Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 6The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s Sauron mystery rumbles on, but episode 6 might secretly confirm Halbrand is the elusive villain. Sauron has become Middle-earth’s very own Mephisto, with audiences sensing the Dark Lord’s presence around every corner. The Rings of Power deliberately plays up to that intrigue, with in-universe characters such as Waldreg and Galadriel even baffled by Sauron’s whereabouts.
Of the main Sauron contenders, Joseph Mawle’s Adar and Bridie Sisson’s Dweller have already been ruled out. That leaves only Daniel Weyman’s Stranger (the man who fell from the sky) and Charlie Vickers’ Halbrand remaining, and there’s evidence to support both claims. The Stranger uses dark magic and is being followed by occult-looking folk in white cloaks. Halbrand, meanwhile, played Galadriel and Pharazôn off against each other while on Númenor, mirroring Sauron’s manipulations from JRR Tolkien’s books.
Only Halbrand appears in The Rings of Power episode 6 (“Udûn”) since the installment is dedicated entirely to fighting in the Southlands. Nevertheless, The Rings of Power drops arguably its biggest Sauron clue yet – and it weighs heavily in favor of Halbrand.
Sauron’s “Death” Supports The Rings Of Power’s Halbrand Theory
The Rings of Power episode 6 sees Adar claim to have killed Sauron in a squabble over Orc custody. Sauron obviously isn’t dead, but Adar certainly might’ve disembodied him, forcing the Dark Lord to spend centuries recovering in the shadows. This revelation fits Halbrand’s backstory suspiciously well. When Galadriel first encountered Charlie Vickers’ character, he claimed Orcs “chased me from my homeland.” Finally getting his hands on Adar after felling the villain’s horse, a vengeful Halbrand then asks, “Do you remember me?“Adar doesn’t, but speculates he might’ve slaughtered this angry man’s lover or child.
Curiously, Halbrand never actually reveals how Adar wronged him… Rather than killing a loved one, therefore, maybe Halbrand seeks revenge because Adar killed himand “chased me from my homeland” referred to this betrayal. Assassinated by the Uruk, Sauron’s spirit might’ve hid in the shadows to recover before resurfacing in the guise of “Halbrand,” which would also explain why Adar doesn’t remember his victim’s face. The Rings of Power implies Adar has taken so many lives he couldn’t possibly recall what each of them looked like. Instead, Halbrand might’ve been a tall sorcerer dressed head-to-toe in black armor the last time he and Adar crossed paths.
Rings Of Power’s Romance Hints Make Halbrand More Likely To Be Sauron
The only thing stronger than a Balrog in Middle-earth is the unspoken sexual tension simmering between Morfydd Clark’s Galadriel and Charlie Vickers’ Halbrand since she first jumped on his raft. Weirdly, those feelings come to the surface after the pair bond while slaying Orcs together in the Southlands. Halbrand admits, “Fighting at your side, I felt… If I could just hold on to that feeling.” Galadriel bashfully replies, “I felt it too…“
Since Halbrand is but a mortal fated to die, it’s possible he and Galadriel were lovers during the Second Age (in The Rings of Power‘s canon where Celeborn – Galadriel’s actual husband – is nowhere to be found). More likely, Galadriel’s tentative step into the world of Middle-earth dating is destined to end in tragedy… And what could be more tragic than Galadriel finding out the man she fell in love with is the same entity who murdered her beloved brother, Finrod?
“King Of The Southlands” May Not Mean What You Think
When you look at it properly, Halbrand’s claim to the Southlands’ throne isn’t particularly convincing. Galadriel merely saw him clutching a sigil, figured out what that symbol meant, then assumed Halbrand was of royal descent. Halbrand hasn’t actually offered much regarding his family, his exile, or his lineage. Maybe The Rings of Power is being intentionally deceptive here. Rather than a rightful heir in the same way Aragorn was the rightful heir of Gondor, Halbrand declaring himself King of the Southlands in The Rings of Power episode 6 could secretly represent Sauron declaring himself the region’s new ruler as the transformation into Mordor begins.
The Rings of Power‘s dark sigil – left everywhere from Forodwaith to Finrod’s corpse – already confirmed Sauron has been eyeing the Southlands for some time, and he’s certainly arrogant enough to consider himself a king prematurely. The symbol Galadriel found, meanwhile, Sauron could’ve easily swiped from the real heir during the War of Wrath.
The Rings Of Power Must Explain One Detail If Halbrand Is Sauron
If Halbrand is indeed Sauron, one would expect the persona he assumes around Galadriel and others to be false, similar to “Annatar” from Tolkien’s mythology. However, The Rings of Power has already shown Halbrand in scenes where no other characters are around, and there’s never any sign of him dropping a pretense or shifting personality – Halbrand acts just as Halbrand would. Unlike the Stranger, memory loss doesn’t work as an excuse either, since Halbrand clearly remembers his reason for hating Adar.
Ass The Rings of Power‘s Sauron situation stands, Halbrand’s lack of duality is the most convincing evidence against him being the Dark Lord in disguise. If a connection between the two is later drawn, a reason would need to be found for why Halbrand never breaks character – even when alone.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video