Who is Calling to Isildur in The Rings of Power?

Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for Episodes 1-4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.In the past couple of episodes of The Rings of Power, viewers were given quite a bit of insight into the character of Isidur (Maxim Baldry). Many of his actions so far have shown his stubbornness and somewhat defiant nature. There seems to be a desire to please his father, Elendil (Lloyd Owen), and retain the honor of his family by joining the Sea Guard, but his desire for a different life seems to be overriding his fealty to his family’s legacy. There have been a few clues as to what this other life he wants may be, but the most mysterious clue of them all is the voice that whispers to him from the island while he’s out on sea training for the Sea Guard. The true identity behind these whispers hasn’t been revealed yet, but with all that Isildur’s gone through so far, there are some strong indications of the meaning behind it.

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Is the Voice Calling to Him Isildur’s Mother?

One of the more obvious answers as to who might be calling out to Isildur is his dead mother that’s first mentioned in Episode 4. His mother would be an original character created for the show because there is no mention of Isildur’s mother anywhere in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Regardless, the show has given us many tidbits of information that we can use to infer who she might be and what could have happened to her.

When we first see Elendil gathered with his children, it’s apparent that plans aren’t going exactly the way the patriarch wants them to when we see his angry outburst at his daughter Eärien (Ema Horvath) for defending Isildur. Isildur is trying to explain that he wants to defer joining the Sea Guard, but Elendil stands firm on him staying with the guard. This shows how the loss of his wife may have impacted him more than he would like to admit because his desperation to keep everything going according to his plans is made all the more intense after his tragic and unexpected loss. This moment also shows how the family members are not exactly the greatest at communicating with one another, which would suggest that Isildur’s mother was the centerpiece that kept this family living harmoniously together.

The Death of Isildur’s Mother Means More to Him Than You Might Think

The greatest clue we have to the significance of Isildur’s mother and why the disembodied voice might be hers is after he and his friends are dismissed from the Sea Guard. Isildur’s friend Valandil (Alex Tarrant) is (rightly) furious with him for getting them all kicked out, exclaiming how badly he’s wanted this and how hard he’s worked for it. Then, he degrades Isildur by claiming that all he’s ever done to get his place on the Sea Guard was “brood and blubber about your dead mother”. This exchange helps the viewers understand that the death of his mother was a formative experience for Isildur, and it was most likely early in his life. Isildur’s defiant nature probably stems from his inability to fully process the death of his mother, as he still seems to be suffering from her death.

The idea that his mother’s spirit could be the disembodied voice calling out to him has a couple significant meanings behind it. It’s possible that, even from beyond the grave, his mother knows that the path he’s on attempting to join the Sea Guard is the wrong one. Isildur has many important deeds to accomplish for the Númenórian’s still faithful to the elves, and enlisting in the Sea Guard would keep him from accomplishing any of those things.

There’s another more nefarious reason why the voice calling out to him would be his mother’s, though. In Tolkien’s lore, there is an evil influencing the people of Númenor, causing paranoia and corruption that leads them to eventually cause their own downfall. If the show is already showing viewers the prophecy concerning the fall of Númenor, it’s reasonable to imagine the evil force corrupting them is already at work there too. The main goal of this evil force is to cause a divide between the elves and the Númenórians, eventually turning them against each other in war. It would be logical, then, that this force would work to prop up those antagonistic towards elves and tear down those who are still faithful. Elendil is one of the more significant of the faithful Númenórians, and this force would be wise to target his son. If the evil can stop faithful Númenórians like Isildur from being effective in retaining the virtue of the elves, then evil will succeed in destroying Númenor.

RELATED: What Is the Meaning of Elendil’s Sword in ‘The Rings of Power’?

Who Else Could the Voice Be?

There is another option to whom this voice might be as well that isn’t his mother, but would also be using her voice to affect Isildur’s destiny. At the center of the island of Númenor is the mountain of Meneltarma, one of the holiest places in all existence devoted to the worship of Eru Ilúvatar. Ilúvatar is believed to have created the Ainur, which were lesser gods that he sent down to the universe he created to build Arda, Tolkien’s word for the world of Middle-earth. Since creating the Ainur, Ilúvatar has not been known to get directly involved with the events unfolding in Arda.

The Rings of Power have highlighted this immense mountain in the middle of the island each time the voice speaks out to Isildur, though. There definitely seems to be something divine about the entity reaching out to him. Without any lore to suggest that the dead can somehow reach out and communicate with the living, the idea that Ilúvatar would directly intervene in Isildur’s life is another viable explanation as to who might be communicating with him.

This voice, whoever it may belong to, has been making Isildur second guess everything he’s doing to join the Sea Guard and succeeded in getting him to impulsively guarantee he would lose his spot and have to do something else with his life. Whether it’s trying to help or harm Isildur has yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure. Something on the island of Númenor is reaching out to him, and it’s already changed his life in some significant ways.

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