Last week's episode of Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power on Amazon Prime Video ended with Galadriel stranded at sea and about to be rescued by a mysterious figure. As this is happening, several strange incidents are happening in Middle-Earth, including the return of Orcs and a bearded stranger falling down from the sky. This week's installment based on J.R.R. Tolkien's work seeks to elevate the stakes as the shadow of Sauron is slowly being felt. We take a look at this Rings of Power episode 3 ending explained to shed light on what happened.

Rings of Power episode 3 ending explained

Lord of the Rings, Rings of Power, Amazon, Entertainment

This week's episode of Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power starts with Arondir being taken captive by orcs. From there, he meets two of his fellow elves, as they are made to dig tunnels in the Southlands with men. Leagues away, Galadriel wakes up in a ship as Halbrand gives her food. They are greeted by a host of men from Numenor, the famed island established by the Edain's ancestors.

Once on the island, Galadriel explains to Halbrand the history of Numenor and how their affinity for Elves has changed over the centuries. They are then interrogated by Queen Regent Miriel and Pharazon, her cousin and Chancellor of Numenor. There is a deep sense of distrust amongst those watching as Galadriel demands to be given passage back to Middle-Earth. This request draws the ire of the Numenoreans. In turn, Halbrand is prompted to negotiate for a gracious stay while the officials consider their request. As they are escorted out, he gives the elf her dagger in secret. Meanwhile, Miriel asks Pharazon about the captain, who then proceeds to identify him as Elendil.

Back on the seas, Elendil's son, Isildur is seen sailing with a host of Numenoreans as he saves a fellow cadet from an accident. Once they reach the shore, he is greeted by his sister, Earien. He asks about their father, a question that draws concern on Earien's face. Speaking to Elendil, Miriel gives him a different post after questioning his motives when he rescued Galadriel. She then hands him a sword to signify his new position.

In the Southlands, Arondir continues to toil for the orcs as he and his fellow prisoners dig tunnels. He learns that these orcs are searching for something to give their leader, presumably Sauron. They are then confronted by their captors who order them to cut a tree down. The elves protest and almost come to blows. Before that happens, an orc congratulates them for showing strength and gives them more water. They drink from a jug as the said orc strikes Arondir's fellow elf down with a blade. This prompts Arondir to volunteer and cut the tree down.

Several guards, meanwhile, search for Galadriel as the high elf escaped from her quarters. Elendil spots her before she can steal a boat and advises the elf not to do so. He then speaks in Quenya, an elvish dialect, and earns the trust of Galadriel in the process. Elendil adds that he learned to speak it in a Hall of Lore, a place the elf wishes to visit.

In another part of Numenor, Halbrand speaks to several blacksmiths and requests that he join their ranks. He is denied and proceeds to have lunch alone. As he does, those around Halbrand ask him if he's the man who was saved from the seas with an elf. He buys the crowd drinks, wins their favor, and steals a crest from one of the locals that allows him to forge metal. After leaving, Halbrand is followed by a couple of men who confront him about the stolen crest. After landing a punch on him, Halbrand loses his temper and manages to incapacitate the locals. He is then arrested by several Numemorean guards.

Over at the Halls of Lore, Galadriel examines several scrolls. She is handed one with a mark of Sauron himself and discovers a plan to create a kingdom where evil can thrive. The said plan is going to be enacted upon the defeat of Morgoth, Sauron's master. Galadriel tells Elendil that the Southlands are in danger as Sauron will soon return.

In the Southlands, a Harfoot tribe continues on their journey. Nori's father, Largo, is unable to walk more as his injury worsens. Meanwhile, Poppy admonishes Nori for taking Sadoc Burrows' book to help the bearded stranger. The former gives up as the young Harfoot examines the said book to find the stars the stranger needs.

As Sadoc is leading a meeting of the whole tribe, the bearded stranger comes out of his hiding place to look at the page Nori stole from Sadoc's book. As he does, the fire around the Harfoots' camp grows stronger, leading him to be discovered by everyone. The stranger then calls Nori's name out, which leads the entire tribe to get angry at her.

Elendil speaks to Isildur and Earien about Galadriel. Isildur then tells his father that he will be deferring from taking the Sea Trials an idea that angers Elendil. Meanwhile, Galadriel visits Halbrand in prison and claims he is the king of where he came from – the Southlands. She urges him to join her back to Middle-Earth to help raise an army and defeat Sauron. In another part of Numenor, Miriel visits her father, the former king. She tells him that the moment they feared has arrived –  the arrival of Galadriel.

As the Harfoots continue their migration, Nori's family is placed at the back of the caravan. The bearded stranger helps Nori's family keep up with the journey as he helps transport their belongings. Meanwhile, Arondir and his fellow captives attack their captors to escape from them while the sun is at its highest. The orcs release a warg to keep them in line and almost succeeds. He is then taken to Adar, the orcs' leader. Before the episode ends, a blurry image of a man with long black hair is seen.

What just happened? A Rings of Power episode 3 recap

As seen in the third installment of Rings of Power, the divide between Elves and Men is shown in full here as Galadriel tries to make her way back to Middle-Earth. In the process, she meets Elendil and discovers Halbrand is more than he says he is. Meanwhile, the Harfoots continue their journey as the bearded stranger slowly becomes familiar with Nori and her people.

For his part, Arondir learns more about the orcs' plans as he is taken captive by them. Right before the conclusion, their leader, Adar is briefly shown and is teased to be Sauron. Although this hasn't been confirmed yet, the following weeks should shed more light on the Dark Lord himself and how his looming presence ties everything in the series together.