‘The Rings of Power’ Cast Teases Rise of Numenor

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a series that features many intriguing storytelling perspectives, but perhaps none is more important in the minds of Tolkien fans than the story of Númenór.

At time The Lord of the Rings, it is a distant memory, a once great realm long since engulfed in the sea, leaving remnants of its greatness scattered across Middle-earth and the history of the Kingdoms of Men. But in the Second Age, where power rings picking up the story thousands of years before Frodo won the One Ring, Númenór is still a shining and mighty sovereignty, the greatest of the kingdoms of Men, where its citizens use their Elvish heritage and knowledge to build a superpower world.

But all is not as it seems. Even before the Númenórean culture meets its ultimate destiny, there are major ideological battles to be fought between the powerful rulers of the island kingdom. At the time of power ringstwo major factions vie for control of the future of Númenór, as the rulers face a choice between embracing legacy or embracing progress.

“When we see the island kingdom of Númenór, we see a perceived unity,” Trystan Gravelle, who plays royal adviser Númenórean Pharazôn, told SYFY WIRE. “We see it as a masterclass in social cohesion, but I think there’s an emotional disconnect at its core. There’s a schism between the Faithful, who want to remember and celebrate their elven connections and roots. , and the King’s Men, of which Pharazôn is one of those who want to be a bit more innovative and I guess they’re going in a direction where they celebrate themselves and don’t need to think of themselves as second-class citizens. Because I think that’s probably what you’d be doing if you were celebrating Elvish culture. You’d ask yourself, ‘Oh, what am I doing here? And why can’t I live forever?’ “

Created as a gift to various rulers of Men following the War of Wrath, and founded by half-Elven rulers according to the writings of Tolkien, Númenór has always been a fascinating fusion of the world of Elves and the world of Men, and some of the bloodlines of old Númenór have extremely long mortal lives due to their connection to the city’s founder (which is why Aragorn, for example, is over 80 but looks much younger). It is this history, and the ancestral attraction it brings to the government of the kingdom, that creates a certain degree of tension even in such a powerful nation. At the pinnacle of it all is Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), the current Queen Regent of Númenór, who must navigate the ideological divide that Pharazon is aiding.

“She kind of navigates between basically two ideas,” Addai-Robinson says. “[There’s] the idea of ​​maintaining tradition and adhering to tradition, especially the Elvish type of tradition in Númenórian ancestry, and the idea of ​​progress, modernization, moving forward and letting go of old ways. So in Season 1, we’ll see how she navigates between these two factions, and the implications of the choices she ultimately has to make that determine the fate of her people.”

While there are many personalities, both new and established in Tolkien’s lore, who will help determine the island’s eventual fate, the goal of power rings will be especially tight on a family very familiar to anyone familiar with the history of the One Ring. Although they eventually become kings of the human kingdoms of Middle-earth itself, Elendil (Lloyd Owen) and his son Isildur (Maxim Baldry) enter power rings like a family of great sailors, whose internal allegiances shift as the divisions of their homeland become clearer.

“For, it’s a Tolkienian theme that comes out, the battle between his head and his heart,” Owen says of Elendil. “His heart is Elvish. His heart is connected to the Faithful, but his head realizes that, pragmatically and practically, the safest place is in Númenór. And this movement towards a slightly more nationalist Númenór, again, breeds in the family, because some of the kids take different positions as a result. So he feels the pull of responsibility, and maybe it’s a gradual realization of where his destiny might lie , despite being the reluctant hero of this story. So that’s where we see Season 1.”

Baldry adds: “Isildur is a young sailor who is a bit at a crossroads, confused, wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a captain of a ship, but also wants to do his own thing and travel and explore and find himself, find his voice. I wanted to make him as approachable as possible and as human as possible, because he makes a lot of mistakes along the way, and I think you can see yourself in him.

To deepen the issues of the family of Elendil, power rings also added a whole new character to the roster in the form of Eärien (Ema Horvath), Isildur’s younger sister, an aspiring architect with her own ideas for the kingdom’s future.

“When we meet her, she is dealing with the death of their mother,” says Horvath. “Anarion [Elendil’s other son] ran away to the other side of the island and her older brother Isildur is kind of toying with that idea. And she’s the one who’s kind of in charge of being the mother and trying to keep everyone together. And at the same time, she is quite ambitious and quite talented and intelligent, and also selfishly wants to take advantage of it. So she balances her own ambition with love for her family. I think his world is very small at this point, the sort of larger philosophical questions about Númenór are starting to come to mind, but they’re not fully present.”

Although we haven’t met them in the first two episodes of the series yet, these characters and more will bring Númenór to life in ways fans have never seen before, but they’re not the only ones. major characters to add depth to power rings. There’s also the character of Númenór itself, an island kingdom that’s been built using lots of very detailed hands-on elements, much to the delight of the cast.

“You’re talking about portraying a kingdom that’s at the height of its power and wealth, so obviously that has to come through in the production design, in the sets, in the costumes,” Addai-Robinson said. “So there are these details that are reminiscent of what we were talking about, the elvish ancestry, and you see it in the architecture, you see it on the city walls. It’s 360 degree views, complete sets that really blew me away really blew me away. All senses are stimulated. The smell in the air, the sound of the water lapping, the visuals of seeing all of our amazing background performers in full dress, you won’t you don’t have to take a giant leap. It’s not a green screen festival, where you have to watch the tape and try to imagine. “It’s all there. Everything is built with the utmost care. I’ve never worked on anything that really had that much detail built into the world so some days you really looked around and you were just the. And then you could be present and really be that character at that place, at that time.”

For many long-time Tolkien fans, the prospect of seeing the glory of Númenór portrayed live for the first time has always been one of the biggest draws of power ringsand the seriousness of this has not been lost on the cast and crew.

“They built Númenór,” says Owen. “I mean, it’s pretty extraordinary, the whole thing that they’ve built, the level of granular detail. So it’s Atlantis. It’s Tolkien’s Atlantis, but it’s also the Greek empire at its height. It’s the Roman empire at its height. It’s Byzantium. It’s Santorini. It’s all of those things, and going in there was absolutely fantastic. In fact, my first scene away from the set was on a beach, and [co-creator J.D. Payne] said to me at the time: ‘Do you realize that this is the first time that we establish the physical geography of Númenór?’ What a privilege it was to be on that beach on horseback and then say, “This is the island of Númenór. It was a great moment.”

New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power arrive Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.

Looking for some fantastic content to tide you over? Click here for our list of the best fantasy movies available on Peacock.

Comments are closed.