Who is the Stranger in The Rings of Power? Here is all there is to know about the Meteor Man of Middle-earth. The Rings of Power’s promotional videos from Amazon mainly featured a flaming meteor racing across the sky, to which characters on the ground gasped in amazement. Trailers happily then showed that this thing was, in actuality, a hairy, human man whose landing causes a flaming hole to open up in the ground. Daniel Weyman plays this celestial stranger, who is mentioned as “the Stranger” but is more commonly known by the nickname “Meteor Man.” Nori the Harfoot discovers him.
Since the start of The Rings of Power’s marketing campaign, Amazon has kept Meteor Man’s identity and intentions a secret, and even after seeing episodes 1 and 2, that cloak of mystery has barely lifted. The two young Harfoots (Nori together with her unwilling friend Samwise Gamgee Poppy Proudfellow) help the Stranger in getting better after his fall, but they are hopelessly out of their place and are even less aware of what is happening than the audience is.
Thankfully, not everything is a mystery. By the time the two-part Amazon premiere was over, Meteor Man’s powers, character, and purpose all were explored. Here is every important detail that has so far been known about the mysterious Meteor Man from The Rings of Power, along with some rough predictions and theories about where this storyline will go in episode 3.
Meteor Man Theories
The first thing The Rings of Power tells about Meteor Man is that there were forewarnings of his approach. During that first Harfoot scene of The Rings of Power episode 1, two explorers discuss how it’s peculiar there’s “nothing to hunt,” with the more careful of the pair saying “something’s wrong here.” Then, in a later scene, Sadoc Burrows of Lenny Henry accuses the stars of shining when they shouldn’t be, as if they are “watching for something,” and says that hunters showing up out of season is a bad omen.
It almost looks like Middle-Earth itself can detect something that Harfoots and hunters cannot, as if The Rings of Power are implying that the peculiar behavior of wolves and stars are omens for Meteor Man’s arrival. Burrows also carries a sizable, dusty book with illustrations of stars, hunters, and wolves; this book may hold an ancient Harfoot prophecy foretelling the appearance of Meteor Man. At the very least, viewers of The Rings of Power can presume that this bearded stranger hasn’t just appeared out of thin air without reason but rather is a part of a larger plan that fate has written.
The Strangers’ Powers
Landing in a flame ball after sprinting through the sky isn’t fantasy bullshit, it’s science. The fantasy bullshit begins when Nori realizes she doesn’t get burned by this fire. When Daniel Weyman’s character from The Rings of Power first wakes up, he spins the rock and flame around him into the air to show his magical nature. In another scene, the Stranger bends trees to loom menacingly over Nori, and for his last magic trick, he whispers orders to fireflies. When combined with the aforementioned omens, Meteor Man’s magic thus far has revolved entirely around the manipulation of nature, which could indicate his underlying connection to Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
The Rings of Power makes reference to a darker side as well. When Meteor Man angrily breaks his drawing cane, Nori’s father did break his foot. The back-and-forth editing of the episode suggests that magic was to blame for Largo’s accident, and the plot deepens in The Rings of Power episode 2 when Nori observes that her new friend’s firefly display kills the firefly as soon as their job is completed. These ominous scenes can suggest that Meteor Man lacks control over his powers as well as a lack of compassion for other living creatures.
Sadly, Meteor Man actually is more interested in eating snails and drawing in the dirt than he is in providing solutions. The stranger is unable to speak clearly and is unaware of his identity or origin. Meteor Man’s introduction into Middle-earth may have led to his memory loss, but it’s also possible that it made him forget who he really was, much like how Gandalf and the wizards only have vague memories of Valinor.
