‘Rings of Power’ finale: ‘Who, exactly, is Sauron? Dark Lord’s origin explained

In the finale of ‘Rings of Power’ season 1, the identity of Dark Lord Sauron, which was earlier teased throughout the season, was reveald. While the trio of evil, white-clad witches declared the Stranger (Daniel Weyman), the mysterious, tall man who had fallen from the sky like a meteor, and was found by Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and other Harfoots, as Sauron, it was soon proven false later in the episode. We saw Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) recovering a suspiciously quickly and helping elven smith Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) create the artifacts that would save the elves. It was Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) who finally realised that Halbrand is Sauron. 

Also Read: ‘Rings of Power’ Season 1 finale ‘Alloyed’ review: Sauron reveals himself in an exhilarating episode

Unless you are not well-versed in your pop culture, you know Sauron is the main villain in JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and Peter Jackson’s trilogy in the book. Sauron, briefly, appears in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy as well. Sauron is one of the most well-known villains in pop culture. That is saying something since in ‘LotR’ he does not have a corporeal form and instead exists as a fiery eye.

Sauron was a servant of Melkor, later known as Morgoth, who is mentioned in ‘Rings of Power’, basically Lucifer of Middle-earth who brought terrible destruction upon the earth and waged the greatest war against elves. But since ‘The Rings of Power’ is set in the Second Age and Morgoth is long gone, Sauron is the only one we should take into consideration.

So who is Sauron, exactly?

The Sauron we know was not always evil. Let me explain. The lore of Middle-earth, and the creation myth, are inspired by Christian theology. There is a supreme power called Eru or Eru Ilúvatar. Eru willed the world (called Arda by Tolkien) into existence through music. The first creations were angelic spirits called the Ainur, who later helped him create more numerous but lesser beings. Ainur joined their own melodies to Eru’s music.

After the creation was complete, Eru gave the Ainur a choice to either stay with him or live at Arda. Those who lived at Arda were called the Valar, among whom was Melkor. Maiar were lesser spirits who were formed to assist the Valar. Both Sauron and Gandalf (along with the rest of the wizards) were Maiar. Sauron served Aulë, who was the smith of the Valar, and learned from his skills that would later help him while forging the One Ring. Sauron was well-respected among the elves, who were the only beings that populated Arda back then.

But he then becomes a lieutenant of Morgoth, the greatest of the Ainur, who rebelled against Eru, a lot like Lucifer. All evil on Arda stems from him. But after Morgoth was defeated, Sauron ran and established himself as the Dark Lord. The First Age of Middle-earth ended. 

Also Read: ‘The Lord of the Rings The Rings of Power’ review: A majestic fantasy TV series worthy of JRR Tolkien

What was Sauron doing in Second Age?


We know ‘The Rings of Power’ is set during the Second Age. As the subtitle suggests, ‘Rings of Power’, is centred around the forging of magical rings by eleven smith Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) who is tricked into it. While Sauron ostensibly gives powerful rings to all races, he forges the One Ring in secret, which can control the power of all the other, thus potentially allowing him to rule every single individual. We saw an actor, which many thought looked like a younger Eminem, looking all devilish, but that may just be Sauron’s disguise, as among his many great powers was shapeshifting. 

But why did Celebrimbor trust Sauron, who pretty much called himself the Dark Lord? Well, because he was disguised as Annatar or Lord of Gifts to seduce elven smiths, including Celebrimbor, in magical arts. The Rings of Power were forged, and they were powerful, but the One Rings’s power could not be denied. ‘Rings of Power’ changes a bit of the lore. In the show, Sauron is posing as a mortal called Halbrand and assists Celebrimbor into creating the rings. Presumably he will do the same with the dwarves and men.

How was Sauron vanquished?

Most casual fans of the franchise would know Sauron as the flaming eye in Jackson movies, a form he is reduced to after the One Ring was taken from him by Númenorean prince Isildur. But Isildur did not destroy the ring, which would have ended Sauron once and for all, and it took thousands of years for Sauron to be finally vanquished mostly thanks to two hobbits, Frodo and Sam, at the end of the Third Age.

If you are yet to watch the Peter Jackson-directed ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, you are in for an experience of a lifetime.

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