The Rings of Power: what does Sauron’s sigil mean and why does it look like that?

We unveil one of the first great mysteries and secrets of the latest Prime Video series that serves as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings.

The wait is over. The Rings of Power, the new Prime Video series that serves as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, is already available on the streaming platform. Or at least its first episodes (here you can find out when the remaining episodes will be released). In them, the series does not stop planting breadcrumbs. Mysteries and questions that, we assume, will be answered as the episodes go by. For the most impatient (and those who wish to dive a little deeper into Tolkien's lore), we will try to anticipate and answer the big questions ourselves. The first of them has to do with Sauron’s sigil, a symbol in the shape of an inverted trident that Galadriel is in hot pursuit of and it is not entirely clear why. Let's find out.

Where does Sauron’s sigil come out?

Sauron’s sigil appears in the first episode of The Rings of Power and is one of the great mysteries of the series. We see it on the lifeless body of Galadriel's brother, who set out on a mission to defeat Sauron and ended up succumbing at the hands of the Dark Lord. This is how Galadriel herself tells it:

"My brother gave his life hunting the enemy, but Sauron found him first and branded his flesh with a symbol whose meaning even our wisest people could not decipher. And there, in the darkness, his task is now mine. So we set out in search of him.”

Galadriel, Forodwaith and the first clue

This is not the only time we see it. Shortly after, when Galadriel's company arrives at Forodwaith, Sauron’s sigil appears again. There, where the orcs took refuge after the fall of Morgoth, the elf finds the symbol again and it is pronounced like this:

"Not even stone can hide the mark of him whose hand is living flame. He was here. Sauron. He was here. This mark was a clue to guide the orcs. The last time I saw it my brother had it. We must follow it.

Sauron's sigil on Theo's black sword

Finally, in the second episode's final stretch, Sauron’s sigil is seen again. It appears on the sword of Theo, Bronwyn's rebellious son, who in turn is the healer who has a secret affair with Arondir, a sylvan elf. Three characters that do not appear in the books that inspired The Rings of Power and that have been created exclusively for the series.

This black sword that seems broken, but is rebuilt with blood, is another of the great mysteries of The Rings of Power. Still, a few weeks ago we reviewed the theories surrounding the sword and everything points to it being a Morgul dagger, perhaps even the future blade of the Witch King of Angmar, the leader of the Nazgul. What it does in Theo's hands is an even bigger unknown, but it seems to be closely related to the Dark Lord and his subjects.

What does Sauron’s sigil mean?

If the wisest among the elves couldn't figure it out, why do you put your faith in us? Just kidding. The solution is simpler and easier to decipher than it seems. Galadriel herself gives us the key to the fort of Forodwaith. "This mark was a clue to guide the orcs." It is a map. Let's see if you notice anything strange about this map of Middle-earth:

Have you noticed the three mountain ranges of Mordor? Indeed, don't they have the shape of Sauron's sigil if we were to turn it ninety degrees? What's more, look at the little triangle that always has the symbol in the center line. That little triangle coincides with a very concrete and specific peak in Mordor... Mount Doom. This is the place where Sauron settled and forged the One Ring.

As Galadriel herself anticipates, we are before a map, before the instructions of the Dark Lord to his subjects. What's more, the elf also gives us a preview of what Sauron is doing there when discussing with his companions. "The one who left it might be lurking there perfecting the dark art with which he escaped." Galadriel... if you only knew...