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Honestly the way they did it was kind of confusing. It would have been much more clear if they had text where the word Halbrand disappears and the word Sauron then appears on screen.


“What are these, some kind of The Rings of Power?”


Hey, that's the name of the show!


They said it!


Wow wow wow ... Wow


Now I have to see Pitch Meeting of RoP


Oohhhh, making political decisions based on foliage is TIGHT!


Super easy barely an inconvenience


Listen I'm gonna need you get ALL the way off my back about the Gandalf thing.


“Why did Galadriel jump off the boat in the middle of the ocean?” “I don’t know ???”


I bet the producer guy needs to get ALL the way off the screenwriter guy's back at each plot point


"Join me, and together we will be the Lords of the Rings"


I feel like it was sufficiently clear when he said "it's Saurin time" and then sauroned all over the place.


I must have dazed off for that part. I’ll definitely keep an eye open when I rewatch.






That sketch never gets old. I want a full movie based on this, like a completely serious 90s style psychological thriller.


Good question. We may have to consult the Tolkien Estate on the official font of Mordor.


Nah, it's Comic Sans.


Tolkien would probably consider that too allegorical considering Lucifer also uses Comc Sans.


Obviously comic sans


"Sauron? In your tongue that means evil one. Or... [long pause for effect] Bad Guy."


[Agree 100%](https://i.4cdn.org/tv/1665792467652605.webm)


Made me literally laugh silently to myself


Dude that's hilarious 😂😂😂😂 take my free silver


I'm ok with it, with one problem: It was rushed. The season as a whole had a lot of pacing issues, with many things feeling too slow, but Halbrand popping up and spending what felt like an afternoon with Celebrimbor before the wheels fell off the wagon was too much, too fast. I'd have preferred that to take place over the course of the next season, with Halbrand and Sauron developing a bond during the forging of the Seven and the Nine, with a culmination that ended with the piecing together of his identity, the Forging of the One, and *then* the forging of the Three without his influence. As it stands, Sauron has a personal connection with Galadriel but almost none with Celebrimbor, which will make Celebrimbor's fate ring more hollow when it comes, one can assume.


> It was rushed Definitely his time in Eregion. How long did he spend on a raft at sea? Then in Numenor? But Eregion, he just dips in and out inside one episode.


right? and *that's* the part I would've loved to see more of! I wouldn't have been mad if they had had Halbrand in Eregion for a full 3 episodes with Celebrimbor. There was so much material they could've put in there versus the futzing around in Numenor for like 4 episodes


For sure. And honestly I think this was probably a choice the writers made because of readers. People familiar with Tolkien's works would have set to rest any speculation the moment 'Halbrand' started working with Celebrimbor, so I feel like they tried to first drag it out, then rush it, to preserve the speculatory 'hype' that a mystery brings. Bad call on their part IMO.


I think they rushed it because once he's in Eregion helping Celebrimbor, the jig is up, the veil is off, we know who he is, time to move on to other things.


Exactly. If they spent 2 episodes on this everyone woulda whined that “we already know who he is so what’s the point, why so slow” Without the rights they have alot they can do and spending a ton of time on him diddling around with the elves


> Exactly. If they spent 2 episodes on this everyone woulda whined that “we already know who he is so what’s the point, why so slow” Well that's just kinda sad. There's so much more to a story than finding out the next piece of plot and the answer to the next mystery. They could have constructed a wonderful psychological drama out of Sauron's slow meticulous manipulation of the Elves. Ironically, those more quiet character-based moments have been the best part of the show, far better than the pure "plot" and "mystery" element.


Yeah, they leaned way too heavily on the mystery of Saurons identity which meant that *of course* the season finale had to be the big reveal. This in turn meant nothing of real consequence could happen before that...


they *could* have gone the route of revealing it to the audience but not to the characters, so we could have still seen him gaining Celebrimbors trust and working to forge the rings over an arc in the 2nd season.


I almost yelled at my TV when Galadriel discovered that the southland kings line has been broken for A THOUSAND YEARS. I mean come on, seriously?


And none of the southlanders pointed that out? Or the elf that spent centuries watching over the southlanders?


In his defence he was mostly watching Bronwyn. /s




Nailed it.


I figured Theo was half elf.


The commoners are dumb, you could argue that in medieval times they lack propper communication and knowledge tools. A rumour can be propagated about a promised king, and they can believe it. But the elves that were specificaly tasked to watch the land, yeah, they should know. But you also ask too much from people that despite having super vision were unable to see how orcs were digging a tunnel of hundreds of miles long, open to the sky, that ended just bellow their base.


The same holds true today with social media rumors lol


The southlanders don't seem very smart.


I somehow don't think that the southlanders we doing careful records keeping and it is mentioned that the Elves do not closely observe the fates of the mortal kingdoms. It has been a while since I have read the books but in the movies at least Saruman dismissed the idea that Gandalf could have found the heir to the throne of Gondor.


They literally have a watchover with a garrison to watch over some podunk village


1. I don't think that they were only watching one village. 2. They weren't watching over the low men for their protection but to watch for signs of the darkness returning. 3. It seems only Arondir cared enough to actually make connections with them and learn about them.


How would they know? They live for maybe 60 years, as human beings. If the line ended a thousand years prior, no one would know better


Dude....they still remember Morgoth. They cling to that hope. Half of them left to join orcs at the first opportunity after a 30 second speech!!!


