‘Rings of Power’ Season 1, Episode 8 Finale Recap: Halbrand Revealed

With its Season 1 finale, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power finally provided answers to the lingering mystery surrounding Halbrand and the true identity of The Strangerwhile laying the groundwork for an even greater adventure when the Prime Video series returns for season 2.

THE STRANGER | With the mystics – The Dweller (Bridie Sisson), The Ascetic (Kali Kopae) and The Nomad (Edith Poor) – stalking The Stranger, Harfoots Nori, Poppy, Marigold and Sadoc also followed in hopes of saving their great friend of the danger that awaited him.

The mystics caught up with the Outlander first, with the shape-shifting Dweller luring him into their trap by posing as Nori. Their intention, however, was not to harm him, but rather serve him. The sinister trio believed that the Stranger was actually the Dark Lord Sauron, and they tried to lift the veil that kept his memories at bay. But they were interrupted by the Stranger’s friends, who staged a chaotic rescue involving misdirection and throwing rocks at the robed figures.

When the Harfoots found themselves outmatched, the Outlander came to their aid and displayed even more impressive firepower. The mystics quickly realized they were wrong about him, noting that he was “the other”. The stranger was an Istari (aka a wizard), though we never found out who a. In the books, the Istari are physically strong and incredibly intelligent despite appearing to be men of advanced age; the handful we know is Saruman the White (the original leader); Gandalf the Grey; Radagast le Brun (who loves nature); and Alatar and Pallanda, the reclusive blue wizards who went to the far east of Middle-earth.

Using the light, the Stranger sent the mystics back to the darkness whence they came. Unfortunately, Sadoc was seriously injured during the fight and knew he had little time left. The Harfoot elder kept the mood light and opted to watch the sun rise rather than linger in sadness. He then passed away peacefully as he sat with his friends.

The surviving trio and the Stranger joined the other Harfoots, and it was soon time for another goodbye. The Stranger was heading for his constellations on the map Sadoc had given him, and Nori was with him. After a tearful farewell to her friends and family, young Harfoot and her sorcerer friend were gone – following the trail of a “sweet” scent that seemed familiar to the Stranger.

MIRIEL | The mood was somber among the Númenóreans on the ship as Queen Regent Míriel adjusted to blindness. She wouldn’t handle this alone because Elendil had pledged to be by her side this whole time. They arrived home to see other ships with black sails signaling that the king was dead. Before his death, the monarch warned Eärien – whom he mistook for Míriel – to follow the old ways or the island was doomed. He directed her to the secret passage that led to a room with the Palantír.

HALBRAND | Galadriel and Halbrand traveled to Eregion, where the latter received elven treatment for his wounds from the eruption of Mount Doom. Time was running out for the elves, and they only had a small amount of mithril to work with when it came to saving their people. High King Gil-galad deemed the elves timeless, meaning they must leave Middle-earth immediately and return to Valinor – or face death if they remained. He ordered Celebrimbor to repack the city, but the ruler of Eregion was not yet ready to give up.

The master craftsman teamed up with Halbrand, who claimed to be a fellow blacksmith, to harness the power of the ore. They worked for weeks with unruly equipment. Meanwhile, Galadriel grew suspicious of Halbrand, who seemed to be influencing Celebrimbor more and more every day. She looked through old records, realizing that the King of the Southlands died a thousand years ago and never had any heirs. In truth, Halbrand was lying about who he was. She confronted him, and it was then that he confirmed his true identity: Sauron.

But like a real gas lighter, Sauron entered her mind and tried to manipulate her – via a vision of her dead brother Finrod – into thinking the Dark Lord was trying to to help Middle Earth. When she resisted, he offered her a place beside him as queen. She again refused him, which angered the evil overlord.

As Galadriel drowned in her vision, Elrond found her nearly drowned in the real world. He pulled her out of the river and they both returned to Celebrimbor’s working tower to find that Halbrand was gone. He got what he needed and Galadriel wanted the elves to have their own weapon. They created three new rings: Narya (the ring of fire), Vilya (the ring of air) and Nenya (the ring of Adamant, worn by Galadriel). Celebrimbor melted down Finrod’s dagger (because it was made of the purest gold and silver in Valinor) and combined it with a piece of mithril to create the jewels.

In a final scene, Halbrand walks towards a ledge until he sees the giant volcano on the horizon. He was in his new home, Mordor.

What did you all think of the rings of power final? Were Halbrand and The Stranger the ones you expected? Rate the episode below, then sound off in the comments.

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