Agents of SHIELD Adds Lord of the Rings’ Craig Parker

Craig Parker, a familiar face from The Lord of the Rings, Reign and Legend of the Seeker, is headed to Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, currently in the midst of its fifth season on ABC, continues a time-crossing storyline centered on a fated global destruction that hangs in the balance. However, the series has acquired an intriguing addition for the tail end of the season in the form a character played by an actor who’s banked his share of genre television time in Craig Parker.

Parker will join Agents of SHIELD to play a character called Taryan, who, according to TV Line, is described as “a formidable wheeler-dealer from another planet.” While that is the extent of the bare-bones details, they do provide enough to imply that the show’s interplanetary connections for Season 5 are far from over.

Agents of SHIELD Season 5 kicked things off with Agent Coulson and company whisked away to the far-future in the aftermath of the complete obliteration of Earth, stuck in a space colony in which humans have been enslaved by blue-skinned aliens the Kree. While the series has since seen the SHIELD team return to their own time, it appears that the homecoming is a portentous one, with events foretold from the future leading to Earth’s destruction seemingly coming to pass, despite the team’s best efforts. Indeed, the arrival of Parker’s Taryan may prove to be one element of this narrative near the end of the season.

Craig Parker, a native New Zealander, is probably best known in the realm of television from his series-spanning (four-season) role on The CW’s Reign as Lord Chancellor Stéphane Narcisse. He’s also remembered for his role as Legend of the Seeker villain Darken Rahl, Spartacus: War of the Damned as Glaber and Mercy Peak as Alistair Kingsely. However, to fans of author J.R.R. Tolkien (and director Peter Jackson), Parker is best remembered as the elven Lothlórien forest guard, Haldir, from The Lord of the Rings films, specifically, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.

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For now, though, Agents of SHIELD fans await another important bit of news about whether the series will get to move forward with Season 6. The series, initially launched in 2013 as an extravagant small screen spinoff platform for Clark Gregg’s Marvel Cinematic Universe character, Agent Phil Coulson, has worked through its share of growing pains on the path to becoming a beloved series. However, that acclaim comes with a hefty price tag, one that may not be justified by its modest ratings; an idea possibly compounded by its move this season to (a normally inauspicious) slot on Friday nights.

The show just celebrated its 100th episode with the March 9 airing of the episode, “The Real Deal.”

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs on Fridays at 9/8c on ABC.