The Stranger

From Tolkien Gateway
"The Stranger" is a concept which has only appeared in an adaptation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The Stranger
Maia
"The Stranger" in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Biographical Information
Other namesGiant (By Poppy Proudfellow)
Big fella (By Sadoc Burrows)
The other (By the Mystics)
TitlesLord Sauron (By the Mystics)
The Istar (By the Mystics)
LocationAman, above the Straight Road, Norfield Glen, Weedbrook, Undercliffs, Grey Marshes, Trout Bend, the Braids, the Grove, East Bight, and Rhûn
AffiliationIstari
Harfoots
LanguageQuenya and a Mannish tongue
BirthCreation of the Ainur
Timeless Halls
Family
ParentageEru Ilúvatar
SiblingsAinur
Physical Description
GenderMale
Hair colorGrey; brown beard
Eye colorBlue
ClothingGrey-brown cloth
GalleryImages of The Stranger

The Stranger was a mysterious Maia during the late Second Age. The Stranger was invented for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power by Amazon Studios, where he is portrayed by Daniel Weyman.[1]

History

The Stranger poster for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

When the way into Aman opened to allow Galadriel and her fellow Elves access, a mysterious meteorite left Aman at the same time carrying with it an Istar as it flew towards Middle-earth above the Straight Road. Many of the inhabitants of Middle-earth bore witness to the fiery meteor as it tore across the sky including but not limited to: High King Gil-galad, Elrond, Lord Celebrimbor, Arondir, Bronwyn, a couple of Ents, and the Harfoots.

The meteorite eventually crashed in a clearing close by to the Norfield Glen within the Rhovanion Hills. It was there where the Stranger was discovered by the two young Harfoots: Elanor Brandyfoot and Poppy Proudfellow. Elanor, commonly known as Nori, fell into the fiery crater and discovered that the flames in the crater were cold before moving the Stranger in a wheelbarrow to a makeshift tent. The next day, the Stranger woke up and began making markings of an unknown meaning on a fallen log. When Nori came back, he shouted, surprised, letting loose a gust of wind, though his surprise subsided after being offered a bowl of Snails.

Later that night, the Stranger freed the Fireflies within the lanterns that the Harfoots used. He forcibly manipulated them into forming the shape of an unknown Constellation.

On the day of festivities before migration, Nori broke into the cart of the elder trailfinder Sadoc Burrows to look in his almanac, the Star-book, for celestial arrays that match the constellation. Finding one, she brought the torn page to the Stranger before joining a ceremony of remembrance of Harfoots left behind. The Stranger, perusing the page in the light of a fire, accidentally set it alight and clumsily made his presence known to the other Harfoots. As a result of his presence and Nori's involvement, the Brandyfoot cart was to be last in the caravan.

To atone for his errors and to keep the Brandyfoots from being left behind, the Stranger served by pushing their cart. During the migration, Nori taught the Stranger basic language skills. He was able to fully pronounce the word "Mi-gra-tion" by the time the Harfoots passed the Weedbrook. The Stranger continued to aid the Brandyfoots while learning more and more throughout the migration. He aided them through the Undercliffs, the Grey Marshes, the Trout Bend, and the Braids of the Thistledell.

Upon reaching an eerie forest, the Stranger found himself needing to save Nori, Poppy, and Malva Meadowgrass from three ambushing Wolves. The Stranger drove them away, but at the cost of paralyzing his right arm. However, he was able to attempt to freeze his arm into ice with a shallow pool of water, and speaking Quenya while doing so. When Nori attempted to stop him, he lost control and knocked her back a fair distance.

At the end of the migration, the Harfoots found the Grove had been destroyed by an eruption from Orodruin to the south. Sadoc Burrows asked the Stranger to attempt to restore it. While the Stranger was able to heal the Grove, a branch of a tree very nearly crushed Dilly Brandyfoot. While he lost favor with the Harfoots, Sadoc still provided him with which direction he might find information on the constellation he sought after.

Little did he know that the Mystics, a group of three robed women, consisting of the Ascetic, the Nomad, and the Dweller, had been tracking him. When they reached the Grove that night, Nori unsuccessfully attempted to misdirect them. The Dweller snatched a hair from Nori's head, magically set all the Harfoots' carts catastrophically ablaze, and with the other Mystics, continued onward in their pursuit.

Upon the Stranger reaching the Greenwood, presumably the East Bight, the Mystics appeared to him, initially with the Dweller magically guised as Nori. Once they had him menacingly surrounded, the Dweller dropped the guise, and they kneeled to him, proclaiming him to be Lord Sauron their master, and told him finally that the constellation which he sought after was called the Hermit's Hat and was visible only in one place far to the east, in Rhûn.

While the Mystics quickly incapacitated him when he refused to calm down upon being told his identity, four Harfoots led by Sadoc attempted to rescue the Stranger by stealth. However, the Mystics turned the tables on them by the Dweller's use of dark magic to act as a decoy. Then the Ascetic murdered Sadoc, throwing a knife into his stomach. When the Stranger woke, he fell to despair, believing all that the Mystics told him. However, upon being encouraged by Nori, and upon her bringing him the Dweller's staff that she had stealthily taken, he banished the three Mystics back from whence they came. As he did so, the Mystics realized who he truly was: the Istar.

After returning to the Grove, the Stranger departed alongside Nori, to venture into Rhûn in order to find out his true name and his origin.

Inspiration

In Scene 35 of Alloyed, the Stranger advises Elanor Brandyfoot that "When in doubt... always follow your nose". These words are said by Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring.[2][3]

References

  1. The Lord of the Rings on Prime, "Daniel Weyman is The Stranger. #LOTRROP" dated 14 February 2022, Twitter (accessed 17 February 2023)
  2. "The Stranger's "Always Follow Your Nose" Comment Explained" dated 14 October 2022, Screenrant (accessed 14 January 2023)
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition), dir. by Peter Jackson (New Line Cinema, 2002), "A Journey in the Dark"