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Rings of Power: was Sauron originally a man?

Ring of Power: the dark lord of Mordor strikes fear into the hearts of men and elves alike but was Sauron originally a man or was he something else?

Rings of Power was Sauron originally a man?

Was Sauron originally a man? The fantasy series Rings of Power has taken Lord of the Rings fans back to Middle-earth, but its a very different place to the magical land Peter Jackson introduced us to. Evil has been vanquished, and the races of the Elves, Man, and Dwarves are living through a golden age.

Yet, in the immortal words of Laurie Strode, “evil never really dies; it just changes shape”, and in the Southlands, darkness is stirring. In the final episode, Sauron finally revealed himself to be the so-called king of the Southlands Halbrand, much to the surprise of Galadriel. This reveal has got a lot of people wondering about the dark lord’s origin and asking ‘was Sauron originally a man?’

Was Sauron originally a man?

So Sauron is not a man, nor has he ever been a man. Sauron is a Maiar, a lesser race of gods who could be considered Tolkien’s version of Christianity’s angels. The Maiar serve the higher gods, the Valar, who in turn work for the top god with a capital ‘G’ Eru Ilúvatar.

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If Sauron’s not a man who’s Halbrand?

While Sauron is not a man, as a Maiar, he can choose to incarnate in a human body if he wants. This is how the wizards — Gandalf, Saruman, and Radagast —  came to live on Middle-earth, but in the books, at least Sauron’s physical form is a little more fluid.

During the first and second ages, he was known as a powerful shapeshifter and hid his true evil form from the world. Sauron appeared to Celebrimbor and the elven smiths as Annatar, the Lord of Gifts (Halbrand in the TV series), and taught them how to forge the Rings of Power.

Following the destruction of Numenor, Sauron’s physical body was destroyed, but The One Ring bound him to Middle-earth, and he could reincarnate again. However, his rebirth came at a significant cost. Sauron lost his ability to shape change, trapping him in the form of a towering dark lord.

If you’re a fan of Middle-earth, check out our guide to the Rings of Power season 2 or we have an article going through our favourite Rings of Power characters. If that’s not enough, we’ve also got a guide breaking down the Rings of Power cast.