The Rings Of Power Finale Writer On Breaking Galadriel's World With The Sauron Reveal [Exclusive]

Now that the ash of Mount Doom has settled, the black flags of Númenor have been raised, and the harfoots have continued on their merry way, it's a good time to take a look back on the first season of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." The dazzling, epic, and sometimes slackly paced series had a lot to offer across its first eight episodes, including several mysterious ties to the Middle-earth we know and love.

One of the biggest mysteries, the identity of the fallen dark lord Sauron, was finally revealed at the season's climax. /Film's Jenna Busch recently interviewed Gennifer Hutchinson, who co-wrote the finale, about exactly how the decision to reveal Sauron's identity came together. When asked about the process of writing out the big reveal, Hutchinson explained that character consistency was key:

"We obviously identified Halbrand very early, as this was the endgame. So really it was about laying out a storyline for him that felt consistent for Halbrand, but when you went back and looked at it as Sauron with that knowledge, it still felt consistent for that character and kind of gave you a second perspective of those scenes." 

The method the writers took held true for the story we saw on screen, as Sauron's reveal felt simultaneously surprising — there were at least two other characters who seemed purposely Sauron-esque this season – and, on some level, expected.

Building a Sauron storyline that felt 'consistent'

Before he was the all-seeing tyrant we saw in Peter Jackson's trilogy, Sauron was a smith, just like Charlie Vickers' Halbrand. Tolkien also writes that the character went through a repentance stage, as burgeoning Tolkien bookworm Vickers told The Hollywood Reporter when referencing "The Silmarillion." "So the question is not whether he was repentant," the actor pointed out, "it was whether that repentance was genuine." 

During that time, it makes sense that Sauron would take the face of a seemingly heroic guy, even if his period of apparent allyship with the forces of good wasn't built to last. The series not only built up Halbrand in an authentic way, but also built up his relationship with Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), giving them a bond that seemed charged and borderline romantic.

All of this, according to Hutchinson, was meant to build up the plotline organically, leading to the big reveal. "It was really about tracking his journey, what he says, his relationship with Galadriel, so it all feels consistent across both storylines" she says, "and then just building to that final confrontation and making sure that they're in this place where their friendship and their relationship is so solid and intimate that it blows the world apart for her at the end."

Where do Galadriel and Sauron go from here?

Indeed, her confrontation with Halbrand-turned-Sauron didn't just blow Galadriel's emotional world apart: it also tore apart the fabric of her literal world. Some of the coolest scenes in the climax saw the elven hero moving through time in a version of reality Sauron was bending around her, making her feel like she was back in childhood with her brother, then back on the raft at sea with Halbrand, before she returned to a version of reality where her charming tormenter was nowhere to be found.

It's interesting that Hutchinson says that Sauron blew apart Galadriel's world, because the elf warrior was already so paranoid about him before his reveal that it's hard to imagine what she might look like on the other side of their encounter. We'll have to wait for season 2 to see what the fallout between their showdown looks like. In the meantime, the first season of "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" season 1 is now available in full on Prime Video.