The Rings of Power: the final episode reveals the identity of the Stranger (well, almost)

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The latest episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power revealed more about the identity of The Stranger (or Meteor Man).
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WARNING: Spoilers (run away poor fools)!

Why season 1 of The Rings of Power failed, in 5 reasons.

Did you figure out who the Stranger of the Rings of Power is?

That's it: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has completed its first season and, by the way, put an end to the rather heavy suspense surrounding the identity of certain characters. Between the endless game of Who is it? with Sauron and the necessary fittings with Lord of the Ringsto satisfy the general public, the Amazon Prime Video series has relied since its inception on quite lazy references, as if recognizing a name or a character from the universe was enough to create a dose of endorphin .

What to leave Istarique?

So, after having fun leading us on, the series finally revealed what we already suspected: the Stranger (played by Daniel Weyman) is not Sauron, but an Istar. He is named “Istar” by the three fanatics (also called the nomad, the resident and the ascetic) before their fatal fate, when they believed they were facing the Dark Lord.

But what are the Istari? They are an order of magicians in the service of the Valar, and more precisely “minor” deities, the Maiar (Maia in the singular), sent to Middle-earth in human form to fight Sauron… who is also a Maia. Yes, you have to follow.

In Tolkien's universe, the Istari order is known to consist of five magicians, including Saruman, Radagast, the Blue Magi Alatar and Pallando, and… Gandalf. So it's quite logical to think that the showrunners of Rings of Powerhave also wanted to play it easy, by making one of its main characters one of the most identified icons of Lord of the Rings.

Nevertheless, all this is not without creating some problems. In the timeline of the novels, the Istari are sent to Middle-earth during the Third Age, nearly a millennium after the events of the series. Gandalf is even the last magician sent by the Valar.

Glandulf the greyish

On the other hand, The Rings of Power has not hesitated in the past to break Tolkien's temporality, in particular given the anachronistic presence of characters like Isildur. So of course Gandalf's name (or even his elven version Mithrandir) was not spoken in episode 8, and the Stranger could very well be a made-up character, or a less identified magician, such as one of the two blue mages. It was our Tolkien specialist, Lino Cassinat, who suggested the idea to us, but it is worth pointing out that he has been both in denial and in a lateral position of safety since watching this last chapter.< /p>

From a strategic point of view, it's impossible to think that Amazon didn't think of the Stranger (whose identity remains, along with that of Sauron, the major twist of season 1) as Gandalf. The forced presence of the Pievelus finally seems to be justified in the light of this finale, as if the series found a way to explain why the magician has always had a lot of esteem for the Hobbits. Moreover, Daniel Weyman's acting is reminiscent of that of Ian McKellen in Peter Jackson's trilogy, even more so now that he has regained the use of speech.

But above all, the character's last line to Nori is none other than: “When in doubt, always follow your nose”. Now, this same phrase is used by Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring, when he speaks with Merry about their progress in the mines of Moria. It is hard to believe that this other element of intertextuality is only a hazardous detail. It remains to be seen now how Gandalf will fit into the overall mechanics of a narrative he is not meant to be in.

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