Amazon Studios is forging ahead with their Lord of the Rings series, which promises to be the most expensive show ever made. We still don’t know a whole lot about what this show is, other than that is probably takes place well, well before Bilbo got his hands on that ring and may center around a young Galadriel (young by elven standards anyway). But we do have a lot of new names for the cast.
So far, the cast has been largely made up of newcomers and relative unknowns, and that’s true of this new batch of actors as well. Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells, Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker and Sara Zwangobani have all been announced as cast members. We don’t know who any of them are playing yet or even if any of these characters will be familiar to Tolkien fans or new creations altogether.
“The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is epic, diverse and filled with heart,” showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said in a statement. “These extraordinarily talented performers, hailing from across the globe, represent the culmination of a multi-year search to find brilliant and unique artists to bring that world to life anew. The international cast of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series is more than just an ensemble. It is a family. We are thrilled to welcome each of them to Middle-earth.”
Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers and Daniel Weyman have already been cast.
Mawle, who was Benjen Stark on Game of Thrones and even played Jesus in a BBC production of The Passion, will play the series’ villain. Swedish actress Morfydd Clark will be Galadriel. And another Game of Thrones alum Robert Aramayo is starring as some sort of lead. That’s about all we know for now.
The amount of Game of Thrones energy hanging around this project hints at what Amazon is going for. GoT was one of the decade’s biggest shows and there’s a race to capture the same zeitgeist it operated in. Lord of the Rings, with its fantastical warring kingdoms, is the sort of intellectual property that sure seems to lend itself to that mission. There’s even some evidence to suggest that this Lord of the Rings show is going in on the nude scenes that became infamous on Game of Thrones.
None of this means the show will be bad but one hopes it will also find a way to be as fresh and inspiring as its original material was when it first released.