The Rings of Power, the highly anticipated J.R.R. Tolkien series set to premiere on Prime Video on Sept. 1, explores the events of the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of Lord of the Rings. This epic tale begins after the defeat of Sauron’s master, the evil lord Morgoth. While Sauron may be in hiding, he is still alive, and the series will delve into his creation of the rings of power, including the one ring to rule them all. Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have planned five seasons that will culminate in an ultimate battle between Sauron’s evil forces and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
If you are familiar with the books or Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, you know the general direction the story is headed. During the final battle, a man named Isildur cuts the ring from Sauron’s finger, resulting in his defeat. However, Isildur is unable to destroy the ring, and it falls to a hobbit named Frodo to complete that task thousands of years later. The showrunners promise a story filled with twists, surprises, and new adventures that will deepen our understanding of this iconic showdown.
To fully appreciate the story, it is essential to get to know the main players of the Second Age. While some characters will be familiar to Tolkien fans, others are brand new, their roles shrouded in mystery. Here is a rundown of the key characters you need to know before diving into the show.
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Galadriel (Morfydd Clark)
Portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Peter Jackson’s films, Galadriel is an elf of immense power and wisdom. In The Rings of Power, we meet a younger version of Galadriel, played by Morfydd Clark. Thousands of years before her appearance in Lord of the Rings, she is a fierce warrior seeking vengeance for her brother’s death at the hands of Sauron. This portrayal will explore her evolution into the wise stateswoman we know.
Halbrand (Charlie Vickers)
Halbrand is a completely new character introduced in The Rings of Power. A mysterious mortal on the run, he encounters Galadriel. Speculation abounds about his true identity, as he seems to play a significant role despite never being mentioned in Tolkien’s works. Given the emphasis on fate and purpose in Tolkien’s stories, stumbling upon Galadriel indicates a larger role in the battle between good and evil.
Elrond (Robert Aramayo)
Fans of Lord of the Rings will recognize Elrond, the half-elf who rules over the elven land of Rivendell. In The Rings of Power, we learn more about Elrond’s past. Before becoming the esteemed military leader we know, he served as a statesman working for the elf High King Gil-Galad. Elrond embarks on a mission to meet his old friend Prince Durin IV in the Dwarf kingdom of Kazad-dûm, setting the stage for his future role in the fight against Sauron.
High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker)
High King Gil-Galad is a crucial figure in the Second Age, leading the Last Alliance of Elves and Men alongside Elendil. Though his appearance in the films was brief, he is one of the most important elves of that time, ruling over the elf kingdom of Lindon.
Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards)
Fans of the Shadow of War and Shadow of Mordor video games will recognize Celebrimbor as the elf smith who was tricked into forging the rings of power for Sauron. The show revolves around his creation of the rings, making his character central to the narrative.
Isildur (Maxim Baldry)
Isildur is the man who manages to cut the one ring from Sauron’s finger but fails to destroy it. This failure allows Sauron to rise again in the Third Age, setting the stage for the events of Lord of the Rings. In the show, Isildur is depicted as a sailor, not yet the leader of men we later encounter.
Elendil (Lloyd Owen)
Elendil, Isildur’s father, plays a crucial role in the fight against Sauron. His alliance with the elves is instrumental in halting the spread of evil throughout Middle-earth. Elendil’s leadership and his relationship with the elves are key aspects of his character.
Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur)
Prince Durin IV is the son of King Durin III, ruling over the Dwarf kingdom of Khazad-dûm. While the kingdom is thriving during the Second Age, fans will recognize its eventual ruin in the films. Gandalf’s fateful encounter with a Balrog takes place in the mines of Khazad-dûm, also known as Moria.
Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete)
Princess Disa is Durin’s wife and the first female dwarf depicted in a Tolkien adaptation. She possesses unique abilities, including the gift of divination through singing to the mountain where the dwarves reside.
Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova)
Arondir is a Silvan Elf, distinguished by their affinity for nature, in contrast to the High Elves’ fondness for pomp and ceremony. When we meet Arondir, he is a soldier deeply in love with the human Bronwyn, exploring the forbidden territory of human-elf relationships.
Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi)
Bronwyn is a healer and the single mother of Theo. Living in Tirharad, close to the mysterious Harad region, she finds herself entangled in adventures involving orcs alongside Arondir.
Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin)
The son of Bronwyn, Theo is a new character in the show. Intriguingly, he possesses a broken sword with an uncanny link to the dark forces of Mordor. The origins of this weapon and Theo’s connection to it remain enigmatic.
Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh)
Nori is a harfoot, one of the nomadic ancestors of the hobbits, in The Rings of Power. Known for their elusive nature, the harfoots hide from humans and other creatures. Nori encounters a mysterious stranger who fell from the sky on a meteor, embarking on a thrilling adventure alongside him.
Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards)
Poppy is Nori’s mischievous friend who often finds herself swept up in her adventurous escapades.
The Stranger (Daniel Weyman)
A mysterious man who falls from the sky, The Stranger possesses extraordinary powers. Unable to communicate in Nori’s language, his origins remain a mystery. Speculation about his identity is rampant, with many wondering if he is a wizard like Gandalf or Saruman.
Sadoc Burrows (Lenny Henry)
Sadoc Burrows, another harfoot, possesses the ability to interpret signs from the stars. As one of the leaders of the traveling group, he plays a vital role in their journey.
Largo Brandyfoot (Dylan Smith)
Largo Brandyfoot is Nori’s father, indulging her occasional troublesome nature.
Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson)
The island kingdom of Númenor, ruled by humans of half-elven heritage, serves as a key location in The Rings of Power. Queen Regent Míriel reigns over this powerful land. However, internal divisions and the rise of Pharazôn threaten its stability.
Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle)
Pharazôn is an advisor to Queen Regent Míriel but has his own following and ambitions. His actions will significantly impact the fate of Númenor.
Mysterious character from the Rhûn (Bridie Sisson)
A mysterious character from the lands of Rhûn, played by Bridie Sisson, captivates fans’ attention. The internet initially speculated that this character might be Sauron in disguise, but no confirmation has been given. Rhûn is known to be one of Sauron’s haunts, adding to the intrigue surrounding this enigmatic figure.
Now that you have a better understanding of the key players in The Rings of Power, get ready to dive into this monumental series. For further information and updates, visit the 5 WS website. Enjoy the journey through the Second Age of Middle-earth!