Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 5Now that the enigmatic robed trio from trailer footage have debuted in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a major Sauron theory has been debunked. Amazon's The Rings of Power SDCC trailer generated much intrigue with shots of a strange, sinister-looking figure wearing white robes and shaved hair. Reports quickly spread claiming this character was The Rings of Power's brand-new live-action Sauron, and although the chatter was quickly disputed after it transpired Bridie Sisson portrayed the villain rather than the initially-stated Anson Boon, their Sauron connection - much like the Dark Lord himself - refused to die.

The robed stranger and their two companions finally debut in The Rings of Power episode 5, and even though plenty of questions remain over the trio's identities and purpose in Middle-earth, one fact seems abundantly clear: none of them are Sauron. The group members are credited as "The Dweller" (Bridie Sisson), "The Nomad" (Edith Poor) and "The Ascetic" (Kali Kopae). Though the Dweller may be the group's leader, there's no master-servant relationship here, as there would be if the character was Sauron. The trio of anonymous-sounding names confirmed by The Rings of Power's episode 5 credits also point toward the Dweller, Nomad and Ascetic being in service of a larger villain, rather than any single one of them being that larger villain.

Related: What's Really Happening In The Southlands In The Rings Of Power

Who ARE The White-Cloaks In The Rings Of Power?

The Rings of Power episode 5 breaks the theory that Bridie Sisson's cloaked figure from Amazon's SDCC trailer is Sauron, but there's very likely a connection between them and Middle-earth's missing foe nonetheless. In addition to their distinctive white robes, the Dweller and Ascetic are both clad in religious iconography, carrying a staff and a giant plate that both feel inspired by some fictional faith. Assuming this isn't an RPG party (warrior, cleric, healer...) wandering into the wrong franchise, the enigmatic trio could be cult followers of Morgoth. Unlike Sauron, Morgoth was worshiped by many as a god. After its corruption, Númenor even built a temple in honor of Morgoth and anointed Sauron as High Priest. The Rings of Power's trio of occultists or emissaries could be loyal Morgoth-ites waiting to continue their master's mission. This is also evidenced by the Dweller's stained black fingers, which could indicate a practitioner of black magic.

Rings Of Power's White-Cloaks Support A Different Sauron Theory

Of all the possible Sauron candidates in The Rings of Power, Meteor Man is arguably the most convincing. This Stranger (who's currently bumbling around Middle-earth with a bunch of Harfoots) is a magical being without any memory of where he flew from. When The Rings of Power episode 5 introduces the white-cloaks. they're gathered around the very crater Meteor Man made upon landing, tacitly confirming their search for whomever fell from the sky. If the Dweller, Nomad and Ascetic are loyal to Morgoth and Sauron and are now hunting for Meteor Man, The Rings of Power's over-sized honorary Harfoot begins looking far more likely to be Sauron.

Sadoc Burrows' big book of knowledge and Waldreg's ramblings to Theo both spoke of Meteor Man's arrival as a predestined, prophesied event, with Waldreg even claiming the falling star marked Sauron's return to Middle-earth. The Rings of Power's trio in white robes might've been responsible for divining that prediction in the first place, or else they heard the same story as everyone else. Either way, a trio of cult-like figures tracking down Meteor Man will only fuel speculation that Nori's hairy friend was once Morgoth's favorite henchman.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video.