brake alert: Don’t read if you haven’t watched “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” Episode 6, titled “Udûn,” now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
With three more episodes left in its opening season, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” has finally delivered the massive battle sequence that fans of the epic fantasy franchise have been patiently waiting for. Although not as massive as the Battle of Helm’s Deep from the feature film “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” in 2002, the episode, “Udûn”, still ramped up the action scope of the series, delivering nearly Moments near-death nonstop and ending on a colossal cliff also establish one of the most significant events in JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth history.
In the episode, the dark elf Adar (Joseph Mole) and his army arrive at the mountain fortress where Arundir (Ismail Cruz Cordova), Bronwyn (Nazanin Bunyadi) and the Southland villagers are supposed to be holed up. They find it empty instead – until Arondir launches a one-man serial attack and drops the stone watchtower over a large portion of Adar’s forces. Arundir and his fighters regrouped before a larger attack by Adar. The villagers of Southland seemed to prevail, until they noticed that some of the fallen Adar’s were in fact fellow Southlanders who had pledged allegiance to Adar in the (false) hope of preserving their lives. The remaining Adar forces ambushed the villagers in a flurry of arrows while their leader searches for and finds the mysterious Sauron blade he has been searching for throughout the season.
The day is saved (briefly) when Galadriel (Morvid Clark) storms her Neminorist army. She and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) arrest Adar, who is revealed to be one of the first elves to be corrupted by the evil dark lord Morgoth. As Galadriel interrogates Adar, a human renegade, and the Drage (Jeff Morell) secretly arrive at the fallen castle with Sauron’s blade and use his mystical power to unleash disaster on Middle-earth. the opening of the dam blocking a mountain lake; Its waters follow the channels dug by the orcs and their captives; It eventually flows into the magma chamber of a nearby extinct volcano. It explodes, engulfing the southern lands with fire, ash, and darkness. We just witnessed the birth of the infamous Dome of Mordor mountain.
Director Charlotte Brandstrom — who directed the episodes “The Witcher,” “Outlander,” “The Outsider,” and “Arrow,” Clark and Cordova explained to diverse How came the huge ring full of horseback riders and orchid raiders.
Shipping horses to Nmnour
Brentstrom already knew The Lord of the Rings well and dabbled in action movies like Braveheart and Gladiator as inspiration, but she also researched real-life old battles.
“I was studying a lot of Ukrainian Cossacks and how they fought on horseback, hide behind horses, and try to avoid arrows and bullets,” she said. “They were great riders. I wanted to do something different when the Númenóreans came to the village to save everyone. We worked on it for months in advance in New Zealand to make sure they were actually on horseback. I knew that would be amazing.”
One of the episode’s most amazing moments comes when Galadriel, Halbrand, and the entire Númenórean crew arrive on horseback to rescue Arondir and the villagers in the Southlands from Adar’s Orc army. Brandstrom said the series used 20-30 horses and a total crew of 150 to 200 people.
She would have preferred to use more horses but, as with a lot of “rings of power,” the majority of the episode was filmed during the height of the pandemic.
“It was very difficult to get the horses trained to be a part of this fight,” she said. “I tricked her by coming from many different directions and reusing the same horses” and then expanded their numbers with visual effects.
To prepare for the sequence, riders trained for four months, with three hours of stunts each day and three days of riding each week. The training was particularly helpful to Clark; While Galadriel is a natural-born racer who expertly dashes into battle wearing her shining armour, the actress had never ridden a horse before.
“A lot of us started not riding at all – anyway – and were very nervous and scared,” she said. “I’ve ridden a horse called a Titan, which seems to be one of the greatest horses they’ve ever owned and is the most well trained. I feel like a lot of my riding skills go back to the horse I’ve been riding, but I’m no longer terrified. Once you get comfortable on the horse, It’s the closest to magic you’ve ever experienced. You also have this connection with people in the past, and it’s something humans have done forever.”
During the fierce battle, Gladrill quickly dodges goblins’ spears and arrows by slipping off the saddle alongside her horse, but Clarke admits that it was an illusionist who took her place.
“I can’t believe this was possible. Before doing this, I thought a lot of horse stunts were CGI, but they weren’t.” There were a lot of amazing riders in this, but their horses were incredible and so was the connection that bind them to them. Seeing the stunt team saying goodbye to their horses when we finished was really touching.”
Arundir’s bloody face
In order not to be overtaken by Galadriel, Arondir descends the ranks of the Orcs with his bow and arrow and demolishes the huge stone watchtower with one flaming, well-timed arrow. However, his most intense moment comes when he encounters a huge orc, which he throws around an empty land in the village. Arondir manages to stab the berserk in the eye, but is pinned and nearly strangled over a well. The orc removes the dagger from his face, disgusting black blood flows down Arondir’s face, but the imp is saved by his beloved Bronwyn, who sends the brute from behind.
“There are no stilts or tricks for the camera,” Cordova said of his fight with the giant orcs. “The guy is huge, an incredible drive and fighter. I had to climb on him, step on his hip and leg and go around and choke him as he moved. It’s almost like being on a mechanical bull. There were no platforms, no wires, and we weren’t supported by anything. I was On this huge man’s back I’m trying not to fall.”
The actor said that his battle training took eight months, and that fighting alone was three months of preparation. After all the shooting lessons, martial arts training, wire work, and fighting choreography, he “lived in a constant state of pain” and was “full of bruises.”
“The hardest part was when he broke the shaft with my back,” Cordova said. “I had to keep my head forward, and tuck my chin into my chest so my neck wouldn’t hit me when he hits me with it. But, of course, it does sometimes. My neck just broke. I was like a walking robot.”
On top of the bruises he sustained from the brutal fight scene, Cordova had to be covered in orc blood, which he said was a mixture of sticky chocolate, gelatin, and food coloring.
“It was very sticky, very uncomfortable and very cold when we were shooting those night photos,” he said. “It all kept getting into my armor. So I had this bunch of sugary goops on me for the better part of two weeks.”
The birth of Mount Dom
The episode ends on a bleak note with the birth of Mount Dom in the soon-to-be Mordor region.
Brandstrom learned of this crucial turn of events only after her arrival in New Zealand. “I just thought, ‘Oh my God, this is just a director’s dream,'” she said. The pressure was all about trying to succeed in making it as good as possible. It was a lot of hard work, mixing special effects, visual effects, real stunts, and a lot of hard work from the crew.”
To recreate the ash and smoke from Mount Dom, Brandstrom turned out to be true natural disasters.
“I’ve studied every volcanic eruption you can think of,” Brandstrom said. “We looked at ash cloud formations, everything from the Pompeii eruption to what happened in New Zealand a few years ago, in the Canary Islands, in Italy.”
The creation of Mount Doom was one of the few scenes in the episode that is set during broad daylight. The rest of the “Udûn” lies in the darkness of the night – the muck of a New Zealand winter.
“We lived in mud and rain for months,” the manager said. “We only had seven weeks of night photography. I never saw the light of day. I would come home, go to bed and get up when night fell. It was just night all the time.”