This summer time, as the primary glimpses of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy got here to mild, there was one character specifically who grabbed fan consideration and held it quick: a white-robed determine, with intently shorn hair and paper-white pores and skin. Within the absence of every other indications, the creepy look and overtly menacing stare led followers to a single hunch: This was the present’s model of Sauron!
Effectively, with the fifth episode of The Rings of Energy, that mysterious white-robed character has lastly made an look, and left solely extra questions of their wake. Tolkien’s supply materials supplies hints at the place the story could also be going, and what relation the characters do should Sauron, The Stranger, and the present’s different mysteries.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for episode 5 of The Rings of Power, “Partings.”]
What we all know in regards to the white-robed Dweller
Our mysterious Sauron-potential makes her debut early within the episode, as considered one of a trio of figures who appear to be in search of the equally mysterious meteor man often called the Stranger. The episode’s credit check with her as “the Dweller,” and she or he’s performed by Bridie Sisson; together with her companions the Nomad (performed by Edith Poor within the helmet with flowing pink hair) and the Ascetic (performed by Kali Kopae, hooded and carrying a spherical… factor).
They’re pale of pores and skin and pale of robes, and carry a choice of odd accoutrements. The Dweller has an ornate employees, whereas the Ascetic brandishes a steel disk or dish emblazoned with circles and a crescent. The Nomad’s armor comprises a number of motifs of eyes and circles — and fingers, interlaced excessive of her helm.
We all know extra key element past what’s on display screen in episode 5: Chatting with Time journal, Rings of Energy govt producer Lindsey Weber mentioned that these characters have traveled right here from “from far to the east — from the lands of Rhûn.”
In essentially the most broad sense, Rhûn means every little thing east of the map in The Lord of the Rings, all of the land in that route that didn’t issue into the story Tolkien needed to inform. And because it wasn’t necessary to the story he needed to inform, it has largely remained undescribed.
Though the races of dwarves, males, and elves originated someplace in Rhûn and migrated west, that was so fantastically way back — and the world has gone by a number of geographic upheavals since — as to offer us no sense of its present state. It’s a clean canvas for Rings of Energy to discover, maybe even an opportunity to flesh out the blanket time period of “Easterlings” that Tolkien’s trendy elves, people, and dwarves needed to check with males from the east.
So, the place do these white-robed figures come from? In a really literal manner, “Components Unknown.”
What does this imply for the Stranger?
Rhûn has one fairly strong attribute which will come to bear right here: It’s additionally the place the Blue Wizards supposedly skittered off to. And “one of many Blue Wizards” is a not-unlikely concept for the true identification of the Stranger.
The duo of azure-attired colleagues of Gandalf and Saruman is likely one of the lengthy checklist of ideas that Tolkien wrote into The Lord of the Rings with little elaboration, after which spent the remainder of his days deciding whether or not to elaborate on them in The Silmarillion. Like Rhûn itself, the 2 handed geographically out of the scope of Tolkien’s favourite tales, and so out of the need of exploring them.
He toyed with completely different names and completely different origins for them: Maybe they had been Alatar and Pallando, two wizards who finally turned actual slackers and forsook their mission to sit back in Rhûn. Or, perhaps, they had been Morinehtar and Rómestámo, two wizards who struggled lengthy to dilute what they might of Sauron’s affect within the east of Center-earth, with out whose work the Darkish Lord absolutely would have overrun Gondor and the remainder of Eregion.
In the long run, we all know little or no about what Tolkien would have meant for the Blue Wizards had he completed his opus, besides that they traveled a lot farther east than the others and stayed there. It’s doable that this connection to Rhûn will finally flip right into a connection to the Blue Wizards.
However wait, there’s yet another factor.
It’s the moon
The different potential trace in regards to the Stranger this episode is in his celestial origin, his seeming concentrate on the celebrities, a telling shot of him gazing up on the moon, and the very moon-reminiscent emblem on the Ascetic’s disk.
The Stranger might be the Man within the Moon.
This may sound like a joke, however in Tolkien’s Center-earth, the solar and moon had their very own very particular origin story. You will have heard about how Galadriel’s conflict towards Morgoth started when he destroyed a few glowing timber. Effectively, on the time, these timber (and the celebrities within the sky) had been the one sources of pure mild on the planet. The solar and moon had been created to interchange them, glowing ships that had been piloted by the sky and below the earth by a few Maiar, beings of the identical order as Sauron and Gandalf.
The moon’s vessel was piloted by the Maiar Tilion, who was recognized for his unreliability — his unrequited crush on the Maiar piloting the solar is the explanation for why the moon typically seems within the sky with the solar. And the legend of the man who pilots the moon even reached “trendy” hobbits, who’ve tales and songs (one a parody of “Hey Diddle Diddle”) in regards to the foolish issues that ensued through the bumbling Man within the Moon’s visits to Center-earth.
Metatextually, Center-earth’s moon is a mix of Tolkien’s lore of the elves, and the tales he informed to entertain his youngsters — similar to Tom Bombadil and hobbits themselves. The Man within the Moon appeared each in Roverandom, a narrative the professor invented to consolation his son after he misplaced a favourite toy on the seaside; and within the annual letters he wrote and illustrated for his youngsters within the voice of Father Christmas.
However whether or not the Stranger is the Man within the Moon or a Blue Wizard, it appears these milky-white-clad strangers from Rhûn know one thing about him. We’ll have to attend and see when The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy decides to resolve this specific thriller.