Reddit Theory Suggests Halbrand is not Sauron

Image credit: Prime Video

Speculation over who would become Sauron in 'The Rings of Power' series has been ongoing since the show began at the start of September.

With the story set around the events of the forging of the rings of power, and likely the One Ring itself, the presence of Sauron is sure to become a prominent character throughout the series plot. However, as Sauron has yet to be formally introduced to the show, many believe he is in fact one of the current characters in disguise. Most discussions suggest the mysterious character of Halbrand is in fact the Dark Lord himself. Yet a user on a recent Reddit thread has a much more novel theory on who Halbrand might really be… and it is quite convincing.

Why do viewers think Halbrand might be Sauron?

Firstly, theories of Halbrand's identity as Sauron are spurred by several leading clues. It is his cryptic backstory, where we first encounter him in the show that suggests there is more to him than we have seen so far. Tolkien lore is also a giveaway to some of Sauron's origins. We know that in the Second Age he was taken captive by the Númenóreans and held in the city, just as Halbrand has been early into the series. It is also well-known of Sauron's shape-shifting abilities, which he uses to trick the elves into forging the rings of power. Later he then forges the One Ring for himself. Halbrand's persuasive nature and lure to Númenor's forge, are convincing indications of the character's true identity as Sauron.

However, the theory does not hold up completely to scrutiny. Firstly Sauron was not captured by Númenor until after the forging of the rings. Something which is yet to occur in the show. Also, the character's appearance in the series, after Galadriel encounters him and others on a raft escaping a giant sea creature, does not align well with the backstory of a disguised Sauron. There are certainly enough holes in this prediction to draw some alternative deductions.

The Reddit thread which suggests an alternative identity

A user recognizing this slightly weak theory created a Reddit thread to provide a rather convincing prediction of their own. Posted on the r/LOTR_on_Prime community, u/gundawg300 explained why they thought the idea of Halbrand becoming Sauron was unlikely. Suggesting that the character's journey so far does not align with the narrative of Sauron's influence on the rings of power or his rise to power. Instead, it was theorized that Halbrand is more likely to either become the Witch King, leader of the Nazgûl, or King of the Dead (also known as King of the Mountains).

Both new theories are very interesting and are based on Halbrand's identification by Galadriel as being the rightful ruler of the Southlands and King. The thread's post goes on to explain that if the character was seen to take his rightful place as leader of the Southlands, he could either become one of the nine to receive a ring of power. Which would eventually lead to him being corrupted by Sauron and the One Ring and becoming a Nazgûl. Or alternatively, once Halbrand is instated as ruler, he may become the King to betray Isildur and the remaining race of men. Failing to aid them in battle in their last fight against Sauron. Trapped in the mountain, he and his army perish only to be cursed as ghosts until they fulfil their promise to Isildur's heir.

Most users reacted to this new and this well thought theory positively. Agreeing that either was a likely possibility. Further commentary within the Reddit thread even adds that if Halbrand turns out to be Theo's father, Theo could become the Witch King, and Halbrand the parent that could not fulfil his promise to battle against his son. Ultimately making him the King of the Dead, and a pertinent plot to relate back to the novels. Either way, there is definitely a greater story to Halbrand which is yet to be revealed. We can't wait to see more of what will become of this mysterious character and if any of these theories are likely to be accurate.

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