Middle-earth is a big place. So big, in fact, that many of the characters in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, may never actually meet. But is distance the only thing keeping the show’s various humans, elves, dwarves, and harfoots apart? Or is there something else?
An intriguing new theory could reveal how Rings of Power is playing with timelines — and how that could solve one of the show’s biggest mysteries.
Is The Rings of Power playing with timelines?
The Rings of Power presents its various plotlines as all happening basically at the same time. In other words, Galadriel is visiting Numenor at the same time that Elrond is in Khazad-dum and the Harfoots are dealing with The Stranger. The show even uses the meteor crash that introduces The Stranger as proof that everything is set within the same timeline since multiple characters all see it streak across the sky.
But what if that’s just a giant misdirect?
Don Marshall, who posts videos about Lord of the Rings on TikTok, has an admittedly “outlandish” theory that actually makes a good deal of sense. What if there were actually two different meteors? This would mean that while some of the events are happening in the show’s “present,” others are in the “past.”
Specifically, Marshall speculates that the plotline set in the Southlands following Arondir, Bronwyn, Theo, and the villain Adar could take place in the past. In that case, when Galadriel eventually arrives in the Southlands to investigate, Theo could be a grown man — and whatever evil magic that broken sword possesses could have influenced him greatly.
This theory could also explain what Adar and his orcs are doing digging all those tunnels. Could they be looking for that second meteor? (Marshall also wonders if that’s what the dwarves are secretly mining for.)
However, it also answers an even bigger Rings of Power mystery...
Who is The Stranger in Rings of Power?
Marshall goes on to note that if there are two meteors, that likely means two “Strangers.” This probably rules out the possibility that The Stranger is Sauron, but it does raise another interesting option: What if he’s one of the Blue Wizards?
We know very little about the Blue Wizards, but Tolkien describes them as members of the group of beings sent down to Middle-earth that includes Gandalf and Saruman. They wore blue robes (hence the name) and arrived during the Second Age with a mission to weaken Sauron’s forces. (Spoiler alert: they failed.)
Considering how little Tolkien ever wrote about the Blue Wizards, Rings of Power has a lot of creative freedom here to play with the characters. So not only would this be a fun twist, but it would also give the Amazon prequel a chance to run wild with two powerful wizards we know far less about than Gandalf and Saruman.
Rings of Power airs Fridays at midnight on Amazon Prime Video.