Rumor: Amazon Casts Gavi Singh Chera To Portray Sauron’s “Original Form”, Possible Race-Swapped Annatar In Season Two Of ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’
In seemingly confirming that the studio has learned nothing from the backlash to their disrespecting of J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic novels, the latest whispers among the Shire suggest that Amazon has cast budding actor Gavi Singh Chera to portray the titular villain’s “original form” in the upcoming second season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
This casting rumor was first raised to the many Kingdoms of Men courtesy of a December 24th exclusive from LOTR fan site Fellowship of Fans.
According to the outlet’s Chief Editor Francesco Lionetti, the universally-unwanted-second-season of The Rings of Power will see The Undeclared War and Mother Theresa & Me actor “play the original form version of the character which is meant to be ‘angelic’ and ‘ethereal’ per sources.”
“In flashback scenes ‘Original Form Sauron’ will have long hair,” he detailed of the Dark Lord’s upcoming on-screen appearance, “[while] in present day scenes in Eregion he apparently has shorter hair.”
Further, Lionetti claimed that he could “finally confirm that ‘Annatar'” – otherwise known as the guise Sauron took during the Second Age to allow himself to deceive the Elves of Eregion into forging the series’ titular Rings – is a character name listed for The Rings Of Power Season 2.”
However, despite both this character listing and the fact that Chera will allegedly be portraying the villain during an early period of his life, the site editor stressed that there is “NO CONFIRMATION or evidence yet as to whether: Original Form Gavi = Annatar”.
Turning to Sauron’s role in the upcoming season, Lionetti then noted that “as was expected most of the Rings of Power will be forged in Season 2 in Celebrimbor’s Tower and given by Sauron to different races,” though it is “Unconfirmed as to which form will be distributing the rings.”
Closing out with a brief rundown of “all we know about Gavi’s form of Sauron so far,” the Editor detailed how “in episode 7-8 of S2 he will be in region and share scenes with Celebrimbor”, “He will be on the battle sets aka the Sacking of Eregion and will be in black and golden armour”, “He will appear in a flashback scene and has filmed a fight scene with Adar” and that “There is a very important scene between him, Celeborn and Galadriel”.
Ultimately, he concluded his scoop with the final detail that “Promotional photos of characters in costume were taken during the filming of season 2 and edited.”
While many may respond to this news by rushing to decry it as yet another instance of Hollywood race-swapping, a number of factors currently warrant caution regarding the label’s application.
First and foremost among them is the fact that, in his original writings, Tolkien himself did not provide any physical description Sauron’s ‘original form’, nor any regarding the general appearance of the The Dark Lord’s ethereal race, the Maiar.
He did, however, specify that the Maiar were capable, like their progenitors the Valar, of shapeshifting into any form they chose when interacting with the world of Elves and Men.
“Their shape comes of the knowledge of the visible world, rather than of the world itself; and they need it not, save only as we use raiment,” wrote Tolkien in The Silmarillion. “Therefore, the Valar may walk, if they will, unclad, and then even the Eldar cannot perceive them, though they may be present. But when they desire to clothe themselves the Valar take upon them forms some as of male and some as female.”
As for the Maiar’s own possession of these abilities, in the same book he later noted that “With the Valar came other spirits whose being also began before the World, of the same order of the Valar but less degree.”
However, should Chera end up actually portraying Sauron in his aforementioned Annatar form, the label of ‘race-swap’ would most definitely apply.
Per Tolkien’s writings in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle Earth, as edited by his son Christopher, when Sauron finally chose to don said guise, he does so by “wearing the fairest form that he could contrive.”
But given the possibility, as illuminated by Lionetti’s inability to confirm whether or not Chera would in fact portray Annatar, that the villain’s deceptive transformation could be portrayed by another actor, it’s still too early to make any definitive calls regarding whether or not Amazon has performed yet another race-swap.
Notably, both times Annatar has been depicted outside of the novels, making appearances in Middle-earth: Shadow of War and The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (though under the name Antheron in the latter due to rights issues related to The Silmarillion), he has been shown with aptly fair, white skin.
To the excitement of very, very, very few, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s second season is set to hit sometime in 2024.