Warning: This list contains spoilers for Rings of Power.Amazon’s high-budget prequel series The Rings of Power might have come to an end with its memorable finale, but the show’s fanbase remains as vocal as ever in discussing their conflicting thoughts about the series. Though it admittedly got off to a slow start, many Lord of the Rings fans were pleased with how this season concluded.
As always, with any popular TV show comes a flood of hilarious online memes that summarize exactly how the audiences are responding to it. There’s a rich history to Tolkien’s works that gets explored in the show, so the internet has no shortage of material to flesh out its memes.
The Mystery Of Sauron
Throughout The Rings of Power, the mystery of Sauron’s true identity has been one of the most compelling aspects, and the internet has been hard at work trying to decipher exactly which of the show’s many characters is secretly the dark lord in disguise.
Almost every single character in the show has fallen victim to the internet’s wild theories, and whilst the finale proved that several viewers were actually correct in their guesses, it’s still entertaining to see just how determined the Rings of Power fans were throughout the show.
The show didn’t really make a big deal of it, but many audiences were taken aback by Galadriel’s shocking decision at the end of The Rings of Power‘s first episode. Not only did she refuse to travel back to Valinor, but she also attempted to swim all the way back to Middle-Earth – which would have been practically impossible.
It’s this bold and inexplicable decision that makes Galadriel one of the best elves in the Lord of the Rings franchise. She’s completely determined and unpredictable, which led to many great moments throughout the first season of this show.
The Missing Husband
When it was revealed that Galadriel would be one of The Rings of Power‘s main characters, many long-time Tolkien fans were excited to see the character’s relationship with her husband Celeborn. The character’s absence from the show has confused many viewers, seemingly rewriting Galadriel’s story.
A brief scene towards the end of the season seemed to fix this problem by revealing that Celeborn was presumed dead, leaving room for his return in a later season. This certainly isn’t the only book detail that was changed in The Rings of Power, but it’s the one that fans found the most confusing.
Developing Sauron’s Story
For those people whose only prior experience with Lord of the Rings was Peter Jackson’s trilogy, the show’s depiction of Sauron will have been a very jarring experience. In the movies, he’s a completely evil spirit whose only real motivation is destruction and power. The version that audiences see in Rings of Power is much more complex.
Fans had plenty of theories about which Rings of Power character could secretly be Sauron in disguise, and whilst many guessed correctly, the show managed to keep his identity hidden until the very last episode. This makes hating Sauron pretty difficult, as audiences have already formed a relationship with the character.
A ‘Welcome Back’ For Fans
There’s no denying that The Rings of Power has faced plenty of criticism from some audiences, but it’s good to know that many Tolkien fans are embracing the project as a much-needed return to Middle-Earth with a whole new, original story.
It’s easy to dismiss The Rings of Power as an unnecessary addition to an already-dense franchise, but if you’re able to enjoy the show as a totally separate project, it’s a great experience that’s filled with plenty of exciting twists and turns – much like Lord of the Rings.
A Familiar Line
Although the identity of Daniel Weyman’s The Stranger remains unconfirmed, there’s one line in The Rings of Power‘s finale that strongly teases the return of a familiar face. Much like Gandalf in the original movies, The Stranger tells his hobbit-like friend to ‘follow their nose’ in order to reach their true destination.
This is a clear parallel to Gandalf’s line in The Fellowship of the Ring, spoken as the team journeys through the Mines of Moria. This is one of Gandalf’s most iconic quotes and it is a clear hint that he and The Stranger are one and the same.
The elven blacksmith Celebrimbor might not have had the most screen time throughout The Rings of Power, but his personality and charisma still manage to shine through. Particularly in this scene from the season finale, where Halbrand talks about how prestigious the blacksmith’s reputation is.
Fans of the Lord of the Rings books will know that Celebrimbor plays a huge role in the creation of the titular Rings of Power, so this scene between him and Halbrand actually holds a lot of weight when you consider what’s in store for the two characters.
The Rising Balrog
Fans were excited to see how Durin and his people would respond to the rising threat of the Balrog in The Rings of Power‘s finale… until the final episode completely ignored this storyline, placing it to the side for Season 2 to deal with. It was a frustrating tease, leaving Durin’s (and Khazad-Dum’s) fate in the balance.
The Balrog’s rise was one of the central questions that fans wanted to be answered in the Rings of Power finale, but it seems like they’ll have to wait another couple of years before seeing how that storyline is going to play out.
After much discussion and theorizing, it was finally revealed in The Rings of Power‘s finale that Halbrand was…not Halbrand at all. He’s actually Sauron, who assumed the man’s identity after finding his body. The shock twist was a great surprise, and it’s going to be impossible to rewatch the show the same way again.
Halbrand was one of The Rings of Power‘s best characters, and this dramatic twist only makes his character even more interesting. The clues spread throughout the story ensure that the twist actually makes sense, and sets the scene for an exciting second season.
Sauron’s Arrival In Mordor
Episodes 6 and 7 of The Rings of Power saw Adar and his dark army gradually assume control of The Southlands, which was soon revealed to be the foundations of Mordor, the land that Sauron would eventually call home. And in the very final scene of the season, audiences are given a glimpse of Sauron’s arrival in the fallen city.
If there’s one thing that audiences have to look forward to in Season 2, it’s the rivalry between Sauron and Adar to assume control of Mordor. Of course, fans know how this dispute is going to end, but Sauron’s first days in Mordor are sure to make for a thrilling watch.
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