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Who plays Sauron in The Rings of Power? Theories on Lord of the Rings villain

Galadriel is out to take on the Dark Lord himself in The Rings of Power.

Charlie Vickers, Sauron, Bridie Sisson
Amazon Studios/New Line Cinema
Published: Thursday, 22nd September 2022 at 4:42 pm
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The much-anticipated Amazon Prime Video series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is over halfway through the epic fantasy show's first season.

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 but this has no doubt left all fans of J. R. R. Tolkien's works to be speculating on how and when Sauron will appear.

So, as Sauron is the chief antagonist of the series, just who exactly is playing him in The Rings of Power?

Who plays Sauron in The Rings of Power?

Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Amazon Studios

At present, Amazon Studios has yet to confirm who is portraying the villainous Dark Lord himself, Sauron.

Whoever is portraying the source of Galadriel's ire remains a mystery and has therefore inspired a few theories about who Sauron could be, with many thinking he is hiding in plain sight.

The character briefly appears in silhouette in his true physical form in the prologue to the first episode, Shadow of the Past.

So, who exactly could be playing Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

Who could play Sauron in The Rings of Power? Theories on Lord of the Rings villain

Charlie Vickers

Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Matt Grace/Prime Video

Charlie Vickers has been 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.

Could Vickers secretly be portraying Sauron?

We go into more details here about theories around Halbrand being Sauron - and there is some convincing evidence.

The third episode appears to confirm Halbrand as an heir to the title of King of the Southlands, who has fled his home and wishes to find a new life.

However, Halbrand makes clear that he is "not the hero" that Galadriel seeks to fight against Sauron. Could this be because he is Sauron himself?

By the end of the fourth episode, the apparent monarch-in-waiting remains on Numenor, but will he return and save his kingdom from a dangerous evil?

Daniel Weyman

Daniel Weyman as The Stranger in The Rings of Power.
Daniel Weyman as The Stranger in The Rings of Power. Amazon Studios

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?

Could The Stranger be Sauron in disguise? It would be an interesting strategic starting point to involve himself with the Harfoots.

By the end of the third episode, The Stranger is known to the Harfoot community and he has joined their caravan as he helps transport the belongings of the Brandyfoot family.

Joseph Mawle

Joseph Mawle in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Joseph Mawle in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Amazon Studios

Game of Thrones actor Joseph Mawle is a member of the cast of The Rings of Power, portraying an antagonistic character named Adar.

However, some reports have called his character Oren, as was originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Could this be his real name?

We are 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.

Could Adar actually be Sauron in disguise or one of his many forms?

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.

Will he get his hands on the mysterious Hilt?

Bridie Sisson

The Dweller, played by Bridie Sisson, in The Rings of Power
The character played by Bridie Sisson in The Rings of Power Amazon Studios

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.

So, while it appears that Sisson is not portraying Sauron himself, she could well be playing one of his servants.

Anson Boon

Anson Boon attends the Soho House Awards at Soho House on September 01, 2022 in London, England
Anson Boon attends the Soho House Awards in September 2022 in London, England. Karwai Tang/WireImage

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.

So, while Boon may not be one villain, he could end up being saved to be cast as the chief villain, Sauron himself.

However, this is 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?

The Eye of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings films
The Eye of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings films New Line Cinema

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".

Maxim Baldry as Isildur in The Rings of Power
Maxim Baldry as Isildur in The Rings of Power Courtesy of Prime Video

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:

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues on Fridays on Amazon Prime Video– you can sign up now for a free 30-day Prime Video trial.

If you’re looking for something else to watch in the meantime, check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Fantasy hub.

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