‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’: Cast and Characters, Trailer & More
One list to read them all ...
The forges started heating up in Middle Earth after Amazon Prime released the first full trailer their long-awaited Lord of the Rings series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power! The series is hitting Prime Video on September 2, 2022 and will take place in the Second Age of Middle Earth, before the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
As the title card revealed in the first teaser, it will focus on the legendary Rings of Power. With some confirmed characters and the era fixed—and taking into account many rumors—we can make some educated guesses about The Rings of Power’s direction, too. So what other information about the show has Amazon let slip, and what can we glean from the trailer? Let’s take a look!
What We Know So Far
Amazon is keeping most of the who/what/where tightly under wraps, but they let out little teases over the years when production was ramping up for the huge undertaking. For instance, we know that the show will be pulling largely from the historical appendixes that Tolkien included at the end of The Return of the King, and from The Silmarillion—Tolkien’s dense, historical compendium.
The show has also shown a map of Middle Earth from the Second Age, which depicts the island kingdom of Numenor (which has long been sunk into the sea by the time we meet Frodo and his companions in Fellowship), along with little known territories like Harad and Khand. The map does not show Gondor or Arnor yet, so it’s possible that the show will involve the fall of Numenor and the creation of those kingdoms, alongside the forging of the rings of power.
The cast for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is enormous, but headlining the ensemble are: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.
Confirmed Cast and Characters
Vanity Fair recently released an exclusive “first look” at the cast, characters, and behind-the-scenes magic of the fantasy epic. The scoop confirms several rumors about who the cast is playing and expands upon the many teaser posters released by Amazon Studios on the Lord of the Rings on Prime instagram account.
Morfydd Clark is Galadriel
In 2019 it was announced (via Variety) that Morfydd Clark had been cast as Galadriel, and Vanity Fair’s “first look” brought us the first image. This was the first major character from the films and books to have been announced for the show. Currently, IMDB has Clark listed as only being in the first two episodes of the series, so perhaps this means the show starts in the elvish kingdom of Lindon (or even across the sea in Valinor).
It is possibly Clark’s voice that can be heard reciting Galadriel’s famous lines from the Lord of the Rings trilogy over the teaser trailer. If the show sticks to the history of the books, Galadriel is one of the elves who is tasked with keeping one of the three Elf rings of power, so she may have a huge part to play at some point in the series.
Robert Aramayo is Elrond
It has now been confirmed that Robert Aramayo’s “Beldor” is actually a younger (by a few thousand years) version of Elrond. This is Elrond the ambitious political leader, perhaps before he has secured his position as the Lord of Rivendell?
Owain Arthur is Prince Durin IV
Owain Arthur will be playing Prince Durin IV, the soon to be ruler of Khazad-dûm. Khazad-dûm is the great underground kingdom of Dwarves that eventually becomes known as the Mines of Moria in the aftermath of them waking the Balrog that slept in the heart of the mountain. Durin IV eventually becomes the King that lends his army of Dwarves to aid the Elves and men in the War of the Last Alliance to try and defeat Sauron!
Sophia Nomvete is Princess Disa
A Dwarf woman! We have our first Dwarf woman! Some may remember Gimli talking mad trash on Dwarf women in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers when he told Eowyn “It’s true you don’t see many dwarf women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for dwarf men.” Gimli was full of it! Because Nomvete as Disa looks stunning! And ferocious!
It’s interesting to note that the only female Dwarf named by Tolkien was “Dís,” the mother of Fili and Kili (part of Bilbo’s gang in The Hobbit), a former Dwarf ruler who was exiled from the Lonely Mountain by Smaug. In Tolkien’s appendixes he mentions that Dís was born in the Lonely Mountain not Khazad-dûm, but Disa and Dís are so similar sounding it’s possible that they are one and the same!
Ismael Cruz Córdova is Arondir
Ismael Cruz Córdova will be playing a brand new character created specifically for the series—the silvan Elf Arondir! Silvan Elves were mostly of Nandorin background who settled in the vast forests east of the Misty Mountains, namely Lothlórien and The Woodland Realm of Mirkwood.
Judging by the wooden breast plate carved with Green Man imagery, I would hazard a guess that Arondir is a Silvan Elf from Mirkwood and might perhaps have connections to, or interactions with, Thranduil and maybe even his son, Legolas! What we do know from the captions provided by Vanity Fair is that Arondir has a secret relationship with another new character, a human named Bronwyn!
