The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has officially wrapped up its first season and with production already underway on the next batch of episodes we have an idea of where things are headed in the foreseeable future. Though the final episode was a satisfying one for viewers it still leaves fans with a couple of lingering questions about some of its characters so we're going to break it all down below.
First we should address the easiest of the plotlines, that Isildur is still missing and presumed dead. It was implied after the eruption of Mount Doom that Isildur died, even his father left to return to Númenor believing his son had perished, but as Tolkien fans know there's no way that Isildur could be dead. Eventually, when the Last Alliance of Men and Elves come together to face Sauron once and for all, the young sailor will be instrumental in defeating the dark lord as he cuts the One Ring from his hand (later refusing to destroy it as well). So in short, Isildur isn't dead and we really should expect his return, perhaps being stuck behind enemy lines
There's also the matter of what's actually happening in Númenor. With the rightful King dead and the Queen Regent blinded by Mount Doom, there's a key character that will play a big role moving forward, Ar-Pharazôn. As we previously revealed Ar-Pharazôn was the final ruler of Númenor before it is swallowed by the sea, one of the many people corrupted by Sauron in his quest for dominance. The show alludes to this happening for those in the know as Ar-Pharazôn stares down at the king's corpse. Now, onto the meat as Durin would say.
Was that Gandalf in The Rings of Power finale?
Though not outright confirmed The Rings of Power heavily alluded to the actual identity of The Stranger, revealing officially that he's actually a Wizard but also planting the seed that he might be a familiar face that fans know and love. As the episode draws to a close, The Stranger reveals his intentions to go to the east, toward Rhûn, to get an answers about those stars he's so eager to find (and to see what the trio of people he just defeated were all about). In tow with him is none other than Nori, which is just clue #1 that The Stranger is actually Gandalf the Grey.
Let's consider two key pieces of evidence (beyond the fact that The Stranger is absolutely a Wizard and that he likes to hang out with the predecessor to Hobbits): 1. "Alone it's just a journey, but adventures they must be shared," which harkens back to the tale of Bilbo Baggins; and 2. The Stranger's final line of the season, "When in doubt...always follow your nose," is directly lifted from Gandalf's dialogue in The Fellowship of the Ring. How could the guy not be Gandalf after all that? In the end it will be some time before we know for sure, but where he and his pal are headed is clear.
What is Sauron's plan in The Rings of Power?
At the conclusion of the season finale of The Rings of Power, Halabrand aka Sauron makes his way back into Mordor. What's interesting about this is that he'll clearly have to face off against Adar once again, with the fallen elf having become the leader of those that are still in the Southlands. It's unclear what will happen here between them but it will seemingly be a piece of Sauron's history that
What remains however are the things that we know Sauron did within The Second Age, specifically when he posed as "Annatar," who became known as the Lord of Gifts and who enchanted men and elves across Middle-earth. Some of this has already been covered in the series as Sauron was present when Celebrimbor began forging The Rings of Power. There's also Sauron's time influencing politics on Númenor that has to be covered, but also there's decades of fighting between his armies and the Elves of Middle-earth long before The Last Alliance is even formed. In short, four more seasons may not be enough.