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Why Adar Looks So Different In Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Season 2

Amazon Studios' "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is juggling a gargantuan cast. Some of these, like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo), are pulled straight from J.R.R. Tolkien's texts. Others, like the Orc leader Adar, are freshly invented for the show. Adar was played by "Game of Thrones" alumnus Joseph Mawle on Season 1. However, many fans have noticed that Adar looks different in the promotional material leading up to Season 2's August 29 release — and that's for a good reason. Mawle has been replaced by "Peaky Blinders" actor Sam Hazeldine.

The recasting of Adar has been public knowledge for years now. Season 1 introduced over 20 primary characters. Since that ended in late 2022, there have been multiple "Rings of Power" Season 2 casting announcements. The first of these included seven fresh Middle-earth faces and confirmed that Hazeldine would be taking over Mawle's interesting antagonistic role.

As Season 2 promotional momentum builds, the studio hasn't been shy about shining a spotlight on the recast character. Entertainment Weekly did an entire piece devoted to the change-up, where Hazeldine pointed out that he and Mawle worked together once, which made taking the baton easier. The focus on the Hazeldine transition is an interesting one, considering the character is new to fans of "The Lord of the Rings," doesn't exist in the source material, and is comparatively insignificant compared to the ascending Dark Lord Sauron (Charlie Vickers).

Who is Adar in Rings of Power?

As is the case with new characters like Disa (Sophia Nomvette) and Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), Adar's character doesn't exist in Tolkien's writings and has been created to fill out the author's sparse Second Age texts. While he's new to the tale, there is inspiration in Tolkien's writings for an Adar-like character.

For instance, Tolkien talks about petty lords who lead the Orcs. During "The Lord of the Rings," these individuals are part of a vast hierarchy that ends with Sauron. But they operate within the Mordor organizational chart, all the same. Tolkien even has an extended conversation between two of these Orc captains at the end of "The Two Towers." At other times, these individuals are more powerful and autonomous. This would be the case early in the Second Age, when Sauron is just beginning to establish himself as the top dog.

The "Rings of Power" writers clearly wanted to add more dimensions to the antagonists besides the obvious option of Sauron. Adar adds that depth by pulling an Orc captain to the forefront and giving him the role of an independent chieftain. At least, that worked for Season 1. Heading into Season 2, Sauron is set to assert his dominance over the newly minted Mordor, and there's no doubt that he will confront Adar before long. One rumor also claims Adar and his Orcs will capture Galadriel at some point. Whether he will do that while operating independently or as one of Sauron's lieutenants, though, remains to be seen.