Full spoilers for episode 8 of The Rings of Power follow.
The actor who plays Sauron in The Rings of Power has revealed that he didn’t know his character’s true identity until filming the third episode of the series.
Ever since the high-fantasy, big-budget Prime Video series began airing on September 2, fans have been wondering when the Dark Lord would show up, and once he did, which actor would play the main villain of The Lord of the Rings. Now, with the release of Episode 8 of The Rings of Power, we finally have the answer.
Major spoilers follow for The Rings of Power season 1 finale. Check back now if you haven’t watched it yet.
Halbrand, who has been played by Charlie Vickers since episode 2, has been Sauron all along. It turns out that the supposed heir to the Southlands throne has been deceiving viewers – and the characters in The Rings of Power, most notably Galadriel – for a long time.
Still, the time Halbrand spent pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes is nothing compared to the two-and-a-half-year secret that Vickers and the rest of the cast had to keep. In early October, Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) and Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo) exclusively told that they knew who Sauron was. With Halbrand’s true identity now revealed, everyone involved in the show’s production can breathe a big sigh of relief – particularly Vickers.
So when did the Medici actor find out that he really would be playing The Lord of the Rings’ most iconic antagonist? Not for a while, actually. Vickers, who originally auditioned for the role of half-elf Elrond, was kept in the dark until filming for the Prime Video show was underway.
Check out our Rings of Power recaps
“I had a hunch for a while,” Vickers exclusively told ahead of the release of Episode 8. “I didn’t learn that I was playing Sauron specifically for a while — I didn’t sit down and be told until maybe a few months before we started playing. film the third episode. the raft, I didn’t know.”
Clark, who spends much of his time playing opposite Vickers’ Halbrand in season one, also didn’t know which character was undercover. That was until production began on Episode 3, when Galadriel and Halbrand arrive in Númenor after being rescued from the Sundering Seas by Elendil and his crew.
“We didn’t know until we were in Númenor,” Clark exclusively revealed the pre-episode 8 release. “So it was really fun trying to pinpoint when the showrunners and writers were dropping these little clues.
“And I’ve actually missed some now, watching it again! I didn’t realize you never see Halbrand sleep. One of his first lines to Galadriel is ‘Appearances can be deceiving,’ which is the most obvious clue. It was so much fun playing a character. that I never expected to play, and to have Charlie discover that he was playing someone he didn’t expect either, that we’ve barely seen in this form. It was exciting to go through that together.”
Charles Edwards, who plays Celebrimbor, didn’t learn Halbrand’s true identity until he was cast. Although Edwards did not join the show’s ensemble until July 2021, replacing Tom Budge as the elven blacksmith following Budge’s departure.
“Even so, there were still little references here and there,” Edwards explained. “For a long time, a lot of people didn’t really know, so it was gossip or asking each other, ‘Have you heard about this and that?’
“But the first time I met Charlie, someone had already hinted at who he might be playing. I told him ‘I think you and I are going to do a lot of things together’ and he replied ‘Yes, I think we are’ – and then nothing more was said for months!2
As the main villain of The Lord of the Rings, there’s a surprisingly right level of expectation fans have for Sauron. However, Vickers isn’t feeling the pressure to bring such a terrifying character to life in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings – although he understands that not everyone will be thrilled with his portrayal.
“I know how important this character is to a lot of people,” he said. “And I feel very privileged and honored to have the opportunity to bring it to life. It’s really cool. But, of course, I know people have high expectations and I can’t control people’s thoughts. I found a lot of solace in the material. of origin and reading and learning as much as I could. The only thing I can do is put my heart and soul into it.”
For more exclusive coverage of The Rings of Power, read about how the show’s second episode almost inadvertently ruined its big Sauron reveal, or read what we now know about The Stranger.