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What Fans Hope To See From Sauron In The Rings Of Power

With the debut of Amazon's "The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power" series due in September, fans still have a lot of brewing questions regarding the adaptation. The lore of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" series is as vast as his books are popular, and members of Tolkien's purist fanbase aren't ones to take deviation from the author's vision lightly. This is equally true for the mainline books as it is for expanded material like "The Silmarillion." And it just so happens that "The Rings of Power" has more to do with this expanded material than any other "LOTR" adaptation thus far.

Set thousands of years before the events of the books, the story follows the first rise of Sauron during the Second Era. Assuming Amazon stays faithful to the lore, fans will get to see Sauron forge the Rings of Power, topple the mighty kingdom of Númenor, and eventually fall to the alliance of Men and Elves. Despite this, Sauron himself will be absent for the duration of the first season. As fans endure the very long wait for an onscreen Sauron, however, they can't help but speculate on what they hope to see from Sauron's appearance in "The Rings of Power."

Fans are looking for an unarmored Sauron

On Reddit, fans debated the prospect of Sauron appearing without his armor in Amazon's upcoming series. The original post, which accrued over 800 upvotes on r/LOTR_on_Prime, came with a fan-made image of Sauron in the flesh by artists Billelis and Kevin Cassidy. This interpretation of the character shows him as monstrous, with the large crown-shaped spikes that adorned his helmet in the films actually being part of his skull. Instead of a set of eyes, he possesses only a single, fiery eye like the one on top of Barad-dûr. However, fans feel somewhat mixed regarding this depiction.

"Really not a fan of the 'disgusting burned husk' take on Sauron post-Akallabeth," wrote one fan, u/Xerped. "Yeah, the weird cyclops eye and the horns aren't for me either," commented u/ImrusAero.

Thankfully for the fans who don't enjoy this version of Sauron, there's a good chance that he will look very different in the show. As u/Xerped pointed out, Sauron wasn't always as monstrous as this depiction makes him.

Sauron was once hot enough to rival the fires of Mount Doom

While Tolkien never explicitly described Sauron's appearance in great detail, it is doubtful that the Dark Lord was always so ugly. Heck, as a shapeshifting immortal, the concept of physical ugliness might not even apply to him. Back in the Second Age, Sauron spent a lot of time on Middle Earth looking to tempt mortals from within. Those big orcish armies that we see in the Third Age are ostensibly Phase 2 in his typically subtle schemes. Before resorting to sheer might, however, he corrupted mortals as any good Satan analog does: through worldly temptation. And, when it comes to worldly temptation, few things are more powerful than attractive people.

In "The History of Middle Earth," there is one passage that describes how Númenóreans saw Sauron in the guise of an elf. Here, Sauron (or as he was called back then, Annatar) is described as both fair and terrible. This has led to both fans and official sources alike depicting pre-Third Age Sauron as an attractive elf, rather than a terrifying behemoth.

Compared to the armored version of Sauron that we see in the movies, Annatar is downright hot. That is if fair-skinned, dark-haired elf-men are your kind of thing. But it's important to not be fooled by this charade. When Sauron does find his way into "The Rings of Power" this September, the pretty face will only hide the true ugliness within.