This Lord of the Rings article contains spoilers for The Rings of Power.
While the first season of Amazon’s The Rings of Power bowed all the way back in 2022, we’ve yet to hear when season 2 will finally arrive on the streaming service. But during the wait, we have learned quite a few things about the upcoming season through set photos and updates from the show’s stars, including Morfydd Clark, who spoke to Den of Geek last year about what’s next for Galadriel. The latest update comes from actor Charlie Rich’s Instagram Stories, where he seems to confirm that Gavi Singh Chera (The Undeclared War) is set to play Annatar, one of the Dark Lord’s other forms in J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, in season 2.
It’s important to note that Amazon hasn’t officially confirmed who Chera is playing, so take the following with a grain of salt. In a post to Rings of Power fans responding to rumors that he had been cast as Sauron or Annatar in the second season, Rich said, “Hey guys, I’m not voicing Sauron or playing Annatar. That’s the talented Gavi Singh Chera.” In a follow up to that story, Rich teased that fans “may still see me” in the upcoming season. The posts have not been taken down as of this writing and screenshots have made their way to Reddit and Twitter.
Deadline reported last May that Chera had been cast in the second season of the series. The Rings of Power is also listed on his agency page, but it stops short of revealing which character he’s playing. In December, reliable Rings of Power scooper Fellowship of Fans was the first to break the news that Chera would play “Original Form Sauron,” although the report stopped short of confirming this meant he was playing Annatar: “Can also finally confirm that ‘Annatar’ is a character name listed for The Rings of Power season 2. Though NO CONFIRMATION or evidence yet as to whether: Original Form Gavi = Annatar.”
“In flashback scenes ‘Original Form Sauron’ (Gavi Singh Chera) will have long hair, in present day scenes in Eregion he apparently has shorter hair,” Fellowship of Fans reported at the time.
If Chera really is set to appear as Annatar in the new season, it wouldn’t actually come as much of a surprise. In Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories, it was Sauron, in the form of Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, who tricked the Elves of Eregion into forging the Rings of Power in the Second Age. He also used a similar form to bring about the destruction of Numenor. Both of these storylines were set up by the end of Rings of Power season 1, with Celebrimbor forging the first three rings and Ar-Pharazôn seemingly taking over the island kingdom of Men.
But what about Charlie Vickers’ Halbrand? The season ended with Halbrand revealing his true identity to Galadriel, helping Celebrimbor create the three Elven rings, and then heading off to the newly-formed land of Mordor. With his Halbrand form no longer a secret in season 2, it would make a bit of sense for Sauron to take on a new disguise, one closer to what’s described in the books.
Of course, there’s the question of whether The Rings of Power can actually use the Annatar character by name. Annatar is from Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, which Amazon doesn’t actually have the rights to adapt. The streamer can only use material from The Lord of the Rings and the Appendices for its story of the Second Age, which could mean that the show will actually have to use a different name for this version of Sauron. Either way, it’s possible Chera’s character will at least be very heavily inspired by Annatar, which doesn’t bode well for any of the peoples of Middle-earth.
No release date has been set for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2.