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Why The Rings of Power’s Dweller Is So Powerful (What Is She?)

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power season 1 finaleThe Dweller is powerful enough to battle against a wizard in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – exactly what are these mystics, and how are they so strong? The Rings of Power introduces a trio known as the Dweller (Bridie Sisson), the Nomad (Edith Poor) and the Ascetic (Kai Kopae), and season 1’s finale confirms this weird trio are followers of Sauron, patiently awaiting his return. More than just followers, the mystics are pretty powerful in their own right – particularly the Dweller, who stands up against an Istar. Combined, the three zealots demonstrate shape-shifting, fire magic, teleportation, and somnomancy.

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Even after The Rings of Power‘s season 1 finale, the origin of these three mystics remains largely obscured. They hail from the eastern land of Rhûn and possess magical ability beyond most sorcery-savvy mortals in Middle-earth. The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are rarely decisive on matters of magic, and Galadriel even admits what Men deem “magical” Elves do not. Typically, sorcery originated with the Ainur, and spells practiced by Elves and other races during later ages derive from them. That leaves two main explanations for what The Rings of Power‘s mystics are and why they’re so powerful: either they’re humans granted gifts by Sauron, or they’re Maiar loyal to Morgoth.

Related: Sauron’s Identity Fully Explained: All Your Questions Answered


Why The Rings Of Power’s Mystics Could Be Corrupted Humans

When the Stranger uses his blinding Istar light on the Dweller and her cohorts in Amazon’s The Rings of Power season 1 finale, he utters the line, “From shadow you came,” at which point they all assume ghostly appearances characteristic of the Unseen Realm. As Galadriel discovers, Sauron has been attempting to harness the Unseen since Morgoth’s defeat, and the Rings of Power themselves are the proud results of those experiments. It’s possible that before Adar killed him, Sauron granted dark powers to three loyal followers from Rhûn – the Dweller, Nomad and Ascetic – or that they used his teachings to access the Unseen themselves.

Tolkien barely mentioned anything regarding Rhûn in the east of Middle-earth, other than its population were loyal to Morgoth and Sauron. As such, The Rings of Power has leeway to introduce wraith-like followers of Sauron who preceded the Nazgûl. That would explain why their spectral appearance is markedly similar to The Lord of the Rings’ Ringwraiths, who also began mortal but were given magical gifts at Sauron’s behest. Receiving magical properties from Sauron also addresses how the Dweller is strong enough to fight an (admittedly not on his game) Istar better than if the mystics were regular human sorcerers.

Why The Rings Of Power’s Mystics Could Be Maiar

In Tolkien mythology, the Ainur are comprised of higher-ranking Valar, and the lower-ranking Maiar – an analogue for archangels and angels. Morgoth was a Vala, but his right-hand man, Sauron, was a Maia. Tolkien never names every single Maia, and it’s known that Sauron wasn’t the only member of that order Morgoth corrupted, since the Balrogs were also Maiar once upon a time. The Dweller, Nomad and Ascetic could, therefore, be lesser Maiar spirits fortunate enough to avoid being turned into flaming-winged (or, indeed, not winged) demons who hid in Middle-earth’s Rhûn region waiting for their leader to return. That would mean the mystics’ magic is inherent rather than inherited, accounting for their surprisingly potent spell-craft.

If The Rings of Power‘s mystics were Maiar, however, you might expect them to be even stronger when fighting the Stranger. Wizards are Maiar with their powers limited, and the Stranger is only just reawakening his latent magic, so even a bottom-of-the-barrel Maia should probably fare better than the Dweller does. By that logic, the Dweller and her pals are most likely mortal servants who worship Morgoth, follow Sauron, and either acquired or were taught to wield a fraction of Unseen magic.

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Next: The Rings Of Power Season 1 Ending Explained (In Detail)


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