The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has kept one thing secret and safe throughout its production: Who is playing the lead antagonist, the notorious Dark Lord Sauron in the show's third episode? That notion was discarded in the fifth episode.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a spoiler for episodes 3 and 5 of the series.
The name Adar is on the characters' lips since the first moments of the third episode. Arondir and a slew of humans and several elves have been captured and press-ganged into digging orc tunnels, and the orcs seem to report to someone called Adar. Arondir's elf buddies even speculate out loud that Adar is another name for Sauron.
Arondir is dragged before a figure who appears to be Adar, but is shot in a severe blur that obscures his features in the fourth episode. This conversation only makes Adar's origins more mysterious.
Who is Adar?
We're not sure if Sauron is an original character from the Rings of Power, although that particular theory took a hit in the fifth episode (more on that in a sec). Adar might be something similar, a corrupted man of the Southlands.
The possibility of him being Sauron became a lot more hazy when a group of men visits Adar and his orcs to pledge fidelity and beg for mercy, one of them assumes Adar is Sauron, and even asks, You are Sauron, are you not? This angers Adar greatly, who refuses to respond directly but grabs the man by the throat and demands a sacrifice.
Although we can safely classify it as unlikely, Sauron might have hesassed himself in Mordor, the first neighbourhood in the Second Age. He claimed to be an emissary of the gods and convinced Celebrimbor to teach him ringcraft, eventually putting his little enchantments on the lesser rings.
Sauron went by many names, and it's possible that Adar is one of them in Rings of Power. Adar is an elvish term that Tolkien used to refer to in one of the two elven dialects that Tom Bombadils created, Iarwain Ben-adar, which means Oldest and Fatherless.
Could Adar be Sauron under a different name? Probably not. Halbrand seems to be the most likely Sauron candidate of the characters weve ever encountered. And perhaps the biggest tell Adar wont be revealed as the Dark Lord himself is that Arondirs elf buds already suggested that part out loud. Heck, maybe Tom Bombadil.