The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. But in Middle-earth, the devil’s trick was letting the world believe he was someone else.
In Season 1 of Amazon’s epic fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the Southland stranger named Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) is picked up in the Sundering Seas by Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), the mighty elf warrior on a feverish quest to get revenge against Sauron.
Across eight episodes, Halbrand and Galadriel navigate the complexities of mutual trust, companionship, and even hints of a romance. But in the finale, Galadriel learns that trust can come at a cost. Halbrand isn’t just someone else — he embodies her worst nightmares.
But The Rings of Power spoiled the reveal much earlier in the finale episode, and it did so with a single word.
Spoilers for The Rings of Power Season 1 ahead.
Halbrand weasels his way into the tower of Celebrimbor and cozies up to the great Elven smith, who’s charmed by Halbrand’s humbleness, flattery, and insight. Their meeting encourages Celebrimbor to forge with Prince Durin IV’s mithril despite its limited availability.
Due to their dwindling schedule and resources, it’s suggested the weapon to save Middle-earth would be “smaller” than imagined. It isn’t a scepter or a sword. It’s initially meant to be a crown because circular forms are ideal for letting light stay unbroken. Later, Halbrand says the crown will be “smaller,” suggesting they might have switched to rings — circlets on a smaller scale.
When Galadriel hears Celebrimbor speak words spoken by Adar (Joseph Mawle) and discovers they came from Halbrand, Galadriel digs into the Númenor archives for information on the royal lineage of the Southlands. The records reveal to Galadriel that Halbrand’s alleged bloodline was extinguished long ago. Halbrand was lying about his identity.
As for the crest that Galadriel thought proof of his lineage? Well, Halbrand never lied about it. He just let Galadriel read what she wanted into it. “I found it on a dead man,” Halbrand says. He later identifies himself as a person “awake since before the breaking of the first silence.”
“In that time, I’ve had many names,” he continues. Galadriel, meanwhile, looks into the eyes of the being she wants to destroy.
While Rings of Power breaks from canon by forging the Three Rings before the rings meant for Men and Dwarves (in Tolkien’s texts, the Elvish rings were the last ones forged before Sauron’s One Ring), the series extrapolates on an event that Tolkien wrote in passing.
In the chapter “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” in The Silmarillion, Tolkien wrote that Sauron emerged 500 years into the Second Age intent on taking over Middle-earth. He targeted the elves, hoping they would be a mighty force to aid his conquest.
To fool them, Sauron took on the visage of Annatar, or “Lord of Gifts,” and befriended the elven smiths of Eregion — including Celebrimbor. In Rings of Power, Halbrand tells Celebrimbor that his seemingly innate knowledge about forging mithril is “a gift.”
There are other Easter eggs scattered throughout Rings of Power that indicate Halbrand isn’t who he says he is. With all the episodes of Season 1 now available to stream, it’s the perfect time to binge with a more watchful eye for clues about Halbrand’s true identity.
But the most interesting character of Rings of Power Season 2 won’t be Sauron, but Galadriel. The Lady of Light has spent a whole season seeking Sauron to satisfy her vengeance. Now she’s learned that the person she trusted the most was her sworn enemy. That changes a person, be they human or immortal elf. With Nenya, the Ring of Water, now on her finger, we may see how Galadriel evolves into the elf warrior fans of the saga are familiar with. But can she ever learn to trust again?
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.