THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER - Could The Stranger Actually Be [SPOILER] After All?

This week's episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power drops a few more hints about the identity of the mysterious "Stranger," and it's looking like he might actually turn out to be... you know who!

When "The Stranger" was introduced towards the end of the first episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Tolkien fans generally assumed that the "Meteor Man" must be one of the five wizards (or, Istari) that were known to have populated Middle Earth from the Second Age on. While this may still be the case, the show definitely wants viewers to think he's Sauron.

The Dark Lord still hasn't been unveiled, but there have been a few hints here and there. Despite appearing to have a gentle nature, we have seen flashes of a less innocent side to The Stranger, and he seems to possess the ability to unleash a sinister power. In addition, the old man (Baldric?) told Theo that Sauron's arrival was heralded by the comet that brought the Harfoot's "giant" companion to Middle Earth.

This week's episode continued to steer us in this mysterious individual's direction, as he begins to see himself as a "peril" after the firefly incident. Nori reassures her new friend that he's "good" at heart, but we see flashes of that dark power yet again when he freezes a pool of water - and, inadvertently, Nori's arm - while chanting words that sounded a lot like what came to be known as the "black speech" during the War of the Ring.

Finally, it's revealed that a group of white-clad priests/priestesses are searching for The Stranger, as we see them examine the area where he crashed down. One of them is the character many assumed to be Sauron in his "fair" Annatar form, but it's now looking more likely that they are simply servants of The Enemy who've been awaiting (possibly facilitating) his return.

Despite this evidence, we think it's most likely a red herring. For one, it's been confirmed that Sauron was already on Middle Earth prior to the events of the show. Could he have left for some reason and returned again in the meteor? Possibly, but we're still not buying that he'd take the form of a bearded older fella who just so happens to resemble a wizard.

We'd bet on The Stranger being revealed as one of the Istari, most likely Sauruman given the timing of his arrival and the glimpses of darkness that could be a sign of a corruptible spirit. But if he's not Sauron, who is?

What do you guys think? Have we met Sauron in The Rings of Power, or has he yet to put in an appearance? Be sure to drop us a comment down below.

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