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Rings Of Power's Owain Arthur On What It's Really Like To Explore Prince Durin IV's Friendship With Elrond - Exclusive

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has simultaneously explored several different areas of Tolkien's world, with one of the biggest epicenters of narrative intrigue so far surrounding Elrond's visit to Eregion and nearby Khazad-dûm. In the former location, the Half-elven Herald of Gil-galad has joined forces with Celebrimbor to build a giant tower forge for a mysterious future project. In pursuit of this end, Elrond traveled to the Dwarven mansion of Khazad-dûm in Episode 2 to recruit the help of the Dwarves. This process led to the rekindling of a dormant friendship between the Elf and the Dwarven prince Durin IV — a friendship that is proving pivotal to the story as things continue to unfold. Elrond actor Robert Aramayo touched on this, as well, when Looper interviewed him (along with Durin actor Owain Arthur and Disa actress Sophia Nomvete) late in the summer.

"They've both got complicated relationships with their fathers," Aramayo said, "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."

Aramayo's Elvish perspective is understandable. His orphaned character doesn't fully belong to any one race, which makes him the perfect candidate to span the gap between different groups. But it's Arthur's response to what it's been like exploring this extremely rare cross-cultural friendship from a Dwarvish perspective that really speaks volumes.

Durin and Elrond deal with an objective and an obstacle in every scene

When asked what it's been like portraying the complex friendship of an Elf and a Dwarf — who are both in politically important positions, no less — Owain Arthur hinted that the characters have overcome some struggles in the past that have served as a catalyst for their relationship. "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."

The reference to overcoming struggles could refer to the scrape with trolls that the characters reference at the end of Episode 4. Then again, maybe there's something deeper there — even deeper than saving someone's life or fighting side by side in battle. A bit later in the conversation, Arthur commented on the challenge of portraying this labyrinthine relationship, saying, "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."

Durin and Elrond are friends. They've saved each other's lives (in some unspecified capacity). They have a past friendship that was clearly meaningful. And yet, their races have deeply harbored antipathy toward one another. Durin's father is skeptical of Elves. Elrond has politically-driven motives that he's working around, too, as does Durin. It's this multi-layered friendship onion that continues to make the characters' story so interesting.

The eight-episode first season of "The Rings of Power" airs weekly on Fridays at 12 a.m. ET and will conclude on October 14.