Would Elendil have destroyed the ring? Taking the battle to Sauron with The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power star Lloyd Owen - SciFiNow

Would Elendil have destroyed the ring? Taking the battle to Sauron with The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power star Lloyd Owen

We speak to Lloyd Owen who plays Elendil about the battle against Sauron in The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power. Warning: spoilers to The Lord Of The Rings .

“Elendil, when we see him at the beginning of this series, is a sea captain on the island of Númenor,” says Lloyd Owen when we speak to him about his character in the new Lord Of The Rings series, The Rings Of Power. “He’s been recently widowed, and he’s trying to deal with the loss and grief engendered by that. Not only for himself, but for his children as well, which is Isildur, Anarion, and Eärien.”

The Rings Of Power series is set in author J. R. R. Tolkien’s fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. Set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, viewers are taken back to an era after Sauron has apparently been defeated (read: disappeared). The elves, who have travelled to Middle Earth to battle Sauron, are no longer trusted and are being encouraged to leave. And that’s especially the case in Númenor, the epic kingdom of men, where elves have been banned and where we meet Elendil, who is trying to raise his children after his wife’s death.

“Númenor at this moment is right on the precipice of some sort of potential civil war,” Owen explains, “but it’s essentially between the more nationalist side of the island and the more faithful side of the island, the faithful being more faithful to the elves, and the nationalist called the king’s men who are pushing for a new Númenor. He finds himself torn between those two things and that schism is also reflected within his family. So, for him, it’s a battle between his head and his heart. For the people who know the Lord of the Rings books, Elendil is the 38th great-great-great-great grandfather of Aragorn…”

Elendil is trying to help his children Isildur (pictured), Anarion, and Eärien after the loss of their mother.

Yes, speaking of Aragorn, as we all know from The Lord Of The Rings, he’s a descendent of Elendil, who sacrifices himself for his son Isildur, who finally kills Sauron, and it’s this epic battle that the show will eventually build up to. 

“What we know about Elendil is we have to get him to the last alliance of elves and men in a battle with Sauron and the self-sacrificial death. In fighting Sauron, he dies, his sword (called Narsil) breaks, Aragorn it picks up and re-forges it in the books. So, we have to get Elendil all the way over there. 

“Even though he’s on a spur of the Royal family, he’s very much trying to keep his head down, post the loss of his wife. The island of Númenor is a crucial and hugely important part of the tale of our series because it’s Tolkien’s Atlantis. It’s the world that all of the fans who dived into that literature know very well and are looking forward to seeing. And there’s a lot of juice in the politics of that island and how hubris, ego and human failings bring that island down ultimately.”

Indeed, though the kingdom of Númenor is no doubt impressive, there is a lot of unease in its underbelly with regard to the elves. “There’s an envy and jealousy of the elves’ immortality and the Númenoreans want that. It’s ego and it’s not accepting God Ilúvatar’s will for the Númenoreans. Dying is considered a gift from Ilúvatar, but the Numenoreans have moved away from that because they’ve created so much, and they are at the peak of their civilization. It’s an extraordinary place to be. They feel all-powerful. They feel greater than elves. There’s a lot in there about power.”

Elendil is very much embroiled in the politics of Númenor, whether he likes it or not, and his character going from humble sea captain to an integral piece in Middle-earth’s history is part of what the series is about. “Look, if you know your Tolkien lore, then you’ll know that he has to get to that point,” Owen explains. “And I think the joy and fascination of this show is seeing how that happens and those transitions…”

Elendil is very much embroiled in the politics of Númenor, whether he likes it or not

Playing a fabled hero, not only in the books, but to the characters themselves who we know so well from Lord Of The Rings, is a great responsibility and one that Owen has relished.

“This is a character that is very, very close to the hearts of a lot of fans because he’s a hero archetype,” he says. “And because of that self-sacrifice in trying to kill Sauron at the end with the last alliance of elves and men, there’s something that people hold very dear to their heart about this hero Elendil.”

The Rings Of Power series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, including those we’ve met before like Galadriel and Elrond, and ones we’ve heard about like Elendil and Isildur. So the challenge for the series’ showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and indeed its cast, is turning these well-known but little-written-about characters, into real people. These are characters merely referenced in Tolkein’s appendixes in the original books, characters in stories told down by generations. 

“I’m looking forward to opening him up as a character because Tolkien has only put little signposts along the way to that ending, but we don’t really know him,” Owen says. “There’s this great privilege and excitement of turning Elendil into this three-dimensional man that comes with a responsibility.

“We have the chance to inject those Tolkienian themes – many people feel Tolkien was just black and white, evil over good, but actually, when you read his literature, you find that he’s really in the grey of life where people are fallible, where there are moral choices to make. There’s that battle between the head and heart. I think Elendil is a reluctant hero in that sense. He has to learn courage, bravery, and political nous during his lifetime. There’s a lot to put into him and I’m really excited to bring it. Hopefully, we do a job where the fans feel that he’s a fully-rounded character who they can connect with.”

Owen is looking forward to opening Elendil up as a character.

A strange aspect of building a three-dimensional character that viewers fall in love with is the fact that…well… we know his fate. We know Elendil sacrifices himself for his son and dies in the battle against Sauron. We know that Isildur fails to destroy the ring and Sauron rises to power again. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still questions to be answered.

“What’s fascinating for me, because Isildur is my son and what we know about Isildur is that he has the opportunity to throw the ring into the fire and he doesn’t take it. The question for me and I put this to Corey Olsen, who’s the Tolkien professor is, if Elendil was in that position, would he throw it into the fire or not? And the Tolkien professor said ‘absolutely yes, he would definitely throw it in’. It was a very quick instinctive reaction. I’m not so sure because even Frodo has to have the ring bitten off his hand by Gollum. So that relationship to the human fallibility of vanity, power, which in terms of my storyline in Númenor, that’s absolutely what the story is about.” 

The last episode of Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power will land on Prime Video on 14 October.