I don’t think they necessarily knew their king’s line ended. Given the state of their people around the time he was killed, it’s likely people were displaced and presumed dead. For someone to show up, tall and sexy as Halbrand is, it’s not a stretch to believe he survived and has miraculously returned as evil is about to wipe them out. On the other hand, Morgoth is more like a religious cult following, and given all the evil shit going on it’s not surprising to see a resurgence in his followers. Not to mention the guy who has seemingly kept Sauron/Morgoth’s key sword thingy as a family heirloom lol. Hard to forget about Morgoth when you’re passing down his sword hilt every generation for 1000 years.


To be fair, they are a bunch of village folk holding on to any bit of hope they can find


Yeah and the guy arrived with an army of men who can 1v1 orcs and win, it might have tamed anyone's motivation to object. Actually I was more surprised that the lineage of kings died 1,000 years ago and no other lineage appeared in between. The elf did say that the information on men were poor so I kind of wished for a twist were he actually is the rightful king but manipulated by Sauron or whatever. Him being Sauron and reacting like that to Galadriel finding out, while being a cool movie moment, felt kind of flat for me.


The history of men of the south was so irrelevant that even Tolkien didn’t write about it.


There’s always this prophecy in the southlands: one day their true king will return.


This. The royal line probably went into hiding when Morgoth fell. How are peasants going to know if the line died out or not.


I thought she found out he was King of the Southlands from old texts in Numenor? Did they not also state that the bloodline had ended 1000 years ago???


They found a text that had the seal that Sauron conveniently had attributing it to the royal line of the Southlands. Not that that makes any sense of things.


Only the baggie carried the old seal.


I think she found the king’s sigil in the old texts and noticed it was the same seal that Halbrand carried.


Everyone thought Isildur’s line was ended before Aragorn popped up in the movies. Makes sense to me. And the Southlanders would be so hopeful they’re surely believe their king had returned


I immediately thought “You couldn’t just make it 100 years? Really?”


That library in Numenor was so outdated that there was no mention of the Southlands kingdom fallen a thousand years ago lmao


I mean, yeah. No one's been exchanging information with the Southlands in centuries, let alone updating the "Low Men politics" Wikipedia entry.


Kingdom of Southlands is called... Southlands. Sounds like Amazon all right. Amazing writing.


Even the name itself doesn't make much sense because we know there are lands further to the South. The only people who should consider Mordor as the Southlands are people from North of it, but we're not introduced to any of them. This world building is embarrassing by Tolkien standards. EDIT: When Tolkien refers to places in this way, he's deliberately vague, because either little is known about them or they're not relevant to the story. For example, he refers to the men from Rhun ("The East") as "Easterlings". Similarly, Aman is known by men as the "The Undying Lands to the West". However, if the story actually takes place there, then he gives names to both the people and places.


Yeah the Haradrim must be like, 'the *What*lands?'


Netherlands and Southampton are pretty far up on the northern hemisphere. Of all things to complain about, the name isn´t. There is so much else to trash about the show.


This is Tolkien. Names are like the most important things in all of his writing. He wrote his stories to justify the names of people and places. He was a philologist first and foremost


I feel bad because the story so far makes it look all just a coincidence. There was no master plan of Sauron to trick the elves into making the rings, they were already on task and he came by chance, whisper 2 sentences, fixed all the issues and inspire the creation of the rings. The character is cool and it was obvious from the show that it was him, but the rushed making of the rings and how he was even uncovered before forging a single ring is pretty bad.


To be honest, Celebrimbor’s project seemed to exhibit all the hallmarks of a terrible tech startup doomed to failure. * Wants to make an app (something to match Feanor) doesn’t know what it’s for. * Gil-galad reveals the rot in the trees, and a vague timeline is set to find a cure. * Celebrimbor decides his project must be to find that cure. * Elrond is recruited because he has a connection to the dwarves. He isn’t given much context at all. It is later revealed that Gil-galad suspected the existence of mithril and even then Elrond is bound by oath to not reveal its existence. (Imagine hiring a developer who’s signed an NDA). * Mithril’s existence is confirmed, a sample is acquired. * The plot to acquire more makes sense, at least. Seems to me the original idea was to mine enough to give some crafted object to each elf. * No foresight or considerations are made for the possibility that more mithril cannot be acquired. * At this point, Celebrimbor *still* has no idea what he will be making, or how. Until a chance encounter with a stranger who happens to have all the right ideas, not just in terms of the smithing but also the theory (power over the flesh was Halbrand’s idea, that is made pretty clear). Basically, the whole project was a guaranteed failure until Halbrand came in with all the ideas, right from conception, to engineering a solution to a problem Celebrimbor had a lot longer to ponder over. Like I said, if this was a startup or app idea, we all know how it would’ve ended. I’m not mad about this storyline, but the writing leaves something to be desired.


Lol Gil-Galad being the frantic PO demanding everyone crunch before the deadline is pretty funny.


Halbrand mentions some random idea at a standup meeting, causing Celembrimbor to pivot the whole project.


We’re just watching Pied Piper middle out Middle Earth!


Theranos, Middle Earth style. "We'll save lives, I just need startup mithril/money. Look, we've got some big names signed on. Elrond's on board, and he is just so in the know. I mean, his dad's a star and he has ins with three different races, and that's a lot of untapped market potential. We're looking at Galadriel for CFO, because we know she'll be aggressive on expansion. And with Gil-Galad on board, I mean, we've already overcome the major regulatory hurdle. So yeah, I mean, give us some startup mithril and I'm sure we can work out the deets later." "And what is the actual product?" Eregion, the Silicon Valley of Middle Earth. Eru help the inhabitants.


