The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

For discussion of Amazon's new television show "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power"
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by narya »

Alatar wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 5:05 pm Has anyone considered that it might be Olórin?
I did.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by N.E. Brigand »

narya wrote: Sun Sep 04, 2022 2:54 am
Alatar wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 5:05 pm Has anyone considered that it might be Olórin?
I did.
I hadn't seen any publicity about The Rings of Power and hadn't read the discussions here or elsewhere, and so I hadn't heard about this character before seeing the first two episodes on Wednesday, and that was my first thought too (fireflies as proto-moths?), though obviously that contradicts the plain text of The Lord of the Rings and could be a tease by the filmmakers. Among other possibilities, he could also be the Man in the Moon or (as I suggested elsewhere) a lintip.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Alatar »

He could also be Radagast. The way the living creatures all deferred to him?
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

You know, I don't think I have seen that speculated, but it makes a lot of sense.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Eldy »

My boyfriend also guessed Radagast. For what it's worth, he hasn't followed ROP leaks and rumors, aside from the bit he's heard from me. When I mentioned the Balrog theory he liked that, too.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Dave_LF »

I thought Radagast seemed a little too obviously telegraphed too, though it may not come off that way to ordinary people (did Radagast ever whisper to moths, or was he always on the receiving end of messages from Gandalf?). There was also the detail that the fireflies all dropped dead after he was done with them...
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Stranger Wings »

Dave_LF wrote:Argh; but then "The Stranger" is back and sounding sinister again in both True Creation Requires Sacrifice and Where the Shadows Lie (I misidentified this theme until today, which is why I'm only realizing this now. It has a waltzy/dreamy quality the first time we hear it, but has turned downright creepy by the beginning of Where the Shadows Lie). So maybe he's in fact Sauron, and maybe the "Wise One" is the wise old hobbit who says no to what he was offering...
Another interesting thing.

1. Galadriel, in the evil stronghold in Forodwaith, says “this place is so evil not even fire can bring warmth here.”

2. The fire emanating from the Stranger is not warm.

This could imply that he’s evil (Durin’s Bane, Sauron himself), or simply that all Maia produce cold flame (and that he could be Istari).

I’m open to anything, at this point. Why? Because the set up is so beautiful and intriguing. And powerful. When the Stranger shouts at Nori and the wind blows, the light darkens, and all the trees bend around him? That was some pure Tolkien stuff. Though also reminiscent of Gandalf’s little intimidation show to Bilbo in Bag End…


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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Stranger Wings »

N.E. Brigand wrote:
narya wrote: Sun Sep 04, 2022 2:54 am
Alatar wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 5:05 pm Has anyone considered that it might be Olórin?
I did.
I hadn't seen any publicity about The Rings of Power and hadn't read the discussions here or elsewhere, and so I hadn't heard about this character before seeing the first two episodes on Wednesday, and that was my first thought too (fireflies as proto-moths?), though obviously that contradicts the plain text of The Lord of the Rings and could be a tease by the filmmakers. Among other possibilities, he could also be the Man in the Moon or (as I suggested elsewhere) a lintip.
He could be the source of the Man in the Moon legend AND an Istari.


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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Maybe they should leave him unexplained.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Smaug's voice »

I haven't followed much of the leaks, but my first thought (and it's a weird one) was that he might be Tom Bombadil. Certainly contradicting with his origins as one of the firsts to walk the earth, but it felt like it given the way the trees and beasts alike deferred to him, and the death of the fireflies added a slight sinister edge that I'd always felt when reading of him.

Alternatively, among the given choices, I'd be much happier if it turns out to be Saruman instead of Gandalf or Radagast. Not only does he have a strong resemblance to Christopher Lee, he seems to have a very wizard-like quality to him (the runes he carves on the tree trunk looked a lot like the mark Gandalf left on Bilbo's door), but there's also a certain darkness to him lurking underneath, not unlike Saruman.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Dave_LF »

Based on the the soundtrack info I mentioned before, I'm about 75%* sure the stranger will end up being a bad guy. WHICH particular bad guy, I'm not sure, but it would be hard to explain what his theme is doing sounding like *that* by the end of the season (True Creation, & Where the Shadows Lie) if he's, say, Gandalf. Or even Saruman, unless they're going to retcon him into secretly aiding Sauron right from the start (which would be a bridge too far for me, I think).

