Prime Video's Lord of the Rings TV show, Rings of Power, has finally arrived, but we've got some major questions about one of its newly created characters.

amazon, lord of the rings: rings of power - what's going on with theo?

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power is finally here with a two episode premiere on Amazon’s Prime Video platform and we can now confidently guess at where the show is going and who is going to be doing what. We’ve got Galadriel en route to the human kingdom of Numenor, Elrond running around with Celebrimbor, the Dwarves hanging dangerously on the edge of their massive collapse, and the Harfoots dealing with the arrival of a mysterious stranger. But, critically, there’s one character whose introduction sparked more questions than it did answers–and it’s probably not who you would have expected. Light spoilers and speculation about Rings of Power below, proceed with caution!

Among the many new characters introduced in Rings of Power, there’s the unassuming Theo, son of Bronwyn. Theo looks to be in his early teens and he’s going through something of a rebellious phase–he’s got bad influences from his friends, encouraging him to break rules, snoop around, and engage in some stick-to-the-man flavored defiance against the Elves. Aimless teenage indolence isn’t what makes Theo so interesting, though–it’s his apparent connection to Morgoth and Sauron.

The hints start dropping pretty subtly at first. Theo complains that he’s being kept awake by rats scratching around under the floorboards–which we later learn is actually orcs tunneling their way underground, demolishing human settlements. This alone isn’t that weird–it’s pretty easy to write off because we can assume the orcs would definitely be pretty loud with their digging. It is a bit strange that only Theo can hear it in his and his mother’s tiny house, but we’ll let that slide. Soon after this foreshadowing, we see Theo and a friend pillaging a neighbor’s barn, where Theo finds an ominous shattered sword, emblazoned with the rune Sauron has been using. The sword immediately reacts to Theo before his friend snaps him out of it–this scene was shown in the trailers.

Now we can be sure that something weird is happening. There’s a bit of exposition in the premiere about how men were quick to align with Morgoth and how Bronwyn’s home village was one of the most fervent in their beliefs, which is why the Elves have been “watching over” (read: surveilling) them this whole time. But, as far as we can tell, the humans who are alive today have all but forgotten that Morgoth ever existed, much less that their ancestors were big fans.

Now, because Theo is a newly created character for the show, it’s difficult to pin down any exact theories about what any of this could mean for him. We must not discount the fact that the sword he finds might react to anyone–or any human–who picks it up and that Theo was just the unfortunate person to do so. But that starts to feel a bit less likely as the premiere progresses and we see an orc actually attack Theo and Bronwyn’s home. This attack–in broad daylight, no less–feels a bit too pointed and intentional to be just another random raid and when you add to that the fact that Theo has been hearing the digging for at least a few nights, it certainly seems like their house–or maybe Theo himself–was being specifically targeted.

There are a few things this could lead to as the show progresses. It’s clear we’re in for some kind of Theo-related reveal, but there are a few things that it could actually be. Theo’s father is a bit of a mystery in all of this as well–the obvious implication is that he’s actually half-elven and Arondir is his dad, which is certainly plausible. If this is the case, in all likelihood we’re going to see the sword and his connection to Sauron and Morgoth be more abstract–a commentary about the nature of men and the way his ancestors likely sided with evil. It could make for some nice interpersonal conflict and keep the sword and its ability to react to the men who wield it open ended and usable for other characters–like Bronwyn maybe–a possibility.

The next most obvious answer is that Theo’s inevitable reveal will be that his father isn’t Arondir but in fact a man who, either publicly or privately, harbored some dark and mysterious loyalty to Morgoth. This could double to create some conflict for Bronwyn and her own allegiances as well, and could set Theo up for a pretty major villain arc all on his own.

Or, naturally, it could be a blend of both of these and we could see Theo learning that Arondir is his dad but his maternal grandfather (or however many greats-grandfather) was on of Sauron’s besties, and that’s why the sword is reacting to him the way it is, setting him up to have to make a choice between his present day family or his family legacy.

Either way, I’m just going to casually remind everyone that we know shockingly little about the nine men who received rings of power from Sauron and eventually became the Nazgul–and it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility that we’re getting to meet someone connected to them in the Second Age before he grows up and embraces what he believes is owed to him. Stranger things have certainly happened.

Rings of Power will continue on Prime Video with new episodes every week.

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