As a struggling start-up founder, this is exactly the shit I say to fundraise. Well portrayed now let me hit up some of my dwarven friends for their mythril 🥲


To be honest, Amazon’s series seemed to exhibit all the hallmarks of a terrible tech startup doomed to failure. * Wants to make a series (something to match Jackson) doesn’t know what it’s about. * Bezos reveals that they have no rights to anything, and a vague timeline is set to make a series. * The writers decide this project must be about the second age (or a short version of it). * Galadriel is recruited as main character because she was hot in LotR and people will remember her. We're not given much context at all. * Mithril’s existence is retconned, an apocryphal myth is acquired. * A plot that makes more sense wasn't acquired, sadly. Seems to me the original idea was to mine enough to give some dividends to each shareholder. * No foresight or considerations are made for the people that read any of the books. * At this point, the writers *still* have no idea what they will be making next season, or how. Basically, the whole project was a guaranteed failure. Like I said, if this was a startup or app idea, we all know how it would’ve ended. I’m not mad about this storyline, but the writing leaves something to be desired.




This is exactly how I feel. The show gives zero agency to it's characters to where you feel they are making decisions and setting the plot in a direction, but rather the plot forces them forward. Celebrimbor trying to forge the mithril is a perfect example. He claims he was having no success, and it's only when Halbrand/Sauron gives him the idea to mix it with another metal, that they find progress. You're telling me that a master smith had never thought that he would have to add other metals with the mithril to make a full crown?! It's just lazy writing of characters.


>There was no master plan of Sauron to trick the elves into making the rings, they were already on task and he came by chance, whisper 2 sentences, fixed all the issues and inspire the creation of the rings. i feel the same. this episode pretty much rammed an entire season into one episode. ​ they spent 7 episodes building a relationship between galadriel and sauron, just for her to instantly distrust him in one episode. the eminem squad misidentifies gandalf, but it gets revealed seconds later that they are wrong,...... ​ sure if you know the lore you are not surprised by any of this but most viewers are casual viewers, for them i would have stretched this entire ordeal out over at least half a season if not an entire one. ​ well at least the "NoThInG iS hApPeNiNg" people got something to watch


The show didn't even foreshadow it at all. Nobody ever mentions Sauron was a smith, or that he could shapeshift, or a master convincer, anything at all that could hint that Sauron might be hiding among us. The only clues rely on book knowledge. The dwarves worship Aule, and they love smithing- why didn't Durin and Elrond ever discuss it? Galadriel *knew* Beren & Luthien, and Sauron's shapeshifting is a part of that story. Tell us more about this big bad evil guy so we don't have to rely on book lore that the show barely adheres to.


>There was no master plan of Sauron to trick the elves into making the rings Not to mention that Sauron was going to retire and smith stuff until Galadriel dragged him back into action.


Vickers said in an interview that it’s going to be explained in S2 (even the raft thing). Show runners are also saying S2 will be pretty canonical


Sure. It'll be like Breaking Bad. Meaning that once they run out of scenes to borrow from LOTR movies (there were a surprising number of events/dialogue/scenes that looked about the same as LOTR), they'll move on to following Breaking Bad plot lines. Maybe Sauron will make a highly addictive drug for elves from ground-up mithril dust and the Balrog that woke up is going to be selling it to elves.




Yep. Just like Lost. More questions with every mystery box opened up. Season 2 will have less budget, and has already moved from New Zealand to England for primary filming. The ONE thing this billion dollar show had going for it was the amazing VFX. That will be less in the rest of the seasons. They are already filming with the same cast, crew, writers and directors. The 2 amateur showrunners who cut their teeth at Bad Robot, and couldn't sell a script for a decade are still in charge. They don't have the talent to pull this off, that much is clear. Season 2 will be more of the same mystery box theatre, with bad dialogue and storytelling. Edit: Heard a rumor the showrunners are getting sidelined for season 2. If this is true it validates every criticism about how terrible they are and this first season was. If not.....good fucking luck on season 2 not being another big steaming pile of shit.


To be honest, he is lost, humbled and repenting when we find him. Don't forget, he is a Maia of Aule - were he to remain in Numenor, I have no doubt he would become the greatest smith the Numenor has ever seen. It is in his nature to create and seek order. I don't even think he completely flipped to Evil yet. He'll likely try to justify himself more and more, before completely falling to Evil. P.S. Letter 131, everyone who thoughtlessly slams downvote button: >*...Very slowly, beginning with fair motives: the reorganising and rehabilitation of the ruin of Middle-earth, ‘neglected by the gods’, he becomes a reincarnation of Evil, and a thing lusting for Complete Power...* What I've said and what Amazon has show is more-or-less fitting to motifs of Sauron in the early Second Age. Of course, the terms “early” or “late”, or timeline itself, has little connection since Amazon condensed it into a single short period.




Well, jokes aside, those are two of his notable qualities. He is a craftsman, maker of orderly things, and he is a charming bastard, known for being deceitful and charismatic. P.S. Thank you, I now cannot stop imagining Sauron in tie and suit, with a briefcase.


I dont see where he is repentant or trying to do good in the show, the last scene where is gazing upon Mt. Doom shows that it was his plan and wanted it. Invading innocent people seems already pretty flipped to Evil to me. I would have loved to see a gray Sauron falling little by little into the dark but that is not the case here (perhaps I am wrong and we will see it in the next season)


Adar takes credit for Mordor. He claims he thought he killed Sauron. It could be Sauron had planned a better way to create his new land.


