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A Dark The Rings Of Power Fan Theory May Be The Key To Understanding Halbrand

There are a lot of different rumors surrounding "The Rings of Power's" Halbrand character. Some think he's Sauron in disguise. Others surmise that he's the future King of the Dead. Still others have suggested that he could be a future Ringwraith — perhaps even the Witch-king himself.

At the time of this writing, though, the Southlander royal is still technically made up for the show. He's an exiled king that has slowly and reluctantly stepped into his role as the heir to the throne of a southern kingdom (a la Aragorn's story arc thousands of years later). This proto-Aragorn take holds up for the most part, but there are a couple of points where the comparison quickly breaks down.

The biggest hold-up is the fact that Halbrand isn't just doubting his legitimacy to the crown, like Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn eventually will. Halbrand is actively avoiding his homeland for some mysterious, unknown reason. There's something in Halbrand's past that is seriously wrong. There's some infamous deed or experience that he's gone through that he clearly thinks disqualifies him from becoming the promised king of his people. This likely has to do with Adar. When Halbrand captures Adar in episode six, he asks if the fallen Elf remembers him. When the villain replies in the negative, the pain on Halbrand's face is palpable.

One fan theory puts a very dark, painful, and horrifying spin on what this dark past could be — and it has to do with a pair of scenes that came earlier in the show.

Halbrand may have killed his own brother

While the number of theories surrounding Halbrand is endless, one that gained particularly strong traction a couple of weeks ago has to do with a murderous reading of the Southlander's origin story. Reddit user u/FaeRider posted a theory on the r/LOTR_on_Prime community where they asked "What if he swore fealty and bonded himself to Sauron (or Adar) by killing his brother, the true heir of the Southlands..."

The supposition is backed up by two statements. First is the pain that Halbrand expresses when he hears about Galadriel's brother dying. Second, we have the fact that he says he found the talisman that he wears around his neck (which sports a royal crest specific to the throne of the Southlands) on a dead man. Another user in the comments added to the theory by pointing out that, when Halbrand talks about how he did something awful, the scene cuts to the Southlander Waldreg arriving in Adar's presence and shortly afterward murdering a young Southerner to court Adar's favor.

If you put the pieces together, there's definitely room for a storyline in which Halbrand similarly massacred his royal brother in cold blood in an attempt to get onto Adar's good side. He would then have taken his brother's necklace as a painful reminder of his deed, and then could have run off into the ocean, where he's shipwrecked and runs into Galadriel. When he hears about her brother, he's wracked with guilt for his own misdeeds. It works, folks. The question is, does the theory fit the truth? Or is it just another option for a character that, so far, has remained one of the most mysterious enigmas in the entire show? Here's hoping we get some clarity before the season ends.