Who is Halbrand in The Rings of Power? Theories for Charlie Vickers’s character

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One figure emerges in the second episode and his name is Halbrand, a man who crosses paths with the Elf warrior Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) on the Sundering Seas.

However, is Halbrand just an original creation of the new television series or does he have a greater purpose tied to Tolkien’s lore?

Here is all you need to know about Halbrand in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and theories about the character.

who is halbrand in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

Halbrand is a man described by Amazon Studios as “a human running from his past whose destiny is entwined with Galadriel’s”.

In the second episode, Galadriel meets Halbrand when she is pulled from the Sundering Seas onto a boat wreckage on which Halbrand is another passenger.

When Halbrand uncovers that Galadriel is an elf, others on board push her from the wreckage just before they are attacked by a sea creature.

In the aftermath, Halbrand pulls Galadriel back onto the wreckage and the pair are the only survivors. They both go on to weather a dangerous storm and save each other’s lives.

Halbrand appears haunted by his past and Galadriel notes that they can move on from this and begin anew.

“Whatever you did, be free of it,” Galadriel tells him.

In the third episode, Halbrand goes on to accompany Galadriel to Númenor when they are both taken there by Captain Elendil (Lloyd Owen) who rescued them from the Sundering Sea.

Once there, Halbrand helps quell discord between Galadriel and Queen Regent Miriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and manages to get an agreement for them to stay there for now.

Halbrand reveals he hopes to start a new life in Númenor but finds it hard to take a job and soon clashes with local men, displaying his fighting prowess and ability to charm in the process.

Later, when Galadriel visits him in a cell, she reveals that she knows the necklace around his neck represents that of a King who united groups of men in the Southlands under one banner.

It is then deduced that Halbrand is actually the heir to the title of King of the Southlands, but Halbrand notes that he is not the hero that Galadriel seeks even if his people need him against a new threat.

Halbrand also notes that his ancestor was allied with Morgoth against the Elves, but Galadriel is keen for them to better what has come before.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s Halbrand theories explained

There are a number of theories regarding the true nature of Halbrand’s character, whose dark past is clearly meant to pique our interest.

An early fan theory about Halbrand is that he is actually the Dark Lord himself, Sauron, in disguise.

In the series, Galadriel is one of the few convinced that Sauron remains a threat to Middle-earth and is responsible for the death of her noble older brother, Finrod (Will Fletcher).

Galadriel turns down a chance to return to the Undying Lands of Valinor due to her desire to return to Middle-earth, avenge her brother and defeat the enemy.

How much of a cruel twist of fate would it be if Sauron became her chief companion – and maybe even love interest – in the form of Halbrand?

It would not be entirely without precedent compared to Tolkein lore – albeit with some adaptational changes.

Traditionally, Sauron was one of the angelic Maiar of Valinor named Mairon before he became corrupted by the powerful Morgoth and served as his chief lieutenant – as depicted in the show.

Following Morgoth’s defeat, Sauron escaped but reappeared in a fair and seductive form known as Annatar.

In this form, Annatar/Sauron fell in with Lord Celebrimbor and helped him and the Elven smiths to form the Rings of Power.

Secretly, Sauron formed the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor in a bid to control the other rings, but sensing his influence they removed the rings. After this, Sauron went to war with the Elves but an alliance with the men of Númenor saw him driven back to Mordor.

Sauron later killed Lord Celebrimbor and the Elven smiths and gave the Seven Rings to dwarves and the Nine Rings to men, but only the latter bent to his will, becoming Ringwraiths known as the Nazgul. Meanwhile, the Elves salvaged the Three Rings and they were worn by High King Gil-galad, Círdan, and Galadriel.

After this, an army of Númenor defeated Sauron and he was taken back to their island state but used his power to corrupt the state to its core and persuade them to wage war on Valinor – prompting the god Eru to bring about the destruction of Númenor.

