One of the biggest questions surrounding the ongoing Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is just when Sauron will end up making his appearance in the show. According to the showrunners, the long wait for the character was for a reason.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne said that they wanted everyone to understand and relate to the struggles going on in Middle-earth before introducing Sauron, who will ultimately corrupt many as he forges the rings of power.
“It would be very tempting to make the first season of this show The Sauron Show, very villain-centric,” McKay says. “But we wanted that level of evil and complexity of evil to emerge out of a world that you’re invested in — not because evil is threatening it immediately. We wanted you to fall in love again with Middle-earth. We wanted you to understand and relate to the struggles that each of these characters are having before we test them in a way they’ve never been tested before.”
Payne went on to note that the speculation on just who Sauron might be, or if he’s even in the show yet, is not only something they’ve noticed but something they were hoping to see happen.
“It’s another Tolkien thing where when a shadow spreads — which is part of what is happening in our show — it affects everyone’s relationships,” Payne says. “Even Frodo and Sam. They’re the best friends in all of Middle-earth, yet they started to mistrust each other because that’s a manifestation of that shadow. So having an audience suspect this person or that person could be Sauron is drawing them into that thing where the shadow is overcoming all of us and making us suspicious of each other.”
Whether or not Sauron will appear in the first season of the show remains to be seen, but it seems as if the men behind the show are more than well aware of just how anticipated his return to the screen will be when it does happen.