The first season of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power has ended . There were eight episodes – the next one is already being filmed. Before the finale, plot riddles accumulated. The main one is now unraveled. The creators of the “Rings of Power” finally showed the process of creating the rings themselves, revealed the identity of Sauron and looked into the image of another character (with a reference to the films).
Who was Sauron hiding behind: versions before the finale and unexpected intrigue within the series
Before the release of “Rings of Power” it was known that Sauron would appear in the series in a good way. According to the story, he needs this to establish connections with the elves and the future creation of the rings. Rings of Power introduced the original character Halbrand. He was not present in the books, but in the series he helped Galadriel and constantly interacted with her. Later he tried to lure to him.
Gamesradar has previously collected hints pointing to Sauron behind Halbrand’s image:
- Words in dialogue: “Appearances can be deceiving”;
- Serious for a common man physical training in combat;
- Halbrand’s obsession with blacksmiths and their work;
- Already in the final series – the phrase: “Power over the flesh.”
Fans have been theorizing about who might be Sauron in Rings of Power. Most viewers enjoyed the season 1 finale, which was influenced by the revelation of Sauron’s identity. There was no such intrigue for the actors. Morfydd Clarke (Galadriel) received information in advance that Halbrand would be Sauron: “It was a little painful to know more than Galadriel herself knew.”
In Rings of Power, Halbrand was played by actor Charlie Vickers. He confirmed that only Clarke knew of his true identity on set. From everyone else, Vickers hid the real idea of the hero. In parallel, other actors themselves tried to guess. Over the course of the season, Vickers’ Sauron goes through a stage of repentance, as mentioned in Tolkien’s books.
We assumed that Sauron’s identity was revealed in the trailers. This version was initially adhered to by the audience of the Rings of Power. Before the release of the final episodes, not everyone guessed the real image of Sauron, although after the equator of the first season, it was Halbrand that more and more often flashed in the versions. Galadriel guessed this only in the first minutes of the final series.
Halbrand (Sauron) did not see the creation of the three rings – he fled after talking with Galadriel. But he influenced the very idea of the appearance of rings, of which there will be many in the series. At the end of the first season, a song is heard where the distribution of the rings is broadcast: three for the elves, seven for the dwarves, nine for the people, one for the lord (Sauron). Actress Morfydd Clark spoke about this earlier .
The creators of “Rings of Power” included an unexpected plot twist in the eighth series. At first they directly declared Sauron the Stranger. He actually did not believe in it, and the Harfuts ( about them – here ) revealed goodness in him. The stranger fell from a meteorite and definitely has magical powers. His power is manifested so clearly that he himself can not always control it.
Who then is this Stranger – where is the reference to the “Lord of the Rings” in the “Rings of Power”
Collider even before the release of the final series speculated that he might be Gandalf. Because he has similar abilities, he behaves kindly with the Harfoots (Gandalf – with hobbits). Let us even explain the fact that the Stranger has not yet known his strength. Rings of Power takes place thousands of years before the events of the original trilogy.
There is a fact against this: in the book history, Gandalf came to Earth to fight Sauron at the beginning of the Third Age of Middle-earth. The series “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” tells about the events of the Second Age of Middle-earth. After the season one finale, Inverse explained the Stranger’s story this way: he turned out to be a wizard, but perhaps not Gandalf.
The stranger is definitely a kind wizard. In the series, he is named “Istar”. He himself explains to Nora the meaning of this word through magic. There is also a direct reference to the Lord of the Rings films. Gandalf’s famous advice: “When in doubt, always listen to your nose.” So he urged to follow pleasant smells. The stranger in conversation with Nora says the same words. He chose the path of good, although he could unite with evil.
The Istari were sent to fight against Sauron. In total, Tolkien mentioned five in the books:
Theoretically, the Stranger could be either of them, but Morinechtar and Romestamo are better known through the identification of two blue wizards. Direct references to The Lord of the Rings point more towards Gandalf. Screen Rant said that the identity of the Stranger could solve the mystery of The Lord of the Rings. And explain the very idea of the creators of the images of the characters.
Gandalf singled out the hobbits and treated them tenderly. The stranger and the Harfoots (ancestors of the Hobbits) form a close relationship. Harfoot Nora helps him – at the end of the eighth series, she goes on a trip with him. Actor Daniel Weiman explained back in the summer that viewers will have a lot to learn along with the character. But he will play a really important role.
Showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay have already commented on the Stranger’s identity. They left the matter open for the future: “His entire journey next season will be about exploring this further.” McKay also said that The Stranger would be on the show for the long haul. So he might still be Gandalf.
How the season finale affected the overall viewer experience of “Rings of Power”
• Until the release of the eighth series of “Rings of Power” there was a gap between reviews of critics and the reaction of the audience. The show was almost always positively reviewed by critics, and ordinary people regularly criticized it. In reaction to the last minutes of “Rings of Power”, everyone came to one thing: it definitely was not so bad – now it’s worth waiting for the second season of “Rings of Power”.
• The showrunners talked about the show like this: you can criticize individual episodes, but the overall look at the product will change the impression. Some viewers right now are referring to these words and confirming that this is how it happens. The first season in general turned out to be exciting, and the finale was a good warm-up before the continuation. But it will be released no earlier than 2024 .
• The final episode of the first season of “Rings of Power” did not affect the perception of details – they still have a lot of minuses in them. Often the dialogues pass by and do not carry a global meaning ( we noted this in the first episodes ). Interestingly, after the season finale, the audience reaction to “Rings of Power” was divided as follows: very good or very bad.
• The main conclusion of the entire first season: “Rings of Power” saved by bright visuals. This is the only moment in the series that does not cause massive claims. The creators invested most of the declared funds in the visual perception of history and the creation of the world – everything was justified. But many people call the series boring – this did not even change the ending.
The ending is still good
The sixth episode with the battle, the tricks of Adar and the apocalypse is the best of the season. And the final deservedly takes second place. All thanks to the fantastic visuals and a couple of powerful scenes.
The climax was the epic dialogue between Galadriel and Halbrand. The scene is amazingly staged: locations change, weather effects add to the atmosphere, and the actors give their best. Morved Clark and Charlie Vickers have never played characters so well. The forums are filled with arguments about Halbrand’s true intentions for a reason – such a controversial image.
The ending with the rings and the villain approaching Mount Doom is also delightful. The cards are revealed, passions are heated to the limit, and the epic action is about to begin. That’s just the season immediately ends, and the next one will be released in a couple of years.
Also in the final series, the authors showed all the locations. Numenor, the elven city, the camp of the ragfoot, Mordor – every place is amazing. You can even admire an ordinary tree, because the operator always takes the best camera and shoots it from an ideal angle. Visually, “Rings of Power” is perfect from the first to the last episode.
Looking forward to the second season?
The first season resembles a long string, and not a holistic work. For all eight episodes, the authors arrange the pieces on the board, but the game itself will begin only next season – but is it worth waiting for? Well, if the visuals stay as awesome as they are and the writers pick up the bugs and stop dragging their feet, the sequel will be a hit.
Still, Mordor is already on the map, Sauron has shown himself, the elves wear rings, and Numenor is about to fall. Isn’t this the perfect foundation for epic events? At the same time, the authors will be extremely collected, because another passing season will definitely kill the series.