The season’s main antagonist, Adar (Joseph Mawle), an elf figure who commands the orcs of the Southlands, was first seen in the third episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Until the spectacular sixth episode of The Rings of Power, “Udûn,” it was not quite apparent where he came from or if he was indeed Sauron.
Even though Adar was invented specifically for The Rings of Power, we learn from Galadriel’s (Morfydd Clark) interrogation of him that he has profound roots in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythology. The orcs nicknamed him “father” in their language, Sindarin, because Adar was one of the first orcs ever made.
According to Galadriel, orcs can be traced back to the First Age, when the Dark Lord Morgoth kidnapped and tortured elves to become the twisted, damaged monsters we know today as orcs. A term meaning “sons of the dark,” Moriondor was the original name for elves. Adar favors the Black Speech term “Uruk,” which means “orc.”
The “Uruk” in question has nothing to do with the “Uruk-hai” that the heroes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy confront in battle, Saruman is responsible for those. Tolkien has other ideas regarding the origins of the orcs than the one presented here. The Silmarillion provides the basis for the orcs’ corrupted elf background, although Tolkien later determined they shouldn’t speak elvish.
A few of Morgoth’s alternate creation myths for the orcs involve him creating them out of stone or fashioning twisted monsters based on elven anatomy. Despite the fact that Peter Jackson’s film trilogy also references the tortured elf tale, none of these retellings can be considered the definitive version.
The Rings of Power unmistakably settles an ambiguity in Tolkien’s work with its treatment of Adar. Benefiting from this nuanced approach to Tolkien’s villains, we see Adar’s real affection for his or children and his wish to establish a home for them.
Do I believe that massacring and enslaving people and triggering a volcanic eruption is the most effective approach to achieving this goal? There is no way that could ever happen. Do I have a better understanding of what Adar represents, apart from mere evil? No doubt about it.
Who Is Sauron If Not Adar?
Episode 6 of The Rings of Power definitively disproves the idea that Adar is actually Sauron. It’s safe to say that Adar was familiar with Sauron, but he didn’t care for him. Galadriel is told that in Sauron’s ambition to rule Middle-earth, many of Adar’s offspring were killed. As a result of this, Adar was able to kill Sauron.
The truth revealed by Adar rocks the entire programme to its core. Galadriel has spent her entire life looking for a person who is (apparently) no longer alive. However, with a title like “The Rings of Power,” I can’t help but think that Sauron will be revealed to be more than just a myth. What’s more, he’ll be back soon. He is, after all, the driving force behind the Rings of Power.
Given Sauron’s shapeshifting skills, it’s difficult to tell who among The Rings of Power is destined to become the next great Dark Lord of Middle-earth. He might be a random guy! There’s also a chance we haven’t met him yet. Fans, however, have long considered the possibility that Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) actually is Sauron.
He may be the long-lost ruler of the Southlands, but he may also be telling fibs. Perhaps he impersonated the “lost king” to win Galadriel over by stealing the pendant from the real lost king. I didn’t buy the “Halbrand is Sauron” hypothesis until that one remark in this episode. Halbrand says, “Remember me,” to Adar before he tries to kill him.
Adar, noticing a human man above him, concludes that Halbrand must have lost a loved one due to his actions. But suppose instead that Halbrand was actually Sauron in disguise, out for vengeance on Adar for the attempt on his life. Is it possible that his inquiry as to whether or not Adar recognizes him was a test of his disguise?
This is, of course, all highly speculative. Maybe Halbrand is exactly what he seems to be. However, Sauron’s impending deception casts a shadow over the entire Rings of Power, leading to accusations both within the play and among its viewers. Thankfully, the difficulty of our game of “Spot the Sauron” just dropped a notch. Adar has been eliminated from consideration at this point.