Rings of Power star Daniel Weyman talks the Stranger’s big identity reveal

Rings of Power star Daniel Weyman talks the Stranger’s big identity reveal

The Stranger isn’t so strange anymore.

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Warning: This story contains spoilers for the season 1 finale of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

A wizard is never late. He is never late. He arrives exactly when he intends to.

And indeed, a wizard did arrive in the season 1 finale of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Ever since Daniel Weyman’s mysterious figure crash landed in Middle-earth via meteor, fans have been speculating about the Stranger’s identity — and whose side he might be on. The finale shows the white-robed mystics tracking down the Stranger, believing him to have reincarnated Sauron. Even the Stranger himself briefly believes them, until a group of harfoots, led by Nori (Markella Kavenagh), come to his rescue. The Stranger grabs the staff of the mystics and rebuffs them with magic. They realize that he is not Sauron’s ally, but one of the Istari, five wizards sent by Valar to defend Middle-earth against evil.

His name is not revealed on screen and it remains to see which Istari member he is. (Saruman? Radagast? One of the unnamed blue wizards? All signs point to Gandalf being the most well-known Istari member, the Stranger. The Rings of Power have been hinting that the Stranger could be an earlier version of everyone’s favorite pipe-smoking wizard. Some clues include his love for halflings as well as his ability to communicate with insects. After defeating the cult-like mystics the Stranger and Nori set off for Rhun to search for more information about his origins and the mysterious constellation he was chasing. The Stranger gives Nori one piece of wizardly advice as they begin their journey. He says, “If in doubt, always follow you nose” — paraphrasing an iconic Gandalf saying.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Daniel Weyman as the Stranger in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’

| Credit: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

Ahead of the Rings of Power finale, EW spoke to Weyman about that big reveal. (You can hear the full conversation below, on EW’s Rings of Power podcast All Rings Considered.) Although the British actor was coy and would not confirm the Stranger’s identity, he said that the response to the show and the weeks-long fan speculations were “hugely humble.” “

” The audience knows exactly what I know, Weyman states. “I haven’t started season 2, and I literally don’t know more than anyone else, which is really amazing. “

When Weyman submitted his first self-taped audition for The Rings of Power, he had no idea which role he was up for — and it wasn’t until after several rounds of auditions that he learned a few “drip-fed” details. After landing the role as the Stranger, JD Payne (showrunner) and Patrick McKay (showrunner) gave him a list to look at for inspiration. He found himself particularly drawn to the 1931 Frankenstein — specifically the iconic scene where Boris Karloff’s monster meets a young girl picking flowers by a lake. The monster mimics her movements and tosses flowers in the water together, drowning her. Weyman explained that the scene stuck with him, especially as it was helping him to figure out how to approach Nori’s Stranger relationship. He also discussed how his childlike actions could lead him down a path of good or evil.

” The monster’s storyline was decided. However, all the monster was doing was copying,” Weyman explained. How was he to know that the child wouldn’t float in the same beautiful way as the flower on water? In that instant, the monster’s perception is changed and the monster is now bad. The way the monster is treated has also changed. We are now in a world where both sides are clearly drawn. Those were some brilliant notes for the Stranger, I thought. We’ve all seen that kind of darkness, light, and lack of understanding. “

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The mystics and the Stranger (Daniel Weyman) in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’

| Credit: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

For Weyman, the joy of playing the Stranger in season 1 has been less about where he comes from and more about what he does, and he opened up about the challenges of playing an ancient wizard who does very little speaking at first. Kavenagh, his faithful harfoot guide Nori, was also praised by Weyman. She did most of the talking onscreen. He says, “I feel like I’m the luckiest person on earth to have the opportunity to work with her.” Her talent, her humanity, and her friendship are amazing. She is truly good news. I was always impressed by her work and felt like I was trying desperately to keep up with her level of work.

For more with Daniel Weyman on the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power finale, listen to EW’s podcast, All Rings Considered, breaking down each episode and featuring exclusive interviews with the cast and creators.

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