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Rings Of Power Theory: Nia Towle Will Play Isidlur's Wife

Contains spoilers for "The Rings of Power" Season 2

"The Rings of Power" is busily exploring many of the lesser-known corners of Middle-earth history, particularly in the Ring-forging Second Age when the story is set. (The "Lord of the Rings" story that movie audiences are familiar with takes place thousands of years later in the Third Age.) The slow, multi-faceted, and methodical pace of the show has made it necessary for showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to fill in many of the gaps in J.R.R. Tolkien's sparse Second Age lore to help the story make sense. Some of these "fleshing out" moments have already started, like explaining Sauron's activities early in the age and showing what the Dwarven realm of Khazad-dûm looked like before a grumpy Balrog smashes it to bits.

There are plenty of other story additions that are coming down the pike, too — including one little romantic piece of trivia that Tolkien never revealed: the name of Isildur's wife.

A new scoop from the fan site Fellowship of Fan claims, "Nia Towle will play a human character named 'Estrid' in The Rings of Power season 2." The site adds a follow-up detail, saying, "Arondir, Isildur and Estrid will be in the same plot line and share scenes together for some of the season."

What does this have to do with Isildur's wife? Well, back in April, Redanian Intelligence revealed an exclusive photo of Isildur actor Maxim Baldry alongside a new cast member for Season 2 — that's right, it's none other than Nia Towle. The image revealed the pair alone in a wooded area, looking beaten up and concerned. At the time, the outlet was already speculating about the possibility of Towle playing Isildur's unnamed wife, and fans quickly took up the refrain.

Isildur's life: elevator pitch style

Before breaking down the potential of "The Rings of Power" writers finally giving Isildur a named wife with, you know, an actual personality and character, let's go over a quick summary of who this little-known yet incredibly important Middle-earth hero is in the first place. For those who are scratching their heads trying to remember who the heck Isildur is, we're talking about the character seen in the opening moments of Peter Jackson's "The Fellowship of the Ring" film. He cuts the One Ring from Sauron's hand with his father's broken sword hilt before refusing to throw it into Mount Doom and then losing it in a river after being ambushed by Orcs.

While this is undoubtedly one of the most important points in Isildur's lifetime, it is just the final moments in a long life spent doing heroic things. Isildur is the son of Elendil, and both are members of The Faithful — a faction in the Mannish kingdom of Númenor that remains loyal to their Elvish allies when the rest of their nation breaks bad. When their homeland is eventually destroyed in an Atlantis-like fashion, the pair are instrumental in leading their Faithful followers back to Middle-earth. Isildur and his brother, Anarion, set up the kingdom of Gondor, and Isildur builds the stronghold of Minas Ithil (which the Ringwraiths later capture and use as their headquarters in "The Lord of the Rings). Isildur is also the man who preserves the line of the White Tree, which survives all the way to Aragorn's reign thousands of years later.

It's hard to overstate Isildur's importance. He has multiple sons, founds kingdoms and dynasties, and stops supernatural warlords dead in their tracks. He also has a wife ...

Isildur's wife, elevator pitch style

In the midst of his endless string of major life accomplishments, Isildur marries and has a family. Isildur eventually becomes a king, which means his spouse is also a queen — and yet, we don't know her name or anything about her. All we get are a couple of minor or indirect mentions. For instance, in the book "The Peoples of Middle-earth," a breakdown of the heirs of Isildur's father, Elendil, is provided. In that timeline, we see that Isildur was married, and his wife gives birth to their first child while living in Númenor. His wife delivers their fourth and final son, Valandil, much later on while she is in Rivendell, right before Isildur takes off to go cut off Sauron's ring finger.

In "The Silmarillion," we get a rare mention of the woman herself when Sauron attacks Gondor for the first time. The book reads, "But Isildur escaped, and taking with him a seedling of the Tree he went with his wife and his sons by ship down the River, and they sailed from the mouths of Anduin seeking Elendil." A bit later, we get one more mention of the unnamed queen. After Isildur defeats Sauron, he heads back north, with the text detailing, "but his wife and his youngest son, Valandil, he had left in [Rivendell] when he went to the war."

That's it, guys. Based on our research, Tolkien never mentions Isildur's wife directly again — and he certainly never gives her a name or an ounce of agency in the story itself. She remains a quietly overlooked character in a patriarchal narrative that passes from father to son, from Isildur straight through to Aragorn himself.

Will Nia Towle play Estrid, Isildur's wife?

The question that remains is if Nia Towle will be portraying Isildur's wife on screen. If the latest rumor is true, will Towle's character Estrid bond with Isildur and eventually marry the lost Númenórean sailor? Remember, the last we saw Maxim Baldry's Isildur late in Season 1, he was lost in the wreckage of the newly erupted Mount Doom. Will the two meet and bond as they survive the wreck and slaughter together? It certainly seems possible.

To be fair, though, there are some potential issues that could make this not work. For instance, one Reddit thread broke down the possibility of a marriage between the two actors' characters and pointed out that if Towle's character is from Middle-earth rather than Númenor, she wouldn't have the same long life as the humans who hail from that blessed island. IIsildur himself lives for nearly 250 years before dying in battle — not of old age. The Humans in Middle-earth live much shorter, normal lifespans, which could make things difficult. In that case, perhaps Estrid is just a chance companion Isildur meets on the road. Or maybe the showrunners will even be gutsy enough to write their own doomed Tolkienian romance, which will flame out due to the cruelties of time itself ... making way for Isildur to remarry and have his family.

However, considering the show's willingness to bend the details of J.R.R. Tolkien's original text so far — especially in areas like timelines and lifespans — there's a good chance they ignore the aging aspects and dive into an Isildur/Estrid romance full bore. Either way, we'll have to wait for a while still before we see the relationship unfold when Season 2 finally airs at some point down the road.