The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has aired the penultimate episode of Season 1 and there are plenty of questions to carry over into the finale and likely Season 2. The previous episode ended with the calamitous fall of the Southlands into ash and ruin due to Mount Doom being awakened, but trouble has been brewing across Middle-earth. In a previous episode, we saw 3 mysterious figures investigating the crater where the Meteor Man landed, but in episode 7, “The Eye,” we saw them finally interact with other characters. Who are these strangers in white cloaks, and what do they want with the Meteor Man?
Who Are the Women in White Cloaks Looking for Meteor Man in The Rings of Power?
It isn’t clear who the mysterious figures in white cloaks are, and the show, even Prime Video’s X-Ray feature, don’t want you to know exactly, but they might be sorcerers from the kingdoms of Men in The Rings of Power. What they want with the Meteor Man is unclear, as is their connection to him, but they demonstrate ruinous powers such as the ability to instantly set the Harfoots’ homes ablaze as if they stole the flames of the torches pointed at them. They demonstrate similar abilities as the Meteor Man, even being able to spot signs of revitalized trees as evidence of his whereabouts, but use them ruthlessly without hesitation. Their blackened hands seem especially indicative of characters corrupted by evil magic.
Knowing what we know about the casting of these characters, particularly the blonde-haired leader who at one point was mistaken for Annatar, they appear to hail from Rhûn. What’s interesting is that the X-Ray feature on Prime refers to those of Mankind who draw sorceries from the Dark Power, powers of corruption wielded by Sauron, Melkor, Saruman, and others. It indicates that these characters are likely Men, not Elves, who use magic for good instead of evil purposes. This means we might get to see original sorcerer characters in The Rings of Power who aren’t Ainur if these characters appear to simply be humans from Rhûn.
Why Do the White-Cloaked People Want to Find the Man Who Fell from the Sky?
Earlier in episode 7, we saw Meteor Man aka The Stranger try and heal the terrain after the fallout of the events of episode 6 when the fires of Mount Doom tore into the Southlands and established Udûn. It’s clear that his powers are something they are keeping track of in particular, and perhaps so they can prevent them from falling into other hands, or possibly out of their influence. They appear willing to follow the Stranger into what is likely Mirkwood to find him, destroying the entire settlement of the Harfoots when they stand in their way.
The most heartbreaking part about these cloaked strangers is their ruthlessness — the Harfoots’ carts were their very way of life, and when they lost those, this call to adventure, following Meteor Man into the forest, is marching into unknown territory for them. They faced a devastating loss, but Nori, Poppy, Marigold, and Sadoc had the resolve to leave their community to protect this stranger from being found by some evil sorcerers, the indomitable halfling will fully on display. With the close of season 1 coming next week, we’ll likely see great adventures for these characters in coming episodes, and possibly the first onscreen influence of full-fledged human sorcerers in Middle-earth.
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!