The Elves of the Rings of Power speak the wrong version of Elvish
From a bird’s eye view, power rings got off to a good start. Its first three episodes did a great job of immersing viewers in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The visuals have been excellent, the character development has been detailed (or mysterious), and the plot could still take several different turns. However, as LOTR aficionados are starting to zoom in on the details, there have been some issues.
The series introduction omitted the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, the Doom of Mandos, and many other details of the events of the First Age. Likewise, power rings elevated Galadriel to the rank of a sacrificial hero, which goes against her prideful characterization in Tolkien’s work. While continuing to point out that every deviation from the series and its source material would not be beneficial, there is an error in power rings it’s downright embarrassing for hardcore fans.
There have been concerns about power rings of a fan segment for months. Between arguments over Disa’s beard and the inclusion of two Durins, die-hard fans were quick to point out the flaws in Amazon’s big-budget project. So when a number of Elvish characters started speaking the wrong language in Episode 3, “Adar,” fans jumped faster than a dragon chasing a treasure trove of gold.
For the uninitiated, there are two major Elvish languages in The Lord of the Rings: Quenya and Sindarin. Quenya was the original Elvish language, and the Elves took it with them to Valinor. Back in Middle-earth, a language known as Sindarin developed. It was almost a simplified version of Quenya, and for a time the two languages coexisted. However, a big problem arose when Fëanor and the Noldor returned to Middle-earth.
In Middle-earth, King Thingol ruled over all Sindarin elves – those who did not come to Valinor. He was a great king and he cared about his people. So when he learned of the atrocities committed by Fëanor and his people, Thingol forbade speaking Quenya in his kingdom to show his disdain for Fëanor’s actions. Thus, Sindarin became the de facto language for almost all Elves of Middle-earth.
True, many High Elves continued to speak Quenya, but even for them the language was used more as a lingua sacra, rather than a common tongue. In fact, in the Second Age, Sindarin was the Elvish language, and when Tolkien’s work refers to “Elvish” it means Sindarin, not Quenya.
For this reason, it was weird when Arondir and his fellow Elves started speaking Quenya while in the Orc camp. Arondir is a Wood Elf – Wood Elves, who lived east of the Misty Mountains – not one of the High Elves. Although he was subordinate to High King Gil-galad and might have had a working knowledge of Quenya, it would not have been his language of choice. So when Arondir spoke to his companions, they should have been speaking Sindarin. There might be an explanation for Roundir’s curious choice of language, but for now it looks like an embarrassing snafu to Power Rings.
New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power air Fridays on Prime Video.