Nazanin Boniadi is Bronwyn
Not much is known about Nazanin Boniadi’s Bronwyn, another new character created for the series. The Vanity Fair article describes her as a “single mother and healer” with an apothecary, she has a forbidden relationship with the Elf Arondir, and that she is from “Middle-earth’s Southlands.” But where in the south? Is she possibly one of the early Rohirrim? Or does she come from even further south like the mysterious nation of Harad?
Charlie Vickers is Halbrand
Charlie Vickers playing another new character—a man named Halbrand. All we know about this mysterious new character is that he is a mortal man and a “fugitive from his own past” and his hand poster shows him clutching a sword with a carved horse pommel, which seems to indicate a connection to Rohan! What in his past his running from? How does he end up (as we learn in the “First Look”) as a castaway alongside Galadriel?
Benjamin Walker is High King Gil-galad
With the release of the first teaser trailer during the 2022 Super Bowl, the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Twitter account also released new character confirmations—like Benjamin Walker as the High King Gil-galad. Gil-galad was the last High King of the Ñoldor Elves and he was the one that formed the the Last Alliance of Elves and Men with Elendil to battle Sauron. In the trailer, we see him staring up at something plummeting (a comet? the descending Maiar perhaps?) down from the sky!
Daniel Wayman is The Stranger
Amazon has also confirmed that Daniel Wayman will be playing the mysterious stranger, discovered by the two young harfoots, whose origins will be “one of the show’s most enticing enigmas!” In the trailer, there is a quick shot of a bearded man that looks like Wayman wreathed in flame and reaching out to a young harfoot. Could this Stranger be Gandalf or another Maiar who has descended to Middle-earth to guide the people into a new age? Is this why Gandalf has such a strong affinity for hobbits? They go way back!
Tyroe Muhafidin is Theo
Young actor Tyroe Muhafidin will be playing another new character, Theo! Not much is known about this new character, however the picture Amazon released shows him holding the hilt of a broken, ancient-looking sword. It’s evocative of the shards of Narsil, however timeline wise, it is still a thousand or so years too early for that famous sword to even be forged. It could possibly be the hilt of Gurthang, which was the famous and sentient sword of Túrin. Túrin is the tragic hero at the center The Children of Húrin, one of the great legends from the First Age of Middle-earth. The legend ends when Túrin kills himself by falling on his sword, after learning that his wife (who has also committed suicide) is also his sister. His weight breaks Gurthang and the shards of his sword end up buried beneath The Stone of the Hapless. It’s possible that Theo (or someone else) has unearthed Gurthang, but for what ends?
Maxim Baldry is Isildur
The rumors were true! Maxim Baldry will be playing the doomed prince Isildur! We know how his story ends, (defeating Sauron but falling to the lure of the One Ring, killed by Orcs, etc) but it’s exciting to see how it begins! Isildur and his family (his father Elendil, and his brothers) originally hailed from Númenor and were The Lords of Andúnië.
Isildur was one of the first to suspect the corrupting influence of the captured Sauron was affecting the King—when he learned that Sauron was persuading him to cut down Nimloth, the White Tree that had come from the Undying Lands of the Valar. Isildur disguised himself and snuck in and stole a fruit off the tree and managed to bring the seedling with him and his family and the palantíri when they left Númenor for Middle-earth. What of this backstory we will see in the series remains a mystery but there is a wealth of exciting storylines to choose from!
Charles Edwards is Celebrimbor
Charles Edwards will be playing the Elven smith Celebrimbor! Celebrimbor is a key character in Tolkien’s Second Age mythology because he is the Elf master smith who works closely with Sauron (who is in disguise). He is also the Elf who grows suspicious of Sauron’s motives first, and forges the three Elf rings apart from Sauron—sending them in secret to Galadriel and Gil-Galad to keep them out of Sauron’s hands.
Markella Kavenagh is Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot
Amazon has confirmed that Kavenagh will be playing a Harfoot named Nori Brandyfoot. We know that she and Richards’ characters are the two to discover the mysterious stranger. The name Brandyfoot is very similar to Brandybuck, is it possible she is an ancestor of Merrywise Brandybuck?
Sir Lenny Henry, Megan Richards are Hobbits/Harfoots
Sir Lenny Henry has confirmed in an interview with the BBC that he will be playing an early type of hobbit known as a Harfoot. Tolkien described three different Hobbit types: The Harfoots, the Stoors, and the Fallohides. Harfoots were the most numerous, tended to be smaller than the Stoors and Fallohides, they were darker of skin, and had no beards. They were very friendly with the dwarves and liked the highlands and hillsides, and were the ones who instituted living in burrows and smials. When hobbits eventually settled in The Shire, the overwhelming majority of them were Harfoots.
