[Warning: This story contains spoilers for The Rings of Power season one finale.]
You knew it. Proper? Otherwise you at the least suspected that the Southland’s would-be king was really Sauron in disguise all alongside? Launched initially of Prime Video’s The Rings of Energy episode two (rising out of the fog on a raft with protruding boards that seemed like Sauron’s helmet), Halbrand has been the thing of fandom scrutiny because the character dropped trace after trace that his secret id as a wandering Aragorn-like king really hid a a lot darker previous. Under, British actor Charlie Vickers (Palm Seaside) talks about his dual-identity position, how a few of Halbrand’s seemingly non-Sauron-like strikes make sense and what comes subsequent for the character.
So when do you know?
I didn’t know for certain till the start of the third episode. We filmed the primary two episodes after which the present went on hiatus due to COVID. Towards the tip of the hiatus, the showrunners sat me down and advised me. I filmed that sequence on the raft not realizing. I filmed it as Halbrand wholeheartedly. However I did have an inkling, if I’m trustworthy with you. My final two auditions have been [reading lines from] Richard III and we all know he’s not the best man on the planet. After which the opposite [audition lines were] from Paradise Misplaced the place you’re actually giving the speech as Devil. In order that gave me an inkling there was one thing up. So I used to be undoubtedly suspicious, nevertheless it wasn’t confirmed till proper earlier than we began filming the third episode.
I believe that is going to trigger individuals to re-examine all of his scenes, so I need to stroll by the character’s journey with you. So what’s your understanding of his introduction on that raft. Did he put himself there to satisfy Galadriel or was their assembly, as she places it, organized by a better energy?
So I do know this. However I believe that query is finest left unanswered. As a result of we discover out that backstory [in season two]. That query shall be answered in due time.
After I rewatched the early episodes with the concept Halbrand was Sauron, it grew to become nearly splendidly apparent — there are such a lot of hints. Which was your favourite?
There are some humorous bits. My second line on the raft is “seems to be will be deceiving.” Which I didn’t really notice on the time as a result of I didn’t know I used to be taking part in Sauron! However once I look again, I believe, “Wow, it’s all there.” After which once I stroll into Númenor and I pause by the forge, I believe there was a second when followers who actually know the lore had alarm bells going off.
One factor that saved some followers from believing Halbrand is perhaps Sauron was it’s exhausting to think about the Darkish Lord actually eager to work as some blacksmith’s apprentice in Númenor. What was the considering behind that scene?
He’s a smith. He is aware of the craft of smithing intimately. You need to consider it when it comes to the place we’re assembly Sauron throughout his repentance stage. Tolkien says fairly explicitly within the The Silmarillion that he’s repentant — if not out of worry. So the query isn’t whether or not he was repentant, it was whether or not that repentance was real. He’s been introduced low. He’s been humiliated, nearly humbled. So while you see him drifting on a raft, it’s mainly as little as you may get. Tolkien talks of Sauron re-emerging, and that he lingered in Center-earth for a very long time, and really slowly got here again to energy. These are the phrases he used. And I believe that’s why he’s there in search of a job, as a result of he’s in search of a means again. It’s actually fascinating to think about him rebuilding. He rebuilds many occasions over the course of the entire historical past of Arda. That is one instance of that.
As a result of I do assume, “Nicely, why would the second-greatest Tolkien villain, when it comes to energy, why would he be getting a job as a smith in Númenor?” If his repentance is real, then he’s looking for a brand new life and attempting to actually run away from evil. But when his repentance isn’t real, if he’s faking it, then maybe it’s a tactic the place he should purchase a while and make himself look busy in Númenor whereas he waits for issues to unfold. You’ll be able to take a look at it each methods. I’ve a solution for myself which I used whereas I used to be taking part in the character. However I believe it’s fascinating to depart it ambiguous and let individuals interpret it how they may.
Any person near the present identified that Sauron the deceiver really by no means outright lies in his season one dialogue. Is that your understanding as properly?
