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How Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Will Try To Make Isildur More Relatable To Fans

Amazon is finally bringing Lord of the Rings to the small screen with The Rings of Power, almost five years after the official announcement in 2017. Back in the early days, there was no saying how many (if any) familiar faces would appear and whether the series would be set in the same universe as the Peter Jackson films. Now, with some familiar characters played by new actors and Jackson not involved, Maxim Baldry – who plays Isildur – has opened up about trying to make the character relatable despite his well-known failure to destroy the One Ring.

Although Isildur didn't have an active role in either the trilogy of Lord of the Rings novels or the film adaptations, he is best known for not destroying the One Ring when he had the chance, which of course led to the events of that trilogy and a lot of heartache for a lot of characters. It's not necessarily the greatest legacy for somebody to have, but a juicy role for an actor. When the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cast spoke with CinemaBlend during San Diego Comic-Con, Maxim Baldry shared what it has been like to have the opportunity to explore a different side to Isildur:

A privilege and an honor. I definitely felt the weight of expectation of people’s interpretation of this character. We’re kind of at the beginning of his journey almost, and I was grateful to be able to explore him finding himself and not wanting to pursue his father’s dream of becoming a sea captain and kind of wanting to do something else and take it in a different direction. In turn, it makes him a lot more relatable and maybe you can understand him down the line.

The character of Isildur only briefly appeared in the Peter Jackson films, and his screen time was more or less devoted to showing how badly he failed and guaranteed that the evil Sauron would have the chance to rise to power again. That won't be the case for The Rings of Power, and the Amazon show may just have what it takes to make Isildur relatable and his actions easier to understand. He may be fated to not destroy the One Ring eventually, but there is plenty of story to be told before that happens, if the latest big trailer is any indication!

Isildur is only one of the character names that fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien novels and/or the film trilogy will recognize. Robert Aramayo will portray Elrond in the series, while Morfydd Clark plays Galadriel. Both are heavily featured in the latest trailer and the jam-packed teaser trailer before it. Khazad-dúm will be a location in much better shape than it is by the time of The Fellowship of the Ring (although a Balrog will make an appearance), and Rivendell is a setting as well. One shot of Maxim Baldry's Isildur in the early footage shows him aboard a ship, so he'll apparently spend at least some of his time at sea. 

Of course, The Rings of Power has a vast ensemble of characters, and it's too early to say just how much focus that Isildur will get. Fortunately, Amazon already renewed its Lord of the Rings TV show for a second season several years ago, so at least two seasons are guaranteed, and Tolkien lore is packed with characters and places to explore even as the show goes in its own directions. Plus, the wait is nearly over, which is excellent news for any who have been waiting for the first episode for nearly half a decade now. 

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power debuts on Amazon (opens in new tab) in the 2022 TV premiere schedule on Friday, September 2 for any with an Amazon Prime subscription. Episodes will release weekly rather than the full season streaming immediately on September 2, so viewers can look forward to two months of Middle-earth action spread over eight episodes. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.