The Amazon series is loosely focused on what author J.R.R. Tolkien referred to as the Second Age of Middle-earth, meaning that it takes place thousands of years before the events of Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies. With a couple of notable exceptions, this also means that most of the characters haven’t been seen onscreen before.
The also aren’t any hobbits, because as Tolkien noted, the small human-like beings didn’t really participate in Middle-earth history before the era depicted in The Lord of the Rings. The showrunners instead decided to incorporate harfoots, which are ancestors of the beloved, food-obsessed creatures.
“One of the very specific things the texts say is that hobbits never did anything historic or noteworthy before the Third Age,” executive producer Patrick McKay told Vanity Fair in February 2022. “But really, does it feel like Middle-earth if you don’t have hobbits or something like hobbits in it?”
Fans of the trilogy will also recognize the character Galadriel, albeit in a much younger form. Played by Cate Blanchett in Jackson’s films, the elvish queen is brought to life by Morfydd Clark in The Rings of Power, but she’s not yet the regal presence seen in The Fellowship of the Ring — she’s a warrior.
The Saint Maud actress revealed that she had to undergo “exposure therapy” to get used to maintaining the faces that the fearless Galadriel would make when reacting to threats.
“The stunt team said, ‘You’ve got a problem, because you’re used to being attacked on film,’” the Welsh actress told Empire in August 2022. “I would flinch a lot when people came at me. So, they did exposure therapy with me, where I would have all these huge, huge men running at me, screaming with swords. To stop me from looking frightened. Because I’ve definitely been cast as the victim. And Galadriel is not that.”
Robert Aramayo, for his part, had previous experience with screen violence during his time as young Ned Stark on Game of Thrones. His time on the show also taught him how to play a character with secrets. In flashbacks during season 6, Aramayo as Ned slowly discovered the true parentage of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), but couldn’t talk to anyone about it until it aired.
The Behind Her Eyes alum has to maintain a similar level of confidentiality for The Rings of Power, but at this point, he’s used to it. “In terms of the secrecy, I don’t have any social media, and I try my best to stay away from stuff,” he told Variety in August 2022.
Keep scrolling to see what the Rings of Power cast looks like outside of Middle-earth.
(With Inputs from usmagazine)
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