Actress Morfydd Clark, who plays Galadriel in Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, admitted the character took on the role of Sauron in the series.
Speaking with Den of Geek about the season finale and the eponymous Rings of Power and their creation, Clark said, “We spoke a lot about how there’s an almost childlike ‘back to Valinor’ thing that happens to the Elves when they look upon those rings. So for a brief moment, all that exists is this beautiful light shining from them.”
Clark then admitted her character took on the role of Sauron in the creation of the Rings, “She knows that she has done something that she’s going to have to pay for, she’s deceived Elrond and Celebrimbor, but she knew they needed to create something powerful to fight him, but also terrifying.”
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In The Rings of Power, Galadriel is the one who convinces Celebrimbor and the Elves to forge three rings telling them, “We must make three. … One will always corrupt. Two will divide.” Celebrimbor adds, “With three there is balance.”
Galadriel then tells them, “The powers we forge today must be for the Elves alone. Untouched by other hands.” She then provides Celebrimbor with her brother’s dagger to be used in the forging of the rings.
This telling of the events stands in direct contrast to Tolkien’s writings. In The Silmarillion, Tolkien wrote a story titled “Of The Rings of Power and the Third Age.” In this story he details that “Sauron took to himself the name of Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, and they had at first much profit from his friendship. … It was in Eregion that the counsels of Sauron were most gladly received, for in that land the Noldor desired ever to increase the skill and subtlety of their works.”
Tolkien further detailed, “In those days the smiths of Ost-in-Edhil surpassed all that they had contrived before and they took thought, and they made Rings of Power. But Sauron guided their labours, and he was aware of all that they did; for his desire was to set a bond upon the Elves and to bring them under his vigilance.”
“Now the Elves made many rings; but secretly Sauron made One Ring to rule all the others, and their power was bound up with it, to be subject wholly to it and to last only so long as it too should last. And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow. And while he wore the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them,” Tolkien wrote.
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He specifically details that there were three Elven rings “and they possessed the greatest powers. Narya, Nenya, and Vilya, they were named, the Rings of Fire, and of Water, and of Air, set with ruby and adamant and sapphire; and of all the Elven-rings Sauron most desired to possess them, for those who had them in their keeping could ward off the decays of time and postpone the weariness of the world.”
“But Sauron could not discover them, for they were given into the hands of the Wise, who concealed them and never again used them openly while Sauron kept the Ruling Ring. Therefore the Three remained unsullied, for they were forged by Celebrimbor alone, and the hand of Sauron had never touched them; yet they also were subject to the One,” Tolkien explained.
Tolkien would provide even more details in a number of notes collected by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in Unfinished Tales: The Lost Lore of Middle-earth. These notes detail that Galadriel and her husband Celeborn were run out of Eregion after Sauron manipulated the Elven smiths against her.
Celebrimbor would eventually discover Sauron’s true nature and revolted against him and proceeded to seek out Galadriel who had gone to Lórinand. It’s there that Galadriel counsels him on dispersing the three rings so Sauron cannot find them. She’s also given Nenya during this encounter.
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It’s not Galadriel who deceives the Elves as Clark admits her character does in The Rings of Power, but it was Sauron. Galadriel is also not part of the forging of the three Elven rings. That was done by Celebrimbor alone.
As for the rings being used to fight Sauron, this is a complete and utter fiction created for The Rings of Power. The Silmarillion explains Sauron was able to deceive the Elves of Eregion by promising to aid them in the rebuilding of Middle-earth.
Tolkien wrote, “But elsewhere the Elves received him gladly, and few among them hearkened to the messengers from Lindon bidding them beware; Sauron took to himself the name of Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, and they had at first much profit from his friendship. And he said to them: ‘Alas, for the weakness of the great! For a mighty king is Gil-galad, and wise in all lore is Master Elrond, and yet they will not aid me in my labours. Can it be that they do not desire to see other lands become as blissful as their own? But wherefore should Middle-earth remain for ever desolate and dark, whereas the Elves could make it as fair as Eressëa, nay even as Valinor? And since you have not returned thither, as you might, I perceive that you love this Middle-earth, as do I. Is it not then our task to labour together for its enrichment, and for the raising of all the Elven-kindreds that wander here untaught to the height of that power and knowledge which those have who are beyond the Sea?'”
In Unfinished Tales, Tolkien also revealed that Celebrimbor “desired in his heart to rival the skill and fame of Fëanor.”
As for the specific reason why the three Elven rings were crafted, Elrond explains in The Fellowship of the Ring, “The Three were not made by Sauron, nor did he ever touch them. But of them it is not permitted to speak. So much only in this hour of doubt I may now say. They are not idle. But they were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained”
Elrond continued, “These things the Elves of Middle-earth have in some measure gained, though with sorrow. But all that has been wrought by those who wield the Three will turn to their undoing, and their minds and hearts will become revealed to Sauron, if he regains the One. It would be better if the Three had never been. That is his purpose.”
What do you make of Clark admitting that Galadriel took on the role of Sauron in The Rings of Power?
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