One does not simply enter Mordor thirsty. Have you heard the word about Hot Sauron on Power Rings and how everyone is sending it and … well … you’ll see. While other fandoms are fighting over whether he fits like a villain, TROPA fans are quietly falling for one of the biggest bad stories in literature. Spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power ahead, definitely for Season 1 and maybe for several seasons to come as well.
Sauron’s teo is canon.
Although the series consolidated the canon and the events in the history of Middle-earth as presented in JRR Tolkien’s books, stories and appendices, one thing we do know is this: Sauron was a hottie. This is something that even the most die-hard Tolkien fan cannot deny. In Tolkien’s Middle-earth biblical text The Silmarillionat the beginning of a chapter entitled “The Rings of Power and the Third Age,” Tolkien says this:
When Thangorodrim was broken and Morgot was overthrown, Sauron regained his composure and surrendered to Eönwë, the herald of Manwë, and pledged all his evil deeds. And some think that this was not done falsely at first, but that Sauron repented in truth, if only out of fear.
(I know the chapter says the Third Century, but I believe that passage describes events in the Second Century onwards.) The appendices to The IS Silmarillion also specify that “Annatar,” the name Sauron uses when he is “Lord of Gifts” in producing the titular rings of power, was a “fair form.” The good looks are only temporary, however. When Numenor finally falls and Sauron creates the One Ring, The Silmarillion notes:
In the middle of the Land of Mordor [Sauron] who designed the Command Ring. He crouched in the darkness now, until he worked for himself a new shape; and it was a great death, because his story disappeared forever when he was thrown into the abyss by drowning Númenor.
The execution from page to screen was still surprising.
So we knew that Sauron would be easy on the eyes i The Rings of Power and we knew it would be seductive somehow. That’s how he gained the trust of the elves, the peasants, and the men before he hit them all in the proverbial back with the One Ring. That said, I don’t know about you, but I assumed that Annatar – or whatever he calls himself – would be one of Legolas’ girls, which would be hot in an Elven way. I didn’t expect him to be hot in a rough, unwashed, Aragorn way. RIP me, I guess.
Enter Halbrand, played by Australian actor Charlie Vickers, who we now know was (I’d call him) Sauron for life. Hoo, boy. handsome and sad and dark and smirking up a storm. Galadriel meets him on a raft in the sea. She is on a quest to find and defeat Sauron after he murdered her brother in the service of Morgoth, the Big Bad before him, and she is not only befriending him but paving the way for his return. Oops!
Shortly after they meet, Galadriel makes a costly assumption and gives him a backstory that appeals to her and her followers: a reluctant warrior and heir to the Southlands – an exiled king, just like Aragorn, right? Wrong! Halbrand will technically rule the Southlands, but only because the area of Middle-earth is destined to become Mordor. Still, the hero’s journey that sold Gal and unsuspecting viewers made us look at Halbrand and what he did in a unique way.
Sauron is manipulating Galadriel, but he is also at a crossroads.
One of Tolkien’s letters that inspired Vickers’ take on the character states that “when the Valar finally defeated Morgoth [Sauron] he abandoned his loyalty; but out of fear only; he did not show himself to the Valar or plead for pardon, and remained in Middle-earth. When he discovered how much all other rational creatures respected his knowledge and how easily he was influenced, he became proud.”
Technically, The Rings of Power they cannot be adapted directly The Silmarillion for legal reasons, so these letters are really important. Vickers also made reference to using Tolkien’s letters as inspiration in CCAC’s interview with ScreenJunkies before the Big Sauron Reveal.
That passage refers to Sauron attempting a normal life, and perhaps even feeling some private regrets before finally going down the path to become not only Morgoth’s servant, but his second coming. That makes it complicated. And characters are very, very, very hot – especially when they are tempted by the Dark Side.
Swinging over a hot villain isn’t exactly a new concept.
Anakin Skywalker, Kylo Ren, Loki, Killmonger, Draco, Harley Quinn, the Darkness, the Goblin King, Regina Mills … need I go on? We know they are bad, but they are not true. We do not owe our allegiance to fictional heroes. They don’t see us. In fact, we can even cheer for the hero and be attracted to the villain. Fans that are many!
As long as you don’t bully others for not sharing your views or opinions, or start using fictional characters to justify your actions or the IRL actions of the abusers, it’s cool. Stories, especially in fantasy and science fiction, help us work through our fears, anxieties and dreams in a safe space.
He even survived a shower – which I know is wrong, but the fans were not happy when Aragon got a greasy football and blew in Return of the King. Think Steve Rogers chipping in End gamebut it was so bad that we had to resort to basic hygiene.
We know he’s the villain even though he doesn’t necessarily realize it.
If you weren’t so familiar with Hot Sauron as a concept before The Rings of Powerthis might make you look at Peter Jackson’s movies in a whole new light.
What really pushed Halbrand aka Sauron’s thirst over the edge, however, was sending him off with Galadriel, played on The Rings of Power by Morfydd Clark. Both of them had fun, in that tough but complicated way that we’ve come to expect from him lord of the rings, and he basically asked her to be his Queen in the end. He had a hand. There was a stare. Is it wrong? Definitely. There are many red flags. He is the Dark Lord once and in the future. He becomes the embodiment of evil. Galadriel is also married, although in Season 1 she believes she is a widow. I ask you this: And???
We know for a fact that this ship is not the endgame.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun, appreciate their time, or maybe go on an AU in the meantime. Galadriel can be fun too. Strong, confident, enthusiastic, intelligent female characters like Galadriel in The Rings of Power boring as Entmoots unless they are allowed to make mistakes. Check out the shipping announcements, fic, Tumblr posts, gifsets, and tons of fancams set to Taylor Swift songs.
Let me be abundantly clear: I want someone to look at me like this. I do no trying to be seduced by the Dark Lord and under the control of the One Ring he made behind my back and won’t even let me wear in our engagement photos. I really can’t wanting To see Galadriel become a Dark ELF Queen by Sauron’s side, but I’d like to see her think about it and struggle with her feelings and/or Halbrand. When Celeborn returns, I want him to be part of a love triangle. There is a difference!
Overwhelmed by the inevitable flaming eyeball to lure Sauron? That is your prerogative. To be fair, there are plenty of hotties on Power Rings. But Hot Sauron doesn’t compete with Hot Elrond, Gilgadaddy, or ElenDILF as far as I’m concerned. I love them all. Not enough to put together! I will be right here with the other dark and twisted devotees.
(image: Amazon Studios)
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