Why Disa Sings To The Mountain In The Rings Of Power Episode 4

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 4

Does Disa’s melancholic musical mountain tribute save Moria’s trapped miners in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 4? Just as Durin IV and Elrond are mending their friendship, disaster strikes deep in the bowels of Khazad-dûm. While undertaking the risky process of excavating mithril from the mountainous rock, a group of miners gets caught in a collapse. As Moria desperately and sadly hopes for the best, Elrond watches Disa, Durin IV’s wife, sing a hauntingly beautiful melody accompanied by a droning dwarf choir.

Durin IV already revealed the extent of Disa’s powerful voice, telling Elrond in their The Rings of Power episode 4 heart-to-heart how his wife’s harmonic humming discovered mithril in the first place. Dwarves use the resonance of their booming voices to detect where mineral lodes are located within the mountain. What Disa may describe as the mountain singing back is actually a rudimentary sonar system, using sound waves to measure unseen structures behind Moria’s rock. Disa obviously isn’t hunting for mithril while the miners are missing though, so what’s the song in The Rings of Power episode 4 for?

Disa tells Elrond that her song is a “plea” for the mountain to release Moria’s lost miners. There’s a ritualistic, prayer-like quality to The Rings of Power’s impromptu vocal performance, and this fits J.R.R. Tolkien’s depiction of dwarf culture, where mountains and mining is essentially a religion. But The Rings of Power suggests there’s more to Disa’s song than just hope and prayer. Elrond is shocked to witness wet sediment moving unnaturally across the rock, strangely parting in two separate directions in response to Disa’s vocal gymnastics. The Rings of Power hints that Disa’s song actually shifts Moria’s stones and, sure enough, the trapped miners are freed shortly after. Did Disa’s music move the rocks that imprisoned them? The Rings of Power keeps its secrets, but that’s the implication.

Disa’s Singing Can Explain The Lord Of The Rings’ Balrog

Moria is a thriving community in the Second Age when The Rings of Power is set, but cuts a less delightful image in The Lord of the Rings after the Balrog sleeping at Moria’s bottom wakes up grumpy. Gandalf explains that the Dwarves’ greed pushed them to mine deeper and deeper in search of mithril, and reveals it was these efforts that stirred Durin’s Bane from its peaceful slumber. But if Dwarves use their singers’ resonating voices to detect where mithril can be mined in Moria, that same sonar music would’ve surely picked up the massive fire demon waiting to smite them. Perhaps, therefore, it wasn’t the mining that awoke Moria’s Balrog, but the voices of singers like Disa trying to find the next payload of mithril.

The Rings of Power actually teased this possibility already. As early as episode 1, Disa told Elrond about how she sings to the mountain, ominously adding, “And where to leave the mountain untouched…” The line implies that Disa has sensed something dark within Moria’s pits – potentially the Balrog’s distant snores. Disa may be skilled enough to these avoid suspect areas, but future generations of singers more desperate to find mithril resources in the Third Age may not take as much caution as Durin IV’s singing spouse…

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