Who is Adar from Rings of Power in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings?

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has kept one thing secret and safe for its entire production: Who in the show plays the role of the arch-rival, the infamous Dark Lord Sauron? And in the third episode of the series, we have another character thrown into the pile of Sauron Potentials.

Now, Rings of Power he has not fearlessly said that this is Sauron—yet. But here’s the thing we I can say.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for episode 3 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, “Adar.”]

Photo: Matt Grace/Prime Video

From the very first moments of the episode, the name Adar is on the lips of the characters. Arondir and a number of humans and several elves have been captured and ganged up on to dig orc tunnels, and the orcs seem to report to someone called “Andar”. Arondir’s elven friends even speculate out loud that Adar is another name for Sauron.

In the final scene of the episode, Arondir crawls in front of a figure that appears to be Adar, but is shot in a heavy blur that obscures his features. All we can say, before the show cuts to black, is that he appears to be an elf or human, and is pale with dark hair.

Who is Adar?

We do not know. It’s just as likely to be an original character that it was created for Rings of Power as he is Sauron. In The Lord of the Rings, Sauron had intermediaries between himself and the orcs on the front lines—generals, captains, Nazgûl, heralds like the Mouth of Sauron—and allies who worked for his purposes, like Saruman. Adar could be something similar, a corrupt man of the Southlands.

But yes, it is possible that it is Sauron. In this time of the Second Age, Sauron was building his first footholds in Mordor, the Southlands neighbor of the series. He could still take physical form at the time and used his shapeshifting ability to appear fair and friendly. Under the name Annatar, he claimed to be an emissary of the gods and convinced Celebrimbor to teach him ringcraft, eventually putting his secret little charms into the smaller rings.

Arondir’s companions note that Sauron had many names, and this could be it power rings, Adar is one of them. Arondir notes that Adar is an Elven word — probably meaning “father” in one of the two Elven dialects created by Tolkien, which we know from Tom Bombadil’s Elven name, Iarwain Ben-adar, meaning “Elder and fatherless”.

Could Adar be Sauron with a new name? It’s possible! But maybe the biggest tell him ordinary to be revealed as the Dark Lord himself next week is that Arondir’s elf buds already suggested this place loudly. Hell, maybe it’s Tom Bombadil.

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