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Rings Of Power's Sauron Actor Didn't Know He Was Playing The Big Bad Until After Filming Began

Warning: Spoilers for the finale of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."

One of the big threads that wind through the Amazon "Lord of the Rings" series "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is the mystery of who is going to turn out to be the evil Sauron in disguise. The show's entire first season continually teases when the iconic evildoer would make his presence and power known in Middle-earth, and given Sauron's well-known ability to disguise himself, fan speculation over who he would turn out to be was rampant over the course of the series.

If you've seen the Season 1 finale of "The Rings of Power," you already know that exiled Southlander Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) is actually Sauron. The reveal is a shocking one for viewers of the show, but in a recent interview, Vickers himself revealed that it was a surprise for him too, only learning the secret after filming on the show had already begun.

The actor suspected the true nature of his role from his audition materials

In a recent post-finale sit-down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss his role in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," Charlie Vickers revealed that the nature of his role came as a surprise to him as well.

Vickers says that throughout the audition process and even for some of the filming, he was unaware that his character would eventually be revealed as Sauron, a revelation that stayed secret until after the show's COVID-necessitated production hiatus. "We filmed the first two episodes, and then we went on hiatus because of COVID. That whole time I thought I was playing Halbrand, a human from the Southlands, which, I think, I was," said the actor.

However, the revelation that Halbrand is actually Sauron wasn't a total surprise for Vickers, since, he said, there were clues to his character's secret dark side in the nature of the materials he was asked to audition with. "I had maybe six or seven auditions, and when I got to the end of the audition process, they gave me two monologues," revealed Vickers. "They gave me a monologue from 'Richard III' at the end, when he's standing over a body and is basically being really evil. Then, the other one was from 'Paradise Lost,' the poem by Milton, and it was literally Satan. So I had an inkling when I was doing those speeches that the character had some kind of a dark arc."

Vickers says the truth was revealed to him by the show's producers before filming of the third episode after they came back from hiatus.

The truth of his role was concealed from the rest of the cast as well

If the revelation that Charlie Vickers is actually playing Sauron in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" came as a surprise to fans, that's probably because of all the effort that went into keeping it a secret from the rest of the cast as well, starting with Vickers himself. And the actor shared that the rest of the cast, with one key exception, was left in the dark about this too.

"[N]o one knew! I think [Morfydd Clark, who plays Galadriel] knew because she was my scene partner. That's an interesting thing about Halbrand, that you really only see him through the eyes of other characters. They play a very important role in how the audience sees him and how the audience sees Sauron. So Morfydd knew, but no one else knew."

Vickers added that the atmosphere of suspicion had an interesting effect on the cast of the show. "There was quite a lot of suspicion because we all knew that Sauron was someone, but no one really knew where he was. We were all pointing fingers at each other. I don't remember any specific reactions, but I think it was nice for people to get a definitive answer and for everyone to know what was happening," the actor shared. It almost sounds like some medieval fantasy version of John Carpenter's "The Thing," with Sauron in the role of the shapeshifting alien.

Now, with Season 2 of "The Rings of Power" officially in production, fans can look forward to the possibility seeing Vickers take on the role of Sauron in a more traditional form in the near future.