Despite being the main antagonist of one of cinema’s all-time great trilogies and an iconic presence in his own right, it would be an understatement to say that the fearsome Sauron took a very passive role in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. The big bad of Middle-earth hardly featured as an onscreen presence at all, instead casting a watchful eye over his domain from the top of Barad-dur as he sent an army of conscripts and minions to try and reclaim the One Ring.
With Amazon’s billion-dollar investment in the property currently in the midst of shooting the first season, though, there are bound to be some connections to familiar characters and iconography in order to entice those on the fence about revisiting the rich mythology first explored 20 years ago in The Fellowship of the Ring.
The recently revealed official plot synopsis confirmed that the streaming service’s Lord of the Rings would be set thousands of years before the events of the big screen adventures, but that doesn’t necessarily rule out cameos from the likes of Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett or Hugo Weaving, all of whom played immortal elves.
However, the synopsis’ tease of ‘the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen’ makes it pretty clear that Sauron is going to be involved, and in the books, the Second Age was when he rose to power and infamy. In fact, during that period the Dark Lord even took on an elven appearance, dubbed himself Annatar and tried to trick them into servitude, so there could conceivably be an actor cast in a physical role.
Of course, The Lord of the Rings lore is dense and often impenetrable to non-fans, but if the TV show is even half as good as the original trilogy, then Amazon could be onto something pretty special whenever the series eventually premieres.