One is not just thirsty for Mordor. Have you heard the word about Hot Sauron on Ring of Power and how everyone sent him and … well … you’ll see. When fandoms aren’t fighting over whether it’s worth liking villains, cork fans are quietly falling for one of literature’s biggest baddies. Spoiler to The Lord of the Rings: The Ring of Power ahead, definitely for Season 1 and maybe for some upcoming seasons as well.
Sauron hotness is canon.
While the series has condensed the canon and events in the history of Middle-earth as presented in JRR Tolkien’s books, stories, and appendices, one thing we know is this: Sauron was a hottie. This is something that even the most die-hard Tolkien fan can’t resist. In Tolkien’s Middle-earth biblical text The Silmarillionat the beginning of the chapter entitled “Of the Ring of Power and the Third Age,” Tolkien says the following:
When Thangorodrim was destroyed and Morgoth overthrown, Sauron put on his fair colors again and worshiped Eönwë, the herald of Manwë, and renounced all his evil deeds. And some hold that this was not done falsely at first, but that Sauron in truth repented, if only afraid.
(I know the chapter mentions the Third Age, but I believe the passage that describes the events in the Second Age that lead to it.) The appendices to The The Silmarillion also established that “Annatar,” the name Sauron used when he was “Lord of Gifts” and the titular ring of power was in production, took a “fair form”. Good looks are only temporary. When Numenor finally fell and Sauron created the One Ring, The Silmarillion Notes:
In the middle of the Land of Mordor [Sauron] had to make a Ring Decision. There now he brooded in the dark, until he had forged for himself a new form; and it was terrible, for his fair semblance had departed forever when he was thrown into the drowning abyss of Númenor.
The execution from page to screen is still a surprise.
So we know that Sauron will be easy to spot The Ring of Power and we know that he will tease in some way. That’s how he gained the trust of the elves, dwarves, and men before stabbing them all in the proverbial back with the One Ring. That said, I don’t know about y’all, but I’m assuming that Annatar—or whatever she calls herself—is going to be one of Legolas’ girls, aka hot in the Elven way. I don’t think he’s hot in the rough, unwashed Aragorn way. RIP me, I guess.
Enter Halbrand, played by Australian actor Charlie Vickers, who we now know was (sing with me) Sauron all along. Hoo, boy. handsome and sad and dark and chuckle naker. Galadriel met him on a raft in the sea. He went on to find and defeat Sauron after he killed his brother in service to Morgoth, the Big Bad before him, and finally not only met him but cleared the way for his return. Ouch!
Not long after they met, Galadriel made a costly assumption and project a backstory on him that is immensely interesting for both himself and the fans: reluctant hero and heir to the Southlands-exiled king, like Aragorn, right? wrong! Halbrand would technically rule in the Southlands, but only because that region of Middle-earth was destined to become Mordor. Still, the hero’s journey sold Gal and the unsuspecting viewers had us see Halbrand and the things he did in a special way.
Sauron has manipulated Galadriel, but is also at a crossroads.
One of Tolkien’s letters that probably inspired Vickers about the character states that “when Morgoth was defeated by the Valar at last. [Sauron] leave his loyalty; but by fear only; he did not present himself to the Valar or sue for pardon, and remained in Middle-earth. When he discovers how much his knowledge is admired by all other rational beings and how easily they influence him, he becomes arrogant.
Technically, The Ring of Power can’t adapt immediately The Silmarillion legal reasons, so this letter is really important. Vickers also mentioned using Tolkien’s letters as inspiration in an SDCC interview with ScreenJunkies before the Big Sauron Reveal.
The passage shows Sauron striving for a normal life, and perhaps even feeling personal remorse before finally going down the path of becoming not just Morgoth’s servant, but his second. That makes him complicated. And the characters are very, very complex, very hot-especially if they are being tempted by the Dark Side.
Swooning over hot criminals isn’t exactly a new concept.
Anakin Skywalker, Kylo Ren, Loki, Killmonger, Draco, Harley Quinn, the Darkling, the Goblin King, Regina Mills … need I go on? We know they are bad, but they are not real. We do not owe fictional heroes our loyalty. They can’t see us. In fact, we can even cheer for the hero while being attracted to the villain. Fans contain a lot!
As long as you don’t harass others for not sharing your opinion or headcanon, or start using fictional characters to justify your actions or abusive actions IRL, that’s cool. Stories, especially in fantasy and science fiction, help us move past our fears, anxieties, and dreams in a safe space.
He even survived the shower—which I know sounds wrong, but the fans weren’t happy when Aragon’s greaseball got washed away with a blowout. The return of the King. Think Steve Rogers shaving End of the gamebut so bad that we are rooting against basic hygiene.
We know he’s a criminal even if he doesn’t necessarily realize it.
If you are less familiar with Hot Sauron as a concept before then The Ring of PowerThis can make you look at Peter Jackson’s film in a whole new light.
What really drives Halbrand aka Sauron thirsty, however, is sending him and Galadriel, playing on The Ring of Power by Morfydd Clark. Both flirted, in that intense but chaste way we expected from Lord of the Rings, and he basically asked her to be his Queen in the finale. There are touching hands. There is a look. Is it wrong? Indeed. There are dozens of red flags. He was the once and future Dark Lord. He became the embodiment of evil. Galadriel is also married, although in Season 1 she believes herself to be a widow. I ask you this: And????
We know for a fact that this ship is not the end game.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun, appreciate the time they had, or maybe jump into an AU in the meantime. Galadriel can have fun too. Strong, confident, driven, smart female characters like Galadriel The Ring of Power as boring as Entmoots if they weren’t allowed to make mistakes. Bring ’em shipping manifestos, fics, Tumblr posts, gifsets, and tons of fancams set to Taylor Swift songs.
Let me be abundantly clear: I want others to look at me like this. I do not wanting to be tricked by the Dark Lord and controlled by the One Ring he made behind my back and won’t let me wear in our engagement photo. Actually, I don’t want see Galadriel to become the Dark Elf Queen on Sauron’s side, but I want to see her think about it and wrestle with her feelings and / or Halbrand. When Celeborn returns, I want him to be part of the love triangle. There is a difference!
Too grossed out with the flaming eyes against it all attracted to Sauron? That is your prerogative. To be fair, there are a lot of hotties on Ring of Power. But Hot Sauron is no rival to Hot Elrond, Gilgadaddy, or ElenDILF as far as I’m concerned. I love ’em all. The more the merrier! I’m going here with the other dark and twisted people.
(Image: Amazon Studios)
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