It’s true. I discover it fascinating as a result of he’s this deceiver and in the end to be able to deceive he has to totally embody this type he’s taken on. With a view to persuade somebody like Galadriel, he needs to be fully immersed in what he’s doing, which meant for me fully immersing myself within the character of Halbrand. However all of the unconscious work of Sauron is there within the again. However yeah, he says a line, I believe within the fifth episode: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry for all of it. I’m sorry in your brother.” Which is true. It’s simply that Galadriel doesn’t see what she must see. She doesn’t see the reality of that assertion.
I appreciated it when he mainly says precisely what Sauron goes to do with the rings by giving it as recommendation to Galadriel — “Determine what it’s that your opponent most fears…and provides them a method of mastering it, so that you could grasp them.” Additionally when he warns her about bringing him again to Center-earth, saying, “I’ve been looking for my peace for longer than you already know. Please, for each our sakes, let me preserve it.” That final doesn’t even make sense as Halbrand. Why wouldn’t it be higher for her sake if he stays in Númenor? It solely works if he’s Sauron.
He says within the finale he needs Galadriel to be his queen. Is there real attraction and curiosity there, or was that solely an influence play?
I see it solely as energy play. Any attraction or curiosity to her is thru this cosmic connection. He has been round for a very very long time and he or she has as properly. It’s not typically he meets somebody near his stage. In order that should have been thrilling for him and thrilling. However when he pitches that to her, all of it goes again to his worry or hope of non-public acquire — that’s what she is to him in that second. She’s a method for him returning to energy together with her by his aspect. That shall be more practical within the brief time period, however I believe in the long term, he is not going to be comfortable until he’s in energy and alone.
When he says he needs to heal Center-earth, what kind of world is he imagining? Like we affiliate Sauron with darkness and a volcano, however he enthusiastically referred to as Númenor a paradise and appeared like he wished to remain there.
I believe he appreciates magnificence wholeheartedly. And I believe his objective was to create an unbiased paradise separate from Valinor to spite the gods as a result of he hates and fears the gods a lot. It’s about reorganization and rehabilitation. Tolkien talks about him eager to rid Center-earth of wasteful friction. In case you take a look at the state of the world, you take a look at the Southlands and the scattered tribes and warring factions, all the pieces is discombobulating. In his thoughts, therapeutic Center-earth is reorganizing all the pieces and with him as its sole ruler. It’s growing the sweetness and surprise and majesty of Center-earth, however all the pieces needs to be actually structured and arranged. The one means that it’s going to fulfill him is that if he’s in cost and he can order issues precisely how he needs.
For season two, the showrunnners have advised me the season may be very Sauron-focused, that he’s going to be very out and about, working and manipulating. What are you able to tease to your character subsequent season?
I believe it’s a very thrilling season since you begin to see Sauron for who he’s. We’ve been seeing him on this interval of repentance. We’re going to maneuver into this era of watching his plans unfold. You’re with him as he strikes the items on the chessboard. There are elements of the lore which might be so wealthy and so thrilling and thrilling and issues that I adored studying in The Silmarillion that we’re going to see. These actually well-known tales are going to unfold subsequent season.
And at last, actors on style reveals and flicks typically need to preserve secrets and techniques. However this was a fairly large one which had heavy hypothesis. Have you ever had any troublesome moments not spilling this alongside the way in which?
Because the first episode aired, I’ve had associates saying to me, “You’re Sauron.” These are a few of my closest associates and I’ve needed to preserve them hanging, or simply ship them down one other path. I’ve had individuals speculating I’m the Witch King or the King of the Useless. I’ve had individuals displaying me footage of the King of the Useless, who’s actually a skeleton, and placing it subsequent to my face and saying, “You look precisely like this man.” Even round castmembers, once I first discovered about it, [Galadriel actress] Morfydd Clark was the one one I may inform. So it’s a reduction to have the ability to share it.
‘The Rings of Energy’ Finale: Even Sauron Actor Didn’t Know He Was Sauron at First