The opposite chance was that the Stranger himself is perhaps Sauron, however we’re fairly satisfied at this level that he’s both Gandalf or Saruman. Nori insists that he’s good, and he has definitely proven goodness and kindness. He may very well be Saruman, who was corrupted in later years however like Gandalf was initially one of many Istari, Maiar who had been despatched to Center-earth as wizards particularly to assist the peoples of Center-earth to combat in opposition to Sauron.
However the Stranger’s unruly beard, tough gray woolen cloak, and his shut relationship with the Harfoots are all fairly strongly suggestive of Gandalf. We additionally noticed him considering the evening sky whereas the road “not all those that [wonder or] wander are misplaced” was sung in episode 5, which was a line initially written by Bilbo for Aragorn within the books however which might equally apply to their buddy Gandalf. In truth, Bilbo described Gandalf as a “wandering wizard” when he first met him within the first few pages of The Hobbit, so contemplating this episode opened with Nori explaining the idea of migration to the Stranger, we’re actually nearly fully sure that he’s Gandalf at this level. Simply watch them reveal that he’s Radagast the Brown in any case, simply to confuse us.
None of those characters match the disguise we’re anticipating to see Sauron undertake, both – however this new determine, staring down ominously on the crater the place Most likely-Gandalf fell to earth, positively does. In Tolkien’s legendarium, Annatar seems as a wonderful Elf, and whereas this character and their two companions will not be dressed fairly the identical because the Elves we’ve seen, their look may be very comparable, particularly the character standing to their proper (and they’re very stunning, in an evil kind of manner – the truth is the chief seems a tiny bit just like the Satan from Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie The Ardour of the Christ).
Another excuse we don’t suppose Halbrand, Adar, or the Stranger are Sauron is that they’re all embroiled within the flawed storylines. Halbrand has spent many of the collection kicking about in Númenor, Adar is on the lookout for one thing within the Southlands, and the Stranger is studying to talk and attempting to keep away from killing fireflies with the Harfoots, whereas Annatar must be heading to Lindon or to Khazad-dûm to attempt to corrupt Elrond, Gil-galad, Celebrimbor, and Durin.
This new character is a good distance from Lindon or Khazad-dûm, however they’re in a spot it’s logical for Sauron to be – investigating the Stranger’s arrival. The Wizards had been despatched to Center-earth to fight Sauron, so it makes excellent sense that Sauron would observe the trail of the comet seen within the first episode if he suspected one in all them had arrived, to search out out what was happening, who had been despatched, and whether or not they had been prone to pose a risk to him. Maybe within the TV model of the story, it will likely be Most likely-Gandalf’s arrival that prompts Sauron to work on the Rings of Energy with the Elves and Dwarves.
On high of that, all of the sound, imagery, and design of the scene generally are simply screaming “This Is Sauron!” The crater the place Most likely-Gandalf fell nearly seemed like an enormous eye for a second, because the picture of it in flames light away. The music sounds just like the Black Speech of Mordor. The brand new character has blackened fingers and carries a employees that appears like a prettier model of a few of Sauron’s weapons, and they’re clearly very highly effective.