Movies & Television

What Does the Name 'Halbrand' Mean in The Rings of Power?

**Warning – Spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power**

The Rings of Power finale leaned into popular theories surrounding the identities of two core characters, one being Halbrand – the alleged King of the Southlands. In light of recent events, we take a look at what the name Halbrand actually means in Sindarin and unravel some key clues throughout Season 1 that pointed to his facade.

Episode 8, titled Alloyed, saw a now-blinded Queen Míriel back in Númenor just after the King’s death, while Galadriel and Elrond worked with Celebrimbor to utilize the mithril and save the Elven race.

Developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay for Amazon Prime and based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power will be set thousands of years before The Hobbit and its successor, starring Robert Aramayo, Morfydd Clark, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, and many more.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power | Main Teaser | Amazon Prime Video

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power | Main Teaser | Amazon Prime Video
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What Does the Name Halbrand Mean?

In order to translate Halbrand effectively, we have to break the name down into two parts: ‘hal’ and ‘brand’.

Using Dúnadan ranger Halbarad’s name as a guide, ‘hal’ means “tall”, while ‘barad’ means “tower”. However, if we translate ‘brand’ as an Exilic Noldorin word, it means “lofty, noble, fine.”

This concludes Halbrand’s name means “tall noble”, which works in favor of his kingly disguise as well as his future status as a Dark Lord.

Tolkien fans should also recognize the ‘barad’ of Halbarad’s name, which was later used in Sauron’s tower Barad-dûr – the Dark Lord’s fortress in Mordor containing the eye at the top.

Is Sauron Human?

No, Sauron is not human despite his appearance as Halbrand, a human, for the majority of Season 1.

Sauron is closer to a spirit as he was a Maia before joining forces with Morgoth and carried the name Mairon, meaning he is also not mortal.

The reason Sauron could appear as the human Halbrand is because the Maia has the ability to shapeshift into any appearance he desires.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – Cr. Courtesy of Prime Video, © 2010-2022 Amazon.com, Inc.

Clues That Pointed to Sauron Being Halbrand

One clue that pointed to Halbrand’s evil intent appeared all the way back in Episode 2 when we had just met him on the raft. As the fish snake approached to attack the raft behind Galadriel, we see Halbrand deliberately separate the raft so that the three other survivors got attacked instead of him. Definitely a villainous move.

Another clue presented itself when Halbrand arrived at Númenor and was insistently looking for a job as a craftsman. When Sauron was Mairon, he served the Vala Aulë – whom the Dwarves also praise – whose task was crafting the substances of the world.

A Redditor also pointed out that composer Bear McCreary used the first five notes of Sauron’s theme in reverse in Halbrand’s theme but kept the same key.

Lastly, the final clue presented itself when Halbrand began to show an interest in Celebrimbor’s work with mithril and told the forger to consider his teachings as a “gift”. In Tolkien lore, Sauron used the disguise of Annatar to deceive the Elves into making the rings of power, and the name means “lord of gifts” or gift-lord.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – Cr. Courtesy of Prime Video, © 2010-2022 Amazon.com, Inc.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

The Rings of Power is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Jo Craig
@shingeekyjo

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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