Who Is Eärendil In The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power? The Half-Elven Mariner Explained

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."

The latest episode of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is a jam-packed hour of television, providing some much-needed development for key characters. Elrond, in particular, gets time in the spotlight as he attempts to rekindle his longtime friendship with the dwarf prince Durin IV. Although Elrond has been a fan-favorite character dating back since the original Peter Jackson trilogy, "The Rings of Power" expands upon the immortal being in ways we have not experienced before. We've been getting to know Elrond as he embarks on a journey that will change Middle-earth forever, and this week is no different.

In the fourth episode of "The Rings of Power," Elrond (Robert Aramayo) reminisces about his late father to his friend Durin (Owain Arthur). The elf talks of Eärendil and his bravery, which greatly helped the elves win the war against Morgoth in the First Age. Not only is Elrond's father one of the most important figures in Middle-earth history, but his very existence speaks to the complex nature of the fantasy world's genealogy.

The voyage of the half-elven mariner

As Elrond explains in "The Rings of Power," Eärendil was a half-elven mariner who set sail to Valinor during the First Age to plead with the Valar to take arms against the ever-so-powerful Morgoth. Eärendil succeeded in convincing the gods to directly influence the events of Middle-earth and vanquish the Dark Lord. His feats were so great that the Valar "lifted him beyond the bounds of this world," forever left to carry a star across the sky. Eärendil was a certified badass, to say the least. According to "The Silmarillion," on which much of the streaming series is based, Eärendil's actions were a result of a prophecy told long before his time. 

Born the son of Tuor and Princess Idril, the half-elf chose to be immortal and married another part-elf named Elwing. The couple then had Elros, the first King of Númenor, and Elrond, the Lord of Rivendell. Later on, Eärendil sought out the Valar during the war, leading to his indefinite servitude amongst the stars. However, Eärendil is apparently set to return to Middle-earth during the Dagor Dagorath, an apocalyptic event prophesied by one of the Lords of Valar, Mandos. But I would not expect that to be covered in any adaptation, as the idea seemed to have been abandoned by Tolkien himself.

Although we probably won't see Eärendil himself anytime soon, his absence plays a big role in the latest episode.

Looking to the stars

Even as Eärendil traverses the stars for all eternity, Elrond still thinks of his father. Praising the half-man for helping save Middle-earth, Elrond is not exactly sure Eärendil thinks of his own son the same way. This lack of clarity frustrates Elrond, but he uses the moment to teach his dear friend a vital life lesson. As Elrond mourns for the time lost, he tells Durin, who is hesitant to speak to his own father, to not waste any moment he could have with him. This leads to prince Durin IV having a heart-to-heart with King Durin III in the most emotional moment in the episode.

"The Rings of Power" takes the time to tell a nugget of important Tolkien lore while not losing sight of what's important. The friendship between elf and dwarf has been a highlight of the series thus far, and it's gratifying to see them slowly but surely reconcile.