‘The Rings of Power’ Episode 3 Strengthens a Popular Halbrand Theory

TL;DR:

  • The Rings of Power Episode 3 divulges Halbrand’s true identity.
  • The reveal seemingly debunks one Halbrand theory, but it strengthens another.
  • If Halbrand’s arc goes as expected, his storyline will end tragically.
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' Episode 3. He's wearing something around his neck, his hair looks wet, and he's staring at someone off-screen.
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand | Prime Video

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has introduced many mysteries during its opening chapters. However, the Amazon prequel may have just solved one: the question of Halbrand’s (Charlie Vickers) true identity. Fans were wondering if Galadriel’s (Morfydd Clark) new companion would turn out to be evil. The Rings of Power Episode 3 suggests he’s not Sauron — but its big revelation does strengthen another popular Halbrand theory.

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

‘The Rings of Power’ Episode 3 seemingly debunked 1 Halbrand theory

RELATED: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’: Episode Count and Release Schedule

The Rings of Power Episode 3 allows viewers to spend more time with Halbrand, right before Galadriel solves the mystery surrounding his identity. From Halbrand’s actions, it’s clear he’s not accustomed to people speaking down to him. He addresses an audience of nobles with little anxiety, and he doesn’t take well to bullying from the men of Númenor.

Perhaps that’s why the revelation that he’s the lost king of the Southlands isn’t so surprising. When Halbrand first meets Galadriel, he tells her that his people “have no king.” In truth, that’s because he’s their king — and he’s a long way from home as they suffer the return of darkness.

Halbrand being king makes sense of many of his actions, and it seems to debunk the fan theory that he’s Sauron. Of course, Sauron wouldn’t be above lying or assuming the identity of another. With the Southlands eventually becoming Mordor, Halbrand being Morgoth’s successor isn’t totally off the table.

However, another popular Halbrand theory is starting to look a lot more likely.

Halbrand’s true identity solidifies another fan theory

RELATED: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’: How Is Elendil Related to Aragorn?

The Rings of Power Episode 3’s Halbrand reveal could rule out a revelation that he’s Sauron. However, it strengthens another popular fan theory about the character — one that, sadly, still ends with him as a villain.

If Halbrand is truly a king, it’s possible he’ll become one of the nine men given Rings of Power by Sauron — and later corrupted by them. The Lord of the Rings fans know these creatures as the Nazgûl. Also called Ringwraiths throughout the original trilogy, they serve Sauron faithfully. And Halbrand becoming one of them could explain his failure to save the Southlands from the enemy’s evil.

The possibility that Halbrand will become one of the Nazgûl — or more specifically, the Witch King of Angmar — has been widely discussed. The theory is popular on Reddit and YouTube, where many viewers have come to similar conclusions. And as ScreenCrush points out, J.R.R. Tolkien’s lore doesn’t dig too deeply into the Witch King’s identity, leaving it open for The Rings of Power creators to mine.

Should the writers go that route, it seems Halbrand’s story will end in tragedy. In fact, knowing the fate of the Southlands, that’s probably the case even if Halbrand doesn’t become evil.

Will ‘The Rings of Power’ end the character’s journey in tragedy?

If the theory that Halbrand is one of the Nazgûl proves true, his Rings of Power storyline will undoubtedly end in tragedy. He’ll become another loss for Galadriel to grieve, even if he doesn’t die. And his ending would doom the people of the Southlands to a horrible fate.

Of course, with the Southlands destined to become Sauron’s seat of power, Halbrand’s arc will inevitably end in tragedy either way. His and Galadriel’s efforts to save his people will ultimately fail. Even if he remains a man for the entirety of the Lord of the Rings prequel, that’s a tough outcome to deal with. Perhaps Galadriel should leave him to start over in Númenor.

New episodes of The Rings of Power stream every Friday on Prime Video.

RELATED: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’: Who Is The Stranger? 3 Convincing Theories