There are many characters that have been introduced within the first few episodes of the Rings of Power, whose identities are still unknown. However, one scene in particular in the second episode has many fans convinced that one yet-unnamed character, the man from the meteor, is one of the most important figures in the later stories that take place in Middle Earth: Gandalf.

There are lots of moments within the Rings of Power series that have taken inspiration from the Peter Jackson film adaptations of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. One scene in particular strikes so many parallels between the meteor man and the gray wizard, that many fans are convinced that they must be the same character, despite Gandalf not appearing in Middle Earth until the next age of the world according to Tolkien’s original stories.

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Nori and Poppy, the two harfoots who originally found the man in the meteor and rescued him from the flames, took him to a safe space and hid him. Later, they go back to visit him and bring him food. Nori, the braver and more inquisitive of the two, visits him more often, but late in the evening they go to see him in the dark, taking with them lanterns full of fireflies. It is in this scene that many viewers became convinced that this was more than just a homage to previous adaptations, but a direct link to the well-loved wizard of the War of the Ring, who helps guide the fellowship through all of their perils.

At the start of the scene, the stranger is obviously deeply distressed, and yells in a strange language as Nori and Poppy get too close to him. It has become clear from all of their interactions with him that he doesn’t speak the common tongue of Middle Earth at this point, but whatever he yells is probably an ancient language that the harfoots haven’t heard before. What is interesting though, is that when he yells, the trees surrounding them seem to lean in towards him. The sky becomes thicker and darker, and the lantern that Poppy is holding becomes too hot for her hands to touch.

There are three hints in one during this moment that this might be Gandalf. The first hint is that the trees later become very close and trusting of the gray wizard, which is why he is such a loyal companion of the ents. Secondly, the sky's darkening looks very similar to the effect that Gandalf has in Bilbo Baggin’s living room at Bag End, when Bilbo accuses the wizard of trying to take the ring, making him angry. And the third is his obvious association with fire, which can be seen when Gandalf sets the pine cones alight in The Hobbit.

But as the scene progresses, one moment cements the concept that the stranger is Gandalf: his interaction with the firefly. He catches the small glowing creature as it flies past him and holds it gently in a clawed hand, whispering to it in his unusual speech. The insect flickers in his hand, and then he releases it into the sky, followed by several more fireflies that mimic the first.

This is remarkably similar to the scene in Lord of the Rings films in which Gandalf is trapped on the tower of Orthanc, and catches the moth in his hand. He whispers to the moth in the same way, and releases it to carry a message off to the giant Eagle that rescues him from his captivity. In the newest series, the fireflies also seem to be carrying a message. The meteor man has been struggling to communicate with the harfoots, and here it looks like he is trying to send them a message in the constellation of the fireflies. But when they still don’t understand what he is trying to say, he loses hope, and all the fireflies' lights go out.

It makes sense in many ways that this person would be Gandalf, from the gray appearance of his beard to his apparent ability to use magical fire. It would also explain why the wizard has such a fond love of hobbits, as these harfoot ancestors are the ones who helped him when he first arrived in physical form. As a maiar coming to an unknown world, it makes sense that he would be lost, confused, and vulnerable. It makes sense that he speaks an ancient tongue, and doesn’t yet understand the ways of this strange place. And in the harfoots' love and care for a total stranger, and one who scares them at that, there is a bond forged that will last all the ages of the world, from Nori all the way down to Frodo.

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