Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 8. Turn back now if you're not up to date!
You can put your conspiracy boards away. The Rings of Power's season 1 finale has revealed who Sauron really is, and not a moment too soon.
Prior to the Dark Lord's re-emergence, several names were bandied about as we tried to piece together all the clues in Middle-earth. Leading candidates ranged from Halbrand to The Stranger, all the way through to the white cloak-wearing Dweller and even Adar. But now we have the definitive answer. It's time to take a look at who Sauron is in The Rings of Power, with bonus quotes on the reveal from showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne.
Who plays Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?
It was Agatha all along! Wait, sorry, wrong show. Sauron was Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) all along. The last king of the Southlanders was actually the Dark Lord in disguise. It is heavily implied in the finale that Sauron took Halbrand's face over 1000 years ago, thanks to his shapeshifting ability as an Annatar – and has been posing as the man ever since. Talk about playing the long game...
Actor Charlie Vickers wasn't immediately aware he was going to playing Sauron, however. At a post-screening Q&A (with Total Film in the audience), showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay explained the level of secrecy behind the reveal.
"[Vickers] did eventually know. We kept it very close to the vest for a while," Payne said. "He read a monologue from Richard the Third. At certain points he suspected [Halbrand was Sauron], he was putting it all together like, ‘Okay, they're having me read deep English canon villains.’ We didn't tell him from moment one that this was what was happening. We let him discover it."
Read up on more of The Rings of Power's big mysteries with our complete explainer to the Halbrand is Sauron theory and all the clues that you may have missed. Plus, there's our guide to The Stranger as well as The Rings of Power timeline to help you make sense of Middle-earth's centuries of conflict and chaos.