The Rings of Power

10 Burning Questions We Have For ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Finale

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been a sensational and adventurous ride for Tolkien fans and fantasy lovers, as the Amazon Prime Video series, which debuted on 2 September, delves deep into Tolkien’s various tomes, and brings viewers to Middle-earth like never before.

Thus far, the seven episodes of the eight-episode series, which takes place at a time a few thousand years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, have charted Galadriel’s mission to find Sauron, brought viewers to the land of Numenor, and given us a closer look at the Orcs and the other groups and communities in Tolkien’s ever-expansive world.

With the finale in a matter of days, there are a number of things we are looking forward to, including some burning questions we want answered after religiously catching each weekly episode. 

SPOILER ALERT! This article is chock-full of them especially if you’ve not caught up on all seven episodes! But if you have been watching, read on because we’re sure they’ll help you with the water cooler talk!

Here are 10 burning questions we have for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

1. Does Galadriel know what she’s actually doing?

The Rings of Power

Our protagonist Galadriel, played by the lovely Morfydd Clark, has only one thing in mind: Sauron. The Elven warrior will stop at nothing to exact revenge for all the pain Sauron has caused, so much so that she convinced (and perhaps in some ways, manipulated) those around her to follow through with her plan. 

She persuaded Queen Miriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to fight alongside her in spite of the potential danger that will befall Numenor, and she pushes Hallbrand (Charlie Vickers) to own his Kingship no matter how much he refuses to do so.

Of course, long-time readers of Tolkien know that despite Galadriel’s efforts, things don’t turn out positively for everyone. But with Galadriel’s ability to see into the future – as written in Tolkien’s books – does she already know the consequences of her actions? And if not, does she actually know what she’s doing?

2. Who is The Stranger?

the lord of the rings: the rings of power

Episode 2 of The Rings of Power introduced the Stranger. A character who fell out of the sky and into the backyard of young Harfoot Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh). His presence in the show hasn’t been the biggest in the marketing for The Rings of Power, but every little on-screen moment sparks all sorts of speculation in the depths of the Internet. 

Although his identity is still unknown, we’ve managed to learn more and more about him as the series progresses. We theorise that the Stranger can be one of three people: Gandalf, Sauron or simply an original character made for the show.

For starters, the Stranger shares a few similarities with Gandalf. He has the ability to influence the weather and the environment just like him and he was discovered by a Harfoot. In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf has always been a friend of the Hobbits and as we know, the Harfoots are just ancestors of the Hobbits. 

As for the Stranger being Sauron, it is not as direct but we can find clues within the series itself. In episode 1, when Galadriel and her soldiers look for Sauron, one of the Elves notice that his torch is not giving off warmth. She notes that it is because the place is so evil, it cancels the heat of the fire. Curiously, when Nori finds the Stranger in episode 2 and touches the fire in the crater, it doesn’t burn.The Stranger could also be a new character created just for the series. Although The Rings of Power is a tapestry of various stories found in Tolkien’s lore, creators Patrick McKay and Lindsey Weber still have the liberty to introduce new characters. Take Halbrand for example, he was not in any of the books but is shaping up to be a rather important character in the series. The Stranger could very well be another new character that perhaps, will show his significance during the finale.

3. Is this Gandalf’s big appearance?


Is it really The Lord of the Rings if there’s no Gandalf? Everybody loves the great Gandalf, one of the key characters from the books, and if you don’t, well, you are just wrong. We have yet to see Gandalf in the series, we’ve not even heard his name whispered throughout the entire series. Aside from the theories that the Stranger is Gandalf, what we do know based on the books is that the keepers of the three rings are Galadriel, Elrond (formerly Cirdan and King Gil-galad) and Gandalf. We’ve met Galadriel, as well as Gil-galad and Elrond in the series, so all that we’re left to meet is Gandalf.

