The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s Sixth episode features the actioniest yet. It depicts Adar’s siege of Ostirith, accompanied by his band of orcs. In all the violence and chaos, there was one person that stood out. It was The Big Orc.
It’s the right one. Arondir, the elf, is busy doing his thing. He kills orc after orc using his bow and then falls off a roof. He stabbed an orc in his chest, and he slowly backs off, once he is on the ground. He suddenly turns around and looks at an orc twice his size.
It’s a golden moment — there are few better action-comedy beats in this world than “our hero, moments after doing some extremely cool stuff, accidentally bumps into an extremely large adversary.” It’s one of the few genuine moments of humor in The Rings of Power It is the most action-packed episode so far.
The big orc (I’m going to call him Borc) grabs Arondir and throws him through a fence, immediately establishing the big guy’s superior strength. The Rings of Power has struggled to make use of elven physicality, but in this scene Borc is a perfect juxtaposition for the agility and grace in Arondir’s fighting style. After getting tossed around like so many sacks of potatoes, Arondir meets the large guy in hand-to-hand combat, dodging Borc’s punishing blows and doling out a few fancy kicks of his own.
Arondir then gets caught in a powerful right from Borc. This clearly shocks him. It’s a really effective blow on the screen — it catches Arondir flush, and the sound effect is brutal. Borc tosses Arondir again and starts whaling away at him brutally, putting one of the show’s (many) main protagonists in actual peril. It’s only when Arondir picks up an improvised weapon and repeatedly cuts the big guy that he seems to stand any chance, and even then it’s close — Borc plants Arondir on a well and nearly chokes him out. Bronwyn arrives just in time for Borc to be stabbed in the back, which is a good thing for Arondir lovers. But that’s not before Arondir stabs the big guy’s eye and gets orc blood all over his face, in a particularly gnarly moment.
Borc is one of our most beloved characters. Rings of Power. The show needed his humor and tough-hitting action. Rings of Power and other shows like it could use more memorable flash-in-the-pan characters like Borc, especially because of the show’s other issues with character building.
Big guy, you will be missed.
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