The Rings of Power: Did episode 5 reveal the diabolical identity of the Stranger?

In episode 5 of The Rings of Power, the Stranger’s enigmatic behavior leaves you speechless. Is it an evil being or a mage struggling to master his powers?

The Stranger © Amazon Studios

This article contains spoilers for The Rings of Power.

Series viewers Rings of Power frantically wondering what the Stranger’s true identity is. Arrived on Middle-earth like a meteor, he was adopted by the Harfoot Nori who tries to guide him in what is a new world for him. His behavior remains however still inexplicable so that the theses around his true identity are legion. Why did it fall from the sky? Where does he get his powers from? Is he an agent of good or evil?

In episode 5, the Harfoots are attacked by very hostile creatures. But the Stranger uses his powers to repel them. Earlier in the episode, he had expressed remorse for killing fireflies. These testimonials of benevolence lead us to believe that he is not a big bad guy. But another scene revives doubt.

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The Rings of Power: who is “Meteor Man”?

In it, the Stranger plunges his bruised arm into a basin of water while uttering incantations. Ice forms around his member. And when Nori touches her forearm, she also becomes a prisoner of this invading ice. Which is ultimately destroyed when the spell ends and the Harfoot is thrown into the air.

The way the ice spreads on the arm of “Meteor Man” reminds us of another sequence unveiled in the first episode: Galadriel pours water on the mark of Sauron and ice crystals form around it. Does the scene in Episode 5 mean the Stranger is Sauron in disguise? Or an untransformed Balrog?

Sauron or Gandalf?

It’s an interpretation but the sequence could also mean that the character is recklessly testing his powers. If this second hypothesis turns out to be true, it would be likely that the Stranger is one of the Istari, these magicians sent by the Valar to fight against Sauron. It could therefore be Gandalf, as many theories claim.

Episode 5 also reveals a short sequence where visibly hostile characters are investigating the landing place of the Stranger. One of them has a plaque on which the constellation which so fascinates “Meteor Man” is drawn. The latter is the key that will later reveal the identity of the Stranger and this strange group of astronomers…

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