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New Rings Of Power Scoop Has Several Actors At An Important Season 2 Location

Contains potential spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Season 2

Patrick McKay and JD Payne's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is already eight hours into its storyline, and things are just getting started. As Season 2 slowly approaches, leaks are starting to trickle out of the company's new production HQ at Bray Studios in the U.K. just outside of London. (The production was previously headquartered in New Zealand for Season 1 before moving halfway across the world to film the next part of the story.)

Some of the Season 2 leaks have to do with the production itself. In March, a horse died while on set, followed shortly afterward by a fire incident (no one was hurt). Other rumors have focused less on the production end of things and more on where the showrunners will take the story now that Sauron is exposed and on the loose. There are leaks that the hideous arachnid demon Shelob will make a quick cameo in Season 2, and drone photos have taken set images showing a destroyed location that very possibly may be the Elven realm of Eregion.

Speaking of Eregion, a recent rumor from the fansite Fellowship of Fans also claims that "Actors Benjamin Walker [Gil-galad], Charles Edwards [Celebrimbor] Robert Aramayo [Elrond] and Selino Lo have spent a lot of time on the Eregion/Elven sets at Bray Studios." This confusing list of actors and their fantasy counterparts seems fairly innocuous at first glance. However, there is actually a lot of potential for this particular group of individuals to be up to some very important things in Eregion in Season 2 if the rumor is true.

Where in Middle-earth is Eregion?

Before diving into the what, let's consider the where. Eregion is a very important Elven realm during the Second Age of Middle-earth. Unlike most immortal Elven lands, which tend to exist for ages in some form or another, this area is only around for a handful of centuries.

Eregion is famous for its Elvish craftsmen, a group of artisans that "The Silmarillion" defines as the "Gwaith-i-Mírdain 'People of the Jewel-smiths', name of the fellowship of craftsman in Eregion, greatest of whom was Celebrimbor son of Curufin." The book also explains that this group of expert artisans is located near the Misty Mountains and they become closely connected to the Dwarves of nearby Khazad-dûm. 

We already saw the beginning of this connection in Season 1 of "The Rings of Power," although Celebrimbor remained on the outside looking in (a fact that will doubtless change soon). The Elven city of Eregion has been a hot spot of important activity in "The Rings of Power's" adapted storyline, too. In the show's narrative, Elrond already convinced the Dwarves to send help to Celebrimbor in Eregion. At the end of the season, Halbrand (Charlie Vickers, who is Sauron in disguise) helps forge the Three Elven Rings in Celebrimbor's workshop — also in Eregion. The Elvish city is a central point for Second Age drama, and its role in the series is only going to get more important as the story continues.

Why might this group of characters be in Eregion?

Of course, the value of Eregion as a Second Age city doesn't explain why the quartet of individuals named in the leak would spend so much time there. However, there is another factor that makes it much more likely that, at the least, Gil-galad, Elrond, and Celebrimbor might be present (more on Selina Lo in a minute). We're talking about Rings.

Eregion is ground zero for the Rings of Power in Tolkien's world. They're where the supercharged jewelry is minted — all of them, except for Sauron's One Ring, of course. That one is famously forged in the fires of Mount Doom. As far as the rings for Elves, Dwarves, and Men go, though, they're all Eregion products through and through. In "The Fellowship of the Ring," Gandalf confirms this fact when he tells Frodo, "In Eregion long ago many Elven-rings were made, magic rings as you call them." The Wizard goes on to explain that there are actually many of these rings, some more powerful than others, adding, "The lesser rings were only essays in the craft before it was full-grown, and to the Elven-smiths they were but trifles — yet still to my mind dangerous for mortals. But the Great Rings, the Rings of Power, they were perilous."

In other words, the Elves of Eregion create a lot of magical rings, including but not limited to, the famous 16 — nine for Mortal Men, seven for the Dwarf-lords, and three for the Elven-kings. We already saw those last three in Season 1, but the rest remain to be made. Celebrimbor is at the heart of this activity, so it makes sense that he would be on set. But why Gil-galad and Elrond?

Why could Gil-galad and Elrond be on the Eregion set for Season 2?

In the appendices to "The Return of the King," it states that after Sauron forges the One Ring, he invades the Elven lands and a conflict known as the "War of the Elves and Sauron" begins. In a timeline in the text, it adds that "Sauron's forces invade Eriador. Gil-galad sends Elrond to Eregion."

In "The Rings of Power's" version of events, Gil-galad has already sendt Elrond to Eregion in Season 1 — well before a war with Sauron is on the table. On top of that, the High Elven King goes to Eregion himself, where he influences the decision to make the Three Elven Rings right away (in an event that truly messes with the original canon storyline — but that's another conversation).

What matters here is that Gil-galad and Elrond have already spent time in Eregion in the show. This kind of lines up with the source material — but not entirely. Elrond definitely spends time in Eregion in the text, even if, in Tolkien's writings, he's primarily there to lead soldiers and help Celebrimbor resist Sauron's armies by force. Gil-galad doesn't personally attend any of the proceedings in the source material, so his presence is a bit harder to explain.

The fact that Gil-galad and Elrond could be in Eregion with Celebrimbor in Season 2 is interesting. It could point to the forging of new rings under the High King's watchful eye. It could hint at darker things, too. Perhaps the War of the Elves and Sauron is closer in the Rings of Power timeline than it appears after Season 1's relatively non-militaristic ending.

What about Selina Lo?

And then there's the curious question mark of Selina Lo. If that name sounds strange to fans of the show, that's because they haven't seen her yet. In December of 2022, Amazon Studios announced a new batch of actors that would be taking on recurring roles in Season 2. One of them was Lo.

The question is, what Middle-earth character will the "Hellraiser" actor play? Apart from it being announced that she will be joining the show, nothing is known about her part in the story. Will she play an Elf from Eregion helping her lord and fellow craftsman Celebrimbor make the Rings of Power? Could she be an Elf from Lindon, there to support Gil-galad or Elrond? Could she expand on Sophia Nomvete's fantastic introduction of fiery Dwarven females by portraying a Dwarf-woman from nearby Khazad-dûm?

As far as we can tell, there isn't an obvious canon character that aligns with Lo's presence in this part of the story, with one possible exception: Annatar.

Could Lo's character be a clever take on a shapeshifting Sauron?

"The Rings of Power's" writing room is already in uncharted territory with the Sauron storyline ever since they decided to invent their Halbrand persona for Season 1.

While a fun part of the story, Halbrand isn't a canon character. Instead, in Tolkien's own writings, Sauron takes on the deceptive form of Annatar, an angelic persona that arrives in the Elvish realms calling himself the "Lord of Gifts." While rejected by Gil-galad, Elrond, and Galadriel, Annatar manages to impress Celebrimbor. He teaches the People of the Jewel-smiths how to create their Rings of Power before he sneaks off and forges the One Ring to rule them all.

The fact that "The Rings of Power" already revealed Sauron's penchant for visual deception through Halbrand will make it difficult to have a believable version of the Annatar character moving forward — difficult, but not impossible. One leak early in 2023 even claims that there will actually be two different Sauron character forms in Season 2. If one of these is Annatar, perhaps the show is planning on having Lo fill the role.

In the source material, Annatar is clearly male, but his shapeshifting nature makes it easy to imagine a deviation to a female character for the show. Of course, all of this is conjecture. We won't be able to really know who Lo's character is until Season 2 gets closer — and we likely won't know for sure if and why these four actors and characters are on the Eregion set until the new season hits the streaming current. If the guess of Lo as Annatar ends up true, though, remember that you read it here first.