'Rings of Power' season 2 showrunner say Sauron's rise is the 'reason to make this show'

Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) in "The Rings of Power" season 1
Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) was revealed to be Sauron in the season 1 finale. (Image credit: Prime Video)

"The Rings of Power" season 2 is coming to Prime Video this summer, and now that Sauron's in the frame, trouble is bound to come to Middle-Earth. 

The recent teaser trailer for season 2 made this notion clear enough. It revolved almost entirely around the looming threat coming to Tolkien's world, culminating with our first glimpse at Charlie Vickers as Sauron, and demonstrating his raw power. 

But from a new interview, it's been made clear just how central a role he will play; Sauron's ascendance is so key, in fact, the "Rings of Power" showrunners believe it is the reason to have made the show in the first place. Patrick McKay likens him to some of the greatest characters to have graced the small screen, believing the story holds plenty of potential.  

Speaking to Empire, McKay said: "If you had to pick one reason to make this show and set it in this era of the mythology, that's it. From minute one, we talked about Milton's "Paradise Lost", Walter White and Tony Soprano, and how Sauron has the potential to be like these great villain-heroes — hero meaning protagonist. That's the greatest untold story on the screen". 

He went on to admit that, now he's been unmasked, Sauron's presence in this version of Middle-Earth should start to pull the various plot threads together. “All our stories start to become one story,” McKay said, “and the one story is the way the re-emergence of Sauron touches everybody and threatens the whole world.”

The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power - Official Teaser Trailer | Prime Video - YouTube The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power - Official Teaser Trailer | Prime Video - YouTube
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What will happen in 'The Rings of Power' season 2?

Well, McKay has given us a clear idea of that, too. Tolkienites will know that, at this stage in the Second Age, Sauron adopted a kindly visage so he could start influencing others. 

Instead of the armor-clad, giant figure you'll no doubt remember from Peter Jackson's "The Fellowship of the Ring" prologue, at this point, he was cutting about as Annatar, "The Lord of Gifts". On the surface, he was a useful presence, offering his knowledge to others (including the gifted smith, Celebrimbor). Secretly, he forged the One Ring, so he could bind those wearing the other magic rings. 

Empire's report namedrops "Annatar", meaning we can expect to see Sauron adopt this guise going forward. The synopsis reads: "Sauron has returned. Cast out by Galadriel, without army or ally, the rising Dark Lord must now rely on his own cunning to rebuild his strength and oversee the creation of the Rings of Power, which will allow him to bind all the peoples of Middle-earth to his sinister will. 

"Building on Season One’s epic scope and ambition, the new season plunges even its most beloved and vulnerable characters into a rising tide of darkness, challenging each to find their place in a world that is increasingly on the brink of calamity. Elves and dwarves, orcs and men, wizards and Harfoots… as friendships are strained and kingdoms begin to fracture, the forces of good will struggle ever more valiantly to hold on to what matters to them most of all… each other."

In addition to Sauron, the new season will also bring another well-loved character to live action, as Rory Kinnear has been cast as the immensely powerful, mysterious being called tom Bombadil. 

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Staff Writer, Streaming

Martin is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, covering all things movies and TV. If it’s in the theaters or available to stream somewhere, he’s probably watched it… especially if it has a dragon in it. Before joining the team, he was a Staff Writer at What To Watch where he wrote about a broad range of shows that stretched from "Doctor Who" and "The Witcher" to "Bridgerton" and "Love Island". When he’s not watching the next must-see movie or show, he’s probably still in front of a screen playing massive RPGs, reading, spending a fortune on TCGs, or watching the NFL.