This summer season, as the 1st glimpses of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy arrived to mild, there was one character in particular who grabbed lover focus and held it quick: a white-robed determine, with carefully shorn hair and paper-white pores and skin. In the absence of any other indications, the creepy physical appearance and overtly menacing stare led followers to a solitary hunch: This was the show’s model of Sauron!
Properly, with the fifth episode of The Rings of Ability, that mysterious white-robed character has ultimately made an look, and remaining only a lot more queries in their wake. Tolkien’s supply content supplies hints at where the story may possibly be going, and what relation the people do have to Sauron, The Stranger, and the show’s other mysteries.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for episode 5 of The Rings of Power, “Partings.”]
What we know about the white-robed Dweller
Our mysterious Sauron-potential would make her debut early in the episode, as 1 of a trio of figures who seem to be looking for the equally mysterious meteor person recognised as the Stranger. The episode’s credits refer to her as “the Dweller,” and she’s performed by Bridie Sisson with her companions the Nomad (played by Edith Lousy in the helmet with flowing crimson hair) and the Ascetic (played by Kali Kopae, hooded and carrying a spherical… matter).
They are pale of skin and pale of robes, and carry a choice of odd accoutrements. The Dweller has an ornate employees, whilst the Ascetic brandishes a metal disk or dish emblazoned with circles and a crescent. The Nomad’s armor includes many motifs of eyes and circles — and fingers, interlaced above the top rated of her helm.
We know more critical depth beyond what is on screen in episode 5: Talking to Time magazine, Rings of Power govt producer Lindsey Weber explained that these characters have traveled below from “from far to the east — from the lands of Rhûn.”
What is Rhûn?
In the most broad sense, Rhûn usually means every thing east of the map in The Lord of the Rings, all the land in that direction that did not factor into the tale Tolkien required to convey to. And because it wasn’t critical to the tale he preferred to notify, it has mostly remained undescribed.
Even though the races of dwarves, adult males, and elves originated someplace in Rhûn and migrated west, that was so fantastically lengthy in the past — and the world has gone as a result of various geographic upheavals since — as to give us no feeling of its current point out. It is a blank canvas for Rings of Electrical power to investigate, probably even a chance to flesh out the blanket time period of “Easterlings” that Tolkien’s contemporary elves, people, and dwarves experienced to refer to men from the east.
So, in which do these white-robed figures arrive from? In a quite literal way, “Parts Unfamiliar.”
What does this mean for the Stranger?
Rhûn has 1 fairly stable attribute that could arrive to bear below: It’s also the place the Blue Wizards supposedly skittered off to. And “one of the Blue Wizards” is a not-not likely principle for the genuine identification of the Stranger.
The duo of azure-attired colleagues of Gandalf and Saruman is one particular of the extensive checklist of concepts that Tolkien wrote into The Lord of the Rings with small elaboration, and then put in the relaxation of his times choosing whether or not to elaborate on them in The Silmarillion. Like Rhûn itself, the two handed geographically out of the scope of Tolkien’s most loved stories, and so out of the necessity of discovering them.
He toyed with different names and distinct origins for them: Perhaps they were being Alatar and Pallando, two wizards who at some point turned true slackers and forsook their mission to chill in Rhûn. Or, possibly, they had been Morinehtar and Rómestámo, two wizards who struggled extensive to dilute what they could of Sauron’s affect in the east of Middle-earth, with out whose do the job the Dark Lord definitely would have overrun Gondor and the relaxation of Eregion.
In the conclude, we know extremely minimal about what Tolkien would have meant for the Blue Wizards had he finished his opus, besides that they traveled significantly farther east than the other individuals and stayed there. It’s attainable that this link to Rhûn will at some point transform into a relationship to the Blue Wizards.
But wait around, there’s one a lot more issue.
It is the moon
The other likely trace about the Stranger this episode is in his celestial origin, his seeming emphasis on the stars, a telling shot of him gazing up at the moon, and the quite moon-reminiscent emblem on the Ascetic’s disk.
The Stranger could be the Male in the Moon.
This could seem like a joke, but in Tolkien’s Center-earth, the sunshine and moon had their possess very certain origin tale. You may possibly have heard about how Galadriel’s war in opposition to Morgoth began when he ruined a few of glowing trees. Well, at the time, people trees (and the stars in the sky) have been the only resources of organic mild in the environment. The sunshine and moon had been designed to substitute them, glowing ships that ended up piloted as a result of the sky and beneath the earth by a couple of Maiar, beings of the similar purchase as Sauron and Gandalf.
The moon’s vessel was piloted by the Maiar Tilion, who was known for his unreliability — his unrequited crush on the Maiar piloting the sun is the rationale for why the moon often appears in the sky with the sun. And the legend of the person who pilots the moon even attained “modern” hobbits, who have tales and tracks (just one a parody of “Hey Diddle Diddle”) about the foolish issues that ensued throughout the bumbling Male in the Moon’s visits to Center-earth.
Metatextually, Center-earth’s moon is a combination of Tolkien’s lore of the elves, and the tales he told to entertain his young children — just like Tom Bombadil and hobbits them selves. The Guy in the Moon appeared both of those in Roverandom, a tale the professor invented to consolation his son right after he misplaced a beloved toy at the seaside and in the once-a-year letters he wrote and illustrated for his little ones in the voice of Father Xmas.
But no matter if the Stranger is the Gentleman in the Moon or a Blue Wizard, it appears these milky-white-clad strangers from Rhûn know a little something about him. We’ll have to hold out and see when The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Electric power decides to solve this specific thriller.