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With So Many Lord Of The Rings Stories Happening In The Rings Of Power, The Cast Discusses How They Maintained Their Focus

The world of Lord of the Rings has officially come to television thanks to The Rings of Power as a high-budget streaming series. Amazon’s ambitious project embraced plenty of what Middle-earth has to offer from the J.R.R. Tolkien lore, which has meant a lot of people, places, names, and cultures to remember. There are a lot of stories being told across Middle-earth, so how did the actors maintain focus while working on the first season? Members of the cast opened up to CinemaBlend to share how they pulled it off.

First announced back in 2017, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series received a strong launch from the streamer with the first two episodes debuting at the same time. Not all of the important characters were even introduced in either of those first two episodes, with Trystan Gravelle as Pharazôn, Maxim Baldry as Isildur, Leon Wadham as Kemen, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Miriel, Lloyd Owen as Elendil, and Ema Horvath as Eärien arriving later. Gravelle revealed his own method of maintaining focus as part of the massive world of The Rings of Power, saying:

You gotta focus on the world that you’re in, I think. There’s no need, really, for a sense of the macro. You can just keep it to your world and I think that benefits your character. Depending on your storyline, of course. With myself, I think it was all things Númenor.

While it’s too soon to say whether or not the major stories of The Rings of Power will begin to collide before the end of the first season, those stories are pretty firmly separate so far. They all face degrees of the same darkness, but the Harfoots dealing with the mysterious Stranger are a long way off from what Pharazôn and Co. are up to. It also seems unlikely that we’ll see any Harfoots going on any epic treks too early in the series, but then, it was unlikely in the Lord of the Rings trilogy too! 

Trystan Gravelle isn’t the only member of the Rings of Power cast who chose to focus on his own “world” while working on Season 1, and that led to a fun encounter when the cameras weren’t rolling. Maxim Baldry, who plays Isildur and previously opened up about trying to make his character more relatable to fans, shared: 

We were primarily focused within our worlds, but we had the gift of going to other people’s sets and seeing their worlds, and that was really special. I once saw a Dwarf, [played by] Owain Arthur, eating sushi at lunch. And that is a very bold thing to see. He had to kind of like take his beard and lift it up and just swallow some sushi. Yeah, seeing all the worlds, it was very special. But we only fully saw the finished product a few weeks ago, and that was an emotional experience because we’ve all been so engrossed in our own worlds and then seeing everybody else bring their A game, it was great.

I know we won’t be seeing any Dwarves eating sushi in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (unless the Amazon show delivers a blooper like Game of Thrones including a very modern coffee cup), but I would love to see some behind-the-scenes footage of Owain Arthur (who plays Prince Durin IV) maneuvering his prosthetic beard to eat some sushi. According to Maxim Baldry, it was “very special” to focus on his own world and to visit the sets of others. As for all the stories… well, it was an “emotional experience” to finally see them tied together.

It’s probably safe to say that The Rings of Power won’t get any less complicated moving forward, with a large ensemble of characters spread across Middle-earth, and some more aware of the larger threat than others. Luckily (although unsurprisingly), Amazon already renewed the show for a second season all the way back in 2019, so the stories won’t stop with the end of the Season 1 finale. The cast also explained why this show can work for casual Tolkien fans despite all the moving pieces. 

Viewers with an Amazon Prime subscription can catch new episodes of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (opens in new tab) on Fridays at 12 a.m. ET. For some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule

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.