'Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power's Characters Are As Confused As Fans
Much of the online discourse surrounding The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, We Swear We’re Not Lying About the Rings, has involved identifying the villainous Sauron. Even before the show aired its first episode, fans claimed that actor Anson Boon was playing a young Sauron (who presumably spent his early years playing keyboards for one of Middle Earth’s Christian prog-rock bands).
Producers later debunked this rumor. But as soon as the show started airing, people began speculating that certain characters may secretly be Sauron in disguise; like Galdriel’s scraggily human buddy, or the mysterious “Stranger” who crash-landed on Middle Earth via some kind of comet. This week’s episode, “Partings” lended further credence to the Stranger = Sauron theory, illustrating that his use of magical powers turned his arm black – and J.R.R. Tolkien’s source text refers to Sauron “as having a blackened hand.”
This type of rampant watercooler theorizing can be an irritating distraction for a show – after all, it wasn’t so long ago that Wandavision fans kept stubbornly insisting that Mephisto was going to show up each week, in an act of futility worthy of Samuel Beckett (the playwright, not the time traveler). But “Partings” made it clear that the denizens of Middle Earth are also confused as hell, and aren’t totally sure who Sauron is – which makes sense, since Sauron is capable of shapeshifting. And even if he weren’t, it’s not like they can Google Image Search him, or even ask Jeeves what he looks like. At one point, the human exiles who ditched Arondir and Bronwyn pledge their allegiance to Adar – but only because they goofed and thought he was Sauron. How awkward.
So really our confusion and proclivity for rampant speculation is mirroring how many of the characters are feeling. So we should just carry on with our unhinged theories about how Sauron might be … that kindly proto-Hobbit girl? Sure, why not.
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