Rings of Power Episode 5: What are the Stranger’s powers and is he one of the Maiar?

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power reached the middle of his debut season this week, delving further into the powers and abilities of the stranger who fell from the sky. With his story now intertwined with that of the Harfoots, it remains to be seen who he is and where he’s from. However, if we look at the works of author JRR Tolkien, we can make some educated guesses about his origins and purpose in Middle-earth…

What powers does the Stranger have in The Rings of Power?

the lord of the rings the rings of power the alien forces abilities maiar mage

Image: Amazon Studios / Prime Video

Introduced in Episode 1 of Rings of Power, the Stranger, or Meteor Man as he is affectionately known by fans, raced across the skies of Middle-earth before landing squarely in the path of a curious young Harfoot named Nori. We quickly saw how he could use both fire and air to protect himself, and use both to defend himself when he thought he was being attacked. On this week’s episode, those skills went even further as the stranger used an earthquake to shake off some hungry wolves before freezing water with his hand and allowing the ice to travel up his arm. Combine all of this with the fact that he appears to have come from outer space, and it’s clear that the Stranger’s powers and origins are inspired by the five elements of nature that we know.

Magic and the supernatural take many forms in Tolkien’s work, so the identity of the stranger has been a topic of discussion since his debut. Some think the fiery mark left by his initial arrival suggests he is Sauron, while others think he may be a young version of Gandalf. Perhaps the most compelling argument after this latest installment is that he is one of the Maiar sent to Middle-earth with the help of the Valar.

Who are the Maiar and is the stranger a Maia?

Lord of the Rings Stranger Forces Maiar Sorcerer

Image: Ben Rothstein / Amazon Studios / Prime Video

The Maiar were spirits created by the Valar to shape the world. Many of them went unnamed, but Tolkien said they were numerous, and by the Third Age of Middle-earth history five of them became wizards incarnate. After the creation of the One Ring, Valor sent a group of Maiar, disguised as an order of ancient wizards called the Istari, to help unite the people of Middle-earth against the Dark Lord’s evil. Of course, this hasn’t happened in the timeline yet, as we’re still in the second age of Middle-earth during Rings of Power Episode 5.

This could mean that the stranger is a Maiar whose history has yet to be fully explored. Though powerful and put to work for good, a Maia is not immune to corruption. Many viewers believe that the whispers surrounding the stranger are spoken in a language dubbed the Black Speech. Sauron created this language to unite all those who served him in Mordor. So is the stranger currently losing a battle for his soul? It would certainly explain why he sometimes flails and then seems confused by his actions. We’ll have to keep watching the Amazon Prime Video exclusive series in hopes of getting answers.

https://www.gamerevolution.com/guides/715174-rings-of-power-episode-5-stranger-powers-maiar-wizard Rings of Power Episode 5: What are the Stranger’s powers and is he one of the Maiar?

Emma Bowman

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