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Morfydd Clark Gives Her Thoughts On The One Person Who Could Actually Beat Galadriel In A Fight - Exclusive Interview

Morfydd Clark was already a rising star in Hollywood before she hit full throttle by becoming the face of Amazon Studios' "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." The Welsh actor portrays the Elven princess and leader Galadriel in the Second Age storyline from Tolkien's world of Middle-earth.

Clark's version of Galadriel is quite different from Cate Blanchett's stoic iteration of the Lady of Lórien from Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. It also varies from Tolkien's regal original in the books. This is due to the fact that "The Rings of Power" takes place several thousand years before that story — at a time when the headstrong Elven hero is in a state of relative "young adulthood." This difference is on full display in Season 1, as Morfydd Clark's character is shown making mistakes, seemingly chasing shadows, and ultimately failing to stop Sauron from returning to power.

Clark has talked to Looper in the past about her journey as Galadriel. Recently, we caught up with her again during the inter-season lull at an FYC event put on by Amazon Studios in preparation for the upcoming Emmy Awards. We took the opportunity to hear the actor's thoughts in the wake of Season 1, dissect a bit about her version of the iconic character, and discuss who she thought could beat her version of Galadriel in a fight.

Clark's favorite Middle-earth locations and scene from Season 1

Last time we talked, you named your favorite character from Tolkien's Legendarium. You said, and I quote, "Maybe Lúthien's my favorite because she does some really badass stuff," which was a great answer. This time, I wanted to try a different angle. Do you have a favorite place or a location in Middle-earth that is your favorite, especially after having spent time filming there?

Númenor was incredible, and I loved that the set included a lot of history [and] that there was Elvish graffiti around the place. It was very beautiful but in quite an un-Elven way. They went for art deco-y stuff, which I loved.

But then, the times where you feel most like an Elf is when you're outside in the beautiful countryside, whether that be in New Zealand or in Cornwall here. As an Elf, it has to be when there's trees and green and sky around.

That's a great answer. Númenor was incredible. That was more breathtaking, whereas the Elvish vibe was ... The show nailed that stuff. It's good.

So nice.

Did you have a favorite scene that you filmed in Season 1? Anything that stood out?

I loved the scene between Elrond and Galadriel in Episode 1 because I felt that we were able to explore what it meant to be immortal and the weight of that, and the loneliness of it ... Elrond's hundreds of years old, but he's a little baby next to Galadriel.

He's just getting started.

Exactly. I really enjoyed that. That showed Elf-dom, that there's a weight of being part of all the history of your world.

Balancing immortality and anger

Galadriel is clearly angry in Season 1, especially at the beginning. She knows Sauron's out there, and she can't stop looking for him. Was it difficult balancing the immortality element and the whole "time heals all wounds" concept with that unrelenting desire to pursue evil no matter the cost?

She is as far away from her Elvish nature as she ever will be at the beginning of this. I wanted to explore her as far away from the Lady of Lothlórien as she will become. That's part of why she's so miserable as well — she's become quite individualistic because her pain is so huge. She's not seeing the beauty of the world and the beauty of her people. She's not herself. She's not behaving as she ... not just as an Elf, but she's not behaving as a creature of light in Middle-earth at that point.

Knowing that you have to transition into the Lady of Lórien at some point, what was it like exploring that starting point and then transitioning through Season 1 and now into Season 2 and beyond?

I am obsessed with the Hobbits, and I'm glad that we included the Harfoots because it's something that makes this world really special to me. The world, Middle-earth, isn't as it should be until it's safe for everyone — even the smallest, the most vulnerable amongst them. That will also ... Not that she'll necessarily see the Hobbits or anything, but realizing that she's part of a fragile world — where things are breakable and beautiful — will ultimately be what will get her there. It's something that I found very useful as well, as me. Nature is healing if you allow yourself to truly be in it and look at it.

Galadriel ends up being a defender and then benefiting from that, right? It softens her.


Filming that epic eruption of Mount Doom

One scene I wanted to talk about was the Mount Doom eruption scene. We saw the final version, and it's epic. Obviously, a lot of those effects had to be put in afterward. What did they do to make that scene easier for you to act in? What was happening to you on the set as they're filming this? You know it's going to be a volcanic eruption, and it's going to hit you ...

One of the best things about big fantasy, and what's wonderful about the films, and something we've got here, is the dedication of the background actors. There was all hell breaking loose behind me. I had to imagine this explosion, but I could hear chaos behind me ... Whenever I watch the films, everyone has their favorite Orc or their favorite person in Helms Deep. Even at that point, there was more visual special effects being used. I still had people running and screaming and acting ... It was scary. It was frightening.

That's awesome, because I feel like you need some of that. The performance was amazing, that's why I wanted to know — what were you looking at? Were you looking at a green screen, or was there something in front of you?

No, there was nothing in front of me at that point. I also felt that she wasn't even ... There was a brief moment where she sees that it's all gone wrong, and then she's kind of somewhere else. She's floating through. She's having a life-flashing-before-your-eyes moment where she doesn't want it to happen. She very briefly becomes in shock.

How much of Galadriel is the script vs. Clark's own interpretation

The Galadriel that we're seeing on the screen — how much of that is coming directly from the script and you're interpreting what you've been given, and how much of it are you drawing from your own personality and your own experiences?

Interesting — well, lots of it comes from the script. We have wonderful writers on this who I'm so grateful to. They're wonderful, and we're right behind them with that. A lot of it comes from that.

In terms of what comes from me, I wanted to explore that the Elves aren't palatable in the way that humans are. There is something unnerving about them — particularly with Galadriel, that Boromir's terrified of her; he calls her a witch and things. She's not pleasing in a necessarily typical way, and particularly not at the point where I was exploring her. It was getting rid of the shackles of being a human woman. She doesn't need to be extra nice, and that was fun.

The Elves are interesting because they're stoic, but they also, in "The Silmarillion," [are] suddenly weeping. They feel a great, great deal, but it doesn't come out until it's ... I feel there's a Swedish-ness to them — I was born in Sweden. One of my Swedish friends said that Swedish people are a bottle of ketchup. Sometimes nothing comes out, and you have to bang on the end of it, and it all comes out at once. The Elves are a bit like that.

That's a great analogy; I love that. It's not there, and suddenly, it's all there at once.


Who could beat Galadriel in a fight?

We see Galadriel school a gaggle of Númenórean recruits with swordplay. She dispatches a lot of Orcs along the way. She's clearly very formidable as a warrior at this point. Do you think there is anyone else in Middle Earth who could beat her in a duel?

There's an amazing TikToker called @knewbettadobetta who discusses this. Do you know him? He's fantastic.

Yes. He's fantastic.

I'd like to say no, but Charlie disagrees with me, and that was annoying. But what I love about Middle-earth is it's so circumstantial to what's going on there. I love a soft, magic world where, if the sun wasn't where it was, if someone wasn't feeling exactly what they were feeling in that moment, everything could have been different. It's all circumstantial. I like to think that, in a certain circumstance, she is unbeatable ... There's many villains and many heroes in Middle-earth, which is why it's so fantastic.

That's a fair answer.

Who do you think?

Who [do I think] could beat her?

If she and Glorfindel fought — but they wouldn't. Probably he ... I don't know.

I don't know ... He can beat a Balrog, so that is in his favor. The other one was Halbrand, but we only saw him fight with his fists, so we don't ... That's one-on-one stuff.

Interesting ... We shall see.

Season 1 of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is available to watch on Prime Video.

This interview has been edited for clarity.