Or are we just too excited to get another glimpse of the beloved wizard?
The first episode of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' ends with a big appearance – a mysterious man literally crashes near the Harfoot settlement in a meteor, with Nori being the first person to find him.
However, she, like the audience, has no idea who the man is. He doesn't seem to be quite coherent when it comes to language – most of the time, he screams or tries to communicate via fireflies.
The latter, alongside the symbols the man drew that look suspiciously similar to Gandalf's sigil, prompted fans to think that the stranger is the future white wizard himself. However, not everyone is ready to immediately agree, as there are several factors that allow theorizing on the stranger's origin.
For instance, some fans argue that the man looks more like Radagast – a wizard we met in 'The Hobbit' trilogy and who does indeed boast some resemblance to the stranger from 'The Rings of Power'. Others, however, strike these theories down by reminding fans that the Istari only arrived in Middle-earth in the Third Age, and 'The Rings of Power' is happening in the Second Age.
But there are wizards whose arrival time is uncertain – the Blue Wizards. They were Istari as well, and 'The Peoples of Middle-earth indicates that they arrived around the year SA 1600 – when One Ring was forged. This would fall in line with the events of 'The Rings of Power' that cover this timeline precisely.
"It makes perfect sense for the Stranger to be a Blue Wizard. Not much information about the Blue Wizards is to be found among the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, which affords the showrunners of the series substantial artistic license when portraying them on screen." – /Babylonian-Beast
The mission of the Blue Wizards was to undermine Sauron's forces in the eastern and southern parts of Middle-earth, while other Istari were focused on different parts of the land.
Last but not least, some people seem to believe that the mysterious meteor man from 'The Rings of Power' is… Sauron himself. To explain this theory, fans refer to how Galadriel, back at the time of her mission to find the evil sorcerer, told her crew that they felt no warmth from their torches because the warmth was absorbed by Sauron's evil. But when Nori discovered the meteor man lying in the lava and touched it, the lava didn't burn her. Wasn't it also because of Sauron's evil?..
Still, the two episodes have not directly explained the origin of the mystery man, leaving fans guessing and brainstorming. Given that the show is pretty frivolous with the Tolkien canon, he might as well end up being Gandalf.
We might want to be patient and just wait until more episodes of 'The Rings of Power' shed light on the mystery. The show is streaming on Prime Video, with new episodes premiering every Friday.