Sauron survived but lost his ability to appear beautiful.

Could Halbrand in the series actually be playing the part of Sauron the Deceiver?

Well, we do know that Halbrand is now in Númenor so perhaps he can work some villainy here to mirror the lore of Tolkein.

Similarly, he could also be one of Sauron’s chief lieutenants – the Witch-King of Angmar, one of the Nazgul.

The Witch-King was a human ruler of men until he was gifted one of the Nine Rings by Sauron and was corrupted – turning into the leader of the dreaded Nagul and ruling his own domain of Minas Morgul between Gondor and Mordor.

We now know that Halbrand is a claimant of the title of the King of the Southlands and is a wanderer who could reclaim his kingdom and protect his people.

So, could he turn out to be someone corrupted by Sauron? Could he become one of the Nazgul?

Another theory is that Halbrand could be the man who will become the King of the Dead.

In the lore of the books, the King of the Dead was a man who had ruled over a realm in the White Mountains and followed Sauron.

However, eventually, this King decided to swear to come to the aid of Isildur, the King of Gondor, should he need them.

When needed, however, the King failed to appear when Isildur needed him, prompting Isildur to curse the King and his followers and so they were forced to remain as ghoulish spirits until the oath was fulfilled. It eventually was when Aragorn, Isildur’s descendant, asked for the Army of the Dead’s help in fighting against Sauron.

Alternatively, Halbrand could also be an entirely original creation with no link to Sauron, Morgoth or anyone else, but is just a man from Middle-earth with a dark past.

Additionally, if he is indeed just a roguish hero with a link to a royal bloodline with rugged good looks then maybe he is intended as a direct parallel to Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings.

Fans will recall that Aragorn, son of Arathorn, was the descendant of Isildur and the rightful King of Gondor and Arnor but lived much of his life in hiding and later as a ranger named Strider.

However, actor Charlie Vickers does seem to hint at some major revelations to come regarding Halbrand.

Speaking to Collider, Vickers described Halbrand as “just a dude. Just a Middle-earth dude” – but then he would say that…

Describing his relationship with Galadriel, Vickers says of Halbrand: “But I think when they meet, from Hal’s perspective, he knows there’s something special about Galadriel. I won’t divulge if he knows exactly who she is. I have a decision on that, but I think it’s best left ambiguous.

“I think from his perspective, she brings out some things in him and illuminates some things in his mind that he hasn’t necessarily considered, things about his own life and his own past as they get to know each other a bit more. But certainly when they first meet, I think he’s quite standoffish and distrusting of her.”

He later added to Decider: “I think there are certainly elements of his past, being where he’s from, where there is that connection through his ancestors. They fall on the wrong side at the end of the First Age.

“As to where his character goes, as we watch the plot unfold, I think there are certainly questions that develop in his mind about both his past and his future. Questions through meeting different people, encountering different obstacles on his quest to start a new life away from the Southlands. And I think it’s best to leave the question of where it takes him specifically unanswered at this stage.”

Alternatively, perhaps he could also be the absent father of Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin), the son of the human healer Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi)?

We’ll have to wait and see.

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Who plays Halbrand in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

Halbrand is portrayed in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power by British actor Charlie Vickers.

A relative newcomer, Vickers previously appeared in the film Palm Beach and in the television series Medici as the character Guglielmo Pazzi.

Speaking about his working on the set of The Rings of Power, Vickers revealed: “It was overwhelming at times because everything’s fully interactive.

“For the set in Númenor, we sailed a boat into a harbor and they built a harbor for us to sail the boat into. And then we got off the harbor and walked into the city. That was really, really amazing.”

We can’t wait to see it!

Read more on The Rings of Power:

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episodes 1 and 2 arrive on Amazon Prime Video in the UK on Friday 2nd September 2022 – you can sign up now for a free 30-day Prime Video trial.

If you’re looking for something else to watch in the meantime, check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Fantasy hub.


The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.

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