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Why Rings Of Power's Robert Aramayo Calls Elrond The Mutt Of The Legendarium - Exclusive

Elrond is one of the most crucial characters in all of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. The half-Elven fellow is a counselor, a warrior, a loremaster, and the leader of Rivendell. He's one of the most important characters in the entire Second and Third ages of Middle-earth history, too. Along with his critical role as a supporting character in "The Lord of the Rings," Elrond gets involved in the action on the periphery of "The Hobbit" story (via his dealings with the White Council and the Necromancer).

Yet all of those events are arguably little more than a footnote in the character's long and illustrious life on the mortal shores of Middle-earth. Before that, he spends time fighting in battles, founding Rivendell, getting one of the three Elven Rings, and eventually settling down and having a gaggle of other half-Elven offspring.

Throughout all of his life, though, Elrond's half-mortal, half-immortal ancestry is one of his defining factors. It connects him to practically everyone and gives him an extremely unique perspective. This isn't just our opinion — it's shared by Robert Aramayo, who portrays Elrond in Prime Video's newly released "Rings of Power" Middle-earth streaming series. We recently sat down to have a long talk with Armayo about his character, and the actor's thoughts on Elrond's ancestry were eye-opening, to say the least.

Aramayo has grappled with Elrond's complicated backstory

In our exclusive interview with Robert Aramayo, we dug deep into Elrond's in-canon storyline. At one point, the "Game of Thrones" alumnus referenced the pressure on his character to live up to his past. From there, he launched into a description of Elrond's backstory that would make the most die-hard Tolkien fan proud, specifically discussing how Tolkien talks about Elrond as being "counted amongst" the immortals.

This hesitation over calling him outright immortal is warranted. Elrond's ancestors are a mixed group of Men and Elves. His great-great-grandmother is even a Maiar, a spiritual being closer in makeup to an angel than a physical person. His brother, Elros, becomes the first king of the Men of Númenor. His father and mother are also half-Elven, and together, they save the world from the original Dark Lord Morgoth. Everywhere you turn, Elrond has a rich, complicated ancestry that sports mortals, immortals, and even Middle-earth angels amongst their ranks.

It's awesome and awe-inspiring, but it's also confusing — something that Aramayo is well aware of. "Technically, he's immortal, but to me, it suggests something interesting about what mortality means to him, and literally what mortality is inside of him. If you had to cut him up, he's immortal, but 'What does half-elven mean?' was one of the most interesting questions about creating him."

'Everything feeds into him'

After wrestling with the pressure and complexities of Elrond's situation in "Rings of Power," Robert Aramayo went on to spout some mathematical knowledge regarding the character's DNA: "He is the mutt of the legendarium. Everything feeds into him, and it's why he was given the choice in the first place. If you look at where he comes from — I read this thing — he's 1/16th Maiar and 8/16th this. It's mental if you wanted to break it down, so it makes a lot of sense that he was given the choice." 

The choice referenced is that of either becoming mortal or immortal — with Elrond choosing the latter. While fans of Middle-earth are aware of the choice, though, the fallout of the decision is something that we'll get to see in more adaptive detail as the show plays out this fall.

"Rings of Power" officially releases around the globe on September 2. The first two episodes are available immediately, and the following six episodes that make up the first season will follow on a weekly basis.