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Leon Wadham's Kemen Is A Counterpoint To Many Other Rings Of Power Characters - Exclusive

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has a sprawling cast of over 20 main actors playing a variety of different characters. Some of these are Tolkien staples; Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo) immediately come to mind as iconic individuals whose stories start before the show and continue right on through "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" tales that come after. Others, like Elendil (Lloyd Owen), Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), and Isildur (Maxim Baldry) are canon characters with little to no information written about them. This leaves plenty of room for creativity as the writers fill in gaps and flesh out details.

And then there are the made-up characters. Tolkien's Second Age source material is sparse, which means new characters were always going to be necessary to get the story to work. Some of these jumped off the screen from day one (we're looking at you, Princess Disa). Others are quickly coming into their own, as was the case with Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards) when we learned about her backstory in Episode 3.

Then there are the new characters that are yet to come. One of these is Kemen, who has just arrived on screen in Episode 4 and is played by actor Leon Wadham. The young Kemen may be new to Middle-earth, but his father, Pharazôn, is one of Tolkien's most infamous villains. Before the show's premiere, we had an opportunity to talk with several of the Númenórean cast members, including Wadham, and we took the opportunity to ask him about his upcoming character's role in the first season of the show.

Leon Wadham's character is equal parts refreshing and infuriating

When Looper sat down with Leon Wadham and his fellow Númenórean actors, we asked him what it's been like exploring the nitty-gritty details that bring a character to life in a drawn-out, serialized adaptation, especially one as epic as the Atlantian "Downfall of Númenor." His response was as light and carefree as his new character's personality — although not for the reason you might suspect.

"I've loved it. There's something really fun for me. I don't know how audiences will take it, but you meet so many characters who've been through so much for some millennia of difficulty. Then you meet this person who is young, has everything, and feels invincible. I think it's hysterical that you meet this guy who's had everything, has only ever known Númenor in a golden age, and has no interest in anything changing because it's always served him so well."

This idea of portraying a carefree and spoiled individual in a world steeped in pain and sorrow is fascinating — and Wadham knows it, too. "He's a really interesting counterpoint to so many other characters, not only in Númenor but [throughout] the show," Wadham said. "I can see him either being really refreshing or infuriating." With so much drama going on, it's completely reasonable to see a lighthearted character like Kemen providing a crucial bit of insight into the dynamics at play in the opulent, powerful, and doomed kingdom where he's spent his entire life.

"The Rings of Power" has aired in weekly installments ever since Episodes 1 and 2 dropped simultaneously at the beginning of September. Episode 4 airs on Friday, September 16.