Well, people, we did it. After eight episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and tirelessly poring over hints, teases, and near-literal winks to the digicam, the Amazon Prime Lord of the Rings prequel has lastly revealed that we have been all proper, and that Sauron is in actual fact Halbrand (Charlie Vickers).
That’s a great factor, since it might be a missed alternative if he wasn’t, one thing the Polygon crew thought throughout his very first scene — wouldn’t it simply be attention-grabbing if the only real human to survive alongside Galadriel, who pulled her from the Sundering Seas, was Sauron, the massive dangerous she’s been trying to find years and the scourge of (future) Middle-earth?
It got here to paint each scene with him in it, despite the fact that there have been greater thriller characters nobody may clarify. Even when it didn’t precisely align with the prolonged lore, what with Galadriel theoretically with the ability to sense Sauron, there was all the time a vibe. Maybe that charged second between them with the dagger is (forgive me) a double-edged sword, and truly an indicator of his evilness. It was both that or he was essentially the most boring character alive, which is saying one thing for The Rings of Power.
If Halbrand’s sudden heel flip got here out of nowhere for you — nicely, what’s there to say; we’ve been updating this put up for weeks now, utilizing up all our pink yarn on what turned out to be a completely correct conspiracy principle. Here’s a refresher on the proof laced throughout the primary season pointing on to Halbrand’s shenanigans:
- Here is a short pattern of quotes, mentioned by Halbrand, in episode 5: “You don’t know what I did. You don’t know how I survived.” “What do you know of darkness?” He additionally claims he will probably be “cast out” if his secret is revealed, and apologizes to Galadriel for the demise of her brother (who was “killed” by Sauron).
- Adar took himself out of the working as Sauron in episode 6, however he shared a collection of charged moments with Halbrand, who clearly feels personally wounded indirectly by Adar’s anti-Sauron marketing campaign. During their encounter, Halbrand cryptically states that Adar ought to know who he’s (as Halbrand practically kills him), later leaving Adar to genuinely marvel, “Who are you?” when the 2 are briefly alone. There’s not a lot about these interactions that may stand out as greater than making Halbrand a tragic Middle-earth hero. But at the side of the remainder of the present, there’s one thing there…
- He is a brutal warrior, as demonstrated within the alley scene from episode 3, and doesn’t appear to have many qualms about hurting these round him.
- Halbrand is an authentic character to The Rings of Power, and it’s clear from episode 3 that the manufacturing has some sort of plan for him and he’s not only a character for Galadriel to ship exposition to. But we don’t suppose there’s actually a lot to this principle, although it’s fairly humorous.
- It would simply be neat, narratively, if all the pieces Halbrand says wasn’t a lie, per se, however was only a half-truth. For occasion, when he says shit like “I am not the hero you seek” — c’mon!
- Weirdly, although, his backstory is basically particular and not related to any canon. Despite the title “The Southlands” sounding like the Southrons, judging by the place they’re on the present map, they’re probably not south in any respect, however within the far east, past Mordor. Tolkien by no means illuminated the cultures of any peoples in that space. (We know a number of issues about Rhûn, however as you may see, that area is kind of a methods northeast of Mordor.) We don’t know of any kings from that area, and even monarchies or programs of presidency. Huh.
- Subsequently, it might be top-tier prequel materials to write down a scene the place Galadriel unwittingly encourages Sauron to be Sauron. That sort of dramatic irony is all the time essentially the most scrumptious when it’s completed nicely. Especially when she’s been ferociously combing the world for him and he decides to only disguise in plain sight. We know that the Sauron of this period was referred to as “fair” (that means pale, but in addition fairly); whereas Halbrand might or might not match the invoice for this one, he’s on the very least crafty and astute. Those are the precise traits somebody must be to get a bunch of individuals to make rings for him.
- Wait, grasp on, the very very first thing he exhibits an curiosity in apart from staying out of bother is getting a job as a smith? And then, within the fifth episode, he makes an beautiful blade that appears to stun a neighborhood guild employee.
- Frankly, The Rings of Power leans an excessive amount of into apparent thriller packing containers, and we expect some subterfuge that basically feels prefer it pulled the rug out from somebody could be good.
- He convinces Galadriel to relax out and keep in Númenor…
- When he gave Galadriel a dagger it’s a second that bonds them, and it’s one thing that might doubtlessly save her neck in Númenor. Then once more, it’s additionally simply giving her the potential to wreak havoc. And to date, even when it seems to be like he’s serving to the state of affairs, Halbrand appears to be at finest out for himself and at worst sort of a chaos agent.
- The solely snag is that this may be a giant departure from how Tolkien frames Sauron’s post-war with Morgoth reappearance, the place he disguised himself as an emissary of the Valar referred to as “Annatar.” And he’d should get out of Númenor and to Middle-earth in order that he can begin working with Celebrimbor.
- The very first line of the present — “Nothing is evil in the beginning,” spoken by Galadriel — is pulled from Tolkien’s textual content about Sauron, who was corrupted by Morgoth. It may come again round with Halbrand being only a common dude additionally corrupted by the evils of the world. But it may be a plant: With The Rings of Power leaning extra closely into the grayness of Middle-earth’s heroes, maybe it’s additionally going to unfold a few of that to its villains as nicely.
- If the Stranger is Gandalf and never a balrog then that is going to disappoint me, and I’d very very like this present to increase an olive department.