That is a fair criticism of a show that I will accept. It could've shown a few things more clearly, perhaps given us indication of Halbrand's desire for Order and distaste for chaos and wanton destruction. His dialogue with Galadriel seems to imply he follows that idea – rebuild, heal the Middle-Earth. Until it is cleared, I think he was genuine in his desire to remain in Numenor, where he could have arisen as a leader of Men, granting him power to fulfil his desire to heal Middle-Earth. He is then, obviously, enamoured with Galadriel – which is, again, not entirely unfound. It is mostly Amazon-verse invention, but it has some slight roots in “Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn” text. More so, it is not unknown for a Maia or Vala to be charmed with an Eruhini (Melian and Elu, Morgoth seeing Luthien, though the latter is very dark). Seeing as his plan with remaining in Numenor and arising there fails, he goes with Galadriel's plan… which kinda fails too, as he is exposed. So, he seeks power once again. So yes, I think Halbrand-Sauron has made a massive step towards Evil, but he isn't there yet. He likely believes to be pursuing noble goals, just with darker means. I think we'll see him try to convince Galadriel to turn to his side once again, before being rebuffed finally, and that would push him towards hateful Evil entirely. **Just because showrunners aren't exactly inventive and “Villain becoming Evil after being scorned by his Female Enemy/Love-Interest” is a trope as old as storytelling.**


Given Saurons love of order, I expected him to be better at sweeping than he was.


Yes where they were on the boat I thought it was taking this direction. But where I disagree with you is that even if he has a noble cause or hide behind them, it is still a pure vilain and a hateful evil. There are plenty examples of great evils that hided behind noble cause, even if today with the rise of many anti heroes/gray heroes it can be hard to distinguish them here this is not the case. We dont have a morally ambiguous character that falls to darkness, he is already evil and doesnt show the least hint of regret of his actions, or doubts/reluctance about what he is doing. But as I said, it was pretty rushed and we will see what they have in mind.


But that kind of is Sauron. For all the talk of Order, or healing, Saurons end goal is always dominion, power and control. That's how he seeks to achieve his vision at the least. Which is pretty much the entire raft speech. He trying to sell the allure of power to her with the notion that they can heal and bring peace. But she calls him on it. It's a desire to enact it through rule and he cannot see the differences. I do agree that I don't think he is repentant though, so much as lost as he says. After leaving Eönwë I can imagine RoPs Sauron has wandered without aim. He has denounced his evils of the first age, but refuses to return to Aman for judgement. I really like all that. Would love to know how he ended up on the damn raft though lol Just as an aside; I really like your ability to discuss the show critically but provide for some great food for thought. : )


What Amazon nonsense is this? Sauron was hostile to elves and men since 500 S.A. Tolkien makes this clear in Unfinished Tales. Isildur was born in 3209 S.A. Sauron's repentance was self-serving at best, feigned at most, and excuse at worst. And it was limited to short period around first centuries of the Second Age.


But what about with the magic of time compression?


After all the foreshadowing I would have been angry, if they let it end otherwise. There just was no plausible explanation for his behaviour. The only moment, when I thought: "Sauron wouldn't do this", is when he fought the guild members in Númenor. He could have done this in a much more elegant way, no matter what he was really trying to accomplish. But then again, so could Galadriel in so many scenes.


I did enjoy Sauron telling Galadriel she could be "stronger than the foundations of the earth.” That gave some fresh depth to that well known line she says to Frodo when when he offers her the ring.


It's rather depressing to think that that whole time, she never forgot what he said to her.


But she was the one who said originally that he was descended from a line of kings. Silly elf.


Her: "hey, you have a thing with a sigil on it, you must be king!" Him:"i got it of a dead body but OK, im king now"


HE must be king why? Dosnt have shit all over him


Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.


She was also silly enough to jump ship just off the coast of Aman to try and swim thousands of miles all the way back to Middle-Earth, so at least she's consistently stupid.


That's been well and truly addressed. She left her fate to the Valar. Edit: my bad, big gaff


>That's been well and truly addressed. She left it to the fate of the Valar. Your comment doesn't make sense, unless you mean that she left ***her*** fate to the Valar?


Actually they pulled it off a lot better than I thought they might. Believing Halbrand was Sauron I just thought it might be clumsy, but actually enjoyed the reveal and his influence in the creation of the rings plus how he left immediately. ​ Helps that I don't particularly care for how close an adaptation is so long as I'm enjoying it.


I did not think it was clear from Day 1. I thought the theory was stupid and made no sense cuz of all the random and coincidental things happening to Halbrand that didn’t suggest any master planning by him while evil was clearly already at work elsewhere. And now that the theory is true I’m butthurt and still think it makes no sense


I'm with you man! It was clear Hallbrand had some dark, mysterious backstory, but there was no indication at first that he was Sauron specifically. And the whole sequence where he uses his charm to win over a bunch of smiths only to immediately squander his success by obviously stealing from then makes him look pretty dumb. As an immortal, why is he in such a rush? Wouldn't it make more sense to use his connection with the smiths to land an apprenticeship? The Sauron of the original text is very patient. That said, I like the irony of how Sauron had given up on Middle Earth before he met Galadriel. Through her impatience Galadriel revived the very evil she had sought to destroy! Obviously he's not the Sauron of the books, but as a fanfiction interpretation I find him pretty amusing.


