The fifth of eight episodes on this first season of The Rings of Power is now obtainable to look at on Prime Video, and there is nonetheless one large thriller we’re no nearer to fixing. Regardless of a great deal of display time, it nonetheless is not clear who The Stranger is. From the second he crashed onto Center-earth in a ball of fireside, audiences have been speculating wildly as to who this could be, however nothing has felt conclusive. Is that this meteor man good friend or foe? Will this character play a pivotal position in the long run of the season or will the thriller persist into the following? It is robust to know for certain.

In a July interview with Screenrant throughout San Diego Comedian-Con, actor Daniel Weyman had the next to say about his time as The Stranger.

“They have been fairly clear at the start that what they have been bringing me was a personality who had, at his core, a very deep and primal objective. He had a necessity to perform one thing; he had a want to perform this factor. As soon as I started to faucet into that, and really feel that deep within the core, then different issues flowed out of that.

I feel, for me, that was actually vital. Whether or not that was costume, or hair and make-up, or dialect and motion — all these issues flowed from that very primal, guttural sense of, ‘I do know what I must do right here. I do know what I am right here for.’ And that is a pleasure to have as an actor, as a result of there are some characters who by no means actually know what their objective is. They by no means actually know what their needs are.

As a lot as we do not learn about him, I feel what we’ll do — if we will stick with him — is to see that the best way that he impacts communities round him goes to be dramatic. We’re going to be taught and be taught and be taught, and discovering out what precisely is occurring won’t be so fast.”

We many not know for certain who it’s, however there’s loads of data in lore and interviews and what we have seen on display to rule out a number of issues. Listed here are the highest guesses I’ve discovered throughout the web, with some particulars about how probably it’s for a given guess to be right. 

Sauron (Annatar)

Sauron, from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings.


New Line Cinema

At this level within the story, Sauron has vanished to construct his energy and tackle Center-earth via his grand plan. To enact that grand plan, he must be on the seat of energy in a means that no person suspects he is acquired evil in his coronary heart. In Tolkien’s tales, Sauron seems as a disguised elf named Annatar and makes use of his expertise as a grasp craftsman to get Celebrimbor’s consideration. Collectively, they make an entire lot of very fairly rings you might need heard of. 

Whereas it could be fascinating for Annatar to make a grand look like this, arriving in a ball of flame that Gil-galad himself noticed streak throughout the sky, and possibly claiming to not bear in mind his previous, The Stranger most likely is not Annatar. The largest cause is the ears. Because the lovable Harfoot Poppy factors out, he hasn’t acquired pointy ears and he is not good-looking. 

It is value including right here that, based on the showrunners in a latest interview, Sauron hasn’t but appeared on display. That may very well be a deflection, as Sauron is thought to disguise himself, and the shirtless tavern man appeared to suppose that starfall was an indication of the darkish lord’s impending arrival. Or it may very well be that this meteor man is not Sauron, which appears believable. 

Glorfindel

Peter Jackson’s movies are improbable, however they did Glorfindel soiled. Within the books he’s on the Council of Elrond after having rescued Frodo from the Ringwraiths and never Arwen. As a lot as I loved Liv Tyler’s efficiency as Arwen, within the books Glorfindel went toe-to-toe in opposition to a number of Ringwraiths as a result of he is simply that robust, and that energy isn’t current within the motion pictures. That is most likely as a result of he killed a Balrog by himself when he was younger, and so was just a little overpowered for these motion pictures, however that is not a giant downside for The Rings of Energy. 

Glorfindel is described as having been despatched again to Center-earth within the Second Age with powers that rivaled these of the 5 Wizards, which might clarify the Wizard-like powers proven within the first two episodes. He additionally makes an attempt to speak via constellations, which is one thing historic Elves like Glorfindel would have been well-versed in.

