Collider announced earlier today that 23 year-old British actor Maxim Baldry “has landed a significant role” in the upcoming Amazon Middle-earth TV series. Baldry is perhaps best known so far for his role in the 2019 BBC/HBO joint production series Years and Years. According to Collider: “Character details are being kept under wraps along with plot details.” While that doesn’t give us a lot to go on, ok almost nothing to go on, we do know that the new series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, which narrows down, if only slightly, what “significant role” might imply.
Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings such as The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and various appendices of The Lord of the Rings, know that none of the great stories of the Second Age involved Hobbits, and, unless the Amazon writers are going all ‘Hobbit Kili’ and Aiden Turner on us, Baldry isn’t going to be playing a dwarf. That brings us to the logical conclusion that he’ll be playing a Human or an Elf which means the possibilities could be, okay, almost mind-boggling.
But wait! Back to the reference to “significant role,” perhaps we can narrow down at least a few Humans, Elves, and other characters that might qualify for such a distinction.
Elros: The son of Earandil and brother of Elrond, Elros was given the choice by Eru to align with Humans or with Elves. Choosing to become Human and mortal, Elros was the first king of Numenor and the forebear of Elendil,and, one of his best-known descendants, Aragorn. Casting Elros would be going way back to the origins of the Second Age, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility, if even in flashbacks.
Aldarion: perhaps the most logical choice of characters to cast among Second Age men is Aldarion, the Mariner King. A direct descendant of Elros, Aldarion made significant inroads exploring the mainland of Middle-earth by sailing to and from Numenor. The subject of one of the cornerstone pieces of Unfinished Tales: Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s wife, Aldarion reforged alliances with the Elves that remained in Middle-earth. No matter that he alienated his wife Erendis in the process, it makes for great Middle-earth soap opera!
Cirdan: Cirdan is one of the Elves that gets just enough back-story in Tolkien’s writings to make fans crave more information. Cirdan “The Shipwright” is oh so much more than that. He established a haven on the shores of Middle-earth to enable the Elves to sail to the West and escape the confines of a world scarred by the First Age wars with Morgoth. It was Cirdan who gave the Elven ring Narya to Gandalf when the Grey Wizard first came to Middle-earth. However, Cirdan is often cited as the oldest Elf in Middle-earth in the Second and Third ages, so casting a 23 year-old actor for the role may be pushing it.
Elrond: Elrond is technically half-elven, but stay with us here. Since Elrond played a major role in the Second and Third ages of Middle-earth, it makes sense to include him as a main character throughout this series, and Baldry could definitely pass for a younger version of Hugo Weaving’s Elrond in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.
The character who must not be named:
Sauron: Okay, he really has to be named because Sauron, under his various guises, is without a doubt one of THE major characters of the Second Age. Until the end of the Second Age, Sauron was fair to look upon; so fair he deceived many a noble Elf and Human to succumb to his evil temptations. The 23 year-old Baldry could quite possibly play the perfect villain to seduce the unsuspecting Elves and Humans of the Second Age.
These are just a few conjectures of the many possibilities of the ‘significant role’ to which Baldry has been cast. Leave a comment as to your own theories!