Spoilers follow for this week's episode of The Rings of Power! As many fans have speculated for some time, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has secretly been taking place (at least partially) within the realm of Mordor without telling us. The first episode of the series revealed one major location, The Southlands, which many had sleuthed out on the map of Middle-earth as being the spot where Mordor will eventually be. Another lingering thread introduced in the first episodes is the symbol of Sauron, with its meaning confirmed in The Rings of Power episode 3, which has outright confirmed that Sauron's main realm has been in front of us all along in the Prime Video series.
What does Sauron's symbol mean in The Rings of Power?
Confirmed in the latest episode of the series, Sauron's pronged fork symbol, which was previously a mystery to Galadriel and her command, is revealed to be a version of a piece of a map of Middle-earth, specifically the mountain ranges that surround The Southlands aka where Mordor will be, highlighting the two peaks that sit between the mountains as well. In a bit of a change to the larger Tolkien mythology, Mordor hasn't been established, and in fact The Southlands remain a green and seemingly fertile place. This week's episode however reveals that the Orcs are working in secret throughout the region, digging tunnels as they look for something.
As explained by Elendil in the Hall of Laws on Numenor, the symbol was drawn by a human spy stuck iinside an enemy dungeon, scribbled down to record the location of the enemy tower where they were held. The note also included an inscription noting a plan to create a realm for the orcs and the other evils of Middle-earth, to be carried out by Morgot's successor, Sauron. The Southlands are about to get a makeover.
Where is Mordor in The Rings of Power?
As noted above, Mordor is what The Rings of Power has bene calling "The Southlands." During the time of the TV series, The Second Age of Middle-earth, it has not yet been established as the realm that Sauron dwells in but it very much on its way to becoming that. We've taken a screenshot of the map shown in The Rings of Power to point out key landmarks that will eventually appear within the story like Mount Doom, which is already visible.
Where is Sauron in The Rings of Power?
Though briefly seen in a montage to kickstart the series, Sauron has not yet appeared in the series. Despite rumors about characters in the trailers and pre-release photos that many thought might be the character, reports have also indicated that Sauron won't appear in the show's first season at all. Five episodes remain in the first season however so an appearance certainly could still happen.
How to Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The new series can only be streamed on Amazon Prime Video, be it directly through an internet browser or on a Prime Video app on a Smart TV or other device. The series is only available to watch for Amazon Prime subscribers, available on a monthly or annual subscription, but you can sign up for it here.