The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has introduced a new character in the form of Adar, who remains to be a mysterious figure that the Orcs are quite loyal to. Of course, we know that Sauron is the threat that the people of Middle-earth are wary of, but he is yet to surface (especially if he isn’t Adar). So, with that said, who is stronger between Adar and Sauron, and who is the main villain in The Rings of Power?
Sauron is stronger than Adar because he is a Maia with incredible powers. Meanwhile, it appears that Adar is simply an Elf that has fallen to darkness and may have found a way to become the leader of the Orcs in Middle-earth and is most likely just a placeholder villain until Sauron finally reveals himself.
Considering that The Rings of Power will have five seasons, it can be expected that the series will have several villains that will act as placeholders. This is the usual case for multi-season shows that have different villains every season. But Sauron is still the greater threat that will eventually show himself in the future as the main villain of The Rings of Power. Now, let’s look at who between Adar and Sauron is stronger.
What We Know About Adar
We are still in the early stages of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, but we already know that Galadriel and the Elves are still wary of Sauron’s presence in Middle-earth. Nevertheless, while they were still struggling to learn where Sauron was hiding, some of the Elves realized that the Orcs were hiding in the Southlands and were being led by a mysterious figure named Adar, who they worshipped like a godlike being.
At this point, we don’t know a lot about Adar except for the possibility that he could be Sauron. As Háno, one of Arondir’s fellow Elves captured by the Orcs, said that Sauron has had a lot of different identities in the past. That means that there is a chance that this Adar personality was one of the identities of the cunning dark lord.
Nevertheless, there is also a good chance that Adar himself is an entirely different character because of the fact that The Rings of Power is probably saving Sauron’s big reveal later in the series. After all, it would be too early to reveal Sauron’s identity in episode 3 of The Rings of Power when we know for a fact that the whereabouts of the dark lord is the biggest mystery in the series.
As such, Adar is perhaps one of the people that had become corrupted enough that he began to lead the Orcs. We know for a fact that, based on the promotional materials for the Rings of Power, he is an Elf. It is possible that Adar was one of the Elves that fought during the First Age but ended up getting corrupted by Morgoth himself, and that’s why he became the new leader of the Orcs.
It is also possible that, in his attempt to keep his identity hidden so that he could trick Celebrimbor into forging the Rings of Power, Sauron corrupted Adar and installed him as a puppet leader in his place so that he could wander Middle-earth without arousing suspicion from the Elves.
So, if Adar is simply a corrupted Elf, there is a good chance that there isn’t anything special about him at all except for his ability to command the loyalty of the Orcs. Of course, his physiology should be similar to all of the other Elves in the sense that he is nimble and a great fighter. Other than that, we don’t know much about who Adar is or what he is capable of.
What We Know About Sauron
Sauron has always been the biggest threat to Middle-earth ever since the end of the First Age and the fall of his master, Morgoth. Of course, as one of the Maiar and as quite possibly the strongest Maia, Sauron has godlike powers that only the Maiar possess.
Like Morgoth, Sauron is a dark entity that’s capable of corrupting and deceiving different people into doing his bidding. But while Morgoth is quite possibly more powerful, Sauron has always been more cunning than his master because whatever he lacked in strength, he made up for with his ability to deceive people.
As Háno said, Sauron has had multiple identities throughout his lifetime. That’s because, as a Maia, he has no real form and is capable of assuming different forms through his ability to shapeshift. It’s similar to the fact that the Wizards take the form of old men while on Middle-earth. But Sauron is quite possibly capable of changing his form almost at will, as he has assumed multiple forms throughout the entire LOTR timeline.
Sauron was also called the Necromancer during The Hobbit, and that’s because he also has the power of necromancy. One case in point was the fact that the Nazgul themselves are actually wraiths that used to be kings of men but ended up getting corrupted by Sauron’s power and were turned into undead spirits.
There is also the fact that Sauron has superhuman strength. We saw during the opening scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring that he was capable of wiping entire platoons out with a single swing of his mace. As such, he is far stronger than any regular person on Middle-earth and could even be stronger than a Troll.
Finally, as a Maia, Sauron has true immortality in the sense that he will never die. His true form is that of a spirit, and that means that he will continue to live even after his physical body dies. Still, without the One Ring in his possession, he struggled to maintain his physical form because a huge chunk of power and malice was poured into the One Ring. And that’s why Sauron has become eternally weak as a spirit the moment the One Ring was destroyed.
Adar vs. Sauron: Who Is Stronger?
At this point, there is no arguing against the fact that Sauron is an incredibly powerful being that Adar does not have a chance against. What we know about Adar is that he could be a corrupted Elf. While Elves are indeed strong and are quite possibly more capable than Men when it comes to a fight, they are still not as strong as the Maiar.
Sauron, on the other hand, is quite possibly the strongest of the Maiar and has a lot of different powers and abilities that Adar probably doesn’t have. That means that Sauron is still a lot more powerful than Adar. Had Adar been more powerful than Sauron, he should have supplanted him as the new dark lord after the fall of Morgoth.
Who Is The Main Villain Of The Rings of Power?
Of course, Sauron has always been the main villain of The Lord of the Rings storyline. The earlier stories involving the First Age revolved around Morgoth as the main villain. But since the fall of Morgoth, no other character has ever come close to Sauron in terms of how evil and dark they are.
As such, we see Adar as a placeholder villain for season 1 of The Rings of Power as we wait for the eventual reveal of Sauron’s identity. Adar is probably there to hold the villainy fort down for Sauron, who is still hiding in plain sight in an effort to deceive Elves and Men alike.
This isn’t a concept that’s entirely new because different television shows have introduced different villains that served as the main villains for one or two seasons. However, those shows always had main villains aside from the seasonal villains (also called arc villains). For example, different villains in Game of Thrones were introduced every season, but we still knew that certain villains like the Night King and Cersei Lannister posed greater threats. The same could be said for The Boys, which has Homelander as the main villain but has introduced different new villains to play as seasonal villains.
The same concept could apply to Adar, who might be the arc villain of season 1, as the series is still building up the eventual introduction of Sauron, who was always the main villain of the Second Age and the Third Age of Middle-earth.