I think it could be interesting if Nori's "chosen one" impulses end up aiding evil--a nice subversion of the trope.

* The 25% would be if he's merely present (and ominously appalled) when all the bad stuff is going down. Which actually seems more and more plausible as I relisten with that interpretation in mind--The Mystics seems compatible with the idea that The Stranger is *fighting* whatever the cult is doing.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Alatar »

Saruman doesn't have to be evil or abetting Sauron. Remember how Treebeard described him: "He has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things, except as far as they serve him for the moment"
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Stranger Wings wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 11:59 am
N.E. Brigand wrote:
narya wrote: Sun Sep 04, 2022 2:54 am I did.
I hadn't seen any publicity about The Rings of Power and hadn't read the discussions here or elsewhere, and so I hadn't heard about this character before seeing the first two episodes on Wednesday, and that was my first thought too (fireflies as proto-moths?), though obviously that contradicts the plain text of The Lord of the Rings and could be a tease by the filmmakers. Among other possibilities, he could also be the Man in the Moon or (as I suggested elsewhere) a lintip.
He could be the source of the Man in the Moon legend AND an Istari.
On the other hand, the Man in the Moon or the Istari could be the source of the legends about him.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Frelga »

Dave_LF wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 12:30 am I thought Radagast seemed a little too obviously telegraphed too, though it may not come off that way to ordinary people (did Radagast ever whisper to moths, or was he always on the receiving end of messages from Gandalf?). There was also the detail that the fireflies all dropped dead after he was done with them...
Yes, the moths dying argued for him being evil and against him being Bombadil, Radagast or Gandalf. They are all associated with the living things.

I like the idea of him being Saruman, who, while not at that point evil, may not care about the fate of tiny insects once they stopped being useful.

Sauron? Maybe. I imagined Annatar to be more conventionally beautiful. But he might clean up well. And, I noticed that overall they went with casting actors as Elves who did not necessarily have the symmetrical porcelain features of PJ's Elves.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

My best guess after seeing the first two episodes is that he is Sasquatch.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Inanna »

I felt the fireflies dying and his reaction to it was not evil. It reminded me of uncontrolled power leading to loss, and regret for that loss.

I really don’t see Why the showmakers would change the way the known Maiar came. That is so much more in line with their purpose on ME. But then, look at what they have done to Galadriel (grumble).

I suspect this is a completely new character. Made-up.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Aravar »

Having seen the most recent episode, whoever he is, I don't think he's Sauron.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by kzer_za »

If he's Sauron they're doing a lot of misdirection. Whoever he is though...I just frankly don't care. To me this comes across a generic dime-a-dozen mystery box, of the sort that was already getting tired when Force Awakens came out in 2015. Wouldn't be surprised if JJ Abrams' fingerprints were here, at least indirectly. Less reason for the viewer to care about it than the average mystery box, even. Admittedly there are a few nice visual flourishes here and there though.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Eldy »

It feels like they're really leading towards the Stranger being Gandalf, but it's hard to say if that's a red herring, or if the "subversion of expectations" will be that the answer really is the blindingly obvious one. See also: Star Trek Into Darkness.

...On second thought, don't see that. It's terrible.
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Re: The Stranger of Udûn? - New Info and the Identity of Meteor Man

Post by Inanna »

Lol.

I’ll be highly annoyed if the Stranger is Gandalf. Two reasons. First, I find all the interactions between him & Nori very irritating. If he can’t understand the language then he can’t understand a gazillion things. Including “friend”. :roll: Second, it is absolutely counter to how Gandalf is told to work in M-E: quietly, aiding people etc. That’s why he comes quietly on a ship. Not land blaring across the sky.
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