Warning spoilers for The Rings of Power episode 3. In the first few episodes, Prime Video’s new fantasy series introduced us to all the major players, Galadriel, The Stranger, Elrond etc. One of these new Lord of the Rings characters was Halbrand, a human who, for whatever reason, was sailing west when his ship was attacked by a sea monster.
Stranded on a raft, Halbrand encountered Galadriel, who decided she didn’t fancy eternal life and was trying to swim back to Middle-earth. While the two didn’t initially see eye-to-eye, they’ve bonded slightly after being picked up by the Nuemonorians and taken back to their island home.
There Galadriel learned Halbrand’s secret. He’s not some random guy. He bears the symbol of the King of the Southlands on his pouch. This means Halbrand is either an exiled king from the kingdom or he shares a connection to the lands. Let’s not forget that the Southland’s kings swore a blood oath to Morgoth during the First Age, and that’s why the Sylvian elves watch over the people.
Halbrand claims he stole the pouch from a dead man, but that could be a lie or a twisting of the truth. He could have simply taken it from his father, the former King of the Southlands, when he died, which would have been his right as heir.
It could also tease that Halbrand is actually Sauron – having killed the real king and assumed his form – and there’s plenty of circumstantial evidence to support that theory. Honestly, though, if we keep playing the ‘are they Sauron game’, I will lose my mind.
Should Halbrand be the King of the Southlands, that makes him a real contender to become a Nazgûl, known colloquially as a Ringwraith, who you’ll remember from the Lord of the Rings movies.
These despicable creatures were nine kings of men who were tricked by Sauron into taking the rings of power. When Sauron donned the One Ring, he bent these kings to his will, eventually corrupting them into the nine black-robed horsemen we know and love.
He could even be the most famous of the Nazgûl, the Witch King of Angmar. Tolkien only ever touched on the leader of the Ringwraith’s origins, and his human life is entirely unknown. This gives the Rings of Power writers a lot of room to play with the character, and we can’t see Amazon wanting to leave such a well-known character out of their new fantasy story.
If you’re loving Rings of Power, check out our guide to the best fantasy movies.