Meteor Man’s Purpose
The purpose of Meteor Man is shown in the final scenes of The Rings of Power episode 2 when he uses Nori and Poppy’s firefly lamps to trace constellations in the night sky. Nori accurately guesses that Meteor Man is looking for these specific stars (which were most probably also the same shapes drawn into the dirt earlier). Unsurprisingly, The Rings of Power didn’t make Nori’s new mission simple since she doesn’t actually understand the stars her oversized friend is seeking. Maybe there’s only one place in Middle-Earth where you can see the constellation of Meteor Man. Alternately, the constellations might have formed from stars that have now burned out and are unknown to a kid Harfoot like Nori Brandyfoot.
Nori would learn exactly which ancient stars the Stranger is mapping with a quick conversation with Sadoc Burrows and a peek through his big book of mysteries. Of course, our mysterious magical traveler must be quite old if he can recall stars that haven’t been around for hundreds of years, despite the fact that he clearly lacks pointed ears and good looks. Nori should focus more on why Meteor Man is looking for stars than the stars he is looking for. The arrangement of the stars at night will probably point to a particular place in Middle-earth, and it is there that the Stranger’s true mission lies.
Meteor Man Could Lead Harfoots To Shire
It only seems fair that Meteor Man repays Nori Brandyfoot for risking life, limb, and an ear-slap from Sadoc to help Meteor Man. The Rings of Power has so far established Nori’s unhappiness with the Harfoots’ nomadic way of life and her search for a more fulfilled existence free of hiding and running. During the journey of their adventures, maybe Meteor Man shows Nori something that manages to convince her the Harfoots should travel west and settle in Eriador, forming the society that’ll ultimately become known as the Hobbits’ Shire – a spacious haven where hobbit kids can play freely without the constant worry of being spotted.
Although J.R.R. Tolkien states that Hobbits didn’t truly settle the Shire until the middle of the Third Age, Tolkien also fails to explain why they chose Eriador as their permanent home instead of roving around Rhovanion. The relationship between Meteor Man and Nori in The Rings of Power may eventually lead to all three Hobbit races traveling far to the west in an effort to establish their beautiful paradise in the fields of Eriador. It would make perfect sense for Bilbo Baggins to sing songs about Meteor Man if he were the one who guided Harfoots toward the Shire.
Who Is The Stranger in The Rings of Power? Is The Stranger Sauron?
It is just a matter of time before Sauron makes an appearance in The Rings of Power, and multiple suspicious hints already point to Meteor Man being a mysterious foe. First of all, Galadriel’s decision to leave Valinor because she is determined to first defeat Sauron happens precisely at the same time as his arrival. It would be incredibly poetic for the elf to decide to do this at the same time Sauron shouts back into Middle-earth. The Stranger’s magic is in line with Sauron’s status as a Maia, and the shape his crater creates then resembles something vaguely resembling a burning eye.
The fact that he killed the firefly and transformed Largo Brandyfoot into Largo Brokenfoot suggests inner darkness, and the fact that he entered Middle-earth through the sky with no memory explains why Galadriel never found any signs of her enemy despite spending many years looking. The Lindon leaf that drops before Gil-Galad as Meteor Man approaches is another significant sign. The leaf’s underside is covered in a dark poison that makes it appear as though the leaf is reacting to the new arrival in Middle-earth. The constellations the Stranger draws for Nori may then point to the place where Sauron plans to assemble his army and build Mordor later in The Rings of Power.
Is The Stranger Tilion?
There is no doubt that Daniel Weyman is playing an Ainur in The Rings of Power episodes 1 and 2, a Vala or Maia who is originally from Valinor. He might be very old and possess magic that is incomparable to that of the Middle-Earthians. In the same way that the Istari (wizards) did when they first came to Middle-earth, he has a strong connection to nature but has no memory of his prior life or identity. Meanwhile, Meteor Man’s wizardry mimics how Gandalf’s spells were shown in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films. He bends the trees like Gandalf the White did when he entered the Fangorn Forest, and he whispers to the fireflies like Gandalf did when he whispered to a moth.
The Rings of Power provide another reason why an Ainur might choose Nori Brandyfoot to crash next to. Meteor Man, in Nori’s opinion, fell closest to her of all beings for a reason, as if she was meant to locate him. Poppy mentions how Nori one day nursed a budding eagle with a broken wing back to health in a quiet, throwaway statement.
