The fallen elf and leader of Uruks has a new vibe, thanks to a new actor named Sam Hazeldine.

Entertainment Weekly got an exclusive interview with the actor taking over the role of Adar, the main antagonist for the first two seasons of The Rings of Power. Hazeldine comes fresh off the huge success of AppleTV+ show Masters of the Air (he’s in the final three episodes as the leader of the Air Force troupe) and it seems that he’s relished the opportunity to play in the fantasy world of J.R.R Tolkien.

“The hardest thing was I had to go straight into speaking Black Speech on day one,” the actor says. “It is hard on your throat, and it is hard to remember because it doesn’t really follow the elvish languages, which have roots in real languages like Welsh and Finnish.” He even had the show’s Tolkien lore experts rewrite some of his lines from English into Black Speech, in order to give Adar the proper gravitas.

EW, quoting Sam Hazeldine for S2

Staffer Demosthenes here. Just quickly, there’s another quote from Hazledine that is ridiculously thought-provoking.

Viewers will also see how previous confrontations between Adar and Sauron unfolded.

“There was an offer for power and for something else, which you’ll find out later on in the show, and Adar willingly took the deal,” Hazeldine says of Adar’s origin. “It’s kind of like he took a red pill and was duped. He was horrifically tortured and maimed.”

EW, quoting Sam Hazeldine for S2

What is that “something else”? Is it the chance to redeem all orcs? Would that be enough to convince Adar to follow Sauron? Is Adar one of those mentioned in The Rings of Power and the Third Age who believed Sauron had “abjured his evil deeds”? What sort of power would be a lure for Adar anyway?

We’re hoping to explore these questions and provide some grounded speculation over coming weeks. Anyway, back to Justin!

We previously shared a Tolkien scholar’s opinion on the invented character Adar with this post after Season 1. Overwhelmingly, fans embraced the character and this new interview has generated a ton of hype going into Season 2, and even Adar fan cams!

Watch TORN Tuesday explain the Adar news (from 1:18:30 on) then join thousands of fans who talk Tolkien daily in our Discord!

Prime Video released the first trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power second season. And TORn staff have thoughts! Take a look at the trailer, and read our reactions below…

greendragon says:

0.08 – is Durin talking about Sauron, or could he be referencing the Balrog?

0.11 and 0.26 – seems Sauron can take on all kinds of forms; worms, butterflies, even a very pretty Elf…

0.20 – do Elves ever draw a weapon without a flourish?!

0.38 – Celebrimbor and Sauron – the two great forgers of rings, going toe to toe?

0.46 – cool to see Sauron in his Annatar form

0.54 – is this the sea monster we encountered in S1? Who is in the water?

0.58 – what is causing destruction in Khazad-dum? Surely it’s not the Balrog already?

0.59 – Yay Elendil! One of my favourite characters from S1. Lloyd Owen does a fantastic job.

1.07 – dwarven rings! So are these the rings we will see forged in S2, having seen the Elven rings in S1?

1.12 – the eagles are coming! Also, Trystan Gravelle (Pharazon) is SO good.

1.16 – pretty good job for Adar continuity, given that it’s no longer Joseph Mawle in the role, but is now Sam Hazeldine. And what is he flanked by here? The creature on his right looks very skeletal; a Barrow-wight, perchance…?

Overall – lots to think about, and it’s pretty compelling. I’m excited for August 29th!!

Look closely, there are Numenoreans halfway down that cliff

Garfeimao says: 

The final scene from Season 1 of Sauron arriving in Mordor opens the trailer, showing that not a moment has passed between the two seasons. 

Durn IV is first narrator, speaking of the return of an Ancient Evil

The Black Mass that is moving on the ground looks like a pile of deadly worms or vipers and emanates evil

Whose hands have blood on the palms, is this one of the Mystics using blood magic?

Tree roots reaching for someone (Celebrimbor maybe) in the dark before we see a bunch of orcs marching through the woods with torches

A portal opens in Celebrimbor’s chambers, is someone walking through?

Galadriel’s narration says “he’s been among us all along”

Sauron as an Elf in a black-feathered outfit walking calmly as other elves are running

A black-haired woman in the water and a sea monster, could she be a version of Sauron, a human sacrifice, or a nightmare? 

A cataclysm in Khazad-dum with parts of the stone ceiling crashing on one of the bridges in the city. 

