Who is Halbrand in Rings of Power? His Role in the Story Explained

While we have a literal “Stranger” in Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, there is another mysterious character whose identity everyone is trying to uncover. You’ve guessed it right; it’s Halbrand!

Introduced in Rings of Power Ep 3, he was one of the four humans that Galadriel encounters stranded on a raft. He informs her that they were survivors of a shipwreck, and later even tries to convince her he is nothing but a common criminal.

But is that Halbrand’s true identity?

In Rings of Power Ep 4, Galadriel learns that the symbol on Halbrand’s pouch is that of the King of the Southlands. She deduces that Halbrand is either an exiled king, a king in hiding, or the heir to the Southland throne. It is possible that Halbrand is one of the kings that goes on to become a Nazgûl.

So is the mystery fully solved? These are simply clues to Halbrand’s true role on the show. Here’s the full explanation.

Was Halbrand in LOTR?

A character called Halbrand has not appeared in either the LOTR books or movies. Given that he’s human or/and mortal, there’s no way he could survive the current timeline of the Second Age to appear in LOTR’s timeline of the Third Age.

Odder yet, he isn’t mentioned in the Second Age’s lore either.

Who is Halbrand in Rings of Power? His Role in the Story Explained

When Halbrand was being marketed prior to the show’s release, he was being labeled as an original character for the show. After watching Ep 3, however, I have an inkling that this original character is tied to something we’re very familiar with. 

Is Halbrand a Nazgûl?

Let me stop you right there, no, Halbrand is not Sauron. We got a glimpse of a blurry Sauron in the Southlands in Ep 3, at the same time when Halbrand was in Númenor with Galadriel. So, they can’t be the same person.

Who is Halbrand in Rings of Power? His Role in the Story Explained
Halbrand a Nazgûl

Galadriel is on a mission to decode everything she possibly can, and so along with Sauron’s sigil, she also figures out that Halbrand’s pouch has the symbol of the King of the Southlands on it.

He tries to explain it by saying he took it off a dead man, which, along with assaulting another man, makes up the crimes he was absconding from.

This story is a little too on the nose to be taken seriously. Even Galadriel has her doubts about it and she outrightly calls him the King of Southlands, or at least the heir to the throne. But why is this of any significance?

Well, there are two reasons. According to Tolkien lore, in the First Age, the Southlands kings swore a blood oath to Morgoth. Then in the Second Age, nine human kings were tricked by Sauron into taking the “Rings of Power”—the same rings which give the show its name.

With Southlands’ history, Halbrand can easily become of those kings who get swayed by Sauron.

These kings turned in the Nazgûls/Ringwraiths we encounter in LOTR, who Sauron controls using the One Ring.

If Halbrand is indeed one of the kings, it only makes sense to have him adopt the role of the Witch King of Angmar, the most famous of the nine.

Tolkien has not written much about either the Nazgûls’s origin story or the Witch King, so the show has plenty of room to play around and create something new and exciting if they want to go down that route.

Of course, it is also entirely possible that Halbrand is some other king or that his story is completely true, and stealing is the furthest he’ll wander into the dark side. Only time will tell! 

Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on:

About The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is an American TV series, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay for streaming on Amazon Prime. 

Set 3,000 years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the show will be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth. Beginning with a time of peace, the series will follow the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron and the forging of the rings of power.

The cast includes Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, and Dylan Smith among many others.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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