The world of popular culture is full of impressive franchises. Whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter or Star Wars, there’s no doubt about the fact that these franchises have the power to take over the world. But when it comes to Lord of the Rings, this franchise has taken over the world AND Middle Earth. Based on the books by J. R. R. Tolkien, this fantasy experience has spawned original movies, spin-off films, and now a television show.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a prequel show that takes place during the Second Age of Middle Earth, a whopping two thousand years before The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. And since debuting on Amazon Prime in September 2022, fans have fallen in love with the script, the storylines, the epic special effects, and, of course, the cast. But what do these elves, dwarves, healers, and knights look like in real life? And where have you seen them before?
Markella Kavenagh as Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot
In every fantasy television show or movie, there needs to be someone who wants more from life. In The Rings of Power, that’s Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot. This Harfoot isn’t content with just migrating and living a normal life with the rest of her community. She wants to pick blackberries and go on adventures – and a dalliance with The Stranger in this show definitely gives her that. But who plays Nori?
This character was actually made specifically for this television show, and it was Markella Kavenagh who got the chance to bring Nori to life. This Australian actress ditched her accent for this role, and we can understand why. She’s only been a professional actress for four years, landing her first small television part in 2018. There’s no doubt that The Rings of Power is her biggest job to date.
Owain Arthur as Durin IV
Everyone knows that a Tolkien television show wouldn’t be complete without orcs, trolls, hobbits, and dwarves. And in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, we were introduced to the prince of the Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm, Durin IV. Instead of using CGI for Durin IV, the showrunners decided to use prosthetics – even though they took a whopping three hours each day to apply.
The man underneath those prosthetics and all of that hair is Owain Arthur, a Welsh actor who is primarily known for his work on the stage and on the small screen. In fact, anyone familiar with British television might recognize him from popular shows such as Casualty and A Confession. However, his role in LOTR is his first major role that offers worldwide fame.
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Míriel
While she doesn’t have a huge role in LOTR: The Rings of Power, there’s no doubt about the fact that Queen Regent Míriel has still made her mark. Being the rightful heir of Númenor means that she’s in charge of the island kingdom ruled by Men, and it’s clear that she’s a powerful ruler. But with her crown and her golden robes, were you able to recognize the actress that played this character?
Queen Regent Míriel is played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, an English-born American actress who has been active in the industry since the early ’00s. Since then, she’s been able to rack up an impressive resume that has seen her shine on the big and small screens. Most notably, she’s taken on the roles of Amanda Waller in Arrow, Nadine Memphis in Shooter, Vicki Glass in Chicago Med, and Romona Garrity in Power.
Maxim Baldry as Isildur
Being a prequel series, we’re already familiar with a lot of the characters in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. And those who have watched the movies will know Isildur as the man who kept Sauron’s ring after removing it from his grasp. His actions – and his inability to destroy the ring – set in motion a destructive turn of events, but he’s none the wiser in The Rings of Power. After all, he’s much younger.
Isildur’s epic future in this show seems to be very reminiscent of Maxim Baldry’s own future. This young actor only has 10 acting credits to his name, but his role in The Rings of Power is sure to set off a chain of events that thrust him further into the spotlight. In fact, his most prominent role to date was as a recurring character in the British soap opera, Hollyoaks.
Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor
The Elves in Tolkien’s Middle Earth are often adorned with tiaras, crowns, and rings – and many of them are the work of the Elven jewelsmith, Celembrimdor. In fact, this character is the one who actually forges the famed Rings of Power. The showrunners wanted a strong and masterful actor for this role, and that privilege eventually went to the one and only Charles Edwards.
Charles is perhaps one of the most famous actors on the LOTR: The Rings of Power payroll. Over the course of his incredible career, the English actor has put his talents to some of the biggest television shows in the UK; including The Crown and Downton Abbey. He’s also made his mark abroad, though, and in 2020 he starred in the huge Hollywood blockbuster, The Witches.
Ismael Cruz Córdova as Arondir
While LOTR: The Rings of Power showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay wanted to stay true to Tolkien’s books for this show, they also added their own touch. In fact, they even introduced a brand new character called Arondir – a Silvan Elf whose story focuses on his forbidden love for the human healer Bronwyn. It has been noted that they used Tokien’s stories of Aragorn and Arwen, and Beren and Lúthien as inspiration for Arondir’s existence.
