Is that Sauron in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 4?

Is that Sauron in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 4?

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The greatest mystery in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been Sauron’s identity since the show’s first episode. We know that the future Dark Lord of the Rings has the ability to shape-shift over time the Prime Video series is set, and Galadriel has been relentlessly chasing him from the start of the show.

Some strong contenders have emerged (and some less so) in the early episodes, but after the show’s fourth episode, “The Great Wave,” it’s time to explore a slightly more general theory.

What if Sauron is that broken sword?

Photo: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

Theo, a human child who is the son of Bronwyn, found a cursed knife in a shed a few episodes ago and has been fascinated by it ever since. Could that be the answer?

It may seem unlikely, given the number of mysterious people the show has pushed in our face as potential Saurons, but there is priority for imbuing power to objects in this world (see the show’s title).

And that sword is For real messed up. Just a broken hilt at first, it expands to a full sword when it attaches to Theo’s arm. It also takes its toll – we can see the mark it left on its arm (and a previous holder’s arm, as Theo discovers in the show’s fourth episode). The show’s interest in humans drawn to evil (as made clear repeatedly by how the elves talk about the war against Morgoth) could support this theory, though it’s unclear exactly. what the appeal of the sword is for Theo or other people.

But let’s play this out. Suppose the sword is Sauron, and in an effort to maintain power and relevance while staying safely out of sight of those who hunt him, he penetrated himself into a cursed object. Now Theo has joined with the sword. That could either make him a straight forward servant to Sauron, prompting him to accomplish all the goals needed to bring back the Dark Lord. But an alternative could be for the sword itself to place Sauron’s power in Theo and gradually replace the child with Sauron himself. Or maybe Theo will be proof of the possibility that humans can resist evil impulses, despite what the elves think. We’ll have to wait and see how that develops, but one thing’s for sure: that’s a fucking sword.

Checking in with the other Sauron candidates

Halbrand raising his mug with blurry people raising their mug around him

Photo: Matt Grace / Prime Video

If you’re someone who still counts on Sauron being the Stranger, it was an episode with no harfoot (and no giants) this week, so there’s no news there.

But it’s been a strong week for the “Halbrand is Sauron” audience, as he continually delivers mysteriously veiled lines that suggest he knows more than he shows (and that he’s trying to manipulate Galadriel, something that became even more obvious when he explained too crazy Galadriel how to manipulate people). There was also Queen Regent Míriel’s voiceover suggesting that evil was already around Númenor – while the camera hovered over Halbrand.

The elven orc leader Adar also had a prominent episode, where he told Arondir how much he doesn’t know about the world and managed to be charismatically menacing while doing so. To us it seems more likely that he works for Sauron, but you never know. If Galadriel needs to be taught how to exert her influence through a human being many years younger, then anything is possible with this show.

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