Sadly, Glorfindel can be described as a fantastic elf with golden hair. Whereas it is attainable The Stranger simply wants a shower and a shave to rework right into a fairer being (look it up, actor Daniel Weyman cleans up good) the shortage of pointy ears makes this much less probably.

Gandalf

Gandalf with a pipe in his mouth, staring into the middle distance

New Line Cinema

He is older, gray-ish and seemingly wields magic powers — that is gotta be Gandalf as he is arriving in Center-earth, proper? It is a affordable guess given what we have seen on display, together with the numerous types of magic this character is able to wielding, however this most likely is not Gandalf.

Gandalf the Gray, alongside Radagast the Brown and their chief Saruman the White, do not arrive in Center-earth till a methods into the Third Age. Which means The Stranger landed in entrance of Nori a really very long time earlier than Gandalf is shipped to assist struggle Sauron, not less than based on Tolkien. If this present goes to mess with when Gandalf arrives in Center-earth, there had higher be an excellent clarification for why.   

Allatar or Pallando

Gandalf and the opposite two Wizards did not land in Center-earth till the Third Age, however there are literally 5 Wizards of Center-earth. The opposite two are mostly known as the Blue Wizards, since Tolkien describes their robes as a sea blue. Whereas these two are equal in energy to Gandalf or Radagast once they arrive, their contributions are usually not nicely documented by Tolkien. We do not know a ton about what these Wizards have been doing right here, solely that when Allatar was despatched right here he requested Pallando to affix him and Tolkien described the 2 as having “had very nice affect on the historical past of the Second and Third Age.”

It is attainable Allatar and Pallando have been separated once they first arrived in Center-earth, and the language barrier between him and Nori may very well be momentary whereas he identifies his powers on this new place. But when it is actually one of many Blue Wizards, it is extraordinarily odd they didn’t arrive collectively or clad in blue. 

Tom Bombadil

One other extraordinarily enjoyable Tolkien character who was executed soiled by the Peter Jackson movies, Tom Bombadil is without doubt one of the oldest dwelling beings in Center-earth, and his powers are simply form of unknown. Glorfindel prompt throughout the Council of Elrond that the One Ring be given to Tom to destroy, as a result of some of the highly effective Elves alive on the time thought he was as much as the duty single-handedly. 

Tolkien did not write a lot of something about what Tom was as much as throughout the First Age or the Second Age, solely that he was in Center-earth hanging out along with his spouse, Goldberry, who was additionally a river spirit. Tom and Goldberry are identified to have had frequent interactions with Hobbits, making it probably they have been conversant in ancestors just like the Harfoots. Possibly it was the kindness of Nori Brandyfoot which lead Tom to be so variety to Hobbits?

A Balrog

A Balrog getting ready to fight Gandalf

Galdalf the Gray versus a Balrog of Morgoth, as seen in The Fellowship of the Ring


New Line Cinema

When most individuals hear the time period Balrog, they instantly consider the enormous smoke and hearth monster Galdalf fights on the finish of Fellowship of the Rings and the start of The Two Towers. And for probably the most half, that is a reasonably secure wager (although value pointing on the market’s a good bit of debate amid the Tolkien group as as to if these monstrous beings have wings or not) when imagining a Balrog.

That having been stated, The Stranger is unhurt by his magic hearth and survived a ridiculous touchdown and there is solely a handful of beings able to both. This group of beings are referred to as Maiar, the primordial beings used to assist form the world earlier than it was populated by any dwelling beings. That is proper, Wizards and Balrogs are fabricated from the identical stuff and as such have a whole lot of the identical talents. This contains the flexibility to alter form.

Tolkien by no means wrote of Balrogs as something aside from giant demons who serve Morgoth, and naturally that incident in Khazad-dûm, so calling it a stretch that The Stranger is a Balrog is one thing of an understatement. However it’s technically attainable given what Tolkien wrote, and we do know from the trailers {that a} Balrog can be making an look in some unspecified time in the future within the present. 

Nonetheless, he is most likely not a Balrog. 



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