Elendil struggles through a mob of people

Gil-Galad, Galadriel and Cirdan

The Three Elven rings on the hands of Gil-Galad, Galadriel and is the third Cirdan? 

Durin III with a Ring (oh crap)

Arondir, doing the awesome Elf acrobats, shows up to help Isildur

A Giant Eagle lands behind Pharazon, who then unsheaths his sword, this doesn’t bode well

Theo is crying, gotta wonder what has happened to make that happen

A cascade of fire bombs heading toward a city (Eregion?)

The Stranger is standing by a well in the middle of the desert and pounds his staff on the ground for power and a windstorm

Someone is holding onto a rope trying not to fly away in strong winds full of dust (are these two scenes connected or just red herring editing?)

A bloodied elf dropping a handful of rings into a fire, is it Celebrimbor injured? Is it a version of Sauron? Is it just a random elf? Are they trying to destroy those rings, or will they land next to the fire and not in the fire? 

WeeTanya says:

My initial reaction:

Thematically, it’s picking up exactly where it left off. Sauron is overlooking his realm. The Harfeet are still a-wandering, the mystical cults from the East are still mystically culting, and a lot of this feels the same. But there’s also a time shift — Durin recognizes that the Balrogs have awakened, and Galadriel and Action Elrond are in a sickly green forest fighting some unseen foe, Numenor seems to be on the way to falling, and the rings are very definitely being forged. I wonder if this backtracks a bit into season 1 to pick up some of Celebrimbor’s story with Halbarad — we hear Celebrimbor saying, “He worms his way inside your mind, and the rest of him slithers in.” 


But then there’s blond, long-haired Sauron who has been “there all along” with…Celebrimbor? Creating the rings? I mean, canonically he does this, and Galadriel is suddenly confused by it — does this mean Sauron has been playing several roles throughout Season 1, but we just never saw him in his fair Elven form? Also, at one point Elf-Sauron flexes his arms and something goes “boom” — does he reveal that he’s been turning Ost-in-Edhil into his own evil fortress all along, or does darkness descend all at once?


I think we see the start of the fall of Moria, which is confusing — shouldn’t this be much later in the 3rd age? Will the dwarves begin to disperse, will we see their exodus? Anyway the dwarven king accepts his dwarven ring. Will TROP go with the thread that this ring poisons the dwarves and makes them blind to the evil in the depths of Moria, and a lot of them stay? I am very curious about this plotline.


Numenor is Numenoring! Why does Ar-Pharazon have a pet eagle? Shouldn’t he want absolutely nothing to do with eagles, as emissaries of the Valar?

Elessar says:

I love that we’re seeing from the jump in this trailer that Sauron’s power is being built in a way that really will emphasize his threat. Hopefully that’s not a trick of the trailer. I also love that we’re going to see Annatar as well and that it’s the same actor from last season. Does Celebrimbor survive season 2? 

I’m also excited to see more of what the some love show to the Númenóreans in this. I cannot wait to see all that goes with these folks. Working towards the formation of Gondor is something I’m very much looking forward to. I’m also excited see more of the Dwarves. Was that the fall of Moria? Am I getting more Balrog? (Please 🙂 )

All in all I’m looking forward to things. 

Kili and Bard say:

My sister was out of town so I filmed a reaction video with my boyfriend Rónán! 

Rings of Power S2 Teaser Trailer Reaction https://youtu.be/lHfH0jNDuAk

Justin says:

Prime Video has released ANOTHER 3 minutes video BTS, which seems equally as thrilling.

The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power – A Look Inside Season 2 | Prime Video

And you can see the full trailer breakdown on TORn Tuesday from last night for more analysis!

Edited to add reaction to the Behind-the-Scenes video

Garfeimao – Season 2 BTS video: 

Morffyd says that Galadriel feels more connected to the peoples of Middle-earth and that it will drive her even more

Gil-Galad looking very somber

Sauron is out in the open, making everything happen

The new Adar is less deathly looking, but then, that might just be the fact it was BTS cameras and not FX treated film showing him. 

Durin IV is adrift, his relationship with his dad is gone and his pride has taken a hit

Ismael says that Arondir has taken a blow to his spirit (there is a funeral pyre, could Bronwyn be dead?) Is that why Theo is crying in the trailer? 

Miriel marches down the stairs in an elaborate gown, has her sight returned, or is she just that good at faking it? 

