Full spoilers for episode 8 of The Rings of Power follow.
Markella Kavenagh revealed that the cast of The Rings of Power did not know about The Stranger’s identity until they received the script for Episode 8.
Speaking exclusively to ahead of The Rings of Power season 1 finale, Kavenagh – who plays Nori Brandyfoot, one of the show’s main Harfoots – explained that she had no idea who The Stranger was until the end of production.
The main spoilers follow for The Rings of Power Episode 8. Do not read beyond the image below if you have not already streamed it.
While we don’t know about the Stranger’s real name, we did receive confirmation of what type of being he is in the latest episode of the high fantasy Prime Video show. He is 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 first trailer for The Rings of Power was released in February, Lord of the Rings fans have speculated that The Stranger was one of the Istari, although the pricey Prime Video series has occasionally led us to think he was actually Sauron. With the eighth episode of The Rings of Power arriving, however, we know that The Stranger is one of the good guys – it remains to be seen which he really is.
It seems like many of the show’s cast didn’t know who The Stranger was for a long time either. As Kavenagh revealed, none of the actors playing Harfoot – including Megan Richards (Poppy), Sara Zwongbani (Marigold) and Dylan Smith (Largo) – as well as The Stranger himself (Daniel Weyman) knew in advance, with the group only finding out when the scripts were given to them.
“Yeah, when we actually got the scripts,” Kavenagh said when asked when she learned of The Stranger’s mage reveal. “I think we got it [episode] eight very late and there were two versions too, because the ending was very confidential. We had a script reading and it was really exciting to find out who Daniel was playing. It was a big deal to finally find out who the Stranger was – in a way!”
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“In a way” is the right way to end an answer like that. Unfortunately, The Rings of Power does not confirm which wizard is the Stranger. That’s a reveal that’s being withheld until Season 2 at the earliest. Although, judging by a specific line of dialogue that The Stranger says to Nori in Episode 8, we can already know who he is.
Fortunately, the show’s eighth entry isn’t the end of Nori and The Stranger’s growing friendship. We see the pair leave the rest of the Harefoots to travel east, with the land of Rhûn firmly in their sights. There, the duo 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 show’s second season is incredibly exciting. Mainly because the duo can actually talk to each other now – something that wasn’t possible when The Stranger’s first crash landed in the first episode of The Rings of Power.
“They are able to communicate verbally more now,” he added. “We have that dialogue-filled scene in episode eight, but it’s the first time we can really interact. It was quite an experience, and I think that will change as their friendship develops.
“It will add something more to their dynamic, but we’ll have to see how that plays out. I don’t know when filming for season two will start – it’s starting slowly, but I don’t have a definite time on that. Daniel and I know each other well now, so I hope it’s more fun and allows us to imbue their relationship with a deeper connection.”
For more exclusive coverage of Rings of Power, find out why Episode 2 nearly ruined the show’s big Sauron reveal. Alternatively, read about when the show’s cast found out which one of them was playing Sauron.