Is Adar the Witch-King, an Elf, or a Maia? Explained

When we first met Adar in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, he was one of the most mysterious characters at that point in time because we didn’t know anything about him except for the fact that he was one of the different suspects that could be Sauron in disguise. However, at this point, he is no longer one of the Sauron suspects, as he himself said that he “killed” Sauron in the past. So, what is Adar, and could he be the Witch-King, an Elf, or a Maia?

Adar is one of the Moriondor, which are the “sons of the dark” that were kidnapped by Morgoth as Elves and were broken and twisted until they became a new type of dark entity. He is one of the first Orcs in the world. And that means that he couldn’t be the Witch-king, an Elf, or one of the Maiar.

The introduction of the Moriondor concept changes how we see Orcs and their origin story. We have always seen Orcs as dark and twisted creatures that were created to be evil. But Adar’s entire existence makes us look at him and the Orcs from a different point of view. In that regard, let’s look at what Adar is and why he can’t be the Witch-king, an Elf, or a Maia.

What Is Adar?

After he was mentioned in episode 3 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Adar immediately became one of the most mysterious and enigmatic characters in the entire storyline because nothing had been made known about him by the Orcs. And even after he made his first appearance in episode 4, Adar remained an enigma that we couldn’t understand.

However, as the series progressed, we began to understand more about Adar. At first, it was clear that he resembled an Elf but was not an Elf because he no longer looked as fair as the other Elves in the series. Instead, Adar is a scarred and deformed being that looks like a cross between an Elf and an Orc. And it was clear he cared for the Orcs and that the Orcs respected him so much because they looked up to him as a father figure, whose name literally means “father” in Elvish.

Then, in episode 6, Galadriel shed some light on what Adar is, as it was clear that she had an idea regarding his identity. We already know the fact that he is not Sauron, as he got angry at Waldreg when the Man thought that he was Sauron. And Galadriel realized this quickly when she said a story regarding the Elves that were abducted by Morgoth and were broken and twisted until they became entirely new beings.

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Galadriel called these beings the Moriondor or the “sons of the dark,” who are also the ones that became the First Orcs. These creatures were said to be the ones who “gave birth” to the other Orcs that look like the hideous creatures that we are quite familiar with. As such, considering that he wasn’t always a true Orc as far as his origins are concerned, Adar doesn’t look as ugly or as terrifying as the Orcs that we can see in the different LOTR media.

Could Adar Be The Witch-King?

While we do know that Adar is a Moriondor that eventually gave way to the other Orcs that became the foot soldiers of both Morgoth and Sauron, there are those who think that he is going to have a bigger role down the line. Of course, when it comes to Sauron’s servants, there is no one greater than the Witch-king of Angmar. So, does that mean that Adar is going to be the Witch-king?

It is unlikely that Adar is the Witch-king of Angmar. JRR Tolkien never expounded on the storylines of the different Nazgûl, which is the order of wraiths that the Witch-king leads. But Tolkien did say that the Nazgûl used to be nine kings of men that ended up getting corrupted by the Rings of Power. And we also know that the Witch-king is not only the greatest of Sauron’s minions but is also the one who is most loyal to him.

Considering that Adar is a Moriondor and was never a Man, it is unlikely that he is going to become the Witch-king. That’s because the Witch-king used to be a king of Men, and we do know that Adar is simply the “father” of the Orcs.

There is also the fact that Adar is more loyal to his “children” than he is to Sauron. He explained to Galadriel that he couldn’t take the fact that he was losing Orcs to Sauron’s sorceries and experiments. That was the reason why he “killed” Sauron. And considering that Adar isn’t loyal to Sauron, there is no way he could be the Witch-king.

Was Adar An Elf?

The Moriondor, as mentioned, are the sons of the dark and were Elves that were captured by Morgoth before he tortured and twisted them into an entirely new being called the First Orc or Uruk. In that regard, does that mean that Adar is still an Elf?

Adar has the mind of an Elf. He certainly does resemble an Elf and can actually speak like an Elf. But the thing is that he is no longer an Elf. Like all of the Moriondor, Adar used to be an Elf that became who he is today because he was tortured and twisted by Morgoth.

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The fact that Adar is familiar with Arondir’s homeland means that he used to be an Elf that might have lived there a long time ago before Morgoth turned him into one of the Moriondor. However, he is no longer an Elf, as Morgoth’s darkness transformed his very essence into an entirely different entity. That is why Adar is able to “give birth” to new Orcs as he himself has become one.

Could Adar Be A Maia?

The Maiar are divine spirits that Eru Ilúvatar created along with the Valar so that he could have assistants that could aid him in the creation of the world. He also left the Valar and the Maiar to oversee the world in his place. Of course, we know for a fact that the Valar sent five Maiar in the form of the Wizards to help the people of Middle-Earth in their battle against Sauron, who himself is also a Maia.

In that regard, Adar could not be a Maia because the Maiar were created before the dawn of time and have existed for as long as anyone can remember. On the other hand, Adar was born an Elf but was eventually twisted into something dark and hideous. 

It is also plain and obvious that Adar is still a physical creature that has flesh and blood. While the Maiar can assume physical forms, they were always divine spirits in their original forms. As such, there is no way that Adar could ever be a Maia, as only Eru Ilúvatar had the power to create Maiar.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.