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The Rings of Power
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The subject of this article originates from non-canonical sources.
To learn about what is considered "canon", see LOTR:Canon.

"It would seem I'm not the only Elf alive who has been transformed by darkness. Perhaps your search for Morgoth's successor should have ended in your own mirror."

A mysterious individual of the Second Age was referred to as Adar, or "Lord-father", by Orcs, presumably because, according to Galadriel, of his status as one of the Moriondor, the first Elves to be captured and tortured by Morgoth. Some among the Silvan Elves and Men of the Southlands initially wondered if he could be a manifestation of Sauron, though Adar was angered at the suggestion.

Under Adar's command, a large contingent of Orcs destroyed settlements in the Southlands, such as Hordern, taking its people as slaves to work digging channels and tunnels that later helped cause Orodruin to erupt.


Years of the Trees & First Age[]

It was assumed by Galadriel that Adar was one of the Moriondor, the first Elves to be corrupted by Morgoth during the Years of the Trees in Utumno. Subsequent generations of the newly realized race of Orcs considered him to be their "father", and followed him willingly. After Morgoth's defeat, Adar at first served Sauron in the latter's mission to discover a way to subdue other forms of life. However, disillusioned by Sauron's cruelty to the Orcs, Adar turned on Morgoth's successor and struck him down, believing for centuries afterward that he had slain Sauron. For many years, Adar remained the leader of a large portion of surviving Orcs, though in secret.

Adar speaks to Arondir - TRoP

Adar speaks to Arondir

Second Age[]

Adar first became known to the peoples of Middle-earth well into the Second Age, first appearing in some trenches run by his servant, Magrot, immediately after Arondir's failed attempt to cause a fray and escape. While Arondir is pinned down, having stabbed Magrot in the neck, Lurka orders he be brought to Adar. The "Lord-father" then emerges as Orcs around bow.[1] He gently tends to the dying Magrot, who had sustained a mortal wound in the Elves' escape attempt, before suddenly ending his suffering with a dagger. As the rest of the Orcs leave, Adar speaks to Arondir, learning the Silvan Elf's birthplace to be in Beleriand. Adar reminisces about his days along the river Sirion, though he evades Arondir's own questions, before releasing Arondir to take a message to the Southlanders taking refuge in the Watchtower of Ostirith: that they may live if they forsake the territory and swear fealty to him. Later, as he watches one of the caged Wargs devouring fresh flesh, Adar is informed by Grugzûk that the hilt of the sword they seek is in the watchtower.[2]

Some time afterwards, Adar is told by Grugzûk that the tunnel is complete and their forces ready. The "Lord-father" asks his minion to hold his arm in the sunlight to emphasize, by burning the Orc's skin, his claim that the sun's light will soon be overshadowed. He then releases Grugzûk, ordering him to summon the legions. Later, temporarily encamped in Tirharad, Adar is approached by a group of the village's former inhabitants led by Waldreg, who seek to swear fealty in exchange for their lives and better status. Following Waldreg's suggestion that his new master was, in fact, Sauron - whom he had long awaited to pledge his undying service to - Adar expresses his frustration with the old man's mistaken belief by throwing him to the ground. He then forces Waldreg to murder Rowan with a dagger in order to seal his oath of loyalty, claiming only blood could bind.[3]

Adar captured by Galadriel - TRoP

Adar questioned by Galadriel

Adar leads his army to Ostirith to destroy those who refused to obey him, and finds the tower empty. He is then surprised by Arondir, who triggers a mechanism rigged to destroy the tower, which kills a number of Orcs and forces Adar's forces to regroup. His attack comes after nightfall on Tirharad, where the townspeople have returned to; the inhabitants defeat the initial force after much exertion, only to become horrified when they found the majority of those they slew were their kinsmen who had followed Waldreg. Adar's main force then easily occupies the village, and begins murdering villagers in an attempt to force Arondir to reveal the location of the Orc Sigil Hilt. Only when the Orcs threaten to kill Bronwyn does her son Theo hand over the hilt. Just then, a company of Númenórean cavalry commanded by Queen Regent Míriel arrive and make short work of the Orcs. Adar gives the Hilt to Waldreg and escapes on a brown horse; Galadriel and Halbrand, believing Adar to still have the Hilt, pursue and capture him. Galadriel tries to interrogate Adar, and learns that he claims that he killed Sauron for his cruelty to the Orcs. She states her intent to purge all Orcs and nearly kills him, before Halbrand distracts her, an act she is later grateful for.

Adar gives Mordor its name - TRoP

Adar renames the Southlands to "Mordor"

In the meantime, Waldreg has returned to Ostirith and uses the Orc Sigil Hilt to unlock the dam holding back the lake behind the watchtower. The waters run through tunnels in the earth into the caverns of magma below Orodruin, creating such a reaction that the volcano is reawakened, covering the Southlands in ash.[4] Adar's prison is destroyed by the volcano's eruption, though through unknown means he had escaped just before. He takes over the village as a home for the Orcs because the newly formed ash clouds shield the country against the sunlight. Adar is proclaimed by Waldreg and the Orcs as "Lord of the Southlands", and changes the name of the country to Mordor ("dark land"),[5] presumably changing his title to "Lord of Mordor".


It was speculated by Galadriel that Adar may have been among Moriondor, the first elves to be corrupted by Morgoth and the earliest generation of Orcs. As such, he bore greater resemblance to his Elvish heritage, both physically and psychologically, than to later breeds of Orcs. He was capable of some compassion and mercy, as demonstrated by his sympathy for his "children". In spite of calling himself an "Uruk", a part of him still longed and hearkened to his past: before the battle at Tirharad, he planted seeds ("new life in defiance of death") as customary of the Elves. Adar also believed that both he and the other Orcs were more "unnamed slaves" of Morgoth and Sauron.

However, the evil that had been nurtured into him by Morgoth, and later Sauron, had taken root and left its mark on him. Despite being disgusted by the vile deeds these two oppressors committed against his "children", Adar himself displayed similar cruelty and ruthlessness towards those he wished to subdue. When questioned by Galadriel, Adar spoke of Sauron in his own terms, as if the words had been long ingrained into his mind. Further evidence of the Dark Lord's leftover hold over him was in his goals: though Adar saw himself as a free agent, with "no master", his campaign to turn the Southlands into a home for the Orcs had ultimately been the by-product of Sauron's much older plan.


Adar is a Sindarin word meaning "father".[6]


Behind the scenes[]

Adar was created for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and as such is non-canonical. He was portrayed by Joseph Mawle in the series' first season; after Mawle stepped away from the role, Sam Hazeldine was recast as Adar.


  1. The first corruption of Elves by Morgoth occurred around YT 1080, calculated to be slightly over 4000 solar years before the Sun and Moon first arose. Adding the 590 years from then to the end of the First Age and at least 1500 years of the Second Age gives a figure somewhere above 6000.