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The Rings Of Power: Why Finding Out Sauron's Identity Early Was Painful For Morfydd Clark

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" spends its first season introducing characters, establishing storylines, and generally setting the stage for the epic Second Age events that are to follow in the rest of the show's five-season story arc. It also gets a couple of important things out of the way before the season finale wraps up.

By the time the final Season 1 credits roll, the Southlands are turned into Mordor. The aged king of NĂºmenor, Tar-Palantir, has passed away, creating a political crisis. The Stranger is confirmed to be a good guy and a Wizard. The Three Elven Rings are created (even though the rest of the lot of superpowered circular jewelry remains to be forged). And, of course, Halbrand, the newly minted King of the Southlands, turns out to be a fraudster and none other than the Dark Lord Sauron in disguise. While most people had to wait until the fading moments of the season to confirm that last fact, both Galadriel actress Morfydd Clark and Halbrand actor Charlie Vickers found out the latter character's true identity much earlier.

In an interview, Clark clarified by saying that she and her co-star were told Halbrand was Sauron fairly early in filming. Often these key details are hidden from actors until right before they reach a certain scene or an important part of the story. In this case, both Clark and Vickers were enlightened relatively early in production, with Clark explaining, "When I found out that Halbrand was Sauron, we didn't know how they'd feel after the battle in the Southlands and stuff. So it was kind of painful knowing more than Galadriel did, being like, 'Oh no, you're going to be sad.'"

Knowing Halbrand's true identity was frustrating and exciting for Clark

In the same interview, Clark previously explained the specific time that she found out that Halbrand was Sauron, "So, I found out, Charlie found out that he was playing Sauron and I was told as when we were kind of filming our Numenor bits." These scenes come in the middle of the season, well before the ramp-up to its finale. The Welsh actress detailed that this was long before they were given the scripts for episode eight, too, adding, "So we didn't know how she was going to find out and that was kind of frustrating and exciting."

Clark also dropped the major detail that when she and Vickers first heard the news, they didn't even realize how close their characters would get over the course of the first Season. In a separate exclusive interview with Looper, finale writer Gennifer Hutchison provided some insights into that relationship which, while laced with perceived romantic tension, was less about love and more about a meeting of the minds. "She inspires him, and he helps push her," Hutchison explained.

While not exactly a traditional pairing, there's no doubt that Sauron and Galadriel bond throughout Season 1. They fight side by side and become close friends ...until one of them turns out to be a dark lord. While Halbrand/Sauron's betrayal is devastating to Galadriel in the final moments of the season, it's Clark who had to carry that painful burden for much longer in the lead-up to the event. Thank goodness it's over, and the actress can focus on Season 2 with a new sense of clarity as she prepares to resist Sauron and take on a new batch of villains, to boot.