By treating an eagle, Nori proved to the Ainur that she was a compassionate, brave, and trustworthy person who would help if, for example, someone crashed in the middle of a forest and suffered from memory loss. Even the Valar themselves send out messages on eagles. If Meteor Man really is an Ainur, Tilion would be the best pick.
Tilion, also called as the “Man in the Moon,” was a Maia who was like a Vala and took Telperion’s last flower before flying into the sky to take charge of the moon. Tilion is described as a maverick (just like Gandalf) which would answer why he breaks ranks and comes to Middle-earth alone.
Tilion reappears in Tolkien’s songs and poems about the Man in the Moon descending down to Middle-earth. Like all Maia who takes physical bodies, Tilion would be restricted from his true self, which explains the flaky memory and bearded, gray appearance. Tilion might have arrived to save Middle-earth from yet another deadly threat since Sauron, an evil that the Valar bravely fought to defeat, was about to make a comeback.
Is The Stranger A Gandalf?
Like all good wizards, Gandalf first came to Middle-earth by boat, offering to help the people there fight off Sauron’s dominance during the Third Age. But what if everything we thought we knew about Mr. Grey was untrue? What if he had actually shown up much earlier as a shirtless man who had forgotten how to shave? As Tolkienites may already be aware, Gandalf hasn’t always gone by the name “Gandalf.” This adorable wizard was originally a Valinor-based ancient Maia spirit or sort of an angel before he became friendly with the Hobbits.
Could Gandalf, or Olórin, as he was then known, have traveled to Middle-earth in a different form a few thousand years ago? Gandalf was always interested in the people of Middle-earth. It’s clear that this Meteor Man has a similar fondness for the hot things as Gandalf, who was linked to fire. In addition, Gandalf is somewhat of an important guy, so it makes it reasonable that the writers could want to jam him in, regardless of if there is any history for such in the original source material.
However, the Maiar weren’t known for being flashy, so having one arrive via flaming meteor feels out of character. Unless this could be true whether or not this particular person is Gandalf, Maia didn’t choose to travel through the sky in a meteor. There could also be an inconsistency there, given that Olórin wasn’t eager to battle Sauron in the Third Age.
Maybe The Stranger Is A Different Wizard?
If the above points have convinced you that Gandalf cannot be the Meteor Man, it does not mean that he cannot be another wizard. As their Maiar backstories are undoubtedly vague enough to allow a new chapter like this, well-known characters like Curumo and Aiwendil are potential candidates.
Even if they’ve been sent to help fight Sauron or simply send a message from Valinor, this mysterious wizard is certainly of great importance. However, some of these characters are excluded because of the Meteor Man’s love for fire. If this theory is correct, a blue wizard or possibly the original Istari who existed before Gandalf and friends are most likely involved in this. In any case, Gandalf is definitely a far riskier choice when it comes to canon than a lesser-known wizard.
Maybe The Stranger Is A God
But perhaps our thinking is too limited. The Meteor Man’s grand arrival is undoubtedly impressive enough to suggest that someone or something even more powerful than wizards like Gandalf might be behind him. What if the ‘Stranger’ is none other than God? Or, at the very least, the God of Tolkien. Listen to us out now. The Middle-earthian god Eru Ilvatar has shown up a few times in the Lord of the Rings’ history.
In the Second Age, the god destroyed Nmenor after Sauron turned everyone against the Valar, and it’s thought that he’s also responsible for a few other critical events, such as Gandalf’s rebirth into Gandalf the White and possibly even when Gollum tripped and threw the One Ring into Mount Doom.
It’s not as that crazy as you think that “God” might take on human form to inspire people to rebel against Sauron. The Stranger’s celestial entry certainly fits with that, and the apple’s religious overtones in his promotional poster also give off a bible-like vibe. If correct, the Meteor Man might be here to help the fight against Sauron rather than burn Middle-earth in flames.