The Rings Of Power Sound Team Created A 'Death Song' For Galadriel's Dagger [Exclusive]

Of all the histrionics over changes made to author J.R.R. Tolkien's source material in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" — new, original characters, a (potential) new origin for a key piece of Middle-earth lore, and other differences that inevitably come up when translating a story to another medium altogether — one particular addition largely flew under the radar. While Morfyyd Clark's portrayal of the elf warrior Galadriel caused no shortage of hot takes and strong opinions, the series creators managed to weave a rather touching and poignant storyline revolving around a recurring item never mentioned by Tolkien.

Throughout the first season, Galadriel's dagger (which originally belonged to her late brother Finrod) symbolized all of the character's rage and need for vengeance against Sauron. That dagger was the first thing Galadriel grabbed while turning her back on the Undying Lands of Valinor and returning to Middle-earth at the end of the premiere. In subsequent episodes, the dagger continues to reflect the character's ever-changing arc.

In a recent interview with /Film's Jack Giroux, supervising sound editor Damian Del Borrello discussed the odds and ends of how the sound design cleverly accentuated the story by focusing on Galadriel's dagger:

"There's a very simple sound, and it's a shimmery metallic sound that we created using metal shims and hits and used a bit of processing to elongate it and then we could pitch it and almost use it like music ... we recognized that was an important element to emphasize, but also to have a sound that we can use throughout the whole series and be able to manipulate and change depending on the emotional context of how it's used."

'That sequence with the dagger at the end ... was its death song'

Aragorn's sword reforged just as he comes into his own. The broken sword hilt ultimately results in the creation of Mordor. Oh, and that pesky One Ring that will eventually cause so many problems in Middle-earth for hundreds and thousands of years. "The Lord of the Rings" has always emphasized certain items of power, whether magical or otherwise, that represent much larger concepts and ideas that the writers wish to communicate.

"The Rings of Power" carries on this proud tradition through the dagger of Galadriel, in a way we haven't seen in Tolkien adaptations before. This subplot reaches its climax when, during the finale, she finally lets go of that weapon and allows it to be melted down as a key ingredient to create the three elven rings of power. Not only does this series of events neatly recontextualize what we thought we knew about those three rings, but it also allowed the sound design to add further magic to the moment. According to Damian Del Borrello:

"So that sequence with the dagger at the end with the creation of the rings was its death song. There are all of those metallic-y elements that are almost slightly wailing, slightly crying. There are all these almost pained, metallic sounds, especially through that melting phase. And then there's a slight element of that on the shots of the rings as well, just to try and tie it together, [since] the rings are made from the dagger."

The question isn't whether this moment was strictly canonical with what Tolkien laid down in various sources, but whether it worked effectively within the parameters of "The Rings of Power." Thanks to a key assist from the sound design team, I'd say it did.