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‘Rings of Power’s Halbrand may be a ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie villain


A mysterious character named Halbrand shows up in the second episode of “The Rings of Power” — and he might just be a connection to the Peter Jackson “Lord of the Rings” movies. 

Spoilers ahead for the first two episodes of “The Rings of Power,” now streaming on Prime Video. 

“The Rings of Power” is set around a thousand years before Frodo (Elijah Wood) and his Fellowship took their journey in the movies. So, very few characters are old enough to still be kicking around. Since Elves can be immortal, the main characters in the show who are also in the films are the Elves, Galadriel (Morfydd Clark in the show; Cate Blanchett in the films) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo in the show; Hugo Weaving in the films). 

Other characters in “The Rings of Power” such as the Harfoot (a version of a hobbit) Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh), the Dwarf Durin IV (Owain Arthur) and the current sea captain and future King Elendil (Lloyd Owen) are new faces who are appearing on screen for the first time in this franchise. 

But some of them, such as Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), might not be so new. 

Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in "The Rings of Power."
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in “The Rings of Power.”
Amazon Studios

The show chronicles the rise of the villain Sauron and the forging of the Rings of Power (one of which is the One Ring that Frodo will eventually destroy). The plot begins in a time following a brutal war, when everyone thinks there’s peace now, and Sauron and his Orcs are gone. Spoiler alert — since they’re in the movies a thousand years later, obviously, they’re not. Galadriel herself has never believed the threat is gone, as she’s spent years hunting Sauron. 

In the second episode, she crosses paths with a mysterious castaway named Halbrand (Vickers). He seems to be a normal man who is down on his luck and stranded at sea. And there’s no reason to think he could still be alive thousands of years from this time period, to meet Frodo. 

But, remember, in “The Lord of the Rings” movies, Sauron had his Ringwraiths, or Nazgûl.  They were ghoulish shadowy figures who often chased Frodo and his friends, in some terrifying scenes (they looked like cloaked black figures on horseback). They were servants of Sauron, enslaved to his will, but they each used to be regular mortal men many years ago. 

So, it stands to reason that some seemingly normal human characters on “Rings of Power,” like Halbrand, are destined to become these ghoulish ringwraiths who will hunt and terrify poor Frodo thousands of years later. 

Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in "The Rings of Power."
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in “The Rings of Power.”
Amazon Studios
Hobbits face off against hooded black figures.
The hobbits face off against the ghoulish Nazgûl in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”
New Line Cinema
Hooded figures cloaked in black riding horses.
The Nazgûl, also called Ringwraiths, as portrayed in the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
New Line Cinema

The famous Witch King of Angmar is their leader and Sauron’s second-in-command who is eventually killed by Eowyn (Miranda Otto) in the films. His exact identity before he was corrupted by the rings is unknown. 

When Galadriel meets him, Halbrand seems like a regular guy … but it’s fair to assume that any seemingly normal human could be a future Nazgûl, or even the Witch King himself. 

“The Rings of Power” is currently streaming on Prime Video, with new episodes out weekly on Fridays. 

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