Rings of Power Episode 3 ending explained: Who is Adar?

We've only gotten a glimpse of Adar, a leader of orcs and a hater of elves, in the lavish Lord of the Rings prequel series, but leaks may provide us with more insight.

Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), the only elf in all of Middle-Earth with a buzzcut, has it rough. Not only does he have a star-crossed relationship with human healer Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), but he is despised by his sweetheart’s son and all of his Southlands friends. And in Rings of Power Episode 3, Arondir is about to come face-to-face with a terrifying new enemy.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Amazon Prime Video’s The Rings of Power

When we pick up after Rings of Power Episode 2, Arondir has been captured by grimy orcs along with his fellow elf warriors. The group is shackled and forced to dig out a trench that seems to be the starting point for Sauron’s landscaping plans to create Mordor where the Southlands now stand. (At least, that’s what we assume is happening.)

After trying to convince the orcs not the cut down a tree (it doesn’t go well), the elves stage a rebellion. When they fail, the orcs spare Arondir’s life but decide he’ll have to deal with their boss, “Adar” instead. But who is Adar and what does he want? Here’s everything we know so far about the Rings of Power Season 1’s Big Bad — or at least one of them.

Who is Adar? What Rings of Power Episode 3 reveals

Is this Adar?


Here’s what we know thus far about Adar from the hazy, less-than-ten-seconds “reveal” we got of him at the end of the third episode. With his pin-straight long hair and tall stature, he’s almost certainly an elf — and he may hate his own kind. That harbored resentment is in full display throughout Episode 3, as we see elves Arondir, Revion (Simon Merrells), and Médhor (Augustus Prew) brutalized in what appears to be an orc-run labor camp that imprisons elves.

We also know that Adar means “father” in Sindarin (one of the Elvish dialects concocted by Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien). The orcs consider this mysterious figure to be their patriarch, referencing him by name and acknowledging him as a spiritual servant of Morgoth. Since orcs are evil creatures, it follows that Adar is a bad guy, too.

But is he the “Big Bad” of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power? Leaks suggest that Adar will have a significant role in the events of ROP Season 1.

Everything else we know about Adar in Rings of Power

Joseph Mawle, who played Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones, has an unspecified role in Rings of Power.

NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Leaks regarding Adar’s character description, as well as the actor who would portray the maybe-villain (Joseph Mawle, a Game of Thrones and Ripper Street alum), began to circulate on social media as early as November of last year. It should be noted that Mawle is credited on Google and on IMDb as a character called “Oren,” perhaps the name of his role prior to turning to the dark side.

Twitter account @FellowshipFans previously claimed that Adar is a corrupted elf and the “father figure” of orcs who hangs about the “human village sets” of the show (presumably The Southlands of Middle-Earth). It also reported Adar is the main antagonist of Season 1 and faces off with whoever portrays Sauron.

That leads us to the most exciting (and potentially true) reveal about these leaks: we can cross Adar off the list of characters who might be Sauron. (Sauron allegedly went by many names during the First and Second Age, so he could be almost anyone.) That leaves us with many characters who could still potentially be Sauron in disguise (or Sauron reborn) including The Stranger (Daniel Weyman), Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin), and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers).

We’re sure that the reveal will be a slow and exciting burn, with Sauron hopefully exposing his true nature at the close of Season 1. But he’s almost certainly not going to be Adar.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power airs Friday on Amazon Prime Video.

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