4. Where is Sauron?

the lord of the rings: the rings of power

The entire series is centred around finding Sauron but no one knows where he is or what he looks like. Galadriel has been sniffing about and following a trail of clues, or rather a trail of dead bodies, all the way up to the Southlands where the battle between the Orcs and the townfolk took place. But when she comes face to face with Adar, he claims to have killed Sauron.

Surely, that cannot be true! Sauron is THE major antagonist of the books that his death being a casual mention seems unlikely. It’s scary to think, but Sauron could very well be hiding in plain sight all this time. That said, fans are getting a little impatient. We’ve been teased for 7 whole episodes that if he doesn’t appear in the eighth, this means war. Sorry Amazon Prime Video, you have been warned.

5. Who are the Harfoots and where do all of them fit into all of this?

the lord of the rings: the rings of power

Before the well-known Hobbits came about, there were the Harfoots. Harfoots, as laid out by Tolkien in his books, are one of three different types of Hobbits and are essentially ancestors to the Hobbits. They have their own community and are weary of outsiders, although Harfoots are smaller in stature and have a browner complexion.

The Rings of Power features a Harfoot, Nori Brandyfoot, quite a bit in every episode, mostly to zoom into her relationship with the Stranger. The last we caught up with the series, Nori and her family are seen in the midst of migration and seek the help of the Stranger who helps with moving their home since he is much stronger and bigger. Thus far, we know that their leader Sadoc Burrows (Lenny Henry) is aware of some prophecy that leaves him terrified. He is unwilling to share with the rest of the Harfoots but said prophecy has something to do with a falling meteor, and even though they are migrating, we don’t know exactly where they’re moving to. 

There are no clear dots that connect what the Harfoots are experiencing with the Stranger to everyone else’s motivation to defeat Sauron but we’re hoping that the finale will reveal more of how Nori plays a part in identifying who the Stranger is. If anything, we’re just psyched to see more of the Harfoots in a future season.

6. Can Halbrand be trusted?

Halbrand is an entirely new character created for the series, so we don’t have much backstory of him or source material to suss him out, especially now that he’s chumming with our hero Galadriel. 

Halbrand also hasn’t been completely transparent and honest about who he is – neither to Galadriel nor to viewers. For the first half of the series, we are made to believe that he is simply a humble metalsmith, but it was later revealed that he’s the true king of the South. Halbrand managed to conspicuously keep his identity (which could still be a lie) a secret so who’s to say there aren’t any more secrets to be revealed? 

It’s also worth mentioning that in his confrontation with Adar, he refuses to tell him his true identity even though he holds a huge grudge against the evil Elf. A man of many secrets, we can only hope that that’s all there is to him because there’s no way we’ll recover from the betrayal and shock if he turns out to be the Dark Lord Sauron pulling the strings this whole time.

7. How has Galadriel’s return to Middle-earth affected the Elves?


In episode 2, King Gil-galad exiled Galadriel to the undying lands, mostly with the hope that sending her away will save The White Tree in some way or form. Galadriel is no dummy, and the act of betrayal from her King and her friend Elrond only motivates her to find Sauron even more.

Now, Galadriel has found a way back to Middle-earth. And not just that, she’s battled the Orcs and saved(ish) the Southlands from temporary doom… until the creation of Mount Doom. We can only imagine the awkwardness when Galadriel (eventually) returns to Linden in one piece. 

Tolkien is less clear regarding the power difference between Galadriel and Gil-Galad in his books, so it’ll be interesting to see how her return affects the Elves and particularly, Gil-Galad. In terms of influence and followers, the High King definitely surpasses Galadriel, but with the Lady being far more powerful (in terms of innate ability and wisdom), the finale is bound to be interesting for the citizens of Linden.

8. Who is Adar? And is he telling the truth? What benefit does he have in lying?

the lord of the rings: the rings of power

In The Rings of Power, the orcs follow their mysterious leader Adar in search of a powerful weapon. In the sixth episode of the show, Adar and his orcs get their wish. But while Theo’s (Bronwyn’s brave and bitter son) sword hilt may have given Adar’s children a new dark home on Middle-earth, the episode also revealed more than the creation of Mount Doom. It revealed Adar no longer serves Sauron, as we initially thought the mutilated elf might. 

