The Rings of Power episode 5 foreshadows a huge Isildur moment

Isildur in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 5! Turn back now if you haven't seen the latest episode! 

A minor moment in The Rings of Power episode 5 sets up a major, future event for Isildur. Númenor is readying itself to fight in the Southlands, and Isildur is desperate to join the forces leaving for Middle-earth. But his friend Valandil isn't so convinced that Isildur will actually stay for the long haul, asking why he should risk his reputation to get Isildur on the expedition when he might quit anyway. 

"One day, I hope you find something that you would be willing to sacrifice anything for," Valandil tells him. As the theorizers on Reddit point out, this is some heavy foreshadowing for the moment Isildur is remembered for: refusing to cast away the One Ring. Some book spoilers follow… but if you've seen the Peter Jackson movies, it's nothing you don't already know. 

Isildur will eventually defeat Sauron by cutting the Ring from his hand. But, rather than destroying it, Isildur will keep the Ring for himself – as recounted by Elrond in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. In the first film, when Elrond urges Isildur to throw the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, Isildur simply replies, "No."

That makes Valandil's words especially ironic: even though Isildur is ready to sacrifice everything to fight Sauron, he still can't bring himself to defeat his enemy once and for all by destroying the One Ring. 

The Rings of Power drops a new episode every Friday, and you can check out our The Rings of Power release schedule to find out when the next installment drops in your time zone. In the meantime, see our guide to who the Stranger might be and our breakdown of all you need to know about the mysterious metal Mithril

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.