This character was brought to life by Puerto Rican actor Ismael Cruz Córdova, and while he certainly showed off his talent in this show, he’s had a lot of practice. He’s been in the limelight since the early ’00s and worked on major television shows like Sesame Street, Ray Donovan, Berlin Station, and The Undoing. He’s also turned his talent to the big screen, and worked on blockbusters like Miss Bala and Mary Queen of Scots.
Nazanin Boniadi as Bronwyn
We already know that the character of Arondir was made up for the sake of the new television show, but it seems as though she wasn’t the only one. His love interest, Bronwyn, was also created specifically for this new adaptation. This human healer lives in the village of Tirharad with her son Theo, and those who have watched the show will know that her story has no shortage of problems. But it seems as though Nazanin Boniadi is used to playing tough characters.
This Iranian-born British actress has put her talents to good use over the years, and she’s starred in drama shows like Homeland, Scandal, Counterpart, and General Hospital. She’s not all about the gritty storylines, though. Nazanin is also known for her recurring role in the popular American sitcom, How I Met Your Mother.
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand
Not much is known about Halbrand in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – even for huge fans of Tolkein’s Middle Earth. That’s because this character is another that was made us for the sake of the television show, but what we do know is that he is a human man from the Southlands who meets Galadriel during a terrible storm on the Sundering Seas. This was a welcome release for him, as he was escaping a past he’d prefer to leave behind.
But just as Halbrand is a new character, so, it seems, is Charlie Vickers the actor who plays him. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is actually just the third acting role of his career, and certainly the biggest to date. In the past, he’s only ever appeared in the 2016 TV series Medici and the thriller movie Death in Shoreditch. However, we have a feeling that you’re going to see more of his face after this.
Lady Amelie Child Villiers as Young Galadriel
As fans waited with bated breath for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power to come onto their screens, they were first greeted with a little backstory. During this first scene, we are introduced to a much younger Galadriel building an origami boat in Valinor, in a peaceful time before Morgoth’s destruction. Of course, we only got a small chance to enjoy this younger version, but she still made her impact.
The young actress who took on this role was Amelie Child Villiers, whose official title is actually Lady Amelie Natasha Sophia Child Villiers. She’s the daughter of William Child Villiers, 10th Earl of Jersey, who is actually an actor and film producer himself. Now, 14-year-old Amelie is following in her father’s footsteps and starting to make her mark in acting. The Rings of Power was her second acting credit, but she’s just finished filming a new movie called The Machine, where she starred alongside Mark Hamill.
Daniel Weyman as The Stranger
One thing that fans love about Lord of the Rings is that Tolkien linked everything together. All of his books were interconnected in some way or another, and that seems to be the case with the TV show, too. However, at the moment we’re not sure how – especially where The Stranger is concerned. This mysterious character crash-landed on Middle Earth in the form of a meteorite, but nobody knows who he is.
While some have suggested that The Stranger is actually Gandalf, the only thing we know for sure is that this character is played by Daniel Weyman. This English actor isn’t a huge name in Hollywood just yet, but he’s worked on some major television shows in the UK. These include Gentleman Jack, Vera, Silent Witness, and Foyle’s War. His work in The Rings of Power is bound to push his acting career even further.
Robert Aramayo as Elrond
Those who have watched The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies will know that Elrond was played by Hugo Weaving. But before he grew his long hair and became the Lord of Rivendell, he was just Elrond – as seen by Robert Aramayo’s iteration in LOTR: The Rings of Power. Although he is technically a half-elf, Elrond decided to honor his immortal blood, and in this show, he’s the herald of King Gal-galad.
While you may have been struck by Robert Aramayo’s depiction of Elrond, you may have also been wondering why you recognize his face. And although Robert doesn’t have a huge acting resume under his belt, he’s appeared in many TV shows of note. This includes the incredible Game of Thrones, where he played a young Ned Stark, and the hugely popular Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes.
Megan Richards as Poppy Proudfellow
The Harfoots in Tolkien’s Middle Earth are one of the three breeds of Hobbits, and they definitely seem to live a calm and natural existence. Keeping themselves to themselves, they are often forced to leave their own kind behind if they can’t keep up or suffer an accident during their migrations. Poppy Proudfellow knows this firsthand, but did you know that she’s another character who was made up for the sake of The Rings of Power?
