Rings of Power’s white-robe Dweller and her Stranger connection, explained

This summer time, as the primary glimpses of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power got here to gentle, there was one character specifically who grabbed fan consideration and held it quick: a white-robed determine, with intently shorn hair and paper-white pores and skin. In the absence of some other indications, the creepy look and overtly menacing stare led followers to a single hunch: This was the present’s model of Sauron!

Well, with the fifth episode of The Rings of Power, that mysterious white-robed character has lastly made an look, and left solely extra questions of their wake. Tolkien’s supply materials supplies hints at the place the story could also be going, and what relation the characters do must Sauron, The Stranger, and the present’s different mysteries.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for episode 5 of The Rings of Power, “Partings.”]

What we all know concerning the white-robed Dweller

Image: Prime Video

Our mysterious Sauron-potential makes her debut early within the episode, as one of a trio of figures who appear to be searching for the equally mysterious meteor man often called the Stranger. The episode’s credit seek advice from her as “the Dweller,” and she’s performed by Bridie Sisson; with her companions the Nomad (performed by Edith Poor within the helmet with flowing purple hair) and the Ascetic (performed by Kali Kopae, hooded and carrying a spherical… factor).

They are pale of pores and skin and pale of robes, and carry a range of odd accoutrements. The Dweller has an ornate employees, whereas the Ascetic brandishes a steel disk or dish emblazoned with circles and a crescent. The Nomad’s armor accommodates a number of motifs of eyes and circles — and fingers, interlaced excessive of her helm.

We know extra key element past what’s on display screen in episode 5: Speaking to Time journal, Rings of Power govt producer Lindsey Weber mentioned that these characters have traveled right here from “from far to the east — from the lands of Rhûn.”

What is Rhûn?

A map of the inland Sea of Rhûn and the region of Rhûn, to the east of Mirkwood.

Image: LOTR Project

In probably the most broad sense, Rhûn means every little thing east of the map in The Lord of the Rings, all of the land in that course that didn’t issue into the story Tolkien wished to inform. And because it wasn’t vital to the story he wished to inform, it has largely remained undescribed.

Although the races of dwarves, males, and elves originated someplace in Rhûn and migrated west, that was so fantastically way back — and the world has gone by a number of geographic upheavals since — as to present us no sense of its present state. It’s a clean canvas for Rings of Power to discover, even perhaps an opportunity to flesh out the blanket time period of “Easterlings” that Tolkien’s trendy elves, people, and dwarves needed to seek advice from males from the east.

So, the place do these white-robed figures come from? In a really literal approach, “Parts Unknown.”

What does this imply for the Stranger?

Rhûn has one fairly strong attribute which will come to bear right here: It’s additionally the place the Blue Wizards supposedly skittered off to. And “one of the Blue Wizards” is a not-unlikely concept for the true id of the Stranger.

The duo of azure-attired colleagues of Gandalf and Saruman is one of the lengthy record of ideas that Tolkien wrote into The Lord of the Rings with little elaboration, and then spent the remaining of his days deciding whether or not to elaborate on them in The Silmarillion. Like Rhûn itself, the 2 handed geographically out of the scope of Tolkien’s favourite tales, and so out of the need of exploring them.

He toyed with totally different names and totally different origins for them: Perhaps they have been Alatar and Pallando, two wizards who ultimately grew to become actual slackers and forsook their mission to relax in Rhûn. Or, perhaps, they have been Morinehtar and Rómestámo, two wizards who struggled lengthy to dilute what they may of Sauron’s affect within the east of Middle-earth, with out whose work the Dark Lord absolutely would have overrun Gondor and the remaining of Eregion.

In the tip, we all know little or no about what Tolkien would have supposed for the Blue Wizards had he completed his opus, besides that they traveled a lot farther east than the others and stayed there. It’s potential that this connection to Rhûn will ultimately flip right into a connection to the Blue Wizards.

But wait, there’s another factor.

It’s the moon

A photo of the moon.

It’s the moon.

Photo: Jasper Jacobs through Getty Images

The different potential trace concerning the Stranger this episode is in his celestial origin, his seeming concentrate on the celebs, a telling shot of him gazing up on the moon, and the very moon-reminiscent emblem on the Ascetic’s disk.

The Stranger may very well be the Man within the Moon.

This may sound like a joke, however in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, the solar and moon had their very own very particular origin story. You might have heard about how Galadriel’s conflict in opposition to Morgoth started when he destroyed a pair of glowing timber. Well, on the time, these timber (and the celebs within the sky) have been the one sources of pure gentle on the earth. The solar and moon have been created to exchange them, glowing ships that have been piloted by the sky and beneath the earth by a pair of Maiar, beings of the identical order as Sauron and Gandalf.

The moon’s vessel was piloted by the Maiar Tilion, who was identified for his unreliability — his unrequited crush on the Maiar piloting the solar is the rationale for why the moon typically seems within the sky with the solar. And the legend of the man who pilots the moon even reached “modern” hobbits, who’ve tales and songs (one a parody of “Hey Diddle Diddle”) concerning the foolish issues that ensued through the bumbling Man within the Moon’s visits to Middle-earth.

Metatextually, Middle-earth’s moon is a mixture of Tolkien’s lore of the elves, and the tales he advised to entertain his youngsters — identical to Tom Bombadil and hobbits themselves. The Man within the Moon appeared each in Roverandom, a narrative the professor invented to consolation his son after he misplaced a favourite toy on the seashore; and within the annual letters he wrote and illustrated for his youngsters within the voice of Father Christmas.

But whether or not the Stranger is the Man within the Moon or a Blue Wizard, it appears these milky-white-clad strangers from Rhûn know one thing about him. We’ll have to attend and see when The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power decides to resolve this explicit thriller.

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