Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 finale.The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s Sauron reveal was not meant to be a big shock, says one of its showrunners. The Prime Video series, based on the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, recently wrapped its first season. Set a thousand years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power chronicles the Second Age of Middle-earth and reveals how Sauron will ascend to power and rule Mordor.
In a surprising twist, The Rings of Power season 1 finale revealed that Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), a human who is romantically involved with Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), is actually Sauron. In Tolkien’s materials, Halbrand doesn’t exist. He was exclusively created for the show. However, Sauron is the main antagonist of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga, and takes many shapes to win people over to his side as he grows Mordor’s stronghold.
Now, in a recent interview on Amazon’s The Official The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Podcast, showrunner J.D. Payne explains that the Sauron reveal was never meant to be a big shock to the audience. The creator explains that they always wanted the audience to think Halbrand was Sauron as soon as he appears, which would create a much richer dynamic between Halbrand and Galadriel. Check out what he says on the reveal below:
“I want to talk about one more thing on this, which is to go back on your initial comment, surprise, even though you were suss, we were really not about the big twist, the big surprise, the big shocker. That was never the goal here, I think we were much more interested in creating characters and relationships and dynamics that were engaging and, hopefully, emotionally rich, and full of conflict, and, hopefully, delight and warmth. [Chuckles] Episode 2, the minute you see this guy, and he says a thing that Galadriel later says to Frodo, you go, “I bet that’s Sauron,” you know what? You’re going to have, hopefully, as great and valid a viewing experience as someone who has no idea until it suddenly happens. If you suspect him all the way, that is a totally great way to watch the show, in my opinion, where you’re engaging with a whole layer that maybe somebody else doesn’t engage with.”
How The Sauron Reveal Became A Big Twist Anyway
Even if the Rings of Power showrunners’ initial idea for Halbrand was not to shock audiences with a twist, it still managed to surprise audiences. It shouldn’t have come as that big of a shock, as Halbrand’s first line in the series is “Looks can be deceiving,” which directly references Sauron’s shapeshifting abilities. The Rings of Power immediately hints that Halbrand is one of Sauron’s many forms, and has changed shapes before, especially regarding his feud with Adar (Joseph Mawle). He’s also much more robust than most characters in The Rings of Power, human, and non-human, signaling that his character could be hiding something that Galadriel doesn’t know about, even if she gets close to him.
However, that didn’t stop theories about other potential Saurons from emerging. Many fans also believed that the character of The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) would be revealed as Sauron, because not much was known about him aside from having fell from the sky at the beginning of the series. However, The Stranger is revealed to be an Istari, which are powerful wizards who interfere during Middle-Earth’s third age in Tolkien’s books. It’s because of those elements that the twist became a shock to the viewers anyway. It’s unclear where Sauron will go in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2, but he is poised to become more powerful as he rises to take over Mordor.
Next: What Is Galadriel Doing?! Why She Still Wanted To Make Rings
Source: The Official The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Podcast