With a barn-burner of a finale that is jam-packed with action, magical jewellery, high emotional stakes, and frequently intolerable suspense, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power ends up its debut season. And while Alloyed doesn’t manage to wrap up every unresolved story thread from the first season of the series, it does provide us with a tonne of answers to many of its most pressing problems while also introducing a number of fresh plot twists for us to consider while we wait for season 2.
Here is a summary of the major developments from the season 1 finale and what they might indicate about the direction The Rings of Power will go in season 2.
We have conclusively identified Sauron after weeks of rumours and crazy fan ideas. To be fair, The Rings of Power does a fantastic job of making a gut-punch that many viewers predicted weeks ago nevertheless feel shocking. It’s Halbrand, of course, who is actually Galadriel’s biggest enemy in disguise and the one person she seems to have let herself trust for ages.
Halbrand has done a commendable job of keeping his identity a secret for the majority of the season, but it appears that visiting Ost-in-Edhil has let something loose inside of him: He becomes overly enthusiastic about going to Celebrimbor’s workshop and begins to helpfully drop hints about using the strength of these magical materials to control flesh like a complete creeper.
“I’ve had this epiphany, and I can now plainly see things. When we ask Charlie Vickers, who plays the role of Sauron/Halbrand, what he is contemplating during the events that precede the creation of the first three Rings of Power, he responds, “You know, this idea that I’ve been working on, the power over flesh.” Celebrimbor is precisely pointed in the right direction by Sauron, and the Elven blacksmith instantly starts to work, fusing his meagre supply of mithril with other components to create these potent artefacts. With the use of these rings, Sauron will be able to create the One Ring, which will allow him to control all other Middle-earth ringbearers.
By the time the episode is over, Sauron’s plan has largely succeeded, but not before revealing his true identity to Galadriel, rubbing her face in the fact that she was the reason he was able to return to Middle-earth in the first place, and confessing that he would very much like to keep using her for his own purposes. just this time with her eager cooperation.
Although it will likely take generations for Galadriel to comprehend the emotional effects of these disclosures, season 2 has been a real shocker if you believed she previously disliked Sauron.
Alloyed begins by claiming that the Stranger is Sauron, but that claim is a major misdirection as well as a grave error on the part of the enigmatic witches who have been following him around for a few episodes. They mistakenly think he is Sauron until just before he defeats them, when they realise they were wrong.