Bro had completely abandoned his ambitions until supportive queen Galadriel kicked him into gear


Sometimes all a man needs is a pep talk from a pretty woman!


*Now I want to rule the world!*


Are you me?




Totally agree. Would've much rather watched the story of how Annatar set his orderly evilness into motion.


They have been so aggressively hinting it from the start that I was sure it had to be a misdirect. I dunno, I was expecting Sauron to be more appealing. Halbrand looks like a greasy bum. I figured he wasn't going to be a hero, but I felt like his character would have made more sense as a wraith or the King of the Dead. Not the big bad, but a failed man.


Charlie vickers is hot, I like hot Sauron. I liked his delusion about how he's going to heal and help Middle Earth. Galadriel wasn't a big enough of bitch to him once she knew he was Sauron, she was accusatory, like surprised and upset Sauron the Deceiver, deceived her. Her revenge wasn't as strong as her need to bone Sauron I hated how boring he was up until the last 15 minutes of the show. Why was he floating on a raft. What made him give up his control over Middle Earth 1500 years into the 2nd Age. This is a purely Fanfiction Sauron in some AU Middle Earth. The other is still calling Sauron "Halbrand"


Not suprised. And underwhelming.


I don’t understand. What was Halbrand doing on that raft? What is the story re: the orcs he escaped? Was that made up? Why would he allow himself to be imprisoned by the Numenoreans? Why did he go charging into battle against Adar and the orcs? Was Adar telling the truth?? How did an all-powerful dark lord get so injured during the eruption? I don’t get any of it, unless he wasn’t aware of who he was


Halbrands Plan A all along was to get to convince the elves to forge some rings. so far so good. He needed to persuade at least one elve to get access to eregion. He somehow knew that galadriel was where she was and things started on the raft (super convenient, could have made a lot better). The numenorians could have been another plan (B?). Corrupt them to force them to create rings themselves.. Adar is also his adversary..I think his hope was to get the numenorians and Gal to fight Adar for him. Saurbrand is string but not that strong yet. I think the injury was just his mortal weak body breaking apart. he was regenerating super fast in eregion which was ver suspicious....Tin-foil-hat off.


I like that he tried to get in her head and make it seem like it was her own idea to trust him but they really changed the implications of the lore with that reveal. It seemed a very human conflict rather than a conflict between a supernatural evil and an angelic good. And they literally mentioned the other 16 rings in the song and yet the dark lord has been revealed prior to their forging. They kinda painted themselves into a corner.


What bothers me most is sticking to the source material would've been better. Instead, the writers invented multiple non-canon characters just to throw us off in this "Who's Sauron?" guessing game no one asked to play. Halbrand - invented for the sole purpose of throwing us off, complete with hints of a possible relationship between H and Galadriel. This could've been a slightly different version of Annatar, and it would've been very interesting to develop the actual Annatar. We didn't need to know if he's evil right out the gate per se, but nothing would've been lost by establishing early on Annatar=Sauron, and we get to see him as the evil character he is. We didn't need to play the guessing game, but the writers disagreed, and Halbrand/game is what we got. The Blue Freaky Crew - here's 3 characters who's sole purpose was to throw us off. Oh, maybe the freaky eyed one is Sauron? Nope. They served only to lead us into the opening scene of the finale to incorrectly drop the S word on Gandalf. More misdirection, more waste of time. Gandalf/Meteor Man - We at first don't know if he's Gandalf/Sauron/blue wizard, not sure. The obvious is he's Gandalf, but again the writers use this an opportunity for yet another red herring.


*\*Looks at the various subreddits\** **Looks like COPIUM's back on the menu boys!**


"Call it... a gift. " I groaned out loud.


I did too but mostly just because I didn't want it to be Halbrand.


"oh master Celebrimbor I am your biggest fan" 30 seconds later "here I solved your toughest problem with ease, just call it a gift"


"I've heard of this thing where you mix metals" Elves hadn't discovered metallurgy apparently


It cracked me up. I was telling me wife how much they were rushing it. They should have just let Season 2 be the entire build up of deception but instead they cram it into a single episode and then have Halbrand teleport to Mordor.


He is the lord of gift (singular)


As did I... same with the "follow your nose". Weak writing exemplified


should’ve left it at “the air smells sweeter here” but they consistently spell it out for you lol


Surprised he didn’t look directly at the camera and wink after that line honestly


I watch the series as a purely fan fiction so lorewise I don't mind that they don't follow the original story. And I do appreciate the "lovers to foes/seduce to the dark side/protagonist chemistry" storyline, however I REALLY don't undestand Halbrand's journey. What's the purpose of Sauron being in the middle of the sea in a raft? Why he wanted to live carefree at Numenor? How he knew that Galadriel would take him to the Elves? One of the biggest fictional villain's origins storyline is just a shitstorm.


It was clear from day 1 that Halbrand is Sauron, there was no surprise at all. And the shit with the line of the king just showed again how stupid this stuff was. Same as with Saurons symbol where Galadriel NEVER checked a map before to find it out she never fucking checks anything about the Southlands and this supposed kingdom over there and just goes "You'll be king over there Bitch" to Halbrand. Just like she wandered around Middle Earth hundreds of years searching Sauron without looking at a map. Btw did anyone ever explain why Sauron was on that raft in the middle of the ocean in the first place? McGuffin maybe? Like the Rest of the stuff that moved the "plot" forward?


It could've been so good if he was the witch king. His fall from grace would've been so heartbreaking, but also understandable (lost everything, bit of a weak character, etc.). But nooo, the easy way out we go.