According to the Vanity Fair interview with showrunners McKay and Payne, they want the pastoral Harfoots to “thrive on secrecy and evading detection so that they can play out a kind of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead story in the margins of the bigger quests.” While Henry will be playing a Harfoot elder, Richards and Kavenagh are two curious Harfoots who encounter “a mysterious lost man whose origin promises to be one of the show’s most enticing enigmas.”
It has now been confirmed that Megan Richards will be playing a Harfoot named Poppy Proudfellow, while Sir Lenny Henry will be an elder Harfoot named Sadoc Burrows. Other confirmed Hobbit ancestors appearing in the series include Dylan Smith as Largo Brandyfoot and Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot, possibly ancestors of our beloved Meriadoc Brandybuck!
Trystan Gravelle as Pharazôn
Several rumors were confirmed at the Rings of Power panel at San Diego Comic Con, including the casting of Trystan Gravelle as Pharazon. It is interesting to note that in the series, he has been labeled as an “advisor” to Queen Regent Míriel, which means that the series will perhaps document his rise to power (and corruption) before he becomes King Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Numenor who was prodded by Sauron into waging war on the Valar (the Gods of Middle Earth).
It is this battle that forces the Creator to intervene and sink Numenor into the depths of the sea, with only the men who resisted surviving. It is those men who go on to found the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor on Middle Earth. And because we know this is about the Rings of Power as well, we might also see origins of the Witch King of Angmar, one of the recipients of the nine rings given to men by Sauron.
Cynthia Addai-Robinson is Queen Regent Míriel
Speaking of the Queen, it was also revealed that Cynthia Addai-Robinson will be playing Queen Regent Míriel. In Tolkien lore, Míriel is the last rightful heir of Numenor but is forced to marry Pharazôn against her will and he then usurps the throne for himself.
Anson Boon is Sauron (or Annatar)
And finally, the one we’ve all been waiting for! The trailer finally revealed a look at Sauron, (or technically his guise of Annatar “Lord of Gifts.”) Sauron begins the Second Age trying to seduce the Elves and forging his ring in secret, and ends it by letting himself be captured by Pharazôn (in order to corrupt him to his will). It will be interesting to see how the show covers this span of centuries, will we be getting a bit of a remixed timeline? Will Sauron be sowing his evil seeds on multiple fronts? We can’t wait to find out.
It has also been confirmed that Simon Merrells has been cast as a character called “Trevyn,” and Joseph Mawle as “Oren,” supposedly one of the series main villains.
Neither of those names appear in Tolkien’s works, so it’s possible that these are new characters created for the show. It’s also possible that these names are merely placeholders meant to prevent spoilers, but could also possibly provide clues!
Much has been made of Mawle’s casting as “Oren.” Oren could possibly be short for “Orendil,” one of the names that Tolkien used for Elendil—Isildur’s father. Now Orendil wasn’t a villain in Tolkien’s histories, in fact he was slain by Sauron in the great battle where Isildur sliced the Ring of Power off Sauron’s hand, so this might mean another departure from the books.
Rumors and Possibilities
Peter Tait, who played the orc Shagrat in The Return of the King, has been cast as an unnamed series regular as well. It’s possible that he may be returning to his Orc roots, or perhaps donning a different sort of monster costume! We have also now gotten a closer look at the series’ take on Orc ancestors courtesy of an exclusive with IGN. Executive Produce Lindsey Weber discussed how the Orcs in Rings of Power might be a bit different from the ones we know and love (to hate) in the original films:
“We spent a lot of time talking about what it would mean to be an Orc in the Second Age. It felt appropriate that their look would be different, part of a wilder, more raw, Second Age, Middle-earth, closer to where the First Age ends. As we meet them, they’re not yet organized into armies, they’re a little more scattered and they’ve been scavenging. So it’s just a different time in their total story.”
Will we also perhaps get to see the arrival of the Istari—the Maiar sent to Middle Earth in the guise of wizards? According to Tolkein’s histories, Gandalf and the other wizards (like Saruman and Radagast) had been present since the creation of the world as Maiar and had been residing with the Valar. It’s possible that if some of the story centers around Numenor’s attempted battle against the Valar, we might get to see Gandalf’s previous incarnation as Olorin. Or depending on how many seasons we get, if we reach the final battle of the Second Age and the beginning of the Third Age, we might get to see a more familiar form of old Mithrandir.
There’s still a lot of speculation to be had, but either way, we can’t wait for September 2022 and the Rings of Power to arrive!
(via: Vanity Fair, images: Amazon Prime)
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