The opening episodes set up a major conflict in the series as the Elven warrior Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) seeks revenge against the Dark Lord Sauron, who is responsible for the death of her brother Finrod (Will Fletcher) and also remains a threat to all life in all worlds.
This Dark Lord can take many shapes and names and this no doubt led all fans of J. R. R. Tolkien's works to be speculating on how and when Sauron would appear.
So, as Sauron is the chief antagonist of the series, just who exactly is playing him in The Rings of Power?
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**Spoiler warning for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1**
Who plays Sauron in The Rings of Power?
Sauron is portrayed in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power by Australian actor Charlie Vickers.
In the finale of The Rings of Power season 1, Galadriel discovered that she had been deceived by Sauron when she met Halbrand and later believed him to be the rightful King of the Southlands.
It turned out that this line of kings died long ago and Halbrand was just an elaborate deception by Sauron.
The Dark Lord offered Galadriel the chance to join him and be his queen but was rejected. Ultimately, he escaped to Mordor in the finale.
RadioTimes.com spoke exclusively to Charlie Vickers about playing Sauron and when he found out the role he had taken on.
A relative newcomer, Vickers previously appeared in the film Palm Beach and in the television series Medici as the character Guglielmo Pazzi.
Who did people think was playing Sauron in The Rings of Power? Previous theories on the Lord of the Rings villain
Charlie Vickers was introduced as the roguish man named Halbrand in the opening episodes of The Rings of Power.
Meeting Galadriel on the Sundering Seas, Halbrand becomes her sole companion as they are threatened by a sea beast and storms.
It becomes clear that Halbrand has a dark past and Galadriel encourages him to move on from it.
However, theories around Halbrand being Sauron quickly emerged and there was some convincing evidence.
The third episode appeared to confirm Halbrand as an heir to the title of King of the Southlands, who had fled his home and wished to find a new life.
However, Halbrand made clear that he was "not the hero" that Galadriel sought to fight against Sauron. Perhaps she should have listened.
Indeed, in the end, it was Charlie Vickers who was portraying Sauron.
Introduced at the end of the first episode, the enigmatic figure dubbed The Stranger crashes to Middle-earth in a red comet.
Discovered by Harfoots named Nori Brandyfoot and Poppy Proudfellow, it is clear that this man is a magical being with a specific purpose, but what is it?
The series even went so far as to offer a red herring when the three sorceresses from Rhûn searched for The Stranger and then addressed him as "Lord Sauron".
However, the finale revealed that he was not the Dark Lord at all - but did offer some conclusive evidence about who he actually is.
Game of Thrones actor Joseph Mawle is a member of the cast of The Rings of Power and portrays an antagonistic character named Adar.
We were introduced to Adar in the third episode of The Rings of Power where he is revealed to be a corrupted Elf leading a horde of Orcs and destroying much of the Southlands with evil plans in mind.
Multiple characters - and viewers - wondered if he could have been Sauron himself.
Speaking to Arondir in the fourth episode, Adar makes clear his disillusionment with the Elves who he claims have sold lies.
Leading an army of Orcs, Adar appears to be undergoing a transformation and is also seeking to use an object as a weapon.
However, the sixth episode actually exposed some serious bitterness between both Adar and Sauron, with the former even claiming to have split Sauron apart.
The future of their relationship has yet to be determined.
Despite many speculating from trailers that her character was portrayed by actor Anson Boon, executive producer Lindsey Weber later told TIME that Bridie Sisson was the person portraying this enigmatic figure.
Additionally, Weber teased about Sisson's role: "We are enjoying all the speculation online and can tell you Bridie Sisson is an incredible actor.
"We also thought fans might like to know that her character is travelling from far to the east – from the lands of Rhûn..."
Tolkien fans will know that Easterlings dwell from Rhûn and, in Tolkien lore, Sauron has been known to visit the land and also command armies of the people from there as his allies.
When the series was released, Sisson was confirmed to be playing a character called The Dweller who was seeking The Stranger believing him to be Sauron.
However, The Dweller and her companions were proven wrong.
Despite being confirmed to not be the character Bridie Sisson is playing, Anson Boon could still appear in The Rings of Power despite no confirmation of a role in the show.
However, this was only based on speculation and hopes on social media.
Boon's biggest roles to date include Crawl, Blackbird, 1917, The Feed, and Pistol - the limited series from Danny Boyle based on the lives of the Sex Pistols that saw Boon portray John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten.
Who is Sauron?
One of the most iconic literary villains of all time, Sauron is known as the Dark Lord and for lengthy periods has over the land of Mordor in Middle-Earth.
Sauron, originally named Mairon, was one of the angelic beings known as the Maiar who was made by The Creator before joining in the evil Morgoth against him.
Prior to his fall into evil, Mairon studied the Aule - the Smith of the Valar - to learn his ways and served as a spy in the Valar's home of Valinor.
Sauron served as Morgoth's chief lieutenant in the great war of the First Age until Morgoth's defeat. Sauron escaped and later became the second Dark Lord.
In Tolkien's lore, Sauron soon took on the form of a beautiful elf named Annatar, the "Lord of Gifts" and helped Lord Celebrimbor in the creation of the Rings of Power until the discovery of his "One Ring to the Rule Them All".
The great war of the Second Age would go on to follow after Sauron also helped bring about the destruction of Numenor. Sauron would go on to be defeated by The Last Alliance of Men and Elves when Isildur, the son of Elendil, cut the ring from Sauron's finger.
The character previously appeared on-screen in his physical form in the prologue of the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, before appearing across the trilogy as a disembodied fiery "Eye of Sauron".
The Dark Lord also appeared as a shadowy entity in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, appearing in The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies as the Necromancer in Dol Guldur before his true identity was exposed. In these scenes, Sauron was voiced by actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Read more on The Rings of Power:
- Rings of Power release schedule: When are Lord of the Rings episodes out?
- How to watch The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies in order
- Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power review – Dazzling prequel doesn't let Tolkien fans down
- Meet the cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
- What are Harfoots? The Rings of Power Hobbits and history explained
- Who is Elrond actor Robert Aramayo in The Rings of Power?
- What is the Second Age of Middle-earth? Rings of Power timeline explained
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