Sauron brooding with his hood up

Who Is Annatar in ‘Lord of the Rings’?

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is finally here, with its first two episodes hitting Amazon Prime on September 1, 2022. This series marks the first live-action Lord of the Rings adaption since Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. However, The Rings of Power must not be confused as a sequel or continuation of Jackson’s film series. Instead, the show covers the history of Middle-earth’s Second Age, thousands of years before the events of either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings.

Recommended Videos

The series is going to condense several events—such as the forging of the Rings of the Power, the Dark Lord Sauron’s rise, and the fall of Númenor—that encompassed The Second Age. Due to it taking place so long before The Lord of the Rings, the number of familiar characters is fairly limited. Still, several events will still be similar, as they are referred to frequently in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and are also covered in the appendices published at the end of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King.

At the same time, some aspects of the series may be a bit confusing for those not as well versed in Tolkien-lore. This is especially true because the series is both a mixture of Tolkien’s books, appendices, and characters, as well as some wholly original tales and characters that were inspired by Middle-earth. Hence, there will be characters that are millennia younger and different than we remember, plus a slew of characters that are wholly original. So, which of these categories does The Rings of Power character, referred to as Annatar, fit into?

Who is Annatar in The Rings of Power?

When the The Rings of Power official trailer released, fans instantly began circulating one scene in particular, which starts at around 0:54. It is of a brooding Elvin-looking young individual wearing a white cloak, who fans immediately began to hypothesize is Annatar. Check out the trailer below:

For those of you wondering who this Annatar is, it is a second identity assumed by Lord Sauron. Fans of The Lord of the Rings will recall that Sauron was attempting to make his return in The Lord of the Rings, after first being defeated thousands of years ago. Hence, the Sauron that we see in The Rings of Power is a vastly different character than we’re familiar with. Sauron has gone by many different names after the years, considering he’s one of the most ancient beings in The Lord of the Rings. His original name was Mairon and he was actually quite a good man, though a bit of a perfectionist.

Soon, though, he became corrupted by the first Dark Lord Morgoth and waged war against the Elves, where he proved to be brutal, cunning, and deceitful. When Morgoth fell, Sauron went into hiding and laid low for the remainder of the First Age. When the Second Age came he resurfaced and, this time, he called himself Annatar, “The Lord of the Gifts.” Under this identity, he lived among the Elves, wishing to seduce them with gifts, encouragement, and magical secrets. He managed to manipulate the Elvin smiths into forging the Rings of Power for him. Once they were in his grasp, he turned on them and revealed his true identity as Sauron.

(featured image: Amazon Prime)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.