Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Rings Of Power's Cynthia Addai-Robinson Weighs In On The Show's Politically Fractured Númenor - Exclusive

Númenor and its people form a central narrative thread to Prime Video's multi-faceted "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" story. Eventually, the descendants of the island nation will settle important nations seen in "The Lord of the Rings," including Gondor. Before that, though, they play an integral role in forming the Human backbone of resistance against the Dark Lord Sauron during the Second Age when the show is set. Even though they're generally seen as the "good guys," by this later point in that era, Númenórean ethics are very much a mixed bag.

The island itself was originally given as a gift to the Men who helped fight against the first Dark Lord Morgoth in the First Age. This allows those mortals to avoid the unsavory elements of Middle-earth life and keeps them tied at the hip with the immortal Elves and angelic Valar away in the West in the Blessed Realm. However, over time, the Men of Númenor start to take their blessings for granted and even begrudge the endless lifespans of their immortal friends.

In the source material, this sets the stage for a politically fractured Númenor that is torn between "the Faithful," who retain the traditional ways, and "the King's Men," who reject the immortals and strive to do things their own way. This is how Tolkien wrote the history of Númenor, and "The Rings of Power" is trying to emulate that sense of division and paranoia in its adaptation, too. It's also a facet of the story that actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson (who plays Queen Regent Míriel of Númenor on the show) explained when she sat down with Looper for an exclusive interview earlier in September.

Númenor is complex, interesting, and at a turning point

According to Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Númenor is a society that presents some juicy storytelling opportunities. "What's really exciting about Númenor is as the story continues, there's a lot of opportunity there for some interesting and complex storytelling within a society and what direction a society takes and what the implications are for the greater good," she said.

This isn't just talking about a cool story about local life on the star-shaped island — it hints at the direct sequence of events that eventually leads to the downfall of Míriel's proud island nation. At this point in its history, Númenor is already divided between the Faithful and the King's Men. It's a pre-existing struggle between those who remain loyal to tradition and those who champion progress. The situation isn't as simple as choosing good versus evil, either — not yet, at least.

Instead, it's a complicated quagmire of political opinions that Addai-Robinson's character needs to navigate adeptly. "That to me is the meatiest part of this world — seeing a society that is at this turning point and hearing the arguments, as it were, that justify one direction versus the other," she said. "Both arguments make sense. As a viewer, you would hear different people explaining their take on which way they think Númenórean society should go, and it would make sense and resonate."

At the end of the day, though, the goal (and struggle) for Míriel is to serve her people, as Addai-Robinson knows well: "For her, there is that genuine desire to do what is best for her people and not necessarily knowing what that is."

New episodes of "The Rings of Power" drop every Friday at 12 a.m. ET on Prime Video.