Crackpot Theory: The Real Sauron in The Rings of Power
The Rings of Power has yet to unveil Annatar. Or, as you might also know him, Sauron. As it currently stands, the invented Adar is the major on-screen villain, while the show has been gleefully dangling potential Annatar candidates in front of the viewer, to the point where “Everyone is Sauron,” “You are Sauron,” and “Sauron is the friends we made along the way,” have become bona fide memes.
Currently, the show is gratuitously piling on evidence that Halbrand is Our Man. But suppose in best Agatha Christie fashion, this is all just a red herring. Suppose instead we are looking for someone no-one will ever expect. Someone who can operate in plain sight, under the noses of both viewer and characters alike. And someone who has clear evidence towards their candidacy, if only people bothered to look…
I believe there is just such a character in The Rings of Power.
Ereinion Gil-galad (Sauronicus Caesar).
An examination of the evidence:
(1) He dispatches Galadriel to Valinor. Show-Galadriel is obsessed with hunting Sauron. Getting rid of her makes perfect sense from Sauron’s perspective.
(2) He controls access to the Havens, and him granting passage to Valinor is a great boon. A great gift to recipients. Would that not make him a Lord of Gifts? Or, to use the Quenya, an Annatar?
(3) He sabotages the relationship between Elves and Dwarves by withholding crucial information from Elrond, and being overtly rude to Prince Durin. Sauron does not want his enemies to trust one another.
(4) The conception of Sudden Elvish Fading Syndrome makes perfect sense as a lie spread by Sauron. He wants to have Celebrimbor start his work on the Rings as soon as possible… but why should Celebrimbor believe this nonsense? Simple. Celebrimbor would believe it if the message came directly from the High-King… and this is a message Gil-galad is currently pushing very strongly.
(5) Only two named Elven characters currently know about Celebrimbor’s real plan. Gil-galad and Elrond. Elrond is too damned nice to be Sauron, which leaves Gil-galad as the more dangerous confidante.
(6) Show-Gil-galad is drenched in gold. As per Morgoth’s Ring, the element of gold contains a significant amount of corruptive Melkorian influence. Very appropriate for Melkor’s chief lieutenant then…
(7) Show-Gil-galad is highly manipulative. How very Sauronian…
(8) Show-Gil-galad is shown as an authoritarian control-freak. Another Sauronian trait. Indeed, what would otherwise be blatant character-assassination is really a genius hint at Gil-galad’s real identity.
(9) As Halbrand says, appearances can be deceiving. No-one expects Sauron to be the High-King of the Noldor.
(10) You never see Sauron and Gil-galad in the same room at the same time.
A quite comprehensive case, I would think.
The Last Alliance was an Inside Job!