Warning: The following contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 7! Turn back now if you have not seen the latest installment in Amazon’s epic series.
Who is Sauron in The Rings of Power? That’s the question of everyone’s lips as the Lord of the Rings show continues. The seventh episode, unfortunately, offered no answer, though almost everyone’s theorizing that Halbrand is Sauron. Could the fated leader of the now cursed Southlands be the Dark Lord?
Speaking to an audience including Total Film following a cinema screening of the seventh episode, The Rings of Power showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay discussed the theory. And while they refused to offer a definitive answer, they did talk about their thought process behind Sauron in the series.
“Sauron is a deceiver, Sauron can be anyone,” McKay says. “We always felt like it would be a waste to just have him out in front from the beginning, and that if there was a story, that would engage people and let them lean in and let them read into things and have ideas and theories that would be delightful and wonderful.
“And if you think it’s Halbrand, it’s one version of the show. If you think it’s somebody else, that’s another version of the show and I just hope the next episode is exciting for you.”
At the end there, McKay’s talking about the upcoming final episode, in which we will hopefully (finally) learn the true identity of Sauron. Previously talking to Total Film, Payne said of Sauron: “We can say that when he appears, it might be in a way people aren’t expecting.”
In other words, Sauron’s coming soon – if he’s not already here. For some speculation on what’s to come in Rings of Power, here’s our piece on The Stranger.