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The Rings Of Power Drops Another Major Hint About The Identity Of The Stranger

Contains spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Season 1, Episode 8

It seems that when it comes to the budget of Amazon's Middle-earth epic, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," this season could only cater to one enormous character reveal and not two. From the get-go in this week's season finale, the Stranger (Daniel Weyman) is thought to be the ring-loving tyrant Sauron (Charlie Vickers). The signs are all there that this being from beyond the stars is a force to be feared — that is, until some wise words from Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh) help him realize that isn't the case. Admittedly, we're still just as in the dark as we always were about who this Stranger is, but a few key quotes that link to another grand wanderer in the years to come may tease who he really is.

Since the beginning, there have been signs that the Stranger could've well been a mysterious force of evil or a hero in the making who eventually dons a big gray hat and a pipe. Well, with someone else already confirmed as the ruler of Mordor, another hint has been thrown our way to suggest that the Stranger is the Wizard who arrives precisely when he means to, and it only took a smell to give us a clue.

Another talk with a heroic Harfoot hints that the Stranger is Gandalf

Just like Episode 5's beautiful song sung by Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards) that quotes a line that Gandalf will use thousands of years from now, another important note is left to linger between Nori and the Wizard in the final episode of this season. After the Harfoot decides to go on the adventure she's always longed for with the Stranger, the first hurdle they have to deal with is the right direction to go. "There's a sweet smell on the air this way," the newly titled Wizard says to his companion. "When in doubt, Elanor Brandyfoot, always follow your nose."

This is precisely the same advice Gandalf gives when he and the Fellowship get lost in the Mines of Moria in "The Fellowship of the Ring." After concluding, "The air doesn't smell so foul down here," he advises, "If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose." Come on now! That's not a coincidence, surely? What's the alternative? This unnamed Wizard passes these words of wisdom on to Gandalf in the coming years? Perhaps next season, we'll find him trying to manage a line of people and demand they shall not pass as well?

Here's hoping that whenever the answer finally comes, the Stranger is powerful enough to take on Sauron when "The Rings of Power" returns for Season 2. Who nose, right?