Rings of Power finale sheds light on "dark" Galadriel's speech from Fellowship of the Ring

Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 9
(Image credit: Prime Video)

Warning! This article contains major spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 8. If you've not yet caught up with the show, turn back now!

Galadriel's search for Sauron comes to a dramatic close in The Rings of Power finale, when her ally Halbrand, the supposed king of the Southlands, reveals himself to be the long-plotting, all-powerful Dark Lord. Over the show's eight episodes, the elf's blinkered quest to vanquish evil has caused those around her to question her morality – audiences members, too. But her purity is proven when she manages not to be seduced by Sauron's idea of them joining forces to "save" (or rule, depending on who you're talking to) Middle-earth.

In his attempt to persuade Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) to join him, Sauron (Charlie Vickers) insists that he "would make [her] a queen, fair as the sea and the Sun, stronger than the foundations of the earth" – a line that retroactively sheds light on Galadriel's sudden lack of control when Frodo Baggins offers her the One Ring in the first Lord of the Rings movie.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Cate Blanchett's Galadriel shocks the Hobbit when her etherealness disappears when she reaches out for the ring. Her voice deepens and distorts, her eyes blacken, and she throws up her arms as she shouts: "In place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn!

Dark Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

"Treacherous as the seas," she continues, seemingly in some sort of trance. "Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me and despair!" Sounds a lot like what Sauron said to her all those years ago, eh? If his words are still lingering in her mind thousands of years later, it just proves how deeply hurt Galadriel was by the betrayal. It also suggests that she did not dismiss Sauron's plan as easily as it might have seemed in the prequel series – and that we'll likely see how secretly close she was to agreeing to his team-up explored in season 2. Especially now that the titular rings have been forged...

"No but the fact that now Galadriel's ring dark temptation speech was almost verbatim what Sauron said, I'm like... So she never totally got over him," one viewer pondered on Twitter after the episode aired. "What are the implications for her relationship with Celeborn?!?!"

"OH GOD THE DARK GALADRIEL SPEECH I CAN’T it all gives it so many more LAYERS my god," another gushed, as a third said: "They referenced Galadriel's mirror speech. I'm about to lose my sanity."

"So as much as I didn’t want H=S to be true, I'm honestly super impressed with the way it went down," wrote another fan. "The parallels in his speech to Galadriel with Galadriels own speech in the Fellowship of the Ring gave me chills."

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 is available to stream in its entirety now. If fantasy's not your thing, then check out our guide to the best shows on Amazon Prime for some viewing inspiration.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.