Emma states that, at least in Numenor, the chess board has been set and the pieces are moving

Ben states that the Gloves have come off in season 2, as far as the Elves are concerned

Gil-Galad orders a watch at every crossing, he must not escape (the search for Sauron is on)

I was wondering who the old, grey-haired elf was, but I can now see the chest armor and it’s Adar, but it looks like this might be a flashback scene because his hair is so different.

The Stranger appears briefly and Markella says it’s great to be back, both continuing their journey

Celebrimbor tells Galadriel that he’s had an unexpected visitor? It appears to be an elf coming through the open portal

Gotta love the comedy duo of Durins III and IV

John Howe is excited by the prospect of new places and territories in Middle-earth to explore

Elendil and other Numenoreans down by the rocky shore, what is everyone looking at? 

Maxim talking about how the set is almost too scary to go into, tunnels filled with spider webs and orcs caught in those webs. Is this Shelob’s Lair? It is one way out of Mordor. . .  

Incredible set design shown, and Bear McCreary talking to the singers about how when they are on this set and in costume, they are going to discover more things to do

And then we see Disa and her trio singing to the stones. 

Robert talks about doing new things that plunge you into the story, as we see him and other Elves in full armor in a battle. 

We see Celebrimbor and Durin IV together in what looks like a part of Khazad-dum (I want Narvi)

Maxim says it’s been a long wait, some bad things have happened and some good things have happened, but we are Back in Middle-earth.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power returns with Season 2 on August 29 and we have our first official glimpse with a teaser trailer and a behind-the scenes preview.

TORn Discord Moderator DrNosy has the lowdown on what it all could mean.

———-

April showers bring May flowers and, with it, the much-awaited return of the second season of Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power (TROP). The official marketing has kicked-off with an enticing teaser and a captivating behind-the-scenes look. Brace yourselves, as the series is set to return on August 29th of this year.

Stealing the spotlight and the most intriguing development is the return of our Lord-and-not-Savior, Sauron, portrayed by the talented Charlie Vickers. Sauron’s appearance in this teaser unveils Vickers in a dual role, as both Halbrand (Sauron disguised as a Man) and a character that die-hard Tolkien fans have long yearned for, the Annatar, where Sauron takes the form of an Elf and infiltrates Eregion.

The arrival of Annatar and his relationship to Celebrimbor is one of Tolkien’s greatest stories, but it was never entirely penned as a literary epic. The little we know of Annatar comes from the Letters of Tolkien, Unfinished Tales, and a short essay in The Silmarillion, “Of the Rings of Power.”

From today’s teaser, the Annatar makes his appearance after the events of “Alloyed” (S1.E8), where Sauron as Halbrand reveals himself to Galadriel. Though this encounter momentarily stifles Galadriel, she and the others proceed with the creation of the three Elven rings: Vilya, Nenya, and Narya.

Following the TROP storyline, Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), the genius and talented maker of the Elven rings and the others (lesser) that followed, has now become Lord Sauron’s prime target. The threat he faces from Sauron is imminent. Unbeknownst to Celebrimbor, when Sauron comes knocking on your door, he always comes bearing gifts.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Annatar.
Annatar, who?
Annatar. I am an emissary of the Valar. I have come bearing gifts.

(If you were expecting a knock-knock joke, I have deceived you. The Annatar on your doorstep is not a laughing matter.)

The siege of Eregion, led by Adar (Sam Hazeldine) and his army of Orcs, will be catastrophic to the city and its vast forests. Will Galadriel, Elrond (Robert Aramayo), and the other Elven warriors be able to defend this Elven kingdom? Will King Durin (Peter Mullan) and the Dwarven warriors of Khazad-dûm come to their aid? Well, those answers probably depend on whether or not the ring the Dwarves have received is already tainted with Sauron’s evil influence. Compared to what I expected the last season, there are now more rings to keep track of than ever before.

What I find pretty delightful to observe is the three Elven rings that have made their way onto the hands of the first-ever Ring-bearers: the High King of the Elves, Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), Galadriel as the Commander of the Northern Armies, and the wisest Elf that ever Elfed and his lovely beard we have yet to witness, Círdan (who will be portrayed by Ben Daniels).

