"That was never the goal'': The Rings of Power creator opens up on shocking Sauron reveal

The Rings of Power official poster (Image via @CultureCrave/Twitter)
The Rings of Power official poster (image via @CultureCrave/Twitter)

Amazon's latest fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, has finally wrapped up its first season with some exciting cliffhangers. One of the most exhilarating surprises of the season was with regard to Sauron.

It was indeed shocking for fans to come to the realization that Halbrand, who had a semi-romantic relationship with Galadriel, was none other than the evil terrorizing Middle Earth, Sauron, who was in disguise as the human Halbrand this whole time.

The show creator, JD Payne opened up about this surprising revelation in The Rings of Power saying:

"That was never the goal here."

JD Payne on creating "emotionally rich" dynamics in The Rings of Power

In a surprising twist in the finale, The LOTR series revealed that Halbrand was none other than Sauron. Halbrand's character does not exist in Tolkien's work and was exclusively introduced in the Amazon series for the storyline.

In a recent chat on Amazon's The Official The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power podcast, showrunner J.D. Payne explained that the Sauron reveal was never meant to be a big twist or shock for the audience. The intention was for viewers to catch Halbrand as Sauron the moment he appeared on screen because that would create a much richer dynamic between Halbrand and Galadriel.

Payne said:

"I think we were much more interested in creating characters and relationships and dynamics that were engaging and, hopefully, emotionally rich, and full of conflict, and, hopefully, delight and warmth. [Chuckles] Episode 2, the minute you see this guy, and he says a thing that Galadriel later says to Frodo, you go, 'I bet that’s Sauron.'"

The showrunner continued:

"You’re going to have, hopefully, as great and valid a viewing experience as someone who has no idea until it suddenly happens. If you suspect him all the way, that is a totally great way to watch the show, in my opinion, where you’re engaging with a whole layer that maybe somebody else doesn’t engage with."

Despite not intending it as a surprise, the Sauron reveal did catch the audience off-guard. Halbrand is only one of Sauron's many forms, and he has utilized his shape-changing abilities before too, especially during his feud with Adar.

Ever since the series aired, there has been speculation regarding who Sauron was. Many fan theories emerged where the Stranger was tagged as Sauron. However, that had to be quickly discarded because the Stranger turned out to be an Istari, a powerful wizard.


The Rings of Power includes eight episodes

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is an Amazon fantasy series that serves as a prequel to Tolkien's celebrated LOTR trilogy. Set eons before the timeline of the LOTR and Hobbit movies, the Amazon series takes a look at Middle Earth, when the rings were being forged and Sauron was emerging as the new terror that would captivate Middle Earth.

All eight episodes of season one of the show are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.


The Rings of Power has been renewed for a second season which will take the story of the rings further.

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Edited by Adelle Fernandes
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