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Rings of Power: is the Stranger Gandalf?

The Rings of Power season 1 has ended with some big reveals, and after episode 8 fans may be wondering is the Stranger Gandalf, really?

Rings of Power: The Stranger

Is the Stranger Gandalf? Amazon’s fantasy series, The Rings of Power, has just wrapped up its first season with a bang. After eight long episodes of mystery and suspense, one of the biggest question marks in the series, The Stranger, may have been addressed. Now, ahead of The Rings of Power season 2 release date, we are pretty confident about what this mystery man’s identity is.

With magic, a grey coat and beard, fans have long theorised that one of the best Lord of the Rings characters of all time, Gandalf the Grey, was actually the Stranger who fell out of the sky in the first episode of the TV series. However, due to questions on Sauron‘s identity and the fact that according to JRR Tolkien’s books, Gandalf doesn’t appear until the Third Age as opposed to the Second Age, where The Rings of Power takes place, The Stranger has become a melting pot of confusion.

Whelp, thanks to some new clues from The Rings of Power episode 8, we are finally back on course, and have broken down what the latest events of Amazon’s show tells us about the Stranger and Gandalf‘s potential early arrival in Middle-earth.

Is the Stranger Gandalf?

While it is never explicitly said, we are pretty confident that after the events of Rings of Power episode 8, the Stranger is indeed Gandalf. During the episode, the Stranger confirmed that he was one of the five wizards of Middle-earth – known as the Istari.

So with that in mind, he is either Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, or one of the two blue wizards. However, considering his relationship with Harfoots and ability to use fire, Gandalf is the most likely of candidates. It should also be mentioned, that during the Stranger’s fight with the white cloak cultists, he reiterated how he “was good” before turning his enemies into moths.

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Now, if you have watched the Lord of the Rings movies, you would know that one: Gandalf and moths go way back, as the small insect helped Gandalf escape and call the eagles to his rescue when he was trapped on the summit of Orthanc. And number two: unlike Saruman (and in some of Tolkien’s writings of them, The Blue Wizards), who were tempted to join Sauron, Gandalf is pretty unshakable in his mission to save Middle-earth from evil.

Now, we are pretty sure that Gandalf is in The Rings of Power, but only 99.9% sure due to one small fact. According to the Tolkien Timeline, Gandalf is only meant to appear in Middle-earth during the Third Age – which is a bit of a problem considering how The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age a few thousand years before his arrival. Still, the TV series has altered canon before, so we are betting that The Stranger is still the famous wizard at the end of the day.

You can now watch season 1 of The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime Video. To sign up for a Prime membership, click our link here. For another deep dive into Middle-earth, check out our answer to the question: is Isildur really dead?