‘The Rings of Power’: Is Adar what happens when Elves lose the light of the Valar?

Joseph Mawle Adar The Rings of Power
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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has expanded Tolkien lore by introducing a concept known as the “light of the Valar,” without which the very souls of Elves will perish. Is that what happened to Adar?

As an Elf who seems to carry authority with the Orcs, Adar is already a very mysterious addition to the world of Middle-earth. During the latest episode, The Rings of Power all but confirmed that the villain is not Sauron, and taking his pointy ears into account, we’ll definitely have to look toward the Elven-kind in Tolkien’s roster to puzzle out his identity.

Some seem to think that the name behind the one given to this character is someone we all know from The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales novels, but on the remote chance that that ends up being the case, why is one of Fëanor’s sons commanding Orcs and trying to set up a home for them in Mordor? And does this have anything to do with what Gil-galad said to Elrond about the Elves losing the light of the Valar?

Adar and losing the light of the Valar

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After confronting Gil-galad for his deception involving the Dwarves, Elrond learns that the Elves of Lindon are somehow “losing the light of the Valar.” This could either be referring to the light of the Two Trees, whose remnants have all but perished by the time The Rings of Power takes place, or it could be hinting at a larger abstract idea – that the Elves are simply diminishing in strength due to choosing to remain in Middle-earth after the war with Morgoth.

Meanwhile, in another scene, Adar is shown staring at a tree and the light sifting through it with a longing gaze. This has led to some speculation in the fandom that whatever “losing the light of the Valar” turns out to be, Adar is someone who has already succumbed to that terrible fate.

Does that explain why he takes pity on Orcs, who are Elves that were twisted by the evil of Morgoth? Is it Adar’s fate to ultimately become an Orc himself, since he’s already showing the wear and tear of time and destiny on his scarred face? All interesting musings, though until The Rings of Power explicitly confirms or dismisses them, all we have to go on is wild speculation.

The Rings of Power is returning with its sixth episode on Friday, so let’s hope that we’ll finally learn more about Adar and his motivations for stirring up trouble in the Southlands.