At the very start of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, what was made clear by the series was that they had no idea where or who Sauron was after the defeat of Morgoth. Even the High King Gil-galad believes that Sauron is all but a memory because none of the people in Middle-earth could find him for decades. However, it was always clear that he was still around, and that was made obvious when Arondir, in episode 3, found himself a prisoner of the Orcs, who seemingly worshipped a leader called Adar. So, who is Adar in The Rings of Power, and could he be Sauron?
Adar is a character that is original to the Rings of Power because he cannot be seen in any of JRR Tolkien’s writings. As such, we know nothing about the character except for the fact that he is played by Joseph Mawle and that he is the leader of the Orcs. Of course, he could also be Sauron in disguise.
Sauron has always been described as a master of disguise and deceit, and that means that he could take many forms and use many names. However, we know nothing about this Adar character or who he could be because the series is yet to reveal the details surrounding him. As such, let’s look at what we know about Adar based on our speculations and what we saw.
Who Is Adar In The Rings Of Power?
Episode 3 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues to expand on what has always been a deep and intriguing lore for the adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s beloved writings. In that regard, there were new characters and stories introduced in episode 3, as that was when we realized that the Orcs were indeed still alive and were roaming all over Middle-Earth in secret.
This revelation came after Gil-galad, the High King of the High Elves, announced that the war was already over and that Sauron was but a memory. After all, it had been decades since the last Orc was found in Middle-Earth, and that was when the Elves began to think that the Orcs and their leader had gone extinct and were already wiped out from the face of the land years ago.
Nevertheless, Arondir, who is set to become one of the most important characters in The Rings of Power, found a network of tunnels in the Southlands, where he was posted to watch over the land in the event that Orcs were to return. He discovered that this network of tunnels belonged to the Orcs and that these creatures were using these tunnels to travel undetected and away from sunlight. And unfortunately for him, the Orcs also found him and made him a slave to work for them so that they could expand their tunnels.
During the entire time that the Orcs enslaved Arondir, the one thing that was made clear was that these creatures were working for someone higher than them. Of course, they also mentioned the name of their master—Adar. So, who is Adar in The Lord of the Ring: The Rings of Power?
At this point, we have no idea who Adar is except for the fact that he is played by Joseph Mawle, whom we all know was the same actor who played Uncle Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones (he’s the second GOT Stark actor we’ve sun thus far). Of course, we also know for a fact that he is the leader of the Orcs.
As pointed out by one of Arondir’s Elf companions enslaved by the Orcs, these creatures were seemingly referring to Adar as some sort of a god because of the way that they were worshipping him. Of course, we know that there have only been a few people who have been successful at leading Orcs (Morgoth, Sauron, and Saruman). In that regard, it does seem like Adar is at a level where he is powerful enough to command the respect of the Orcs.
But from what we saw from the different promotional materials of The Rings of Power, there is a reason to believe that Adar is an Elf, as we can see that he has pointy ears. As such, it could be possible that he is a rogue Elf that has fallen to darkness or was quick enough to pounce on the chance to become the new leader of the Orcs after Morgoth’s defeat. But the fact that he was working in the Southlands, which we all know ultimately became Mordor, could point to one possibility—Sauron.
Could Adar Be Sauron?
Ever since the very beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it was revealed that Sauron could still be somewhere in the world after the defeat of his master, Morgoth. When Morgoth was defeated in the First Age, no one knew where Sauron was. But the fact of the matter is that he is still out there somewhere.
Of course, Sauron has always been a lot more cunning and deceitful than Morgoth. While his master was arguably more powerful at his peak, Sauron is an expert at deceiving people. After all, he was able to deceive even the High Elves when he made them believe that he had been defeated and that he and his Orcs were no longer in Middle-earth.
Still, we know that he is out there somewhere and that it is up to Galadriel and the different forces of good on Middle-earth to look for him. And this leads us to the thought that Adar, who was revealed to be the one leading the Orcs in the Southlands, could be Sauron himself.
We already talked about everything we know about who Adar could be. At this point, the only thing we know about him is that he is the one leading the Orcs, who treat him as a godlike figure. But we also know that he could be an Elf. And this is where it gets interesting.
It is common knowledge that Sauron is a master of deceit, as he is capable of taking on many forms and using many names. In fact, this was mentioned by one of the Elves enslaved by the Orcs, as he himself said that Sauron used to be called by many names. He was also the one who suggested the idea that Adar could be Sauron himself.
But while Sauron could possibly take the form of an Elf and use it to his advantage so that he could lead the Orcs, we know for a fact that he is more cunning than that. Again, leading the Orcs is not his main goal in The Rings of Power because he has a larger pursuit in mind—the Rings of Power themselves.
As a master of deceit, Sauron could be hiding in plain sight and is using Adar as a cover so that he could trick the Elves into thinking that he is the one leading the Orcs in the Southlands. While Adar is out there making everyone believe that he could be Morgoth’s successor, Sauron is walking amongst the people of Middle-earth, making them believe that he is but a friendly face.
In Tolkien’s writings, we know that Sauron was able to trick Celebrimbor into helping him forge the Rings of Power because not even the Elves knew that he was the successor of Morgoth. As such, if he was actually Adar himself, Sauron wouldn’t be able to trick Celebrimbor into forging the Rings of Power. That is why we do believe that Adar is but a cover for Sauron, who has always been deceitful enough to hide from the eyes of even the strongest and most influential of the Elves.