LOTR: Rings Of Power Teased Sauron’s True Identity Absurdly Early

While audiences continue to reel from the finale reveal, creators J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay reveal that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s Sauron identity was teased absurdly early in the show. Prime Video’s fantasy television series is a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, set thousands of years before the two trilogies unfold. The plot revolves around Elf Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), who is actively hunting for Sauron, the chief servant of the Dark Lord Morgoth after he was defeated. The show in its entirety just as quickly twists and turns as it escalates by way of its various plot lines, some of which also include the fall of Númenor and a young Harfoot discovering a stranger who fell to Earth in a meteor.

After plenty of discussion about the Dark Lord, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 finale found Charlie Vickers, who initially played Halbrand, also revealed to be Sauron in disguise. Given Halbrand and Galadriel spent much of the show’s run bonding with one another after the latter opted out of going to Valinor and became a castaway on his destroyed ship. Interestingly, despite playing the character, even Vickers wasn’t aware he would be playing Sauron in the Lord of the Rings prequel show, though the creators seem surprised neither he nor audiences caught on sooner.

While speaking with Vanity Fair to break down season 1’s major twist reveal, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay reveal how Halbrand was teased as Sauron absurdly early on. The two hid signs almost throughout the show’s run, primarily through a variety of dialogue clues in the character’s first appearance, namely that of « Looks can be deceiving. » See what Payne said below:

Yes, in his very first shot, he’s looking over his shoulder with one eye. And in episode two, he says, “The tides of fate are flowing. Yours may be heading out.” That’s the line that Galadriel says to Frodo when the ring comes into her orbit. She’s repeating the first thing he ever said to her. She asks on the raft, “What kind of man would leave his companions to die?” He says, “The kind of man that knows how to survive.”

Repeating LOTR Dialogue Is A Key Strategy For Rings Of Power

With powerful writing that well-maintained Sauron’s secrecy in various stages of production, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has awed both its audiences and cast alike. Clark has previously expressed how it “was frustrating and exciting” as well as « kind of painful » to play the character knowing the terrible truth, while Arondir actor Ismael Cruz Córdova recently tease how he could playfully predict the show’s Sauron twist well before anyone was told. To say the least, by using The Lord of the Rings’ reference of Galadriel’s words to Frodo, the writers of the show have upped their game in the world of franchises, not only showing solid script-building technique, but also an ability to keep audiences talking about the franchise as a whole as much as the series itself.

By managing to connect the dots, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has shown that any franchise’s success rests upon the perception it leaves on the masses, and with audiences’ now twisted to know not everything is as it seems, it will be interesting to see how Payne and McKay look to keep audiences in the dark heading into season 2. Given the duo recently explained that the Sauron reveal was not meant to be a big shock, as well as Vickers teasing a specific plan for the character moving forward, it seems likely the surprises will come in the form of story events moreso than major twists. In the meantime, audiences can revisit The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 to look for more clues for Sauron’s reveal streaming on Prime Video now.