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The Rings Of Power Features At Least Three Characters Who've Appeared In Both Peter Jackson Trilogies

Contains spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Episodes 1 and 2

Even though it's compressing nearly 3,500 years of Middle-earth history into a single lifespan, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is still set thousands of years before the events of both "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" stories. That means, in general, most of the characters that we all know and love from Tolkien's beloved trilogy and Peter Jackson's films won't be present in this new iteration of Middle-earth.

Instead, the show will trace the epic events of the Second Age — a time when Sauron rose to power as the Dark Lord for the first time, forged some fancy Rings and had his first life or death struggle for power with the Elves, Men, Dwarves, and other free peoples of Middle-earth. It's going to be epic, but it's also going to be filled with many new characters and faces (some from Tolkien's books and others invented for the show).

Even so, we're talking about a fantasy world with a lot of immortal folks. That means there is at least going to be a little bit of crossover between "The Lord of the Rings," "The Hobbit," and "The Rings of Power" storylines. As the new show airs, we've already found a handful of these throughlines, specifically as they relate to Prime Video's new show and the pre-existing pair of Middle-earth trilogies created by Peter Jackson. Here are three distinct characters who have shown up in all three projects so far.

Elrond is everywhere

Elrond is a key character in Tolkien's world. The half-elven counselor may be immortal, but he's related to, like, everybody. "The Rings of Power" actor Robert Aramayo said of his character Elrond, "When I read about him, I'm always really interested in the way that Tolkien talks about [how Elrond is] counted amongst the immortals, which is an interesting thing. Counted, it doesn't necessarily say that he is one."

Sure, biologically speaking, Elrond is immortal. But he's related to mortal Men, immortal Elves, and even the angelic Maiar (think Gandalf and Saruman but not in their old-man Wizard forms). Elrond's critical role as a crossroads of many of Middle-earth's peoples, combined with his eternal nature, keeps him in the spotlight for millennia.

During "The Rings of Power," he's a scrappy young politician. By the time we see him in "The Hobbit" films, he's the leader of Rivendell and a member of the White Council. He continues in that capacity in "The Lord of the Rings," also helping point characters like Frodo and Aragorn in the right direction. He does leave Middle-earth at the end of that story for a quiet retirement in the Blessed Realm in the West, but there's no denying that, by that point, he's more than earned it.

Galadriel's ambition and wanderings lead her into all three stories

Galadriel is an interesting character in Tolkien's world. Over the years, the author struggled with the role she should occupy in his stories. That doesn't mean the information is lacking, though. The book "Unfinished Tales" — which consists of a lot of lengthy yet fragmented chunks of text that Tolkien never completed and which his son, Christopher, gathered and published — has an entire section titled "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn." And yet, while full of interesting facts and parts of stories, the text contradicts itself and presents multiple versions of the heroine's role.

Nevertheless, there's no doubt that Tolkien wanted Galadriel to play an essential role in the Second Age, and the showrunners for "The Rings of Power" have used that as an opportunity to make her a key character in their series. Galadriel was also the White Council's founding member during the Third Age. This allowed Peter Jackson to insert her into "The Hobbit" films when that group takes down the Necromancer in Mirkwood.

And then, of course, the Lady of Lorien plays an essential role in "The Lord of the Rings," hosting and helping the Fellowship of the Ring on their way to Mordor. Put the three together, and Galadriel shows up in all three on-screen adaptations.

Sauron is the ever-present presence

Everyone knows Sauron as the big baddie from "The Lord of the Rings." In Peter Jackson's adaptation, the Dark Lord literally sits, perched atop his massive tower of Barad-dûr in the Land of Shadow, scanning the countryside for any sign of trouble. But we don't just see the villain in this distinctly ocular form.

Sauron also appears in "The Hobbit" trilogy of films, this time in the form of the Necromancer. Originally a minor character that peeped in from the edge of the narrative, Jackson took Sauron's boding presence and inserted it as a major plot point in his own version of that story.

And then there's "The Rings of Power." Sauron doesn't appear as the main antagonist immediately, but his presence is felt from the jump. We see him briefly in the prologue for the first episode. Then we see his sigil showing up everywhere, and he's even named multiple times. Doubtless, as the show progresses, we'll see more of the Middle-earth nemesis, although, when he does finally reveal himself, it will likely be in his more attractive form as Annatar, the Lord of Gifts.

Honorable mentions and potential additions

While we've only had three official connections between Peter Jackson's films and the new "The Rings of Power" series, a few other names could join that list as the story plays out. The first of these is Gandalf. Fans everywhere have been debating who the man in the fire could be since he first appeared in the marketing. While that mystery hasn't been solved in the early episodes, it's clear that the show could be working Gandalf into the story. If that's the case, he would be another character who shows up in all three on-screen adaptations.

Legolas is another. While he technically is only in "The Lord of the Rings" as far as the source material is concerned, Jackson found ways to give the woodland Elf plenty of screen time in "The Hobbit" movies, too. Since Legolas' backstory is relatively vague, there's a chance that we could see the character pop up in "The Rings of Power," as well.

Finally, we have to at least give an honorable mention to a couple of other characters who have (or at least could) span "The Rings of Power" and Jackson's works. Gil-galad has a brief cameo at the beginning of "The Fellowship of the Ring" movie and is already in Prime Video's series. Thranduil is the king of Mirkwood long before we see him in "The Hobbit" and could show up in "The Rings of Power," too. And then there's Treebeard. We know that the new series will have Ents, and, according to the lore, Treebeard will be their leader at that time. It's a fun world with lots of crossover potential — some of which has already been realized while other connections remain to be made in the future.