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Nazanin Boniadi Explains How The Rings Of Power Will Change Everything For Humans And Elves - Exclusive

"The Rings of Power" is officially live and streaming on Prime Video accounts around the world. With the global release of one of the biggest shows in history officially off to the races, fans of Tolkien's works are about to get a hefty, epic, and very different dose of Middle-earth compared to what they're used to.

When "The Rings of Power" begins, the "Lord of the Rings" story is still thousands of years in the future. At that point, the Elves are on the decline and Men are on the ascent. The LOTR story ends with Aragorn boldly leading Men into the future as the few Elves that remain, dwindling in number and bereft of their three powerful Elven Rings, continue to sail off into obscurity in the West.

The situation is very different when the "Rings of Power" story starts. Elves are still strong, and Men, while numerous, haven't quite come into their own yet. There's the powerful island nation of Númenor — the civilization where Aragorn's ancestors come from — but otherwise, in the words of Elrond, the Men of Middle-earth are weak. According to two of the actors from the show, this power dynamic is going to be clearly on display in at least one area of the story's sprawling geography: the Southlands.

In an exclusive interview with "Rings" actors Nazanin Boniadi and Ismael Cruz Córdova, who play the human Bronwyn and the Elf Arondir, respectively, we asked them if the "forbidden love" between the two characters has any deeper meaning, and the response went much further than romance.

The huge power dynamic between the Southlanders and the Elves

When talking about Bronwyn and Arondir's immortal-mortal romantic subplot, Nazanin Boniadi dove into an answer much bigger than two individuals. "There's not only the aspect of an Elf and a human coming together that's forbidden, but there's a huge power dynamic. I play a Southlander whose ancestors were on the wrong side of history — they chose evil over good. They are paying the price now — the Southland is — for that decision, and they're trying to redeem themselves and liberate themselves from the Elves, who are occupying and watching over them. Arondir being tasked with this, and us being in this romance, it's multilayered. [There's] the fact that I'm a single mother [with] a rebellious teenage son and how that plays out, and how my people and his people frown on this relationship."

Ismael Cruz Córdova added that even within the ranks of the Elvish occupiers of the land, there are power dynamics at play. "Also, in this work, you're going to be able to see deeper into the hierarchy that exists even within the Elves. It's not just one big swatch of Elves with a perceived goodness throughout. We'll be able to see the layers of why this is forbidden and why not, and how it falls in that hierarchy itself."

It appears "The Rings of Power" will be creating a politically volatile environment in which audiences will witness Elves overseeing humans in a first in the cinematic world of Middle-earth. The question is, how will the tension between the short-term memory of Men and the long-term memory of the Elves play out?

The first two episodes of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" premiere on Prime Video on September 2, followed by weekly episodes.