This curious best friend of Nori was played by Megan Richards, another newcomer to the acting world. The 21-year-old actress only landed her first professional acting gig in 2018, and only has four acting credits to her name – her most recent, and definitely most prominent, being The Rings of Power. Her other credits include Wanderlust, Pan Tau, and Doctors.
Benjamin Walker as Gil-galad
No Elf kingdom would be complete without a king, and Tolkien gave that honor to Gil-galad. This character is known as the High King Gil-galad, whose sole aim is to keep his kingdom and all of those who live within it safe. This means that he’s especially on guard when it comes to Sauron and The Stranger, and anyone who could potentially harm the harmony of Middle Earth. Thankfully, his foresight normally allows him to feel this evil ahead of the curve.
While we have no doubts that countless actors wanted to take on the role of king, the role was eventually given to American actor and stand-up comedian Benjamin Walker. While Benjamin has really staked his claim on the stage over the course of his career, he’s also landed some pretty big roles on the screen. In recent years, he’s taken on a recurring role in Jessica Jones, and starred in major movies like In the Heart of the Sea and The Ice Road.
Sir Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows
Every creature within the Lord of the Rings universe has some kind of leader, and in The Rings of Power this Harfoot is one of them. It’s Sadoc Burrows’ job to keep the Harfoots’ on their migration journey, and it’s clear that he’s a leader for a reason. He can interpret the stars, and he can understand the signs of the universe. But if you watched this Harfoot on the screen and wondered why he looks so familiar, that’s because Lenny Henry is super famous.
In fact, Henry is so popular in the UK that he was knighted by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 – and that’s because he’s so much more than just an actor. He’s also a comedian, singer, writer, and television presenter. In terms of his acting portfolio, Sir Lenny Henry has appeared in major television shows like Broadchurch, Doctor Who and The Sandman. He’s also due to star in the upcoming miniseries, The Witcher: Blood Origin.
Sophia Nomvete as Princess Disa
Fans of Tolkien’s Middle Earth will know that his world is made up primarily of men. Aside from Arwen and Galadriel, there are very few women in the main movies – which is why the showrunners wanted to switch things up a bit in The Rings of Power. For this show, they brought in a new character by the name of Princess Disa. This lady is the wife of Prince Durin and a hugely prominent dwarf in Middle Earth.
Taking on this new and exciting female character was Sophia Nomvete, an incredible feat for a woman so new to the acting industry. In fact, Sophia had just two acting credits to her name when she was offered the chance to star in such a huge television show – and these were both for children’s TV. She starred in Swashbuckle and The Tempest, but is now on one of the biggest television shows that Amazon has to offer.
Trystan Gravelle as Ar-Pharazôn
With so many different realms of Middle Earth, it can be hard to keep up. But if you cast your mind back to episode three of The Rings of Power, this was the episode where we were first introduced to the island kingdom of Númenor. And while Ar-Pharazôn serves as the Chancellor of this island kingdom, he’s also the cousin of the Queen Regent – and it’s clear that his love for his family and his realm holds to the whole kingdom together. But without the hair, do you recognize this actor?
The character of Ar-Pharazôn is played by Welsh theatre, movie, and television actor Trystan Gravelle. Like many of the other actors on this list, Trystan is a relative newcomer to the world of big-budget productions. While he’s appeared in various British television series like Mr Selfridge, The Aliens, and A Discovery of Witches, this is his first major project across the pond.
Lloyd Owen as Elendil
Lord of the Rings fans will certainly be familiar with the character of Elendil. Portrayed by Peter McKenzie in the movie trilogy, we learn so much about this character in the movies – but the TV show allows us to learn a little more about his earlier life. In The Rings of Power, Elendil is a human warrior from Númenor who saves Galadriel and Halbrand from the ocean, and from the get-go, we see his loyalty to the elves.
This legendary character was brought to life by Lloyd Owen for the sake of the television show, but you might have realized that already. That’s because Lloyd Owen is a hugely popular name in the acting world, especially as the British-Welsh actor has been able to make his mark across the pond. In recent years he’s put his name to shows and movies like Apollo 18, The Originals, You, Me and the Apocalypse, and The Man with the Iron Heart.
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel
The Elves in Tolkein’s Middle Earth are naturally immortal, which is why it was important to keep this character involved in LOTR: The Rings of Power. And while actress Cate Blanchett took on this role in The Lord of the Rings movies, the actress Morfydd Clark was given the chance to bring this younger iteration of the beautiful elven warrior to life. But where have you seen her before?
