The big Rings of Power season 2 questions, answered
Sauron, Earien, Galadriel, and the Stranger get closer to the events of The Lord of the Rings.
The first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power concluded with seismic upheavals and possibilities for development. The billion-dollar program, which has already been renewed for five seasons, made room for explosive moments and almost-shocking discoveries, as well as a rebuilt map of Middle-earth. But it was still laying the stage – the Lord of the Rings we know is still a long way off.
With the publication of the first season finale, these are the big questions concerning what happens next in season 2 and beyond. And, due to The Rings of Power author Gennifer Hutchison, we already know where Sauron, Galadriel, and the Stranger are going.
IS THE STRANGER ACTUALLY GANDALF?
Since the Stranger (Daniel Weyman) first appeared, his identity has remained a mystery, exacerbated by the cast and crew of Rings of Power referring to him as a “known” persona to fans.
After eight episodes, the answer appears to be… perhaps. Despite the fact that the conclusion provides some persuasive evidence: The White Robes determine he isn’t Sauron and rename him “Istar,” which Tolkien enthusiasts will know as a single form of Istari, the elf word for Middle-wizards. earth’s He transforms them into swarms of moths, a maneuver that is unmistakably connected with Peter Jackson’s Gandalf. He picks up a staff to do this magic (or whatever we’re calling it), which appears to call to mind a specific sort of gray and later white wizard. And now that he can talk in complete phrases, he definitely sounds more like Gandalf, even borrowing a lot of what Gandalf said in the Jackson films.
WHERE ARE THE STRANGER AND NORI HEADED?
After meeting the White Robes and realizing that he is not Sauron, the Stranger resolves to travel east to Rhûn to learn more about himself. Nori, always ready to venture off the beaten route, chooses to accompany him, while Poppy stays behind.
In Rhûn, they’ll be able to glimpse “The Hermit’s Hat,” the constellation the Stranger has been following all season, and maybe gain the answers the Stranger has been seeking all season regarding his identity, powers, and what he should really accomplish in this world.
WHAT HAPPENS IN NÚMENOR NOW THAT THE KING IS DEAD?
Without going into spoilers about what happens to the Nmenóreans in the canon, suffice it to say the island country is in a difficult situation. Queen Mriel and Elendil have gone home to enlist the land in a struggle against the orcs that live in the newly founded Mordor (which no one can call it), only to discover that the king has died. Pharazôn is still rallying the inhabitants behind a more conservative future for Nmenor and their dread of outsiders/elves.
WHAT WILL EÄRIEN DO WITH THE PALANTIR?
Before Nmenor’s king dies, he allows Eärien access to the palantr’s hidden route. While we don’t witness what happens next — whether she enters the chamber or touches the crystal ball — given what Mriel has seen with the palantr, it appears that whatever happens to Eärien in that room might have ramifications for Nmenor. When we met with Rings of Power author Gennifer Hutchison, she agreed wholeheartedly.
While Eärien’s father, Elendil, is loyal to the elves, Hutchison said through Zoom that she is the member of the family that embodies the more isolationist Nmenórean viewpoint. “She’s been abandoned,” Hutchison explained, “and placing her into that very personal area with the king enabled us to hint at how there may be some tension, which we’ve been building so much in Nmenor — and to make it more intimate, with individuals who are directly involved in the tale.”
IS ISILDUR DEAD?
No, no, no. He makes a significant appearance later in the canon. Except for his horse, no one else in the show is aware of this for the time being. Good luck, horse!
WHAT DOES GALADRIEL DO WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HALBRAND IS SAURON?
In the eighth episode of The Rings of Power, Halbrand encouraged Celebrimbor to build several rings (maybe even of power), and it was around this time that Galadriel recognized what many had suspected and known for weeks: Halbrand is Sauron.
Despite her rejection of him and his promise of power, Galadriel does not share what she knows to anybody, effectively following the instructions handed down by the Finrod in her vision (slash the Finrod that Sauron placed in her vision) to do nothing to impede Sauron’s goal. So, with Halbrand/ring Sauron’s scheme moving forward (with the important — perhaps? — addition of a third ring) and Galadriel seeming like a jerk for palling around with her sworn enemy for all this time, it’s not a good look. Though it does create some suspense for season 2, especially given…
WHAT DOES ELROND DO NOW THAT HE KNOWS SAURON IS HALBRAND?
Though Galadriel does not reveal her revelation, Elrond becomes suspicious and goes in search of the genealogical scroll that leads him to the conclusion that Halbrand is Sauron. Unfortunately, he discovers this information too late, returning to the workshop just as the elven rings (the rings of power) are being finished.
Elrond has spent most of this season rushing around, attempting to help Celebrimbor and Gil-galad figure out how to save the elves, harness the power of mithril, and do good in the world. The question now is whether Elrond would honor his commitment to trust Galadriel and not betray what he knows.
According to Hutchison, the problem of Galadriel and Elrond’s friendship was creating a strong connection even though the characters had so little screen time.
“When they reunite [in this episode], it’s such a major moment for them – he sent her away, and now she’s back.” He’s torn between his guilt, ‘I should have trusted you,’ and his joy at seeing her. It’s been a difficult period, but your friend has returned. We attempted to put a lot of effort into that moment with the two of them talking about what occurred. Fortunately, those performers are so amazing and incredible that I believe they can play those nuances.”
This quandary was one of the episode’s main foundations. “I think in the end it’s quite evident that there’s a little of conflict at that moment,” Hutchison remarked. “She’s made a significant request of him. That was something we truly wanted. ‘This is the real test; you said you’d believe me.’ We wanted to make certain that happened.”
WHAT HAPPENS TO DURIN IV AND HIS DWARVEN SUCCESSION?
We all know that dwarfs reign and that there should be more of them in the world. Durin’s scheme to (maybe) depose his father, King Durin III, in order to continue mining for mithril. Sure, there’s a balrog in there somewhere, but I’m more interested in seeing dwarfs tear and basically bring the party.