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The Rings Of Power Cast Members Name Their Favorite Tolkien Characters - Exclusive

There are a lot of new faces in Prime Video's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." Durin IV, Celebrimbor, and Finrod are original Tolkien characters who have never been seen on screen before now. Gil-galad, Elendil, and Isildur all make brief appearances in Peter Jackson's trilogy but don't play major roles.

And then there is a host of additional characters who have been made up to help fill out the "Rings of Power" narrative. For instance, the Elf Arondir, the humans Bronwyn and Theo, and all of the Harfoots are new characters.

While the show is necessarily adding personalities to beef up its story (which is based on Tolkien's thin Second Age source material), the actors themselves are very familiar with the author's original writings. Some of them have gotten to know Middle-earth better after landing a role on the show. Others, such as Robert Aramayo (Elrond), are lifelong fans. When we sat down for a series of interviews with the majority of the main cast earlier in the summer, we asked each one who their favorite original Tolkien character was. The answers varied from the epic to the intimate and everything in between.

Many of the actors selected the easy (albeit acceptable) choice

The first introduction that mainstream audiences had to Tolkien's world came through the book "The Hobbit," which was published way back in 1937. In that book, the first character we meet is the one and only Bilbo Baggins, a warm, comfortable Hobbit bachelor whose more adventurous Tookish side quickly pulls him into an unexpected quest.

From the jump, the lovable Halfling hero has been a fan favorite, and it's a preference that a few of the "Rings of Power" cast members share. When Disa actress Sophia Nomvete was asked who her favorite character was, the actress replied, "This might be an obvious and a cliché, but I'm going to go with Bilbo." The actress followed this up by explaining, "He possesses so much heart ... He's driven by so many forces and feelings and his mind is so busy, and I want to follow him wherever he goes. He's got to be my favorite if I had to pick." 

Her on-screen partner, Owain Arthur, followed suit, saying, "Do you know what? I'm going to agree with you. You sold it to me," finishing with the punchy line, "You're a savage if you don't like Bilbo."

After a bit of mulling, Trystan Gravelle, who plays Pharazôn, came up with the same answer in a separate interview. "I'm going to go with Bilbo because I'd like to think of myself as an Elf, but deep down, I know that's not the case." Gravelle detailed his choice by explaining, "Usually, with the scale of everything around, you feel so small in this world and helpless sometimes, but you go along for the journey. You run the gauntlet and have all these emotions. So you are a Hobbit, essentially." Aren't we all?

Some of the cast gave epic answers

While some gave comfortable, Hobbitish responses, others chose Tolkien characters as epic in scale as "The Rings of Power" itself. Charlie Vickers (Halbrand) kicked off the heroism by going straight to a power couple at the heart of Tolkien's legendarium: "I think mine, if we want to get into it, is probably Beren. I love Beren's story, or Lúthien." Fellow actor Morfydd Clark lined up with the latter choice, heartily agreeing with Vickers' statement that "Maybe Lúthien's my favorite because she does some really badass stuff." 

In a separate interview with Looper, Markella Kavenagh, who plays the adventurous Harfoot Nori, echoed her co-stars' choices, stating, "Lúthien, because I love the book so much, and I love her character and I love their story."

Actor Benjamin Walker plays the High King Gil-galad in "The Rings of Power." The impressive Elven king is legendary, so much so that Walker couldn't help but choose him as his favorite Tolkienian character. "Selfishly, I like High King Gil-galad ... What I like about him is that he's prescient, that he seems to have this heightened awareness and always be a bit ahead of the curve. He's got his finger on the pulse of the life force of Middle Earth, which he chose to remain in, by the way. 'I could go to Valinor or stay on this dirty, disgusting rock filled with creatures that want to kill each other, and maybe I'll sacrifice myself for their wellbeing,' which makes me love him even more. But in the process of doing that, he has this ever-vigilance that I love about him. The price of liberty and peace is constant vigilance, and he is that embodied."

Several members of the cast chose from the Fellowship of the Ring

"The Lord of the Rings" is loaded with likable characters, and it's no surprise that several "Rings of Power" cast members pulled from that treasure trove for their selections. Cynthia Addai-Robinson plays the epic Queen Regent Míriel, but when it comes to Tolkien's original writings, Frodo is her favorite. "There's something about that childlike innocence," said Addai-Robinson. "As you get older, there's always a part of you that still has the child version of yourself, the one that's wide-eyed and innocent but also eventually has to grow up and go forth." 

Bronwyn actress Nazanin Boniadi followed suit in her own interview, where she gave the foresighted answer, "I love the wide-eyed innocence of Frodo. A lot of people are probably going to say that, but that's the truth."

When we interviewed Lloyd Owen (Elendil), Ema Horvath (Eärien), and Maxim Baldry (Isildur), Owen kicked off the interview by proactively stating, "Númenóreans are the greatest. Never forget it, whoever else you meet." When it came to choosing a specific favorite individual, all three selected Fellowship characters, and they (mostly) stuck to choosing humans descended from their own Middle-earth nation of Númenor. Owen picked Aragorn, adding, "He's my 38th great-grandson, I got to say that. Got to keep it family loyal." Horvath deviated from the Númenórean theme, going underground for her choice by concisely stating, "Gimli. I'm very partial to Dwarves." Baldry followed this up with a return to the fold through the straightforward and simple choice "Boromir." 'Nuff said.

Some actors couldn't pick just one character

Tolkien populated Middle-earth with so many incredible characters that, sometimes, it can be difficult to pick just one favorite. That was the case for a couple of the "Rings of Power" cast members. Megan Richards plays Poppy Proudfellow, a Harfoot lass who enjoys her wandering life and helps to temper the rambunctious tendencies of her fellow Halfling Nori. When it came to choosing a favorite character, Richards' inner Harfoot love of nature and a slow, peaceful lifestyle came out through the response, "I really like the Ents. They're great. I love everything about them — I just love them."

While "Ents" isn't a single character, it's at least more specific than Ismael Cruz Córdova's choice. The actor plays the Silvan Elf Arondir on the show, and when choosing a Tolkien favorite, the lifelong Middle-earth fan struggled to pin down one answer. "A single character? I'm going to say the peoples — I always loved the people of Rohan. I was so mesmerized by it all, and the horsepower that was their animal and what that represented. Also, there's just a grit. I really like the people of Rohan."

Again, maybe not a single character, but an acceptable enough answer — except, yeah, it wasn't enough. After his on-screen romantic love interest, Nazanin Boniadi, finished making her choice, Córdova followed up with a second option: "That said first ... the Elves. I'm allowed to choose a little bit more, but I was an Elf. I was an Elf through and through, to be honest." Fair enough, sir. Fair enough.

"The Rings of Power" received a staggering 25 million views in the first 24 hours after its premiere episodes' release. Episodes continue to air weekly for the remainder of the eight-episode 1st season.