I was hoping the whole time that Halbrand is not Sauron but yeah its really disappointing. Still i liked the dialogue between Sauron and Galadriel but that doesnt make up for the reveal itself. Annatar should have forged 16 rings with Celebrimbor and just be revealed when he used the One Ring in Mordor but i guess a scroll can do as well. ¯\\\_(ツ)\_/¯


Yeah they just won't explain that lol. God the writing is so bad. In my head, he lands as a meteor as well, hence why the cultists are looking for him. And that meteor landed in the water and crushed a boat full of people lol idk


That'd be hilarious.


> It was clear from day 1 that Halbrand is Sauron, there was no surprise at all. Well it was leaked. So yeah we all knew. But would we have known without the leak? Was it really foreshadowed well in the series? There were a couple of hints, such as his love of smithing (but plenty of good characters like that too), but also a lot of things that don't really make sense with him being Sauron.


It was still a surprise that the leaks were correct, actually.


I mean, it's fine. But I wish Halbrand had been a red herring and the real Sauron was someone we hadn't met yet, or someone minor...Berek, Celebrimbor, Theo, Waldreg, a random orc... The reveal just felt gross instead of intriguing.


If Waldreg had been Sauron I guarantee you this sub would be insanely angry about it.


Galadriel as Sauron with amnesia or false memories.


Oh, Knights of the Old Republic story. I see you.


I think it’s lazy writing. it wasn’t clever foreshadowing that people can look back on and put pieces together and go ‘wow. Interesting.’ It was 95% of the fan base going ‘thats Sauron’ after he was introduced.


It’s annoying. I am all for giving the show a pass when they need to fill in the (many) gaps of the appendices, but we know that Sauron as an elf, Annatar, was in Eregion talking to Celebrimbor about the rings and turning some against Galadriel to force her out since he had identified her as his biggest threat. Instead we have some weird coincidental meeting that leads to a random courtship from Sauron as a man. The three were supposed to be made last. How does Sauron now get back into Eregion to help forge the 7 and 9? It’ll seem so dumb for the elves to trust ANYONE they don’t already know at this point. The elves weren’t supposed to know it was Sauron until he forged the One.


Totally agree. Maybe he'll come back as annatar in the next seasons. I mean the balrog is in kazad dum. Dwarfs seek help from elves...annatar arrives in eregion and advices them (again) to forge some rings to help the dwarfs defeat the balrog? I tried...


I feel bad




I'm wondering if the whole season would have felt more intense if we had known from the beginning that Halbrand was Sauron. Since the first couple episodes I've been sure he was Sauron and that made every scene with him feel more dark and foreboding and tense than not knowing for sure. The audience knowing something while the characters don't can make for compelling storytelling. But alas, here we are.


The problem with the lore is that the parts where they had to use their imagination should be created to fill the gaps where there are no lore. What really happens feels the other way around, meaning that the events that we know are there to fill the ideas that the writers wanted to introduce.


I'm a big fan of the trope reversal they did. We're so used to seeing old, jaded heroes, being all bummed out by the mistakes of their past, feeling unmotivated, then someone comes and says they need them, and pulls them back out of it. You know, Obi Wan, Wolverine, Rambo in 2 and 3. The retired bad-ass trope. Here, we see the villain is the retired bad-ass. He is persuaded to get back into the game... The game of EVIL that is. Honestly it's something I've always wanted to see, I always thought it would be cool to see a retired bad-ass trope but with a villain returning instead of a hero. I think it's funny how Galadriel was trying to convince him to be King of the Southlands, how the Southlands needs him etc... But he was hearing "Be King of ALL MIDDLE EARTH". The people of MIDDLE EARTH need you to rule them. Funny how when we were talking about him ruling the Southlands, it's heroic, but when that goes beyond the Southlands to all of Middle Earth, that's just evil.


I mean he is a buddy of morgoth and both did a lot of bad things. But you are right..I actually liked saurons/halbeands perspective. Reminded me a bit of Thanos. He also was the supervillain did the ultimate bad thing but with good intentions.


It is insane that he was effectively made king just because Galadriel had a hunch and literally nobody questioned it


? Sauron was always like this, deceptive, manipulative, thinking he was bringing order, fair and shapeshifting, he learns of the rings and secretly forges the one ring to control them, but the elves manage to keep theirs from him. Nothing here contradicts what we know of Sauron. Sure it’s an adaptation for,this series, but at its core, it fits Ok the rings forging are out of order, but meh, it’s an adaptation, so I can live with it


watched the show faithfully. realized how much i dont know and spent a few hours watching NERD OF THE RINGS YOU TUBE. My God the detail and amount of info thats in there. i nom see why the movies were thought of as "being impossible to make". this guy Tolkien had it going on. he must have had a great lsd connection.


For me the worst thing is the demystifying of Sauron. In films we only ever had short glimpses of him, he was a remote yet ever-present threat and consequently he felt more mysterious, threatening, and open to our own imagination. It's like Star Wars if Darth Vader took off his helmet and cracked jokes with the Stormtroopers over a few beers before trying to woo Amidala.


I am fine with it. Season 2 could be great or bad. Let's hope for the former.


I genuinely can't figure out why Galadriel wouldn't simply utter the words HALBRAND IS SAURON. like WHYYYYYYY


Sauron explains that on screen pretty clearly during the dream-sequence-fight-flirt on the raft. Halbrand is in Eregion thanks to Galadriel’s proclamation that he is a king and is to be trusted. To turn about and say that this man is Sauron would destroy any credibility she has left. Mind you, this man at that point is single-handedly solving a problem that is driving your entire race to extinction. If I were the average elf in Gil-galad’s court I wouldn’t believe a word she said.


