We have followed them ever since they met in the ocean, adrift on a raft and being attacked by a huge sea monster. Since then, they’ve journeyed to Numenor together, before travelling back to Middle-earth where they fought in a huge battle in the Southlands. Then, after Halbrand was discovered wounded, Galadriel helped him back to Lindon to receive the aid of Elven medicine.
All seemed to be wine and roses for the duo. Surely, they’d go on to marry, have lots of kids, and it’d be all happily ever after. Well, no. Rings of Power episode 8, the season finale, revealed that Halbrand is Sauron, and now Galadriel wants to kill him. So long, Galadriel/Halbrand shippers: we hardly got to know you. So, what’s next for the frenemies? Find out, with our guide to Galadriel and Halbrand’s relationship explained.
Galadriel and Halbrand’s relationship
Galadriel and Halbrand’s relationship was a curious one. Because Halbrand is not a character who was mentioned in Tolkien’s writing, Rings of Power could have taken him and his storyline with Galadriel almost anywhere.
Some would argue that there were clear moments when there was romantic (albeit not explicitly sexual) tension between the two. With Galadriel’s husband Celeborn out of the picture, a lingering look here, and a charming smile there led many viewers to believe that the relationship might turn romantic.
They did fit into the classic trope of ‘people from different backgrounds who don’t get on at first but then fall in love’ but we were mercifully spared from that when it was revealed that the character was Sauron. Thank Eru Ilúvatar for that.
It’s curious (or annoying, depending on your view) that Rings of Power decided to have Halbrand be able to trick Galadriel about his true identify for so long. This is because, in Tolkien’s writing, Galadriel is the Elf who is able to see Morgoth‘s main man for who he really is, and knows his intentions from the start. This undoes that and makes Galadriel seem much more blind to the presence of evil, which certainly is a change for the Lord of the Rings character.
Regardless, the reveal had ended any romantic potential in their relationship. Instead, they’re now purely enemies. Sauron knows that Galadriel will be coming for him – and we’re excited to see what that looks like.
What’s next for Galadriel and Halbrand
In the short-term, Galadriel will be able to prove to the rest of the Elves that she was right about Sauron. She will likely want to hunt him down, as that has been her aim through the entire first season. Expect to see them come together once again, and clash in season 2.
We know what the long-term future for Galadriel and Halbrand holds. In the Third Age of Middle-earth, Galadriel will become one of the main bastions of resistance against Sauron, from her kingdom of Lothlórien.
During the War of the Ring itself, Galadriel would play a pivotal role as the leader of the White Council – which also included Gandalf, Radagast, Elrond, and Saruman. She formed the White Council in order to organise and combat against the growing threat of Sauron, while he recovered in Dol Guldur as The Necromancer.
This extended backstory, shown in Rings of Power, gives the Lord of the Rings character more personal motivation to defeat Sauron. Not only did he kill her brothers, but he also betrayed her directly, too. For more Rings of Power deep dives, check out our guide to the three rings. Or, perhaps the finale left you wondering is Isildur really dead? If you want to know more, you’ll have to read our guide to the Rings of Power season 2.