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  • The ending of The Rings of Power Season 1 contains two major reveals.
  • Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show also concludes its first season with a casualty.
  • With its eighth episode, The Rings of Power sets the stage for conflict in season 2.
Daniel Weyman as The Stranger fighting the three White Cloaks in 'The Rings of Power' finale for our article about season 1's ending. They're surrounded by trees.
Daniel Weyman as The Stranger in ‘The Rings of Power’ finale | Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has closed the door on its first season, answering some of fans’ biggest questions and setting the stage for the conflict to come. The Amazon series finally revealed the whereabouts of Sauron, as well as the true identity of The Stranger (Daniel Weyman). It also set the stage for The Rings of Power Season 2, even if the plot diverged a bit from J.R.R. Tolkien’s source material. So, what exactly happened in the big finale? Read on to see The Rings of Power Season 1’s ending explained.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power Episode 8, “Alloyed.”]

‘The Rings of Power’ Season 1 ending, explained — 2 major questions are answered

The Rings of Power finale doesn’t boast as much action as previous chapters, but episode 8 answers some of the show’s biggest questions thus far. Among them are the identity of The Stranger and the whereabouts of Sauron — and no, those things aren’t one and the same!

Of course, The Lord of the Rings show wants us to believe they are, at least at first. When the mysterious cloaked figures track down The Stranger, they swear fealty to him as Lord Sauron. But as it turns out, he’s one of the Istari. After regaining his memory — and defeating the trio of White Cloaks — he tells Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh) as much, though it’s unclear which of J.R.R. Tolkien’s wizards he’s supposed to be.

As for Sauron, the Dark Lord is precisely who many viewers expected. Following more suspicious behavior — and a cleverly placed comment about “gifts” — Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) is revealed as The Rings of Power‘s Big Bad. He facilitates the forging of three Rings of Power and attempts to win Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) to his side. When that fails, he makes for the Southlands. It’s hard to say what he’ll do there, as he doesn’t seem to have a Ring yet. As such, he may return in another form later on.

And just like that, all the pieces are falling into place after The Rings of Power Season 1’s ending. But the finale does more than throw twists our way. It also bids farewell to one of the series’ beloved characters.

‘The Rings of Power’ finale features 1 major casualty

In addition to dropping two huge reveals, the ending of The Rings of Power Season 1 sees the show’s first major casualty — and it’s not who viewers might expect.

After leading the Harfoots through their migration, Sadoc Burrows (Lenny Henry) meets his end while helping The Stranger. He’s caught in the crossfire during the confrontation with the White Cloaks. And although he gets a peaceful death (watching the sun come up), it’s one of the saddest moments from The Rings of Power thus far.

Sadoc’s passing opens the door for Malva (Thusitha Jayasundera) to take over, and it looks like she’s doing just that. Of course, we may not see much of Malva or the other Harfoots going forward, as Nori decides to accompany The Stranger on his journey. It’s unclear what the two will be doing, but we’re willing to bet they’ll play a part in the fight against Sauron.

Rings of Power are forged during the finale, but not all of them

In the midst of all the chaos happening in The Rings of Power finale, season 1’s ending also sees the forging of three Rings. They’re the ones made by and for the Elves, Celebrimbor’s (Charles Edwards) creations that weren’t corrupted by Sauron.

Lord of the Rings fans know that Galadriel will come to possess one of them. And it seems they’ll prevent the Elves from withering away as Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) feared.

Of course, Halbrand now knows about the Rings of Power — and he’s poised to create his own in the depths of Mordor. That’s likely where things are headed when The Rings of Power returns for season 2. It looks like we’re finally digging into the objects that give the Lord of the Rings series its title.

So, how does The Rings of Power finale set up what’s to come?

How the Amazon series sets the stage for ‘The Rings of Power’ Season 2


‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’: Is Amazon’s Series Based on a Book?

With Sauron revealed and The Stranger discovering his purpose, the ending of The Rings of Power Season 1 sets the stage for higher stakes in season 2.

The final shot of the first outing sees Halbrand arriving in Mordor. Should the series follow J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings, he’ll forge the One Ring there, giving him power over the other Ring-bearers. Of course, the series also needs to show the forging of the remaining Rings, which will come to be possessed by Dwarves and men.

The Rings of Power Episode 8 also sets up a journey for The Stranger and Nori, though it’s not entirely clear what part they’ll play in the looming conflict. If nothing else, season 2 should reveal The Stranger’s specific identity. Most viewers think he could be Gandalf or one of the Blue Wizards.

We don’t see much of the Dwarves or humans from the Southlands in the finale. However, they’ll no doubt have a part to play in The Rings of Power Season 2 when it arrives. We’ll be waiting for updates about more episodes.

In the meantime, The Rings of Power Season 1 finale is streaming on Prime Video.

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