I cannot believe that people still are refusing to acknowledge the very real problems in the writing here, the excuses being made for it - it’s ridiculous. The amount of coincidences required to move the plot forward is bad writing - just because Tolkien talks about Grand Design doesn’t make that less bad - the coincidences still shouldn’t be obvious coincidences to move the plot places it needs to be. Also LOTR was never about mystery boxes, that may keep you engaged superficially, but turning it into a mystery box show was a huge mistake imo.


It's beyond bad. It's a total writing catastrophe. They don't even bother to try to explain what exactly he has been trying to do all season. Nothing Halbrand did made any sense. Then suddenly he's captain rings of power and Celebrimbor, the greatest Elven smith and a very, very proud man just hangs onto his every word? The change in this episode was so abrupt that you almost wonder if they knew who Halbrand was before writing it. It's all so so bad. What was he doing on the raft? What was his plan with the sigil? Why was he ok just being a smith in Numenor? Why is he now fine with going back to Mordor alone when he wouldn't do that before? Did Sauron just need a confidence boost? Are we really supposed to believe it was just a coincidence that they met, and that he ended up in Eregion? Not to mention the story implications here, namely that in their telling Galadriel is the one who brings Sauron back. She is basically solely responsible for all the problems middle-earth is about to face. And the cherry on top - the nonsense mithril story is true, and the elves are fading faster than a fart in the wind. Just in case anyone who loves the lore still cared about the show. How exactly are they going to explain how the elves will no longer need their rings of power once Sauron creates the one ring?


This is how mystery box writing works. You open one mystery box and several more fall out. They reveal "The mystery" of Halbrand being Sauron and you know have a litany of questions they promise to answer if you tune into the next season. I was done with Mystery Box Theatre with the show "Lost" some 20 years ago. I won't be suddenly embracing it because they slapped Tolkien's name on the box.


I hate it. I hate the other reveal about the stranger too. They’re not filling in the gaps and making a few changes to the lore. They’re just breaking the whole story.


> I hate the other reveal about the stranger too. I just feel so burnt by it because it would've been so cool to have a new take on a new wizard, and then they could've wrote it however they wanted instead of rage baiting lore purists.


Yea it just feels so disrespectful to the lore and to the fans. We don’t need Gandalf here Do they have that little confidence in their story that they have to have him? Come on


This is so silly. Broad strokes are the same, and they probably didn't have the rights to the name "Annatar".


Its garbo in terms of lore and also not at all a surprise. Even when that white bitch was like hur dur dur we bow to you Sauron I was thinking nah bro


I feel nauseous. That's how I feel 😆


I’ll be completely honest, I legitimately was thinking the blonde shapeshifting dude was Sauron, he was a sourcerer, had scary eyes and was a fucking SHAPESHIFTER. but I wish they’d shown way more of Mordor and ended on the creation of the one ring where Sauron is in his big metal outfit. The show had weird pacing and was just abit all over the place. Now I gotta wait another two years for the next seiries. FUCK


What pissed me off most was his JDD sports hoodie that he was wearing on his way to Mordor.


It has been telegraphed hard from the very first episode and, yet, I was still clinging to the hope that the writers couldn't possibly write something this on the nose. Galadriel, of course, should have been suspicious or at least a bit more skeptical from the start, but she's apparently dimwitted in this show.


Agreed. No way she'd be inducted into the White Council after her shenanigans in this show. She was duped by the very Sauron that created her "tempest." She leads him right to Eregion to play a part in the forging of the rings. Her actions are literally the catalyst for Sauron's rise to power. Not very wise indeed.


The timeline is off and it doesn't work for me.. nobody is supposed to have realized he was actually Sauron till AFTER the rings were made.. when he put his own ring on and they all feel the psychic connection of his will to the rings... ​ eta: plus like I thought all the lesser rings were made first and then the 3 were like the pinnacle of the Elves craft


It was obvious but some people couldn’t see it and had “theories” and we got downvoted for saying it can only be Halbrand. C’mon guys…use your head. It was obvious from the second episode.


Sometimes, when it's obvious that something is going to be stupid, people hope that it's a red herring. The theories were plausible, and made more sense than the reality. Unfortunately, the show is living up to the level of storytelling and fidelity to the lore and themes of Tolkien as the Shadow of Mordor series.


It's just so... Dumb. I still don't get why Galadriel got all suspicious at once. Like, she got to Lindon and suddenly is like, mmmh, this guy is sus?


Because the mystery box had to be opened at that time. That is why she got suspicious. The writers needed her to so they could tell their story, and having things feel organic isn't in their abilities.


