This List Contains Major Spoilers For The LOTR Books and Season One Of The Rings Of Power!The great saga of Middle-Earth’s Second Age has forged forward with Sauron finally making himself known in the epic conclusion of The Rings of Power season one. Despite what seemed like an uphill battle from fandom toxicity, the show has celebrated extraordinary viewership, even when competing with fellow fantasy series, House of the Dragon.
The season finale, entitled “Alloyed,” gave audiences some definitive answers to their questions from the mystery enshrouding Halbrand, to the purpose of the Stranger, all while creating even more. Given the production schedule of season one, season two probably won’t grace viewers’ televisions until early 2024, speaking optimistically, and will hopefully finally answer some burning questions that the end of season one has left in fans minds.
10/10 Where’s Isildur?
While the finale was certainly jam-packed, there were some obvious omissions. The Dwarves and Southlanders didn’t feature, but their stories for the season were neatly wrapped up in the previous episode. However, the truly shocking absence was that of Isildur. He was presumed dead, but most will know that can’t be the case. He can’t be dead when it’s his foreshadowed fate to vanquish Sauron and claim the One Ring himself.
While his horse, Berek, was shown to be on his way to him, it was very strange his fate wasn’t shown at all in the finale. That begs the question of what could’ve befallen him, besides the burning rubble. He’s stuck in Mordor, the dark land now ruled by Adar, but Halbrand/Sauron has returned too. Perhaps, he’s been caught by the Uruk or his paths will cross with the fair-formed Dark Lord – which could be an utterly fascinating partnership to witness. This is something that season two will need to address nigh-immediately.
9/10 A Chance Meeting, Or Was It All Part Of His Dark Plan?
Speaking of the Dark Lord, there’s one big question regarding his introduction in The Rings of Power. Sauron, posing as Halbrand, was adrift on the Sundering Sea, at the right time and place to meet his most relentless adversary, Galadriel. She even claims later, “Ours is no chance meeting. Not fate, nor destiny. Ours was the work of something greater.” The question isn’t just whether she was right, but also if the “something greater” was Sauron himself, if he planned for this “chance meeting”.
The epic reveal that Halbrand is indeed Sauron led to some equally great reactions on Twitter, but the question persists on his motivations early on. In the texts, it is noted that for a time following Morgoth’s fall, Sauron indeed repented and sought to do good – although his view of “good” is clearly biased as he can’t see the difference between helping people and ruling them. Season two will likely showcase a power struggle in Mordor between him and Adar, so hopefully, it can delve into their past and showcase what led him to being seabound and whether he knew he’d meet Galadriel.
8/10 Will Galadriel Reveal Who Halbrand Is?
Why Galadriel didn’t immediately reveal Halbrand’s true identity as Sauron to the other elves is currently a mystery. The big reason might be a sense of pride or shame in that she was responsible for bringing him back and for unknowingly proving Gil-Galad right. It’s interesting to think about if she’ll ever tell anyone, even Elrond, who seems somewhat clued in already.
Strangely enough, the High King might be one of the few characters she could share the truth with since, in the text, he and Galadriel are unaffected by Sauron’s charms as Annatar. Meanwhile, she can’t tell Celebrimbor – although he seems to already be under his spell – since they would still have to work together to create the other rings.
7/10 Will Sauron Return To Eregion?
The formation of the other rings is one of the biggest questions for the season. As those familiar with the lore know, the three Elven rings – Narya, Nenya, and Vilya – are different from the Dwarves’ or Mens’ rings. Sauron didn’t have a hand in creating them, so they remained out of his reach. They were made after the other sixteen rings, but unless those were somehow made off-screen, they were made first in The Rings of Power. That along with the Sauron reveal creates a bit of a conundrum.
Sauron certainly couldn’t return to Eregion to help forge those lesser rings with Galadriel or Elrond there. Perhaps he employs his shape-shifting abilities, turning into Annatar or one of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain – “Elven-smiths” or they’re just made without him and he’ll gain control of them later with dark magic. Regardless, book readers will know that no matter what one day he will return to Eregion for war.
6/10 Will Sauron Be Welcome In Mordor?
