Pelargir, they’ll likely play a vital role in Gondor’s founding. As Tolkien’s Gondor origin tells, Elendil and his sons (Isildur and the currently-absent Anárion) led nine ships away from Númenor just before its downfall, surviving the island’s divine decimation. The ships split while crossing the sea, with Elendil ending up somewhere around Lindon and his sons winding up further south near the mouth of the Anduin. After making contact and establishing themselves as leaders among the Faithful settled there, the kingdom of Gondor was built in all its glory.

Pelargir is pretty close to where Isildur and Anárion will land – if not exactly where their ships will dock. Maxim Baldry’s Isildur is already a friend of the Southlands in The Rings of Power, having helped defend its people from Adar. When an older Isildur arrives in Pelargir looking to build a new kingdom of Men in Middle-earth under the rule of King Elendil, therefore, it makes sense that the likes of Bronwyn and Theo (assuming they’re still around when it happens) gladly follow him. Placing their trust in Elendil and those who came to their aid during the Southlands’ destruction, it’s possible the Southlanders become Gondor’s first generation in The Rings of Power.

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

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