It was just so on the nose the entire season. I didn't mind Halbrand as a character but when we get confirmation that he's Sauron it's just like.. yup, we all knew that. Biiiiig twist there guys. Like many others, I would have loved for him to end up a Nazgul or the Witch-King specifically. Especially after maybe a couple seasons of his bond with Galadriel getting particularly strong. Would make that eventual fall pretty emotional to watch. I really wanted the show to surprise me and have Sauron be someone we hadn't met yet. Someone pulling the strings like a mastermind behind the scenes would fit his character more to me. This show had glimmers of things that I really enjoyed but overall, pretty disappointing for me. Also, Halbrand/Sauron just deciding over the course of the season that he wants to go back to his old ways through a series of events brought on by Galadriel is just.. dumb. To me anyways. Random thought: Is the Wizard supposed to be Gandalf? I know we got that super on the nose quote about following your nose. So, that would fit the shows MO unfortunately. He is going to the east though, so that would imply to me that he's possibly a blue wizard? I sure hope so. So where do we go from here in S2? * Wizard and Nori go to Rhun - This is actually interesting to me story-wise, so I'm curious how that goes. Plus just seeing Rhun on screen. * Numenor political intrigue stuff. This could actually be interesting as well. I think Al-Pharazon was actually pretty great when we saw him * Arondir, Bronwyn and Theo do... stuff? who knows * Durin and the dwarves deal with a Balrog? * Elrong, Galadriel and Celebrimbor lament their poor decisions? Galadriel tries to convince her people again to fight because Sauron is totalllyyy back and they should totallyyy believe her?


Disappointed I wanted Hallbrand to be anyone but Sauron. The worst thing is that Sauron becomes dark again because Galadriel rejected him and refused to be his queen.


He would be evil regardless.


That's definitely not what happened. That's just the dumb idea people cooked up would happen 4 episodes ago. Sauron became dark again because he's Sauron. He attempts to entice Galadriel with the allure of power, that they could then save Middle-Earth; to heal and bring it peace. To create Order. To which Galadriel calls him on his bullshit by asking as if to rule, to which Sauron responds he doesn't see the difference. He's not evil because Galadriel rejected him.


It's agonizingly bad. I was calling it out, from the moment everyone acted as if he is some lost King without any evidence, without him even saying that, everyone was convinced he was the King based on a fucking pouch. This is the dumbest plot I have seen in a show ever, it's so fucking retarded.


To be fair, it wasn't just the pouch. It was the pouch and being all round awesome at everything he did. In Tolkien, rightful Kings are just all round better people then the stupid peasants.


Good point but I think that is still a rather weak reason for Galadriel and Miriel to belive he is a King. If he at least claimed so much I would have bought it, but they just decided he must be the King and went to war to win his throne, against his will. Which ultimately is the reason he helped Celembrimbor make the Rings and turn evil again. It's just dumb.


Incel Sauron for the win


I wanted to enjoy the story little more , hence waiting for this show, like most things but sauron reveal is just bad . It's not like writing is bad but it's not upto the hype


It's a massive problem for Galadriel's character, to the point of being contradictory in my opinion.


I wouldn't consider that it retcons the lore. In my mind it's Tolkien multiverse with a waste of talent and production thanks to its mediocre plot.


Did... did anything change at all? Halbrand wasn't exactly a catalyst for much of the story or even a big part of it. I don't think he even influenced other characters that much. Most if not all the major decisions by other characters were done without any input of his (iirc) or even directly against his council. And the parts that would've been nice to see got buried under a rushed one-sided love story and the finales need to somehow work in the three elven rings. So right now I don't think Halbrand being Sauron makes much of a difference - if he weren't Sauron nothing much would've changed in terms of plot or character development. It doesn't make me reevaluate the Sauron I already know as a character nor does it change my impression of the other characters much, both in terms of this series and the broader canon. I did however like the brief red hering with the cultists trying to convince the Stranger he'd be Sauron.


Not a fan of his comedic villain reveal to Galadriel, but the plot could still work if this is a truly repentant sauron who had no master plan of control, but then once he sees the mithril and possibility of ring forging, that’s when he starts his new avenue and heads to Mordor. Fucks with the timeline but the show already does that.


Talk about shoe horning a ton of threads in one episode: 1. "Lord of Gifts" Anatar (like avatar) was an elf, not a man. 2. So Gal throws in her brothers dagger, because it's made of the finest Gold and Silver from Valnar. Too impractical to separate the metals from the actual item, she pulls an Oblivan and throws the whole thing into the kindle?! How the hell did they separate them out? Wouldn't it be more efficient to separate them? 3. Really Gandalf? If thats who you are (I'm hoping for a blue wizard) you've arrived ALONE and an age too early. WHY?! WHY not use a blue wizard? Cuz they don't the rights to any of the books but the LOTR series... 4. Speaking of metals, only ONE of the rings is actually made of Mithril, that was Gal ring...


It’s fine I guess. But I didn’t really care it was Halbrand. Like I didn’t connect with his character. Something was up with him, but I don’t feel like 8 episodes is enough to feel betrayed on behalf of the other characters. I do like him being in human form. In LOTR he’s just an eye, an unseen evil force. It will be nice to see him being actually evil. Still I don’t really get the point when we know the end to his story.




It really doesn't retcon everything we know about SA Sauron at all. Halbrand is basically the same character and behaves much the same way Sauron does in the books; just under a different name. Personally, I loved it; I thought the reveal was brilliant and I feel Charlie Vickers showed himself to be a great Sauron.


Largely fine with it. Would have liked it taking a little longer to coach Celebrimbor and work a little bit harder to avoid suspicion.


It was obvious. "Just follow your nose."


My brother, a purists that will not watch the new series, but has read and reread every LoTR related writing since childhood on, told me from the first time I told him about Halbrand that he was Sauron. He for told him making his way to Celebrimbor and everything, without watching a single episode… so I don’t know how people are saying it retcons everything we know about Sauron, if someone who has never viewed the new show but is well versed in the writings can figure it out based on my poor descriptions (and had it figured out by like episode 3 or so)


#SauronFamily I'm trying smt, show your support