We also witness other moments with rings, particularly with King Durin caressing a massive blue-crystal jeweled gold ring that might rival the Arkenstone. Also, what appears to be a consequence of the siege’s mayhem, we are teased with a moment where Celebrimbor seems to be destroying rings in a furnace. We also see him missing a hand. (That probably has many Silmarillion fans wondering if this is something to do with the Silmaril-mithril connection (S1.E5), how Beren lost his hand, and… Alright, alright, I won’t go there!)

With these rings and the return of Sauron, now comes all the things I find myself scratching my head over. As a horror genre fan, I could not ignore the highly spooky vibes of this teaser. I’ve often said that to understand the eucatastrophe described by Tolkien, you must also (sometimes) recontextualize what he wrote in the framework of existential nihilism. For a Tolkien-inspired television series, this recontextualization can translate to the screen as (seemingly) unrelated horror moments. As far as this teaser goes, I have no Tolkienian clue what is happening with the tar creature, the Rhûn moth witch, the creeping vines, and the horrifying Cthulhu-shark. All I can say is that I’m disturbed, unnerved, and distressed, and this is precisely the feeling I want when Sauron comes to visit.

The image of an Orc-licking a blood-soaked dagger… BRING IT ON, HERUMOR! DEAAAAAAATTTTHHHH!

Finally, I would like to make a statement. Fans of fantasy television can debate ad nauseam about which show is better, The Rings of Power or The House of Dragon. Regardless, I would like it settled once and for all that there is only one Lord (of the Wigs), and he does not share fashion power!

An addendum. For the few who know me and my fondness for Númenor and Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle). There is much I can speculate about Númenor, but I will not do so. (I’m still sore about Season 1.) What I do offer, however, is one hypothesis that Pharazôn will most definitely be riding an eagle this season. He absolutely has no ill intentions toward any of Manwë’s beloved creatures. Given his beard, I’m sure that makes him look ultra-friendly to the giant birds, who have always loved helping out other bearded dudes in the Third Age.

The artist behind Pharazôn Rides An Eagle is Stickybeebae. You can follow (and tip) her on Instagram.

About the author:

DrNosy is a scientist (physical science), scholar, and Tolkien enthusiast. Her primary interests lie in review and analysis of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. She is an active contributor and Moderator on TheOneRing.net Discord where she also hosts live open-forum panel discussions on The Rings of Power, The Silmarillion,  and a variety of Tolkien-related topics. You can reach her on Instagram.

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net. One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

Filming for Season Two of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is already underway, and today new casting was revealed.

Of particular note is the recasting of the role of ‘Adar’ – Joseph Mawle will not be back for the second season. (One has to assume this is because he is not available; he was so great in the role that I can’t imagine the showrunners wanted to replace him.) Given some of the speculation about whether this is a ‘winning team,’ it’s also worth noting that JD Payne and Patrick McKay are still at the helm.

Here’s the full press release:

The One Ring

Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Announces New Cast Members for Season Two

Seven new actors join the existing cast of the global hit series in recurring roles for the forthcoming second season, currently in production in the UK

CULVER CITY, California—December 1, 2022—The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has announced seven new recurring cast members for the forthcoming second season, currently in production in the UK.

“Since its premiere, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been bringing audiences together to experience the magic and wonder of J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnificent Middle-earth. To date, season one is the top Original series for Prime Video in every region and has been viewed by over 100 million people worldwide, a truly global hit that speaks to the universal nature of powerful storytelling. We welcome these wonderful actors to our ‘fellowship’ and look forward to telling more incredible Second Age stories in season two,” said Vernon Sanders, Head of Global Television, Amazon Studios.

The new cast members are: Gabriel Akuwudike, Yasen ‘Zates’ Atour, Ben Daniels, Amelia Kenworthy, Nia Towle, and Nicholas Woodeson. The role of Orc leader “Adar” has been recast for Season Two, and will be played by Sam Hazeldine.

Biographies and headshots for the newly announced cast are featured below.

GABRIEL AKUWUDIKE
GABRIEL AKUWUDIKE

GABRIEL AKUWUDIKE

Gabriel Akuwudike is a British-Nigerian actor who has appeared in the acclaimed series Hanna (Prime Video). Other TV credits include Ridley Road (BBC) and War of the Worlds (FX/Disney+). He has appeared in films including Sam Mendes’ 1917, and HBO’s Brexit directed by Toby Haynes.

