Full spoilers for The Rings of Power episode 8 follow.
Markella Kavenagh has revealed that The Rings of Power’s cast didn’t learn about The Stranger’s identity until they received the script for episode 8.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar before The Rings of Power season 1 finale aired, Kavenagh – who portrays Nori Brandyfoot, one of the show’s primary Harfoots – explained that she had no idea who The Stranger was until late into production.
Major spoilers follow for The Rings of Power episode 8. Don’t read past the image below if you haven’t streamed it yet.
(Image credit: Prime Video)
While we don’t learn about The Stranger’s actual name, we receive confirmation of the type of being he is in the high fantasy Prime Video show‘s latest episode. He’s one of the Istari, a collection of five wizards sent to Middle-earth by the Valar to aid the world’s races in their fight against Sauron.
Ever since The Rings of Power’s first trailer dropped in February, Lord of the Rings fans have speculated that The Stranger was one of the Istari, although the expensive Prime Video series occasionally misdirected us into thinking he was actually Sauron. With the arrival of The Rings of Power’s eighth episode, though, we know that The Stranger is one of the good guys – it just remains to be seen which one he actually is.
It appears that many of the show’s cast were unaware of who The Stranger was for a long time, too. As Kavenagh revealed, none of the actors playing a Harfoot – including Megan Richards (Poppy), Sara Zwongbani (Marigold), and Dylan Smith (Largo) – as well as The Stranger himself (Daniel Weyman) knew ahead of time, with the group only finding out once the scripts were delivered to them.
(Image credit: Prime Video)
“Yeah, when we got the scripts really,” Kavenagh said when asked when she learned of The Stranger’s wizard reveal. “I think we got [episode] eight quite late and there were two versions as well, because the finale was so confidential. We had a read through of the scripts and it was very exciting to find out who Daniel was playing. It was a big deal to finally know who The Stranger was – in a way!”
“In a way” is the right way to end an answer like that. Unfortunately, The Rings of Power doesn’t confirm which wizard The Stranger is. That’s a reveal that’s being held back until season 2 at the earliest. Although, judging by a specific line of dialog that The Stranger says to Nori in episode 8, we might know who he is already.
Thankfully, the show’s eighth entry isn’t the end of Nori and The Stranger’s burgeoning friendship. We see the pair leaving the rest of the Harfoots to travel east, with the land of Rhûn firmly in their sights. There, the pair hope to find out more about The Stranger’s powers – and, hopefully, his real name.
For Kavenagh, the opportunity to further explore Nori’s relationship with The Stranger in the series’ second season is incredibly exciting. Mainly, because the duo can actually talk to one another now – something that wasn’t possible when The Stranger first crash landed in The Rings of Power’s first episode.
“They’re able to verbally communicate more now,” she added. “We have that dialog-heavy scene in episode eight, but it’s the first time we could actually interact. It was quite an experience, and I think that’ll change as their friendship develops.
“It’ll add something more to their dynamic, but we’ll have to see how that plays out. I don’t know when filming on season 2 will begin – it’s slowly starting but I don’t have a definitive time on that. Daniel and I know each other well now, so hopefully it’ll be more fun and allow us to imbue their relationship with a deeper connection.”
For more exclusive Rings of Power coverage, find out why episode 2 almost ruined the show’s big Sauron reveal. Alternatively, read up on when the show’s cast found out about which of them was playing Sauron.