We’re five episodes into The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The Rings of Power and all anyone seems to be talking about is Sauron. The Dark Lord is stirring up his host of Orcs, headed by Adar, somewhere in Middle-earth (who could be Sauron in disguise). However, one hypothesis persists, and if valid, it might have far-reaching consequences: is Halbrand indeed Sauron?
Despite his appearance as a male human, Halbrand appears to have a lot going on behind the surface. Any further would be a dive into spoilers, so turn back now if you haven’t finished The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power!
In The Rings of Power, Who is Halbrand Sauron?
The name Halbrand does not occur in any of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works and is unique to The Rings of Power. As you can expect, this has sparked speculation about who he could be. We first meet Halbrand on a raft crossing the Sundering Seas, having left his life in the Southlands behind.
So that we're all agreed
Halbrand is Sauron
The weird ol guy who fell in the comet is Gandolf.
— Alan (@heyyyalan) September 10, 2022
“Appearances can be deceiving,” he says to Galadriel as they float by. And he’s not wrong: in Tolkien’s mythology, Sauron is an Annatar, a shapeshifter who can assume numerous forms, including that of a man. Halbrand’s introduction implies that his look is misleading, which lends credence to the Sauron theory. Furthermore, showrunner J.D. Payne revealed that when Sauron appears in the series, “it might be in a way people aren’t expecting.” Ominous.
What do we know about Sauron based on Halbrand’s appearance? For starters, as Galadriel discovers, Halbrand is supposed to be the promised monarch of the Southlands, and the Southlands is where Sauron’s armies are gathering. Sauron’s mark, which turned out to be a map of the Southlands, indicates where he intends to stage his reinvention – a location that will one day be known as Mordor. Could Halbrand be the area’s Dark Lord rather than King of the Southlands?
His unwillingness to leave Numenor for the Southlands suggests otherwise unless this is all part of his long-term plan to influence the people of Numenor and Galadriel. The ruler of Numenor takes Sauron as a prisoner in the Lord of the Rings appendices, while Halbrand is a prisoner of Numenor in the show.
However, there is a catch: this does not occur until after making the One Ring and the War of the Elves. The Lord of the Rings history could be rearranged to fit this, but it’s more likely that something else is at work. When Halbrand arrives in Middle-earth, he may turn on the Elves and people of Numenor, revealing himself to be Sauron, before being arrested and sent to Numenor. The plot might then proceed according to what happens in the appendices.
In Tolkien’s writings, Sauron exploits his dark influence to become a crucial counselor to the king. This finally leads to Numenor being destroyed by the Valar, Tolkien’s god-like spirits. We’ve already seen visions of a big wave crashing Numenor in the show, but whether Halbrand is the manipulator remains to be revealed. If we follow Tolkien’s timeline, Sauron would have needed to influence the Elves to create the Rings of Power before traveling to Nmenor – and Halbrand is a skilled craftsman. Perhaps he could assist…
Btw, I have not seen talk about this, but there is certain King from Second age, who fails to answer the call from Isildur later in the story. Maybeee we will see this character's downfall in Rings of Power?! Not saying it's Halbrand, but .. pic.twitter.com/9psmvHa5UT
— Durinul (@JyrkiDurinul) September 6, 2022
There’s no denying Halbrand has evil instincts. He beats up a slew of Nmenorians in the third episode. In the fourth, he instructs Galadirel on how to bend someone to her will. “It appears to me that you would do well to identify what your opponent fears the most,” he says. “Give them a way to master it so you can master them.” Sauron bestows the Rings of Power on various Middle-earth leaders and then forges one ring to dominate those leaders, which sounds ominous. In the sixth episode, Galadriel informs Halbrand that Sauron murdered her brother, to which he responds, “sorry.” It’s unclear whether he’s being friendly or apologizing for killing her sibling.
Whatever the case, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. There’s a reasonable probability Halbrand is a Southland king who will turn evil after being handed a magical ring. If this is the so, he may be transformed into a servant of Sauron, maybe the Witch-king, leader of the Nazgûl. The Nazgûl are human rulers who were corrupted by their Rings of Power and transformed into Sauron’s servants. It sounds like a possible avenue for Halbrand to go.
We’ll discover what Halbrand’s true motivations are throughout the show’s five seasons. Meanwhile, for more on The Rings of Power, see our article on The Stranger’s true identity. Our definitive The Rings of Power character guide can also help you get to know the inhabitants of Middle-earth.
The Lord of the Rings show releases a new episode every week, and you can see us The Rings of Power release calendar to see when the next installment will be available in your time zone.
Is Halbrand really the Witch-King?
The evidence that he is a Bad Guy is accumulating, but rather than Sauron, Halbrand could be the Witch-King of Angmar, the leader of the Ringwraiths. Although he could yet turn out to be Sauron, that seems less plausible.
In Rings of Power, who plays Sauron?
The Dark Lord also featured as a dark figure in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, posing as the Necromancer in Dol Guldur in The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies before his actual identity was revealed. Benedict Cumberbatch provided the voice of Sauron in these scenes.
Is Annatar a member of the Rings of Power?
There is no Annatar on The Rings of Power at the moment, but he may appear later. After all, there are still key characters to be unveiled, such as actress Bridie Sisson, whose scowling, Eminem-like image in the Rings of Power teaser piqued fans’ interest.
In Rings of Power, who is the old man?
Sauron is a character in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. At this point in the story, Sauron has vanished to gather strength and prepare to take on Middle-earth with his magnificent plot. To carry out that magnificent plan, he has to be in a position of power where no one knows he harbors terrible intentions.
Who assassinates the Witch-king?
Éowyn killed the great Witch-king of Angmar in The Lord of the Rings, but there was a lot more to the narrative than the films depicted. Sauron may not have been the greatest Dark Lord in the realm of The Lord of the Rings, but by the Third Age, he had become the ultimate source of darkness.
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