The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power still wants to keep the identity of the comet man a mystery, but fans are more and more convinced every day that the Stranger is none other than Gandalf himself when he first set foot in Middle-earth.
That might give the story all manners of continuity headaches, given the fact that the wizard made his landing in the Third Age, but the character’s mannerisms are too calculated to be a mere red herring. Folks in the community are also of the same opinion, it turns out, and they’re even warming up to the possibility, even if it ends up undermining the established lore.
Many fans are even rounding up arguments supporting this hypothesis, the least of which is what the Stranger did in episode five, smashing the ground in front of his feet to drive those wargs away. We have only ever seen Gandalf do such a thing in the cinematic universe, so these repeated visual cues can’t be a coincidence.
Even if The Rings of Power is willing to contradict canon in this particular instance, perhaps it would be better for the Stranger to be Saruman, as the head of the Istari was the first to arrive on Middle-earth.
Come to think of it, he could be any of the Maia, but viewers won’t be mad if he is Gandalf. It’s been a long time since we saw Mithrandir in live-action, after all.
Whoever you’re willing to bet on, I guess we’ll find the definitive answer soon enough as the remaining three Rings of Power episodes premiere over the next few weeks.