YASEN ‘ZATES’ ATOUR
YASEN ‘ZATES’ ATOUR

YASEN ‘ZATES’ ATOUR

Yasen ‘Zates’ Atour is most known for his role as “Coen” in Season Two of The Witcher (Netflix). He was also a series regular in Young Wallander (Netflix), playing the role of “Reza Al-Rahman.” He directed the film Good Intentions and was an executive producer and star of the film When the Screaming Starts.

Ben Daniels
Ben Daniels

BEN DANIELS

Ben Daniels has had recurring roles in television including Jupiter’s Legacy (Netflix) as “Walter Sampson,” The Crown (Netflix) as “Lord Snowdon,” The Exorcist (Hulu) as “Father Marcus Keane,” House of Cards (Netflix) as “Adam Galloway,” and Law & Order: UK (ITV) as “James Steel.” Film credits include roles in BenedictionCaptive StateRogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Exception. Ben is an award-winning stage actor who has appeared in numerous productions including The Normal Heart (National Theatre – Olivier Award Nomination – Best Actor, Critics’ Circle Theatre Award – Best Actor), All My Sons (National Theatre – Olivier Award – Best Supporting Actor), and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Broadway – Tony and Drama Desk Nominations – Best Actor). Ben trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Sam Hazeldine
Sam Hazeldine

SAM HAZELDINE

Sam Hazeldine’s credits include Peaky Blinders (BBC), Slow Horses (Apple TV+), The Huntsman: Winter’s WarMechanic: Resurrection, and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel.  He currently appears in The Sandman (Netflix) and The Playlist (Netflix), and will next be seen in the upcoming Band of Brothers sequel Masters of The Air (AppleTV+) opposite Austin Butler and Callum Turner, and starring alongside Jonah Hauer-King and Dar Zuzovsky in the Casanova drama feature, A Beautiful Imperfection.

AMELIA KENWORTHY
AMELIA KENWORTHY

AMELIA KENWORTHY

Amelia Kenworthy is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.  While at RADA, she performed in numerous stage productions including Spring Awakening as “Anna,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream as “Puck,” Two Gentlemen of Verona as “Julia,” Pomona as “Ollie” and Against as “Shiela.”  She has also appeared in short films IRL and Messenger.  She will make her television debut in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

NIA TOWLE
NIA TOWLE

NIA TOWLE

Nia Towle was most recently seen in the Netflix film Persuasion. On stage, Nia debuted Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane at both the National Theatre and Duke of York Theatre. During her studies at Guildhall School of Drama, from which she graduated in 2021, Nia played leading roles in plays including YermaA Streetcar Named Desire, and Medea.

NICHOLAS WOODESON
NICHOLAS WOODESON

NICHOLAS WOODESON

Nicholas Woodeson is a veteran English performer of television, film, and theatre. In television, his credits include Silent Witness (BBC), Baptiste (BBC), The Honourable Woman (BBC), Poirot (ITV), and Rome (HBO / BBC). He can also be seen in films including The HustlePaddington 2The Danish GirlSkyfall, and Conspiracy. His most recent theatre performances include The Two Popes, “The Duke of Norfolk”in The Mirror and The Light, “The Mayor” in The Visit, “Pope Francis” in The Pope, “Mr. Kidd” in The Room, and “Willy” in Death of a Salesman. Nicholas is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

***

All eight first season episodes are now available to stream exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories in multiple languages.

The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone. 

The first season of The Rings of Power has been an unprecedented success, viewed by more than 100 million people worldwide, with more than 24 billion minutes streamed. The highly anticipated series attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, marking the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video, and also debuted as the No. 1 show on Nielsen’s overall streaming chart in its opening weekend. The show has also broken all previous Prime Video records for the most viewers, and has driven more Prime sign-ups worldwide during its launch window than any other previous content. Additionally, The Rings of Power is the top Original series in every region—North America, Europe, APAC, LATAM, and the rest of the world.  The season finale also created a global cultural moment, with multiple series-themed hashtags, including #TheRingsofPower and others, trending in 27 countries across Twitter for over 426 cumulative hours throughout the weekend.

Season Two of the series is produced by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay. They are joined by executive producers Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, and Gennifer Hutchison, along with co-executive producer Charlotte Brandstrom, producers Kate Hazell and Helen Shang, and co-producers Andrew Lee, Matthew Penry-Davey, and Clare Buxton.