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Why Queen Regent Míriel From The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Looks So Familiar

Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" premiered last Friday with its first two episodes, taking viewers to the land of Middle Earth during its Second Age. The series has introduced dozens of characters. Some are brand new, like Markella Kavenagh's Nori Brandyfoot, while others are mostly faithful adaptations of the ones from Tolkien's works, like Robert Aramayo's Elrond.

One character who will be making her debut in Episode 3 is Queen Regent Míriel, ruler of the kingdom of Númenor. Queen Regent Míriel is played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. In Cynthia Addai-Robinson's exclusive interview with Looper, she described her character thusly: "Now, at this point in time, when we're meeting her in the story, she is the Queen Regent. As Queen Regent, she is not fully yet queen, but she is essentially [the] woman in charge."

Addai-Robinson went on to say that the Queen Regent will be ruling a Númenor that's divided between adhering to tradition and modernizing for the future. Beyond that, it's still to be seen how exactly she fits into the series.

For now, however, here's where you might know recognize Cynthia Addai-Robinson from.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson's breakout role was Naevia on Spartacus

Cynthia Addai-Robinson has been acting steadily in film and television since 2002, with her first credited role coming on the TV series "The Education of Max Bickford" that year. She followed that up with several guest appearances on shows like "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "CSI: Miami," and "Entourage," and had her first recurring role on the ABC series "FlashForward" from 2009 to 2010. 

Her big break came in 2012 when she was cast in the second season of the Starz sword-and-sandals epic "Spartacus," which was called "Spartacus: Vengeance." She was brought in to play Naevia, replacing Lesley-Ann Brandt. She also played Naevia in the third and final season, "Spartacus: War of the Damned." 

Naevia is a formerly enslaved gladiator, a prominent member of Spartacus' (Andy Whitfield) rebellion, and a lover of Crixus the Gaul (Manu Bennett). For Addai-Robinson, the most challenging part of the job was training for the many combat scenes.

"I remember [creator Steven S. DeKnight] giving me just a vague idea that I would be eventually fighting and kicking a**," she told the Chicago Tribune-Review. "But I don't think I could have really imagined what I ultimately ended up doing, which was some of the hardest work I've ever done, really."

Cynthia Addai-Robinson played the TV version of Amanda Waller on Arrow

Also in 2013, Cynthia Addai-Robinson officially joined the DC universe when she was cast as Amanda Waller on the CW series "Arrow." In the TV series version of the character, Waller is one of the show's primary antagonists, the leader of the A.R.G.U.S. spy organization. Like every version of the character, she's so devoted to the security of the United States that she's willing to break almost any law to protect it.

Like many actors who play villains, Addai-Robinson didn't see Amanda Waller as an evil person. "I know that a lot of people see her as a bit of a villain, and I tend not to think of her that way," she told Red Carpet TV. "I just think she's a woman who does what needs to be done, and oftentimes that's unpleasant, but someone has to make the unpleasant choices in life, so that's kind of what she's tasked with."

The character was killed off in 2016 to make way for Viola Davis to play her in the 2016 movie "Suicide Squad" (via Arrowverse Wiki).

Cynthia Addai-Robinson played Nadine Memphis on Shooter

Getting killed off on "Arrow" was a temporary setback for Addai-Robinson, as later that year she was cast in the USA series "Shooter." It's based on the 2007 film "Shooter," which is based on the 1993 novel "Point of Impact." The story follows a retired Marine sniper, Bob Lee Swagger, who gets dragged back into action to stop a plot to assassinate the president. Addai-Robinson had a lead role as Nadine Memphis, an FBI agent investigating Swagger.

For Addai-Robinson, the role was a bit of a departure from her usual fare. "I think people might know me from other projects that have been a little more physically involved," she told Collider in 2017. "You know, sort of tough, with a sword, with a gun, you know, whatever it is. So, 'Shooter' sort of allowed for a little bit more of that typical FBI agent, running down the street chasing the bad guy."

The series ran for three seasons, from 2016 to 2018. Addai-Robinson continued appearing on television afterward, in TV series like "Chicago Med" and "Power." Her role on "Rings of Power" is yet another departure, being that it's her first fantasy series, so it will be interesting to see where her career goes next.