Morfydd’s loved playing the strong and often quite stubborn Elf, and the Welsh actress even stated that her ability to speak fluent Welsh allowed her to pick up the Elven language extremely quickly. However, this isn’t Morfydd’s first foray into the world of fantasy. The young actress is also known for her roles as Sister Clara in His Dark Materials, as well as her character of Mina Harker in the 2020 television series Dracula.
Tyroe Muhafidin as Theo
The Rings of Power sees a chain of events that seeks to destroy Middle Earth as a whole, and Theo finds himself to be a part of that chain. Theo is Bronwyn’s son and a resident of Tirharad – but things go topsy-turvy when he finds a weapon boasting Sauron’s sigil in a barn. He then finds himself hiding from an Orc he unwittingly unleashes.
Thankfully, it seems as though Tyroe Muhafidin’s life is a lot less complicated outside of the show. His character was created specifically for The Rings of Power, and this show serves as his biggest acting role to date. Before this, the Australian actor had only appeared in five shorts and miniseries’ in his home country. As he’s just 16 years old, we have a feeling that this show will catapult him to stardom.
Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot
A general rule of thumb in most television shows is that there needs to be some kind of matriarch, and you’ll be glad to know that LOTR: The Rings of Power has one. Marigold Brandyfoot may not have the biggest role in the show, but she’s the one who brought Nori into the world – and we know all the mischief that Nori got up to. It’s Marigold’s job to keep Nori in check, but she often struggles to keep her independent Harfoot daughter on the straight and narrow.
This character is played by the one and only Sara Zwangobani, who has been in the acting game since the late 1990s. During that time, she has put her name to television shows like Love My Way, Monarch Cove, The Starter Wife, and Home and Away. As you can probably tell by those credits, Sara is an Australian actress from Down Under.
Ema Horvath as Eärien
The Rings of Power showrunners decided to bring a whole new selection of characters into the new series, and Eärien is one of them. She’s not only the daughter of Elendil, but also the sister of Isildur – and as she’s a new character, her storyline contains a chunk of mystery. Two things we do know so far, though, is that Eärien dreams to become an apprentice within the Builder’s Guild, and that her character was played by Ema Horvath.
American actress Ema Horvath may have shown off her acting skills in this show, but it seems as though she has so much more to offer. In fact, before dipping her toe into the acting world, Ema graduated from the Ivy League Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. Since then, she’s landed a leading role in the web series Don’t Look Deeper, as well as the movie What Lies Below.
Dylan Smith as Largo Brandyfoot
Anyone who is up to date with The Rings of Power will know that the name Largo Brandyfoot is pretty ironic. After all, it was his injured foot that put his whole family of Harfoot’s in jeopardy. Nevertheless, Largo isn’t the kind of Harfoot to take “no” for an answer, and he proves to his whole family that he has what it takes to be their patriarch and to keep them all safe.
We wouldn’t be surprised if you were a little distracted by this character, though. That’s because actor Dylan Smith is extremely famous and therefore extremely recognizable. Over the course of his impressive acting career he’s appeared in major movies like The Mummy, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, and Murder on the Orient Express.
Bridie Sisson as TBC
You don’t need to be a hardcore Lord of the Rings fan to know the show wouldn’t be complete without a few bad guys. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, we don’t know what kind of bag guy Bridie Sisson will be playing in The Rings of Power. From the extended trailer for the rest of the season, we are introduced to this creepy character – and while some fans theorized that she would become Sauron, that theory has been debunked.
However, there’s no doubt about the fact that fans are excited to see what character she brings to life. That’s because this actress may be a relative newcomer to the acting world, but her unique and unusual acting style and appearance have already allowed her to stand out from the crowd in the TV shows Cowboy Bepop and Shortland Street.
Joseph Mawle as Adar
Due to the weekly release of The Rings of Power, fans have been left on tenterhooks as to who will play Sauron, whether Gandalf will make an appearance, and what actors will join the show. And while he hasn’t been formally introduced on the show just yet, the Orcs have made references to their leader Adar on multiple occasions. We know now that this character will be played by actor Joseph Mawle.
We have a feeling that he’ll be unrecognizable in the show, but his other roles have seen this actor front and center of the action. In fact, the English actor has taken on major roles in shows like Ripper Street, and Sense8. But he’s best known for becoming the character of Benjen Stark in the hugely popular HBO show, Game of Thrones. So, he’s gone from one major fantasy franchise to another.