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Why Prince Durin IV On Amazon's Rings Of Power Looks So Familiar

JRR Tolkien's "Middle-earth" franchise is once again making a bid for the crown of most popular high-fantasy franchise with the release of Prime Video's new show "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." A prequel to the renowned book saga "The Lord of the Rings", the series has made headlines for being on-track to become the most expensive TV production of all time, with Vanity Fair predicting that five seasons will cost Amazon over $1 billion to develop in total.

The high production values of the series certainly shine through. From the intricate costume designs, to the realistic special effects that bring the world's mythical creatures to life, to the wealth of experienced actors involved with the project, it's clear that few expenses were spared. Morfydd Clark from "His Dark Materials" and Nazanin Boniadi from "Homeland" are just a few of the seasoned main cast members that fans might have seen before. However, there's one particular character in the series that may have many wondering why they look so familiar — namely, the Dwarf prince Durin IV. That makes sense, considering that the character's actor, Owain Arthur, has appeared in a handful of other notable properties.

Babylon (2014)

One of Owain Arthur's first major TV roles eschews Middle-earth mysticism for municipal mundanity. The actor appeared as part of the main cast for the 2014 dry-witted miniseries "Babylon," a unique creative effort partially from the mind of  esteemed "Trainspotting" director Danny Boyle. Equal parts dark comedy and searing drama, the show follows several British police officers as they contend with a bevy of internal and external conflicts, from hectic day-to-day responsibilities on the streets of London to frustrating bouts of bureaucracy within their own system.

Arthur portrays one of the central characters fighting the good fight — a Territorial Support Group officer named Paul Norrington who goes by the nickname "Nobbo." As the short six-episode series progresses, things only get more and more complicated for the policeman and his fellow squad members and they eventually find themselves the target of public outrage. Arthur's performance here is entertaining, but it's also far from the only time the actor donned a badge for a TV series, as will soon be apparent.

Casualty (2016)

It's a hard task to keep track of the history of "Casualty," considering the show has been running since 1987 and has long since hit a bingeworthy medical-drama record of over 1,000 episodes. However, Owain Arthur's stint on the show is still relatively recent enough to still be fresh in the minds of diehard viewers. Discounting a 2008 guest appearance as an entirely separate character, the actor primarily recurred on the show between its 30th and 32nd seasons.

Arthur's "Casualty" character is a hospital porter named Glen Thomas. It's not long after his introduction that Glen strikes up a relationship with staff nurse and major character Robyn Miller. The two are happy for a time, but then, well, things start going south pretty heavily. Over a short span, Glen learns he has brain tumor, has surgery to remove it, falls into a coma, wakes up, decides to marry Robyn, has a seizure on his wedding day, gets caught in a car crash on the way to the hospital, learns that his cancer will only give him a few days to live, leaves the hospital, has another seizure, then dies. That's certainly one way to kill off a character. Sheesh.

Hard Sun (2018)

Before he became the face of one of Prime Video's biggest shows, Owain Arthur had a major role in an original project for a completely separate streaming service: Hulu's sci-fi miniseries "Hard Sun." Focusing on a ragtag duo of two police officers that unravel a political conspiracy regarding the end of the world, the series features Arthur as a supporting member of the protagonists' department: Detective Sergeant Keith Greener.

Considering the show's identity as a crime-drama miniseries and the fact that Arthur once again plays a member of the force, it would appear at first glance that the actor's roles in "Babylon" and "Hard Sun" are pretty similar. Make no mistake, though, as "Hard Sun" goes for a much more intense and serious tone than the former. That doesn't stop Arthur's Keith from still managing to throw out a couple of jokes to break the near-constant tension, though.

A Confession (2019)

Would you believe us if we told you that Owain Arthur's next major role was as a police officer in a crime-drama miniseries? Indeed, the actor once again donned policeman attire in the Martin Freeman-led hidden gem series "A Confession" as the good-natured supporting character Detective Inspector Sean Memory. However, this credit is once again pretty far removed from Arthur's similar parts in terms of tone and subject matter.

Based on the true story of how police detective Steve Fulcher broke protocol and sacrificed his loyalty to the law in order to bring the murderer of a young man to justice, "A Confession" is considerably more dour and deeply tragic in tone than both of Arthur's previously highlighted police-related credits. As such, the actor trades out his usual comedic chops for a far more sober performance, as Memory has several emotional interactions with the heartbroken family of the murder victim across the series.

The One and Only Ivan (2020)

Moving back to something a little more upbeat, Owain Arthur's subsequent credit of note is actually not from a TV show, but from a film. The actor appeared as one of the main cast members for Disney's 2020 live-action movie "The One and Only Ivan," which tells the story of the titular gorilla as he plots a daring escape from his life in the circus.

As with many of Disney's feature films, "The One and Only Ivan" boasts an impressive cast of big-time actors, including Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, and Danny DeVito. However, considering that most of the movie's cast is made up of anthropomorphic talking animals, many of these actors only lend their voices to their respective characters. That notably isn't the case for Owain Arthur, though, as the man himself shows up as plain ol' human Castello, a security guard who answers to Bryan Cranston in one of his most memorable roles: circus ringmaster Mack.

Plenty of other small roles

While the aforementioned roles on this list make up Owain Arthur's most substantial credits prior to his work on "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," the actor has also shown up in a slew of other smaller properties, as well as having made a few minor guest appearances on some bigger ones. One of Arthur's very first television appearances came in an episode of the long-running hospital drama "Doctors" in 2007. Since then, the actor has briefly popped up in various crime shows such as "New Tricks," "Death in Paradise," and "London Kills." He even had a minor role in the 2010 Rhys Ifans-led crime flick "Mr. Nice." While Arthur's next big role in the world of Middle-earth may be a pretty big departure from busting British criminals, it's clear from his filmography that he has more than enough acting experience to pull it off.