Amazon fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set in the same world as the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies.
Middle Earth provides the setting for all three projects - and they were all filmed in New Zealand where the rugged scenery has become synonymous with the fantasy world.
But, whereas The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings both shared some actors - Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, and Sir Ian McKellen to name a few - The Rings of Power will have a completely distinct cast.
That’s because Rings of Power is set 3,000 years before the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
However, because Middle Earth is a rich fantasy land populated by immortal beings, some characters from the films will also be spotted in the series - they’ll just be played by different actors.
The series will also feature plenty of characters who have not been seen on the big or small screen before.
Which Lord of the Rings characters will be in Rings of Power?
Elrond was played by Hugo Weaving in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - at that time he was an ancient elf who gave sage advice about the One Ring - he had been there when it was cut from Sauron’s hand.
Robert Aramayo is billed as playing a ‘young’ Elrond in Rings of Power, although that’s a stretch as even in the prequel the character is estimated to be 1,500 years old.
At this stage in Elrond’s life, he is likely to join the elves in a war against Sauron and his forces of darkness.
Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchett in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, is one of the mightiest and fairest elves in Middle Earth.
She is one of the three elves to have worn a Ring of Power created by Sauron, but did not use it whilst he wore the One Ring because she did not trust him.
Galadriel is one of the oldest beings in Middle Earth, and will be roughly 5,000 years old in Rings of Power, where the character is played by Morfydd Clark.
Isildur is seen only in flashbacks at the opening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and in Return of the King, where he is played by New Zealand actor Harry Sinclair.
He was king of Gondor but is best known for cutting the One Ring from Sauron’s finger with the intention of destroying it by casting it into the fires of Mount Doom, only to hesitate at the last moment.
Isildur is played by Maxim Baldry in Rings of Power where he is likely to be seen during his days as ruler of Gondor and through his involvement in the War of the Last Alliance in which Sauron was first defeated.
Gandalf, played by Sir Ian McKellen is one of the most iconic Lord of the Rings characters - an old wizard who often comes in clutch to save his friends from almost certain defeat.
It’s not yet clear if Gandalf will be back in Rings of Power - in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing, the character doesn’t appear until the third age, but this could easily be retconned.
One contended who may be a younger Gandalf if ‘The Stranger’, a mysterious man with magic powers who falls from the sky, played by Daniel Weyman in Rings of Power.
The Orcs are back and with an new grisly design, these pests of Middle Earth will have a presence throughout the show.
Orcs caused the protagonists of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings untold mischief, and were used to bulk out Sauron’s army.
Often the Orcs caused more damage to each other than to any of the heroes as they were frequently infighting.
Which characters are new to Rings of Power?
Many characters who did not appear in the later Middle Earth stories will feature in Rings of Power - these are the main new characters in the series:
Oren did not appear in any of Tolkien’s works and has been conceived of especially for the series.
He will be one of the main villains of the first season and is believed to be an agent of Sauron.
Durin is a Dwarf prince and will be heavily involved in the battle against Sauron’s forces.
Durin, who is mentioned several times in the Hobbit, is the distant ancestor of Thorin, Gloin, and Gimli.
Celebrimbor is one of the great elves of Middle Earth - he was manipulated by Sauron into creating the 19 Rings of Power - though Sauron deceived him and created the One Ring to control the wearers of the lesser rings.
When Sauron’s plan became apparent, Celebrimbor sent the three rings he created for the elves away to be kept safe and uncorrupted by Sauron.
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