'The Rings of Power': All the Signs The Stranger Is Really Gandalf

The Rings of Power may be set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, but that doesn't mean it's completely disconnected from J. R. R. Tolkien's iconic trilogy.

Of course, characters like Galadriel and Elrond take center stage in the Prime Video prequel and villain Sauron also plays a part in the series, but there's one character who seems to be more than meets the eye: The Stranger.

Played by Daniel Weyman, The Stranger appears at the end of Episode 1, when he is discovered at the heart of a crater by Harfoot Nori (Markella Kavenagh), but he remains largely a mystery.

However, there are some clues as to his true identity, namely that he could well be a certain Hobbit-loving wizard: Gandalf.

Daniel Weyman on The Stranger, Fan Theories and The Character's True Identity

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
Daniel Weyman as The Stranger in "Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power." The Prime Video show appears to suggest that the character is really the wizard Gandalf. Matt Grace/Prime Video

Weyman spoke to Newsweek about The Stranger, admitting that while he was keen not to give anything away about the character, he was excited to see all the fan theories about him.

"I think that's one of the really fun things about playing this character is seeing the wealth of different ideas," Weyman said. "And what's amazing about a lot of the Tolkien fanbase is that they're incredibly knowledgeable and so everybody seems to be able to support their idea with a huge amount of really, really articulate arguments.

"And so for me, that's quite fun seeing well, you've got somebody over this end and somebody over this end, and they're both able to explain really eloquently why they think they were right.

"I'm obviously not gonna give that away, but to play The Stranger, it's been exciting for me because I've been able to sort of, with my feet on the floor, I've been able to play the scenes that I've been given with full knowledge of the character that I'm playing at that moment.

"And that I think has enabled me to hopefully be as authentic as I can be with the character, and I'm really excited for for the audience to come on that journey with me."

'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power': All the Signs The Stranger is Really Gandalf

The Stranger arrives in Middle Earth like a meteor at the end of the first episode, and he is discovered by Nori and her friend Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards).

Nori, being the curious Harfoot she is, goes to The Stranger in Episode 2, and he grabs her hand and briefly unleashes his power before collapsing.

The Harfoots decide to help him and they hide him near their camp, but far enough away that the others won't find him. When Nori and Poppy move him they comment on how tall he is, remarking that he can't be human because he's too big and can't be an elf because of his features.

This leaves very few options then for who The Stranger could be, other than a member of the Istari.

The Istari, in J. R. R. Tolkien's works, are the order of Wizards sent to help in the fight against Sauron during the Third Age of Middle Earth as vassals of the Valar—the deities who help rule and shape the world.

In Tolkien's work there are five Istari: Curumo, Olórin, Aiwendil, Alatar and Pallando. Later Curumo became Saruman, Olórin became Gandalf, and Aiwendil became known as Radagast.

Though the Istari were said to arrive during the Third Age it seems possible that Tolkien's lore has been altered so that one, if not more, of the Istari arrived during the Second Age, which is when The Rings of Power is set.

Before The Stranger's arrival, Sadoc Burrows (Sir Lenny Henry) noticed how the stars were out in daylight, remarking that they were "watching for something," which could be a reference to the Valar choosing to send the Istari given Sauron will try to rise to power once more.

A visual marker that could also hint at The Stranger's identity is that he wears grey, the color that is associated with Gandalf as a member of the Istari. Saruman's color is white, Radagast's is brown, and Alatar and Pallando's color is blue.

In Episode 2, there are also two moments of note that seem to suggest that The Stranger is Gandalf.

The first is when Nori discovers The Stranger making marks on the rocks and trees, one appears to resemble the rune that Gandalf marked upon Bilbo's door to direct Thorin Oakenshield and his Dwarf companions there in The Hobbit.

Later in the episode, Nori and Poppy bring lanterns to The Stranger, which uses fireflies to light their way. The Stranger speaks to some of the fireflies so that they create a star map in the sky, and this appears to resemble the way Gandalf spoke to a moth to call for help from an Eagle in The Fellowship of The Ring.

It is also noteworthy that The Stranger is with the Harfoots, the ancestors of the Hobbits that Gandalf calls upon in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. If he is indeed Gandalf, then Nori helping him will likely show how the wizard came to love the Hobbits in the first place.

The Stranger's identity will no doubt be revealed in the Prime Video at a later date.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power airs Fridays on Prime Video, the first two episodes are available to watch now.

The Lord of the Rings
L-R: Ian McKellen as Gandalf with Elijah Wood as Frodo in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." In "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" The Stranger first meets the Harfoots, the ancestors of the Hobbits, which appears to be a hint towards Gandalf's association with Hobbits in the Third Age of Middle Earth. New Line/WireImage