Though female characters in The Lord Of The Rings may be few and far between, all that’s about to change with JD Payne’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Apart from the iconic Galadriel, Arwen, and Eowyn, we are introduced to noncanonical characters like Bronwyn, Lady Earien, Marigold and Nori Brandyfoot as they drive forth the narrative in the ‘Second Age’ of the Middle Earth along with their famous male counterparts.
Homeland actor Nazanin Boniadi who plays Bronwyn the village healer is a social outcast having done the unthinkable, a forbidden romance with an Elf and is also a single mother raising her son Theo. The actor who had described her character as liberating since it gave her the freedom to interpret ‘Brownyn’ as she wanted too, says, “I love the fact that women have a lot of agency in this show. The writers have made each female character multifaceted and resilient. The women have their own right in the show and are not leaning towards the male characters around them or serving them—each character in this show irrespective of the gender has agency and that’s exciting”.
The Second Age introduces us to the short, small brown and bootless, the nomadic “Harfoots” one of the first of the three races of the ‘Hobbits’. Actors Sara Zwangobani and Markella Kavenagh, who play the mother daughter-duo Marigold and Nori Brandyfoot, describe the “Harfoots” as representing a strong sense of purpose and being tightly bound as a community.
Sara Zwangobani known for her work in popular Australian series such as Monarch Cove, Love My Way says, “The fact that women in this show propel the narrative forward and have point of view was very appealing.”
Eva Horvath, who plays Lady Earien the daughter of Lord Elendil and little sister to Isildur, describes her character as the proverbial black sheep whose ideologies are in conflict with that of her father and brother. “It was a double edged sword—on the one hand, I had no source material, while on the other, I had the freedom to explore the depth of my character. She is a girl who has her own goals, ambitions, and tension within her; she isn’t just there to be girl,” says Horvath.
The show also tracks the back stories of popular characters like Elrond played by Games of Thrones actor Robert Aramayo, Isildur played by Maxim Baldry, Celebrimbor played by Charles Edwards and Elendil played by Lloyd Owen.
Describing Celebrimbor as a “Side Note’ in Tolkien’s writing, Edwards says, “It was a challenge we had to fill into where Tolkien had left, filling in the sketches and blueprint for Celebrimbor. It was exciting to build a character like that and I kept him complex even when you know where he goes in the story.”
Aramayo says he was overwhelmed when he was approached to play Elrond, “When I was first offered this role I thought about the kid in me who was always so intrigued about Elrond and his life and the prospect of playing him was a dream come true.”
Lloyd Owen, who was last seen in the Aamir Khan-starrer Thugs of Hindostan, says he is curious to see how fans react to his Elendil, “It’s quite a responsibility because you realise how deeply Tolkien fans feel about ‘Elendil’ because he is hero archetype with and his self sacrifice. Tolkien has just given sign posts about Elendil and who he is, but I have got an opportunity to round him off and fill him in.”
Maxim Baldry’s Isildur is perhaps one of the most-awaited characters of the show. The actor who describes his character as having serious “daddy issues” with father Elendil in Season 1 of the Rings of Power says, ‘There is a journey here he is broken and he is trying to put the pieces of his life together, and what I like about him is he is humorous.”
But to see all the stories really unfurl, you know what you need to do this weekend. Lord Of The Rings: Rings Of Power will premiere on September 2 on Amazon Prime and will run through five seasons.