One of the most intriguing additions to the lore in The Rings of Power comes with the creation of Adar, one of the elves corrupted by Morgoth, the first Uruk. At first, audiences either thought he was Sauron himself or his lieutenant, but in reality, he is an enemy. Now that Sauron has returned to Mordor, the question is whether he will be welcomed back.
This mostly questions the loyalty of the Orcs. They claim Adar as their “father”, but Sauron is practically their god. This power dynamic will seemingly be a central focus throughout season two, and it’s interesting to think about what Sauron could do to beat Adar – whether he’d use his natural god-like abilities, or if he’d resort to manipulating others, like the Southlanders who named him King.
5/10 What Awaits Nori And The Stranger In Rhûn?
Amidst the action and dark mysteries unfolding elsewhere in Middle-Earth, the Harfoot storyline was typically more jovial or relaxing. That is until the final two episodes and the arrival of The Dweller, Nomad, and Ascetic, but thankfully the Stranger was there to save the day. Nori is now off to Rhûn in the East with the Stranger, while Poppy and the rest of the Harfoot continue on their path. This is an exciting journey because not much is known about the East besides the people’s loyalty to Sauron.
They could face other mystics like the Dweller or even meet one of the other Istari – since they were familiar with them. There’s even a chance that they could cross paths with some other main characters like Galadriel, Arondir, or Isildur. Additionally, fans are wondering what’s next for the other Harfoots. Besides Nori, Poppy is easily one of the most likable characters in The Rings of Power, so many fans won’t accept not seeing her in season two.
4/10 Who Exactly Is The Stranger?
Ever since he came crashing down to Middle-Earth, leaving a burning, yet cold crater that ominously resembles an eye, fans have theorized as to who the Stranger really is. Ideas stretched from the obvious like Sauron to the unlikely like Tom Bombadil, but the finale gave the best clues to say that he is indeed Gandalf the Grey. In addition, to his garb’s coloring, powers, and affinity to bugs, it was when he said “always follow your nose,” that seemingly hit the nail on the coffin.
Of course, the caveat is that it wasn’t made official just yet. Some hints are pointing to him being another Wizard – most poignantly, he’s stated that he wouldn’t go to the East, preferring to remain in the North and West. Right now, whether they’re red herrings or not, clues are cleverly pointing to him being Gandalf, and season two just needs to make it official.
3/10 What Did Eärien See In The Palantir?
The Rings of Power features a cast of storied characters from the novels like Galadriel, Isildur, and Míriel, mixed with compelling original creations such as Arondir, Adar, and Eärien. In particular, Eärien is perhaps the most intriguing. She was included over her brother Anárion, who would go on to rule Gondor with Isildur, and in the finale, she was given the opportunity to possibly see that future.
In his final moments, the king gives her access to the palantir, but her vision was kept secret. She might’ve been shown the doom awaiting Númenor as Míriel and Galadriel have seen, or worse. Depending on who else has access to a palantir in The Rings of Power, Eärien could endure the same as Pippin The Return of the King, caught by Sauron’s gaze.
2/10 Tell Me, Where Is Celeborn? For I Much Desire To Meet With Him
One of the biggest absences of the series was Celeborn, Galadriel’s husband, and thus, their daughter, Celebrian, who would become Elrond’s wife. It wasn’t until the penultimate episode that he was finally referenced.
Most of what casual audiences know of him is his quote about Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring, but he’s someone that could make Galadriel’s season two very intriguing – the same goes for Celebrian and Elrond.
1/10 Will Queen Míriel Always Be Blind?
One change from the novels to The Rings of Power is the blinding of Queen Míriel after the eruption of Mount Doom. With her access to the palantir and the dreams it gave her – although that access might be cut off if Pharazôn usurped the throne in her absence – Míriel could act as a blind prophet like Tiresias in Númenor.
However, the question is whether this is permanent or not. It’ll be interesting to see how the future Númenorean storylines unfold, whether she will keep her promise to return to Middle-Earth herself, or if she will remain there until the Great Wave strikes.
NEXT: The Rings of Power: 10 Best Easter Eggs & Hidden Details You Might’ve Missed From Season 1