Rings of Power Will Baffle Tolkien Purists, and That’s a Good Thing

The idea of ​​inventing new characters for a Second Age Middle-earth series is no longer a question. We know from the promotional material released so far that there will be a lot of new faces in the new show from Amazon Studios. So far we know of a host of newcomers, including Nazanin Boniadi’s Bronwyn, Ismael Cruz Cordova’s Arondir, Markella Kavenagh’s Nori Brandyfoot, Sophia Nomvete’s Princess Disa, Charlie Vickers’ Halbrand and, most recently, Theo de Tyroe Muhafidin. These characters populate many different races of Middle-earth, including Elves, Dwarves, Harfoots, and Men.

Taking creative liberties, like adding these new characters, is normal for most adaptations. In fact, “The Wheel of Time,” another recent Amazon blockbuster, couldn’t resist adding people — like Perrin’s wife and an extra Aes Sedai — even in a crowded world of preexisting characters.

For “Rings of Power”, the task is even more difficult. Of course, “The Lord of the Rings” is fully stocked with plenty of characters to choose from. When Peter Jackson and company went to create a trilogy out of the more sparse “Hobbit” story, they found the need to draw in outside characters like Legolas and Azog, while creating others like Tauriel.

A Second Age story increases the pressure even more because there are even fewer characters to work with in the first place. There is a long list of Númenórean kings, and we have some major players, like Sauron and Isildur. High crust elves like Gil-galad, Galadriel and Elrond are mentioned. Overall, though, there just isn’t a whole lot of detailed character construction to work with. This means that adapting the story requires creating a lot of new characters, like it or not.