The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power showrunner Patrick McKay says Sauron’s complexity makes him more like Tony Soprano or Breaking Bad‘s Walter White. With Amazon’s The Rings of Power season 1 now complete, audiences have been gifted with plenty of answers to many of the show’s biggest secrets. Perhaps the biggest reveal came at the end of the final episode of the season, with Halbrand revealing his true identity to be that of the Dark Lord himself, Sauron
And while the revelation came as a surprise to a devastated Galadriel, Halbrand has shown throughout the season that he could be hiding a dark secret. Both The Rings of Power’s version of Sauron and Tolkein’s original description talk of the Dark Lord’s deception skills – and that’s something Halbrand has shown off throughout the series. From Halbrand’s vague claim that he’s done “bad things” in the past to gently nudging Galadriel toward the Southlands – or Mordor, as it’s now known – hindsight shows that the character was controlling the future Lady of Lothlórien from the very beginning. Of course, Halbrand also has a tense confrontation with The Rings of Power‘s other big evil, Adar, with whom he refuses to disclose his true identity to.
But it seems that The Rings of Power has only begun scratching the surface of what’s in store for Sauron. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McKay and fellow showrunner J.D. Payne reveal what Sauron’s character arc has in store, with McKay comparing the show’s “complexly evil” Sauron to Sopranos’ Tony Soprano and Breaking Bad‘s Walter White. McKay also compared the show to The Dark Knight trilogy, describing season 1 as the show’s Batman Begins. Check out the full quote below:
“Sauron can now just be Sauron. Like Tony Soprano or Walter White. He’s evil, but complexly evil. We felt like if we did that in season one, he’d overshadow everything else. So the first season is like Batman Begins, and the The Dark Knight is the next movie, with Sauron maneuvering out in the open. We’re really excited. Season two has a canonical story. There may well be viewers who are like, ‘This is the story we were hoping to get in season one!’ In season two, we’re giving it to them.
Can Sauron Be TV’s Next Great Antihero?
It’s interesting that McKay compared Sauron to two of TV’s most iconic antiheroes, especially as that doesn’t align with the arc Sauron is known to take as the show approaches The Lord of the Rings. Sauron is less of an antihero and more of a villain that thinks he’s right, which seems to be the route that the story is taking Halbrand. That being said, with five seasons planned for The Rings of Power, it’s still early days for both the show and its version of Sauron, meaning there’s plenty of time to fully explore the character, whichever route McKay and Payne decide to take him down.
Many viewers will breathe a sigh of relief hearing the showrunners describe season 2 as being more canonical, with The Rings of Power receiving much of its criticism from its different take on Tolkein’s vision. Despite a rather rough ride, the show has managed to dispel many of its naysayers, with some starting to warm to Amazon’s version of Middle-earth as the first season approached its endgame. With season 2 of The Rings of Power likely some way off – and big things clearly in store for Sauron – there’s plenty of time to flesh out the show’s stories and characters, while still honouring its much-loved source material.