This summer, like the first glimpses of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power came to light, there was one character in particular that caught the attention of fans and quickly caught on: a figure wearing a white robe, short hair, and paper-white skin. In the absence of any other signs, the intimidating appearance and menacing public gaze left fans with a single hunch: This is Sauron’s version of the show!
Well, with the fifth episode of Rings of Power, that mysterious white-robed character finally appeared, and only left more questions for them. Tolkien’s source material offers hints as to where the story might take place, and the characters’ relationship to Sauron, The Stranger, and other mysteries of the show.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for episode 5 of The Rings of Power, “Partings.”]
What we know about the white robed Dweller
Our mysterious Sauron potential emerges early in the episode, as one of a trio of characters seemingly searching for the equally enigmatic meteor man known as Stranger. The episode’s credits refer to her as “Dweller,” and she’s played by Bridie Sisson; along with her companions Nomad (played by Edith Poor in a helmet with flowing red hair) and Ascetic (played by Kali Kopae, wearing a hood and carrying a… circle).
They were pale from their skin and pale from their cloaks, and carried some odd attire. The Dweller features an ornate staff member, while Ascetic swings a saucer or metal plate decorated with circles and crescents. Nomad’s armor has some motifs of eyes and circles – and fingers, intertwined on top of her hat.
We know more important details beyond what’s on screen in episode 5: Talk to Time magazine, Ring of Power Executive producer Lindsey Weber says that these characters traveled here from “from far to the east – from the land of Rhûn.”
What is Rhûn?
In the broadest sense, Rhûn means everything on the east side of the map in Lord of the Rings, all the land in that direction doesn’t affect the story Tolkien wants to tell. And since it doesn’t matter to the story he wants to tell, it remains largely unrecorded.
Although the races of dwarves, men, and elves originated somewhere in the Rhn and migrated westward, that was great a long time ago – and the world has experienced many geographical upheavals since then. from there – leaving us with no sense of its current state. It’s an empty frame for Ring of Power to explore, maybe even an opportunity to define the general term of “Easterlings“That modern elves, humans, and dwarves of Tolkien must refer to men from the east.
So, where do these white-robed characters come from? Literally, “Unknown Parts.”
What does this mean for Strangers?
Rhûn has a pretty solid attribute that could show up here: It’s also where the Green Mages are said to have jumped. And “one of the Green Witches” is a theory that is not hard to come by The Stranger’s True Identity.
Gandalf and Saruman’s well-dressed colleague duo is one of a long list of concepts that Tolkien wrote down. Lord of the Rings with a little bit of work, and then spend the rest of my days deciding whether to build them in Silmarillion. Like Rhûn himself, the two extend beyond the geography of Tolkien’s favorite stories, and so there’s no need to explore them.
He toyed with different names and different origins for them: Perhaps they were Alatar and Pallando, two magicians who ended up becoming true sloths and abandoned their mission to be cold. prices in Rhûn. Or, maybe, they were Morinehtar and Rómestámo, two wizards who had long struggled to dilute what they could about Sauron’s influence in eastern Middle-earth, if it weren’t for the Dark Lord’s work for sure. will overtake Gondor and the rest of Eregion.
In the end, we know very little about what Tolkien has in store for the Blue Wizards after he completes his opus, except that they go much farther east than the others and stay there. It is possible that this connection with Rhûn will eventually translate into a connection with the Blue Wizards.
But wait, there’s one more thing.
That’s the moon
The other potential hints about Stranger this episode is his celestial origin, he seems to focus on the stars, one shot tells of him looking up at the moon and the very moon reminiscent symbol on the disk of the Ascetic.
The Stranger could be the Man on the Moon.
This may sound like a joke, but in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, the sun and moon have a very specific origin story of their own. You may have heard about how Galadriel’s war against Morgoth began when he destroyed a few glowing trees. At the time, those trees (and the stars in the sky) were the only source of natural light in the world. The sun and moon were created to replace them, glowing ships driven in the sky and on the ground by several Maiars, beings of the same order as Sauron and Gandalf.
The moon’s spacecraft is piloted by Maiar Tilion, who is known for his unreliability – his unrequited love for Maiar driving the sun is why the moon often appears in the sky alongside with the sun. And the legend of the boy who rode the moon even reached the “modern” hobbits, whose stories and songs (a parody of the “Hey Diddle Diddle) About the silly things that happened later during the Awkward Man on the Moon’s visit to Middle-earth.
Metaphorically speaking, the Moon of Middle-earth is a combination of Tolkien’s leprechaun lore and the stories he tells to entertain his children – like Tom Bombadil and the Hobbits themselves. The Man on the Moon appeared in Roverandom, a story the professor invented to comfort his son after he lost his favorite toy at the beach; and in his annual letters he wrote and illustrated his children in the voice of Father Christmas.
But whether Stranger is the Man in the Moon or the Blue Wizard, it seems these milky white strangers from Rhûn all know something about him. We’ll have to wait and see when The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power decided to solve this particular mystery.