Middle-earth will return to our screens in the much-anticipated new series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The show is based in the Second Age, about which most long-time and newer Tolkien fans know little, since most of Tolkien’s work stems from the Third Age ( as seen in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films) or the First Age (The Silmarillion). (Thankfully, we have a Second Age explainer to get viewers up to speed!) The Rings of Power explores completely new territory, bringing in new characters, showing us new aspects of existing characters, and tying some characters to other people we already know. Here’s what you need to know about the new (and reintroduced) main players in The Rings of Power.
The New Characters in The Rings of Power:
Prince Durin IV
Durin IV is one of Durin’s folk. Durin I was one of the Seven Fathers of his race, and he was known as Durin the Deathless because of his long lifespan. And Durin III was one of the dwarves to receive a Ring of Power. Durin IV is a Prince of Khazad-Dûm, which is flourishing in the Second Age. We have only heard of Khazad-Dûm’s glory in passing in both the books and in the movie adaptations, but we will now get to see it in all its splendor in The Rings of Power.
Played by: Owain Arthur
Princess Disa is Prince Durin IV’s wife, a mother, and a leader in her own right. Disa and her husband are key to the events happening in Khazad-Dûm in its golden age. In their positions of power, Durin IV and Disa lead their people amidst this time. Sophia Nonmvete is the first woman of color to play a dwarf in any Lord of the Rings adaptations.
Played by: Sophia Nomvete
Arondir is a new character made for the show. He is a Silvan elf and a soldier sent to watch over the people of the Southlands. He is an outsider amongst his own people, and falls for a human, Bronwyn, in a forbidden romance. Arondir is played by Ismael Cruz Cordova, who will be the first person of color to play an elf in any Tolkien adaptation.
Played by: Ismael Cruz Cordova
Bronwyn is also a new character created for the show, a native from the Southlands. Not much has been described in the texts by Tolkien about the Southlands, so this will literally be new territory for the show to explore. She is a healer, and a single mother. Her son Theo, a teenager, is firmly against her being with Arondir, reflecting the prejudices their people have of each other.
Played by: Nazanin Boniadi
Halbrand is a character we know little about so far. He and Galadriel are stranded together in the sea at some point in the series, as indicated by the teasers, and are bonded by their near-death experience. He is human, but there has not been much elaboration about his past and who he is before he meets Galadriel in the trailers or in interviews with the actor who portrays him, Charlie Vickers.
Played by: Charlie Vickers
Nori Brandyfoot and Poppy Proudfoot
Nori Brandyfoot and Poppy Proudfoots are Harfoots, indicated to be ancestors of the Hobbits. Hobbits do not exist in the Second Age, but the Harfoots are their ancestors who are a nomadic community. They wander Middle-earth in search of a home, but are yet to find one, which gives them a key difference from the Hobbits in the Third Age. Not much has been revealed about either character so far, but as has been shown in one of the teasers, Nori and Poppy do chance upon a meteor and find a mysterious man in its debris, so both will definitely have important roles to play.
Played by: Markella Kavanaugh and Megan Richards (respectively)
The leader of the Harfoots, Sadoc watches over his followers and keeps an eye out for trouble. He will provide a mix of comedic relief along with bravery to this world.
Played by: Sir Lenny Henry
Queen Regent Míriel
Míriel is a Queen Regent of Númenor, and is leading Númenor in a moment of change. The kingdom is at the height of its power, and Míriel is trying to lead her people and maintain the peace while her father is ill and she has to rule in his place. The Númenoreans are divided as to how they should continue to respond to the Ban of the Valar, which restricts them from traveling to the Undying Lands, although they do have elven ancestry.
Played by: Cynthia Addai-Robinson
Pharazôn is Míriel’s cousin and right-hand man and is one of her most trusted advisors. They both are trying to ensure their kingdom remains at peace while factions form in the kingdom. Pharazon goes down in history as the last king of Númenor, but in the series, he is a retired seafarer, and has the ear of Míriel and the people of Númenor.
Played by: Trystan Gravelle
The Rings of Power Characters We Have Seen Before:
Morfydd Clark plays a younger Galadriel in The Rings of Power, who at this point has seen the horrors of the First Age, and wants peace in the Second. She previously appeared in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit‘s films, including The Fellowship of the Ring, then played by Cate Blanchett. We don’t have a ton of information yet but we do know that Galadriel is not yet the leader of Lothlorien. Galadriel is hunting down the last of the remaining collaborators of the wicked god Morgoth, who was defeated in the First Age. She has spent a thousand years hunting down this elusive evil, as Sauron still lies dormant, but not fully defeated.
Played by: Morfydd Clark
Robert Aramayo is Elrond, formerly played by Hugo Weaving in the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy, the future leader of Rivendell. At this point, Elrond, an architect and politician, has yet to become the leader of Rivendell, but certainly has high political ambitions. He is struggling to deal with his past and the horrors he has seen in the First Age. He is the brother of Elros, the first king of Númenor, and is Herald to Gil-Galad, the King of Lindon, the elven kingdom where Elrond resides, and he seeks to prove himself worthy of his family and of his role in Lindon.
Played by: Robert Aramayo
Gil-Galad is High King of Lindon and one of the elves who chose to remain in Middle-earth rather than leaving for the Undying Lands at the end of the First Age. He made a previous appearance in The Fellowship of the Ring, then played by Mark Ferguson. In Lindon, he establishes a kingdom along with the help of Elrond. Gil-Galad remains doubtful of the peace that reigns in the beginning of the Second Age, similar to Galadriel.
Played by: Benjamin Walker
The Rings of Power Characters Who Are Connected to Other Tolkien Adaptations:
Isildur is the ancestor of Aragorn, who we know from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Aragorn is heir to Isildur as the King of Gondor; however, Isildur in this series is far from becoming the Isildur of legend. In The Rings of Power, we see him as an aspiring sea captain, forced to follow in the footsteps of his father, Elendil. Isildur is trying to find his place, but has yet to become the man who defeated Sauron at the end of the Second Age.
Played by: Maxim Baldry
Celebrimbor is a forger, the very same one who forged the Rings of Power. This is a momentous event which we will eventually see in the series. He was manipulated by the Dark Lord Sauron in disguise to forge the Rings, which would eventually be tied to the One Ring, which gave Sauron his formidable power. Celebrimbor was responsible for forging the three Rings given to the Elves, as we saw in the prologue for The Fellowship of the Ring. He is the leader of Eregion, another Elven kingdom of Middle-earth, close to Khazad-Dûm. Celebrimbor plays a key role in the events of the series and Middle-earth throughout its ages, but curiously little was written about him. Now, we will have a more fleshed-out version of the character.
Played by: Charles Edwards
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will hit Prime Video with its first two episodes on September 1 for US and Brazilian fans. Others around the world will be able to travel to Middle-earth on September 2.