‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Adds Another New Character — Who Is Adar?

TL;DR:

  • The Rings of Power Episode 3 introduces another new character: Adar.
  • Adar doesn’t appear in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings, but he could be Sauron in disguise.
  • It looks like Arondir will come face to face with this foe in The Rings of Power Episode 4.
The Orcs following the orders of Adar in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.' They're holding torches and the leader is wearing a helmet.
Orcs in ‘The Rings of Power’ | Matt Grace/Prime Video

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power Episode 3, “Adar.”]

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is working its way through J.R.R. Tolkien’s Second Age, but the Prime Video series is taking a few liberties with the source material. The Rings of Power has introduced several characters original to the Amazon show, and episode 3 adds another: Adar. Although viewers haven’t officially met Adar, it seems he’s behind the Orc forces terrorizing the Southlands. And his name doesn’t appear in Tolkien’s writings — though it could be an alias for a villain we already know.

Who is Adar in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’?

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The Rings of Power Episode 3 reveals what becomes of Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) after being abducted by Orcs in their tunnels in the Southlands. The Elvish soldier finds himself a prisoner in one of their labor camps, where he finds other Elves being held captive. Arondir learns from the other prisoners that the Orcs are working for Morgoth’s successor: someone known throughout the camp as Adar.

Adar promises to become a major antagonist of The Rings of Power Season 1, but we don’t get many details about the character during this week’s episode. The Elves suggest he’s behind what’s happening in the Southlands. And Arondir comments that Adar is an Elvish word — something he can’t understand, as the Orcs don’t align themselves with Elves.

The Orcs certainly revere Adar, though, suggesting he’s more than a mere puppet in the enemy’s games. The other Elves posit that he could be Sauron in disguise. However, this isn’t confirmed in this installment.

We’ll likely learn more about Adar during The Rings of Power Episode 4, as this week’s chapter concludes with the Orcs taking Arondir to their leader. But viewers won’t be able to look to J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings to learn more about the mysterious Adar in the meantime. The villain doesn’t appear in Tolkien’s works.

Adar doesn’t appear in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings

Although J.R.R. Tolkien describes Sauron’s ability to use shape-shifting in his writings, the author never refers to a character named Adar. He does, however, reveal that Sauron once went by the name Annatar, using the disguise to infiltrate enemy ranks and get close to the Elves forging the Rings of Power.

It’s possible The Rings of Power simply changed the fake name by which Sauron goes — and that Adar isn’t an entirely new character after all. The men at the Orc labor camp certainly seem to think this is the case. And although theories about The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) being Sauron have cropped up, both characters are looking less and less suspicious.

Of course, having Sauron appear in an Orc camp seems an obvious choice for Amazon’s prequel to make. With that in mind, The Rings of Power may be misleading viewers with Adar’s introduction. Could he be some other foe to contend with while we await Sauron’s arrival?

‘The Rings of Power’ may be misdirecting viewers with this new character

The Orcs’ allegiance to Adar suggests that he could be Sauron, but the fact that the characters themselves believe this makes us think otherwise.

The Rings of Power may be misdirecting fans with its introduction of Adar. He could be one of Sauron’s pawns or another one of Morgoth’s loyal servants. If he is Sauron, having that fed to us while he’s off-screen feels like a less-than-mighty entrance for the prequel’s Big Bad.

We’ll have to wait until Arondir meets Adar to learn more about this new villain. But whoever he is, he’s stirring up plenty of trouble in Middle-earth.

New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power debut every Friday on Prime Video.

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