‘The Rings of Power’: Every Clue That The Stranger Is Sauron (So Far)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power revealed the origin of Mordor, but it’s yet to answer other burning questions — including where Sauron is hiding and who The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) actually is. Some fans believe those two mysteries are related. Despite Nori Brandyfoot’s (Markella Kavenagh) insistence that her new companion is “good,” The Stranger might be the Amazon series’ Big Bad. Here’s every clue that The Stranger is actually Sauron.

The Stranger arrives in Middle-earth in a suspicious way

Daniel Weyman as The Stranger in 'The Rings of Power' for our article about the theory that he is Sauron. He's wearing a brown, long-sleeved shirt and crossing his arms.
Daniel Weyman as The Stranger | Prime Video

The beginning of The Rings of Power sees The Stranger falling from the sky, suggesting he’s no ordinary being. He may have been sent by the Valar, something fueling fan theories that he’s actually Gandalf. However, Adar (Joseph Mawle) claims to have killed Sauron during The Rings of Power Episode 6. So, could the comet be the Dark Lord’s means of returning to life?

During a conversation with Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin), Waldreg (Geoff Morrell) says that the comet heralds the return of Sauron. And although Waldreg doesn’t have any intel about the Dark Lord’s whereabouts, it’s a foreboding sentiment — one The Rings of Power writers included intentionally.

Dark things begin happening after The Stranger’s arrival in Middle-earth

Fueling the notion that the comet is bad news is the fact that dark things begin happening in Middle-earth as soon as The Stranger arrives. The Rings of Power shows a leaf withering away in Gil-galad’s (Benjamin Walker) hands as soon as The Stranger crash-lands — something that may signal that he is secretly Sauron.

From there, more concerning things start happening, though some of them were already in the works. Galadriel suspected Sauron was still lurking in Middle-earth before the comet, and the Orcs were already digging in the Southlands. As such, it’s hard to say if The Stranger’s arrival caused more darkness or simply accompanied it.

‘The Rings of Power’ raises questions about The Stranger’s morality

Since The Stranger’s introduction, The Rings of Power has raised questions about his morality, leading fans to question if he’s Sauron or a kinder force. And while his interactions with Nori suggest the latter, The Stranger does have a bit of a temper. He nearly unleashes his magic on Nori and Poppy (Megan Richards) when they first approach him. Additionally, he kills a bunch of fireflies attempting to communicate through them.

These things seem like accidents, but The Stranger grapples with whether or not they make him evil. And The Rings of Power Episode 5 leaves Nori questioning her friend after he unintentionally hurts her. Needless to say, the show wants us to see there’s a darker side to the character. And even if it’s unintentional right now, it could evolve into complete villainy as the series progresses.

Nori’s new friend can use the Black Speech

Sauron and his followers use a language called the Black Speech in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings, and The Stranger appears to speak in this tongue when he appears in The Rings of Power. That’s perhaps one of the biggest signs that the character is a villain. With hardly any of the “good guys” using the Black Speech, his knowledge of it makes him instantly suspicious.

Suspicious characters are searching for The Stranger


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The Rings of Power Episode 5 introduces strange characters dubbed The Nomad (Edith Poor), The Dweller (Bridie Sisson), and The Ascetic (Kali Kopae). The trio gives off some seriously suspicious vibes, and they show up where The Stranger landed. It’s clear they’re searching for something, but what remains a mystery to viewers.

Some fans believe they’re trying to stop The Stranger because he’s been sent to oppose Sauron. However, they could just as easily be looking for Sauron himself. If that’s the case, it doesn’t bode well for the Harfoots.

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

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