Was Adar lying? We highly doubt so as he has no benefit to do so. 

In his confession to Galadriel, Adar revealed that he wanted to give the orcs a new home, one where they would not only be safe from light but from Dark Lords who treat them as disposable slaves. Adar also tells Galadriel that he killed Sauron himself.

Adar brought Mount Doom from the depths of the earth, and whilst it will be the Orcs’ new home as he desires, Sauron will be the one to rule over it. Sauron needs the fires of Mount Doom to forge the Rings of Power – something Adar could not have known. In seeking solace, Adar has given Sauron everything he needs to rain evil down on Middle-earth.

9. Bronwyn and Arondir’s final chapter in their love story

Perhaps amongst all the stories of war, loss, grief and destruction, Bronwyn and Arondir’s relationship is a sweet side-story that viewers can grasp onto. Tales of Elf and Human relationship are rare in Tolkien’s world and when it does happen, it is often dangerous, messy and sad. 

The most famous example of a human falling in love with an elf in The Lord of the Rings is obviously the tale of Aragorn and Arwen. Arwen chooses to live a mortal life and whilst that’s lovely, it meant never seeing her father Elrond ever again. 

Other examples include the mortal man Beren and the elven princess Luthien. A story from the first age, Beren was sent on a quest that involved facing Morgoth. The mortal died (as most humans would when coming face to face with Morgoth) but his soul waited for his beloved in the Hall of Mandos. The two did end up together when Luthien chooses to be mortal and revive her lover but if there’s anything we learnt from this story is that a human and an elf falling in love spells heartbreak and trouble. 

Thus far, Arondir and Bronwyn’s love story involves battling orcs, but compared to what other elves and humans have experienced in Tolkien’s books, it really isn’t that bad. Are we invested? Hell yes. For one, we want to see a human and an elf fall in love blissfully and spend happily ever after untouched by any more trauma than destined.

10. What are the Rings referred to in the title?

In Tolkien’s books, the Rings of Power were rings created by the Elves of Eregion with knowledge obtained from Sauron. Sauron forged the One Ring secretly in the fires of Mount Doom. Celebrimbor ultimately discovers Sauron’s sinister intentions and secretly forged three other rings: Narya, Nenya and Vilya. These rings are free from Sauron’s influence and Celebrimbor sent these rings to the Elven leaders so they can wage war against Sauron’s forces. 

Thus far, there has been no mention of the rings, but with Mount Doom’s creation in episode six, we can expect Sauron to appear any time now to exact his plan of creating the One Ring. Seeing how Celebrimbor has been a key character in The Rings of Power, chances are that we will see not just the creation of the One Ring, but also of the three rings of power in the finale.

BONUS: Is that Durin’s Bane?

In episode 7, we see Dwarven King Durin pick up a leaf and throw it down the cave where Prince Durin IV and Elrond were digging and discovered a lot of mithril. When the leaf reaches the very foot of the cave, it catches fire and a fiery creature is revealed to live beneath the Misty Mountains. We believe the creature to be none other than Balrog, Durin’s Bane. 

Tolkien never wrote much about Balrogs in the Second Age, the time period that The Rings of Power is based on, but we do know from the books that the Balrog got its name for slaying King Durin. The Balrog’s reign of terror inside the mines of the Dwarves is what forced them to eventually abandon their home, only for readers to revisit it again when the Fellowship arrives in The Fellowship of The Ring. 

The Balrog we see in The Rings of Power matches up with the stories we’ve read of Durin’s Bane and the fall of King Durin, and later on, the battle with Gandalf. Though it’s a little too early for his appearance (if it is Durin’s Bane), we’re not mad at all! 

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Catch the finale on 14 October 2022.

This article is brought to you together with Prime Video Singapore.