The third episode dispenses with the storyline about Elrond and Durin and instead focuses on the new setting Numenor. For Galadriel and Halbrand, this is a new place to explore, giving us, as viewers, the first sense of adventure that the first two episodes lacked.
Due to his stoic nature, Lloyd Owen as Elendil works as a welcome counterbalance to the otherwise very theatrical characters, above all Galadriel, who unfortunately still brings up the rear of the main casts. Her meaningful phrases and her rolling R at every opportunity, unfortunately, slide into the realms of kitsch; in particular, a completely unnecessary slow-motion shot of Galadriel on a gray horse is pure involuntary comedy.
Nevertheless, the new setting of Numenor is a strong enrichment for the world-building and atmosphere of the series. More you get the feeling that The Rings of Power could really stand on its own two feet, especially as conflicts are built and character arcs hinted at. Halbrand's royal lineage, while hardly surprising, makes his story more promising. We may be expecting a classic “From Zero to Hero” plot that may be corny but could fuel the series with even more energy.
The new scene material around Arondir is also more energetic. For the first time we get to see the "new" orcs and they look more alive than ever. Subjected to the torture of Adar's disgusting followers, Arondir also grows into an interesting character as he has a lot more to offer as a tough action hero than in a love story.
The story about the harp feet is finally coming off the mark. They are somewhat "de-romanticized" as a people by being given a dark facet: those who can no longer walk are left behind. That sounds like a harsh norm for these warm-hearted folk, but it seems essential to survival. The fact that the mysterious Man from the Stars has now been revealed in front of the entire crew makes the dynamic between him and the Harfussers even more exciting.
Adar is a big step in the right direction. Less exposure and more momentum make the episode more entertaining than the first two opening episodes. Numenor is the most interesting and visually impressive setting of the series so far. In addition, a cheeky cliffhanger arouses real curiosity for the next episode for the first time. The Rings of Power seems to have finally found its runway after 140 minutes of rolling.