Amazon's LORD OF THE RINGS Series Reveals Character Images and More - Nerdist
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Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS Series Reveals Character Images and More

The Second Age is here. A peaceful time, on the surface. But perhaps underneath, not so much. After all, it is in the Second Age that Sauron laid the first seeds of his evil. Deceiving the many people of Middle-earth and forging the One Ring of Power. We’ve known for a while that Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series would take place in this Second Age. But details beyond that simply did not exist. But now, in a story from Vanity FairThe Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power shares a deep look into its production, story, characters, and creation. We even get our first look at many of the characters with new Rings of Power images. Get your adventuring shoes on, everyone; we’re heading back to Middle-earth.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power offers a first look at its characters and plot. Here's Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings show/series.
Ben Rothstein/Amazon Studios for Vanity Fair

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s Plot

One of the biggest questions for fans so far has revolved around what precisely from the Lord of the Rings’ Second Age this new TV show would cover. After all, no one could fault J.R.R. Tolkien for lacking detail and options. But now we know the answer is that Rings of Power will cover… everything… and also more. The article shares that the Lord of the Rings series “is based not on a Tolkien novel per se but on the vast backstory he laid out in the appendices to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.” And goes on to explain that the show will cover everything from the dwarves’ mines in the Misty Mountains to the political intrigue and intricacy of the elves in Lindon. And, as suspected, the human stronghold of Númenor will feature.

And, of course, at the heart of it all, the story that ties all these different characters and contexts together. Showrunner Patrick McKay shares that at center The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s plot centers on “The forging of the rings. Rings for the elves, rings for dwarves, rings for men, and then the one ring Sauron used to deceive them all. It’s the story of the creation of all those powers, where they came from, and what they did to each of those races.” In addition to everything else, production was moved by one powerful idea. “Can we come up with the novel Tolkien never wrote and do it as the mega-event series that could only happen now?”

A tall order. But we have to admit, things sound like they are on track. Still, this many storylines and 22 stars feel like a lot to ask of one show. We’ve seen shows like Game of Thrones fling themselves too far. However, the pacing had a good deal to do with that. So we are crossing our fingers that this show knows how to juggle its many moving parts.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s Characters

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power offers a first look at its characters and plot. Here's Arondir from the Lord of the Rings show/series.
Ben Rothstein/Amazon Studios for Vanity Fair

Rings of Power will bring to life many Lord of the Rings characters, new and old. Excitingly, the article highlights an important development for this Lord of the Rings series. It shares that “Amazon’s series will also broaden the notion of who shares the world of Middle-earth.” People of color will bring to life elves, harfoots, dwarves, humans, and likely more. One of the most significant flaws of the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy was its lack of diversity and overwhelming whiteness. “It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like,” shares Lindsey Weber, an executive producer on the show. “Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.”

In Vanity Fair’s article, we learn more about the Lord of the Rings characters awaiting us. Here are some of the highlights

Galadriel

In Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, we meet a grown-up Galadriel. She feels ethereal and other-worldly. But also powerful. Below a passive exterior lay glimpses of a ravenous creature, terrible and beautiful. In Amazon’s Rings of Power, Galadriel is a bit different. Galadriel, played by Morfydd Clark, “is thousands of years younger, as angry and brash as she is clever, and certain that evil is looming closer than anyone realizes.” At the beginning of the series, she is hunting down her brother’s killers. And by the sound of things, she is stubborn and fierce. She leads the Northern Armies.

The article notes that she ends up adrift at sea, her destiny clashing into that of Halbrand.

Halbrand

Halbrand played by Charles Vickers is an original Lord of the Rings character, created for The Rings of Power. He is “running from his past.”

Celebrimbor

Celebrimbor will sound familiar to Lord of the Rings fans. He is an elven smith whose “skill with metals and magic lead to the forging of the rings.” Charles Edwards will play Celebrimbor.

Princess Disa

Princess Disa, played by Sophia Nomvete, is also a new character created for Rings of Power. She is a dwarven princess, and the background of her poster is Khazad-dûm.

Prince Durin IV

Prince Durin IV is described as the “prince of the bustling subterranean realm of Khazad-dûm.” We don’t know yet how he and Princess Disa relate to one another. Owain Arthur will play Prince Durin IV.

Arondir

Arondir (pictured above) is a silvan elf played by Ismael Cruz Córdova. It seems like he will have a forbidden love affair with Bronwyn in the new Lord of the Rings series.

Bronwyn

Bronwyn, Arondir’s love interest, is “a human village healer played by Nazanin Boniadi.” She is a single mother who lives in Middle-earth’s Southlands.

Elrond

Elrond, too, is far from his comfortable role as Lord of Rivendell and elder Elven statesman. Instead, he is described as “A canny young elven architect and politician…who will rise to prominence in the mystical capital of Lindon.” Robert Aramayo plays Elrond.

Isildur

Elrond’s disappointing human ally (in the future), and Aragorn’s ancestor, Isildur, will also appear in The Rings of Power. Played by Maxim Baldry, we’ll meet Isildur “years before he becomes a warrior and cuts the soul-corrupting ring off Sauron’s hand, then falls victim to its powers himself.”

Sauron

Sauron’s existence will be key to the show. His arc will culminate in his “resurrection as a tyrant.” But at the start of the show, the danger of Sauron is not yet fully realized. Some see the coming evil, while others bury their heads in the sand. J.A. Bayona, the director of the first two episodes, “drew from his memories growing up in Spain, a country still recovering from a civil war decades before he was born.” He shares, “We had a dictatorship for 40 years, so you notice the repercussions of war and the shadow of the past. I think this is all about the repercussions of war.”

It will be interesting to see how Sauron’s tale develops. And how it may be so fantastical, yet so steeped in reality.

Hobbits in The Rings of Power 

The article discusses another critical question, will Hobbits appear in The Lord of the Rings: The Ring of Power? And the answer is, in a fashion. McKay shares, “One of the very specific things the texts say is that hobbits never did anything historic or noteworthy before the Third Age. But really, does it feel like Middle-earth if you don’t have hobbits or something like hobbits in it?”

Vanity Fair shares that the show features the hobbit ancestors’ harfoots. “McKay and Payne have constructed a pastoral harfoot society that thrives 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. Two lovable, curious harfoots, played by Megan Richards and Markella Kavenagh, encounter a mysterious lost man whose origin promises to be one of the show’s most enticing enigmas.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s Heart

A figure stands in front of a shining city in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power still
Prime Video

McKay shares that this Lord of the Rings series is for everyone. Though it can feel scary and intense at times, “it’s also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic. It’s about friendship, and it’s about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness.”

And that’s something we can all relate to. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres September 2 on Prime Video.

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