Things are finally starting to ramp up on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. From Númenor agreeing to enter the conflict currently unfolding in Middle-earth to Adar’s (Joseph Mawle) invasion of the Southlands finally commencing, The Rings of Power is juggling more than its fair share of compelling plot threads right now. If early rumors are to be believed, fans may not have to wait much longer to see many of The Rings of Power’s characters finally cross paths on-screen.
The Rings of Power’s large number of storylines did not, however, stop the series from including a scene in its most recent episode that is both deeply confounding and ominous.
One Weird Scene — In between all of its major twists and action sequences, The Rings of Power Episode 5 features a scene in which three figures clad in white clothing wordlessly visit the spot where The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) first landed in Middle-earth. The scene doesn’t reveal much, though its tone heavily implies the three figures aren’t particularly well-intentioned.
One of the scene’s characters even walks into the crater left by The Stranger’s meteor impact and seems to inspect it using some kind of magic. Once done, the figure in question slowly turns to look back at their compatriots. That is, essentially, where the scene ends.
The confusing sequence raises a number of questions, including what the trio’s interest is in The Stranger’s arrival. However, the one question that will likely be on the minds of Rings of Power viewers everywhere after watching the scene is: Who are the three characters at the center of it?
The Cult of Sauron — We can’t say with any real certainty right now who the three figures introduced in The Rings of Power Episode 5 are, or what their purpose in Middle-earth might be. That said, one of the leading theories surrounding the three characters, who were featured in some of the early trailers for The Rings of Power, speculates that they may be members of a cult dedicated to worshipping either Sauron himself or his former master, Melkor/Morgoth.
While that might initially seem like a bit of a random theory, it’s worth noting that there were followers of Morgoth in the Eastern and Southern regions of Middle-earth who continued to worship the Dark Lord even after his defeat. At one point in the Second Age, Sauron even, notably, convinces a powerful kingdom to become a part of the Cult of Melkor.
It isn’t, therefore, so outlandish to wonder if there might be some Morgoth or Sauron cultists operating secretly throughout Middle-earth during the period that The Rings of Power is currently exploring. The above trio’s outfits also seem slightly religious, and the one who actually approaches the crater in The Rings of Power Episode 5 could easily pass as a priest or priestess of the Cult of Melkor.
The Inverse Analysis — We will, of course, have to wait to see what the actual explanation is for this confusing scene in The Rings of Power Episode 5. Right now, it seems highly likely that the three unnamed characters who are introduced in the Amazon series’ latest installment are followers of Sauron or Morgoth, but it’s entirely possible that could turn out not to be the case.
That said, Waldreg (Geoff Morrell) does tell Theo in The Rings of Power Episode 4 that the meteor strike that brought The Stranger to Middle-earth was a sign of Sauron’s impending return. Taking that into account, The Rings of Power’s mysterious new trio may be interested in The Stranger’s arrival for the same reason as Waldreg, which would presumably make them either three beings who are dedicated to preventing Sauron’s rise to power or cultists who are devoted to worshipping Middle-earth’s Dark Lords.
Personally, we’re currently leaning more toward the latter theory.
New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiere Fridays on Prime Video.