The Rings of Power: Halbrand, and His Lineage, Might be Trouble

Don't carry anything valuable around him.

by J.R. Waugh


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has introduced mysterious and intriguing new characters into the world originally envisioned by J.R.R. Tolkien, some with clear noble intentions, while others are an enigma. When Galadriel abandoned her voyage to Valinor from Middle-earth, she was rescued by a mysterious stranger, adrift on a ruined raft in the Sundering Seas. This stranger turned out to be Halbrand, an enigmatic individual whose past is a mystery, but as new information comes to light about who he is, viewers should be excited for what’s to come. Read on for our coverage of Halbrand, and How His Lineage Might be Trouble in The Rings of Power!

The Rings of Power: Halbrand, and His Lineage, Might be Trouble


Halbrand is initially distrusted by Galadriel due to his readiness to abandon his fellow travelers on the sea after the attack that leaves them the last survivors, but by episode 3, new information about his heritage forces Galadriel to see him in a new light. After they are brought to Númenor, where Elendil initially takes Finrod’s dagger, only for Halbrand to expertly pickpocket it back into Galadriel’s hands, we see their relationship growing steadily.

Galadriel even takes the time to meet with Elendil and conduct research in the Númenórean Hall of Law, where she finds information on the history of the mark Halbrand carries. She concludes that he has the lineage of a king among the Southlanders, and he can unite the people of the realm against the evil forces looking to bring the territory into what would eventually be known as Mordor. She sees an interesting juxtaposition, where she remains behind on Middle-earth to pursue her destiny and carry on her brother’s mission, while Halbrand appears to be running from his own. It suggests the emergence of a secret hero for Middle-earth in the Second Age, akin to Aragorn in the Third Age, to drive back Sauron.

Why Halbrand and His Lineage Might be Trouble for Middle-earth

The Aragorn parallels are obvious and almost aggressively spelled out for the viewers, with this man being suggested early on as a fated hero for his people. But some key factors contradict this — Aragorn’s ancestors fought Sauron in the days of the Last Alliance, while Halbrand’s allied with Morgoth in the First Age. Halbrand is far more secretive and hails from a region that, as we know, did not repel Sauron’s advancements, but became part of greater Mordor, suggesting that even if Halbrand were to unite the Southlander “Low Men,” it would be in vain. Even if he were to become a king for the Southlanders, his legacy is ultimately forgotten, and there’s one other problem he could face…

Could Halbrand Become a Nazgûl?


A tragic fate for Halbrand could be that, despite taking up arms as a hero for his people and ascending to his rightful position, he could eventually fall victim as one of the bearers of the Nine Rings. This is all speculation, but it would make the most sense so far in terms of how he has acted. He is a ferocious fighter, able to take on many larger men bearing weapons, while completely unarmed, in brutal melee, fitting of the deadly Nazgûl. Some theories suggest he could be the Witch King of Angmar eventually, but this seems unusual, as Angmar is far north from Mordor and his native Southlands, but the Witch King was also not originally from there. Truth is, if he’s a Nazgûl, he could be any one of them.

Could Halbrand be Annatar in The Rings of Power?

There is plenty of talks and rumormongering suggesting Halbrand is secretly Annatar, and with good reason. In this latest episode, he is seen retrieving and gifting Galadriel’s brother’s dagger for him, buying rounds of drinks for the Númenóreans, which certainly acts befitting of a secretive Maia known as “The Lord of Gifts.” He is also seemingly enamored with the Númenórean smiths and their craft, his lingering gaze being noted by eagle-eyed fans, but this could just be admiration: Númenórean equipment is some of the finest in all of Arda. It could make sense that he would take this as inspiration, as a hypothetical disguised Sauron, to influence the smiths of Eregion.

Several points suggest Halbrand is not likely to be Sauron in The Rings of Power, including:


  • Galadriel’s canonical distrust of him, unlike in the show where the two cooperate rather quickly
  • Promotional shots and Prime Video profiles of him heavily tease a more heroic turn rather than ominous intentions
  • Halbrand’s rugged appearance is unlike the fair image Annatar canonically takes to seduce the Elves to his favor
  • Glimpses of Adar, leader of the orcs and possibly another name for Sauron, show an almost Elven appearance, although fuzzy and unclear, already a clearer candidate to be Annatar

Halbrand’s ultimate fate is a mystery, but it would likely be a better, more sensible character arc for him to have a tragic fate as one who fell to Sauron’s corruptive influence, rather than him simply being the villain. Returning to take the role that’s rightfully his, after encouragement from Galadriel, only to see him perish or become a Nazgûl would make for a more compelling story overall.

This concludes our coverage of Halbrand, and How His Lineage Might be Trouble in The Rings of Power! Be sure to check our entertainment column for more stories like this!

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on September 1, 2022, with a 2-episode premiere. The first season will have 8 episodes total, so check every Friday for new content!

- This article was updated on September 10th, 2022

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