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Rings Of Power Actors Talk Friendship And Respect Between Elves And Dwarves - Exclusive Interview

One of the primary stories of the first season of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is the relationship between the half-elven herald Elrond and the Dwarven prince and princess, Durin IV and Disa. The trio struggle between resurrecting meaningful friendships and honoring their duty to their lords — all within a microcosm of ancient Elvish-Dwarvish hostility.

We recently had a chance to sit down with "Rings of Power" actors Sophia Nomvete, Owain Arthur, and Robert Aramayo, who play Princess Disa, Prince Durin IV, and Elrond Half-elven, respectively, on Prime Video's series. We took the opportunity to ask them more about the multi-faceted friendship that the three characters share — and we say three for a reason. While Elrond and Durin IV are the two characters at the heart of the original friendship, as Nomvete points out, her character becomes a pivotal part of its survival, and in the process an important part of the friendship, too. The three actors let us know their thoughts on the unique process of bringing a successful Dwarven-Elven friendship to life in Prime's new Middle-earth adaptation.

Nomvete on the triangle of love and respect between Dwarves and Elf

There's a geographic through line here in "Rings of Power," in particular, that ties all of you together. Sophia and Owain, you're in Khazad-dûm. You're next to Eregion, where Celebrimbor lives and rules. Robert, you play Elrond, who we've seen in both of those areas in the promotional footage already. Then there's the clip of the dinner that you guys have together. There's a lot of that area that you guys are all associated with. Sophia, has all of this proximity brought the three of you guys closer together on the set?

Sophia Nomvete: It's brought us really close. The first scene that you see in the dinner scene is Disa navigating this necessary unity of Elf and Dwarf, this loving friendship that's been fractured because of time. But she understands what this means for Durin and his heart, and that it's always been a gap.

The relationship, as we know, is very rare between Elf and Dwarf. We have seen it and touched on it before, but we get to see the intricacies of what that means, and actually, the pain that Durin's endured, and ... how Elrond feels about what this means to him. They both think really differently of it, but Disa looks between and sees exactly what needs to happen, which is that they come together. There is a real triangle of love and respect that we get to witness over the course of the season.

Friendship, fathers, objectives, and obstacles

In the Second Age source material, it's Celebrimbor and Narvi that are the poster children for a Dwarf and an Elf being friends. But we know here that they've also brought you two together, so Robert and Owain, you clearly have this friendship that we're going to be seeing unfold on the screen. Keeping in mind that these friendships are extremely rare in Tolkien's writings, have your characters had to overcome a lot of that ancient hostility in order to become friends? Where does this friendship come from in the first place?

Robert Aramayo: That's historic. When you meet [them], they have known each other for quite some time. It's symptomatic of the time in the Second Age, where the relationships between Dwarves and Elves was kind of good, and fluctuated, and in moments it was very good. This relationship is an example of that period in Middle-earth history. That's important to know where the relationship comes from. What do you think, Oz?

Owain Arthur: We've certainly overcome something together, and that's brought us together. It makes it — for myself, from Durin's point of view, too — there must be a really strong connection there for them to be friends and to go against his father's beliefs and mistrust of Elves. There's something special. There's a magnet between them that they can't escape.

Aramayo: They've both got complicated relationships with their fathers, and what is good about the three of us, [as we] go on in the season, is more is revealed. I get close to the family, and secrets are exchanged, and confessions are made, and things are revealed about each other that draws us all together. We bear witness to each other's lives in this way, which deepens the friendship through the course of the season.

Arthur: As an actor, that's something great to play. In every scene, you've got an objective and an obstacle all at the same time. There's inner conflict there that creates drama. It's a gift.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" premiered on September 2 around the globe. The show releases new episodes on Prime Video every Friday at 12 a.m. EST for the remainder of the eight-episode first season.

This interview was edited for clarity.