LOTR: Rings of Power Finale Finally Confirms [SPOILER] is Sauron
The following contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1, Episode 8, "Alloyed," now streaming on Prime Video.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power's Season 1 finale, "Alloyed," has finally confirmed that Charlie Vickers' Halbrand is really Sauron.
The episode initially reveals that the Stranger (Daniel Weyman) is Sauron, however, this soon proves to be a red herring. The truth ultimately comes out later in the episode, when Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) confronts Halbrand over inconsistencies she's unearthed regarding his supposed backstory as the uncrowned king of the Southlands. Halbrand then admits to being the dark lord, explains his plan to date, and tries unsuccessfully to sway Galadriel to his side. When last we see him, Halbrand/Sauron is on the outskirts of Mordor and heading towards Mount Doom.
While Halbrand's true identity will come as a surprise to many fans, some had already guessed he was Sauron in disguise. Evidence cited by these fans prior to the release of The Rings of Power's Season 1 finale includes Halbrand's skill as a smith (something Sauron is known for in J.R.R. Tolkien's books), his enigmatic past and his status as an original character created especially for the series. The finale itself includes several more clues that Halbrand and the dark lord are one and the same before the big reveal, as well. This includes a line of dialogue that references one of Sauron's aliases in the source material, Annatar (which translates as "Lord of Gifts").
The Rings of Power Keeps Sauron's Role a Secret
Sources inside The Rings of Power writers' room hinted that Sauron's true role would remain a mystery throughout the first season prior to the Prime Video series' release. These same sources also teased that the dark lord's cover identity "may not be who [fans] expect," seemingly ruling out the Stranger as a candidate before the first episode even aired. At the time, there was speculation that Sauron's disguise would involve the shapeshifting powers attributed to him in Tolkien's writings, however, it's currently unclear exactly how the dark lord assumed Halbrand's likeness.
More recently, showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay addressed Sauron's lack of screen time in The Rings of Power Season 1, insisting there's a reason why the iconic villain's true form doesn't feature more. "It would be very tempting to make the first season of this show 'The Sauron Show,' very villain-centric," McKay said. "But we wanted that level of evil and complexity of evil to emerge out of a world that you're invested in -- not because evil is threatening it immediately."
All eight episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 are now streaming on Prime Video.
Source: Prime Video