The Rings of Power Stars Talk Númenor, Family Dynamics and Their Connections to Aragorn

The Rings of Power Stars Talk Númenor, Family Dynamics and Their Connections to Aragorn
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It sure is good to be back in Middle-Earth, but the state of affairs in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world looks a little bit different in The Rings of Power than what we’re used to.

Prime Video’s big-budget prequel series takes viewers to the Second Age, a time period unseen in past instalments of the franchise. This is known as the age where the titular rings of power are forged and the Dark Lord known as Sauron rises.

It’s also a time period where the great island kingdom of Númenor thrived and ultimately saw its downfall. Númenor is something The Rings of Power is bringing to the screen for the first time and, as such, it is inhabited by characters that are both recognisable and completely new to the world Tolkien.

Three such characters are played by Lloyd Owen, Ema Horvath and Maxim Baldry, who spoke with Lifehacker Australia at a recent press day about life on Númenor and their family dynamic.

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The Rings of Power cast (Image: Prime Video)

Elendil, played by Owen, is a sea captain and described by the actor as “very capable”. However, the recent death of Elendil’s wife is the cause of some turbulence within his family.

“That bereavement has caused a very complicated family dynamic,” Owen said.

Horvath’s character Eärien is the “baby of the family” and one of a few new characters created specifically for The Rings of Power.

“She’s quite smart and capable but she is kind of tasked with the responsibility of [being] the mother because they are dealing with the loss of a mother,” Horvath said.

“She is more nationalistic in her views than her brothers are, particularly because elvish ideas have affected her negatively. She blames them for the loss of her middle brother, Anárion, who’s run off the other side of the island. And her older brother Isildur is kind of toying with these old ideas and thinking about running away from the city as well.”

“So her sort of political views come from a very visceral, personal place. And also the dynamic with her father because she’s so capable she gets overlooked a bit.”

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The Rings of Power Cast Interview – Ema Horvath as Eärien (Image: Prime Video)

Rounding out the trio is Isildur, Elendil’s son and Eärien’s brother, who Baldry describes as “lost”:

“He doesn’t really know what he wants and he’s trying to find out what he wants. In the first season, he’s really looking up to his father and trying to be like him but there’s also this sort of yearning for something else that potentially isn’t on the island. You see a man coming to that conclusion and leaving a path of destruction wherever he goes.”

Owen also pointed out that the social situation in Númenor is an added pressure their characters are dealing with both externally and within their family.

“Númenor itself politically is right on the precipice of sort of a civil war potentially happening between those who are loyal to the elves, which is where Elendil certainly is, but his head pragmatically knows that the new Númenor is the way that history seems to be going,” Owen said.

“So it’s a battle between head and heart and that polarisation in society is reflecting within the family.”

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The Rings of Power Cast Interview – Maxim Baldry as Isildur (Image: Prime Video)

The trio of actors have clearly formed a familial bond outside of production, with Baldry jokingly describing Owen’s character as an “overbearing” father and being called the “squeaky wheel” of the family in return.

The characters of Isildur and Elendil may also be familiar to audiences as two of the main characters who fought against Sauron in the Siege of Barad-dûr in Tolkien lore.

They also happen to be the forefathers of a very iconic Lord of the Rings character: Aragorn.

When asked whether their characters share any similarities with Viggo Mortensen’s iconic King, Owen said Elendil has a similar sense of responsibility.

“With Elendil, it’s definitely that sense of the weight of responsibility that Aragorn feels is definitely the same for Elendil too in terms of not necessarily wanting responsibility but having to take it,” Owen said.

Baldry, meanwhile, had a pretty different outlook on Isildur’s connection to his 37th great-grandson.

“He does a lot of horse-riding. That’s kind of an Aragorn connection I guess,” Baldry joked.

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Image: Prime Video

Elendil, Eärien and Isildur are three of the characters audiences will meet in the coming weeks at Númenor, which is a location the actors are very keen for audiences to experience.

“There’s so many new bits of geography to show and expose and, in our case, the island of Númenor – no one’s actually seen that visually before,” Owen said.

“The production and costume design on this project has been absolutely extraordinary to witness and be part of and, in our case, wear. And I think that visual language that we’re creating for this time, it’s a real feat. It’s so rich, it’s so lush, there’s so much in there.”

“I’m really excited for people to see it, particularly Númenor, because we’re very loyal and attached to it.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power releases weekly on Fridays on Prime Video.

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