The Stranger’s “Always Follow Your Nose” Comment Confirms His Identity!

The Stranger’s comment, “Always Follow Your Nose” in The Rings of Power season finale may have confirmed his identity as a popular Lord of the Rings character.

The Rings of Power’s first season has come to a close and it seemingly answered a lot of questions from the first season, including ones about the mysterious figure, The Stranger. The final episode begins with a cold-open, which is quite rare for the series.

The cold-open features the Stranger being chased down by the cloaked figures who had been following him all this while. In an interesting revelation, the figures refer to the Stranger as Sauron, attempting to lure the Dark Lord out of the confused wanderer.

The Stranger

However, the rest of the episode confirms that the Stranger is not Sauron by any means. Instead, it is hinted that he might be another iconic character from Tolkien’s fantasy world who has been loved by fans over the years.

This hint came when a specific line of dialogue was spoken by the Stranger towards the end of the episode. At the end of the finale, the Stranger tells his newfound friend Nori, “When in doubt, Elanor Brandyfoot, always follow your nose.” All our fellow LOTR fans must have understood by now what we’re hinting at!

Yes, you’re right. The Stranger’s nose comment is a reference to Gandalf’s iconic line from the first film of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring.

“If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose”.

Galdalf the Gray
Galdalf the Gray

This scene, along with a few other hints from season one finale confirms the identity of the Stranger in The Rings of Power as Gandalf. There’s still a 10% chance that the writers might take a different route, considering the finale never explicitly mentioned Gandalf. However, it is highly probable that the Stranger is none but our very own gray wizard.

Season one ends with the Stranger and Nori heading off to Rhûn, a land far to the east of Middle-earth, to find out the truth behind the Stranger’s powers. Therefore, it is likely that season two will reveal more about the Stranger and provide more evidence to confirm his identity as Gandalf.

Gandalf the Gray is indeed a part of The Rings of Power, but in another form. This other form is of utmost importance as it can justify Gandalf’s presence in the series without breaking canon. According to canon, Gandalf and the other Maiar were sent to Middle-Earth in the Third Age to help with the rise of Sauron.

Galdalf in The Fellowship of the Ring

However, J.R.R Tolkien himself hinted that some of the Maiar may have been to Middle-Earth before that. In his book, The History of Middle-Earth, Tolkien mentioned that a being named Olorin visited Middle-Earth and became acquainted with the elves before the events of the Third-Age. Olorin is actually Gandalf’s real name.

So, it is possible that season two reveals the Stranger’s real name to be Olorin. The show could end with him returning to Lord of the Rings’ Valar, before being sent to Middle-Earth once again during the Third-Age as Gandalf.

Nevertheless, the writers have taken their fair share of creative liberties with Tolkien’s works, weaving them with the right amount of originality.

It was like a breath of fresh air to hear a variation of Gandalf’s iconic line in The Rings of Power finale. Hopefully, the writers will come up with a good explanation behind the Stranger being Gandalf.

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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