×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Line From The Rings Of Power Season 1 Finale That Means More Than You Think

Warning: Major spoilers for "The Rings of Power" Season 1, Episode 8

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is loaded with Easter eggs that directly call back to Tolkien's legendarium. These references are littered across the season finale, from lines about the sun's origin to talk of "a fool's hope" and more. One of these takes place early in the episode, and it isn't just a fun round of connect-the-dots for diehard Tolkien fans. It's also a dead giveaway to a crucial plot development that unfolds before the credits roll, less than an hour later.

The scene in question is the first time Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) wanders into Celebrimbor's (Charles Edwards) workshop. When the Elf finds him, Halbrand passes things off as if he's merely looking for Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). From there, he asks about the artisan's shop, buttering the Elvish smith up with some well-placed words about his deep-set admiration. Eventually, the conversation turns to three small jewels resting in a box ...and the piece of mithril lying next to them. As they discuss the jewels and, more importantly, the marvelous ore, Halbrand suddenly suggests the idea of creating a mithril alloy by combining it with other metals that could amplify its power.

This leads to a semi-stunned Celebrimbor (perhaps thinking, 'who is this Southern Human smith telling me how to do my craft?') replying, "Well, that is an intriguing suggestion." Halbrand nods and responds, "Call it... a gift." While his warm-hearted generosity is cute, there's clearly more at play here, and the rest of the episode breaks that story down in all of its treacherous detail. But it's the line that mentions "a gift" that is particularly intriguing, as it connects to a key element from the source material about Halbrand's true identity.

Halbrand, Sauron, and Annatar, oh my!

By the end of the first season, Halbrand reveals that he's been Sauron all along. The reveal is a big one for the show's highly adapted and adjusted storyline. Galadriel is devastated. Númenor is clearly on Sauron's radar now. Adar (Joseph Mawle) is in big trouble. While the Halbrand/Sauron bait-and-switch is interesting, though, it's not what fans of the original source material expected. Not because Sauron doesn't shapeshift or use other names and appearances, but precisely because he does do those things, just with another name and form.

In the original Second Age storyline, Sauron goes missing for a long time. When he's ready, he reemerges, not as Sauron but as a pleasant-looking fellow named Annatar. This is the guise that he uses to approach the Elves and offer to teach them how to make some fabulously powerful Rings — not to preserve their fading state by spring, but rather to safeguard their realms over the long haul.

What does all of this have to do with Halbrand's words? "The Silmarillion" explains things by saying, "for Sauron took to himself the name of Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, and they had at first much profit from his friendship." That's right. Sauron's source-accurate title is literally "The Lord of Gifts." This gives a much deeper meaning to Halbrand's "gift" to Celebrimbor. The question is, why didn't they use the Annatar title on the show? While the answer remains unclear, it may be that they either didn't want to reveal Sauron in the first season or possibly didn't have the rights to use that name in the first place. Either way, the wink-nod mention of a gift is a fun Easter egg that doubles as a callback and a setup for the horrible reveal about to take place.