This Lord of the Rings article contains spoilers for The Rings of Power.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 has been filming in the UK for almost two months now, with the hopes of bringing the next chapter of this story to viewers sooner rather than later. But when the show does return to our screens, not all will be exactly the same in terms of the characters. Amazon has revealed some additions to the already extensive cast as well as a surprise recast for a major character: Adar, who was played by Game of Thrones alum Joseph Mawle in season 1. It will now be Sam Hazeldine who will portray the Uruk villain in the second season.
In the first season of The Rings of Power, Adar was introduced as the leader of the Orcs operating in the Southlands, and is responsible for the death and destruction that force humans out of the Southlands, as well as the eventual creation of Mordor. We also learn Adar was one of the first Elves to be corrupted by Morgoth, and that he actually attempted to kill Sauron in the First Age. He wanted to free the Orcs from their servitude of Morgoth and Sauron and create a new land that they could leave in freely. But when Sauron is finally revealed at the end of the season, we know Adar has failed.
The Rings of Power won’t be Hazeldine’s first time acting in a fantasy series, as the actor appeared in season 2 of The Witcher, and has also had roles in Peaky Blinders and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel.
Even though we don’t yet know exactly why the role of Adar was recast, Mawle seems to harbor no ill-will toward the series, taking to Twitter to share his support for the cast and crew of The Rings of Power as they continue working on season 2.
“I loved my time exploring middle earth and diving into Tolkien’s mythology,” wrote Mawle. “I’m so honored that the character was liked. He cared deeply about telling you his story. Though as an actor it remains my wish, my job description to explore new characters and worlds. Wishing all the best to cast and crew for S2, I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines.”
Based on his tweets, it seems that, while he enjoyed his time as Adar and working with everyone else on the series, he wanted the freedom to explore other projects. Season 1 took 18 months to film, and production on season 2 likely won’t move much faster, so it’s a big time commitment for a performer.
The Rings of Power season 2 will add a few other new faces, too. Joining Hazeldine are actors Gabriel Akuwudike (Game of Thrones, Hanna), Yasen “Zates” Adour (The Witcher), Ben Daniels (Jupiter’s Legacy, The Crown), newcomer Amelia Kenworthy, Nia Towle (Persuasion), and Nicholas Woodeson (Rome), all in currently undisclosed roles. The Head of Global Television for Amazon Studios, Vernon Sanders, shared his excitement over the new cast members, saying, “We welcome these wonderful actors to our ‘fellowship’ and look forward to telling more incredible Second Age stories in season two.”
While we don’t yet know who these actors will be playing (is one of the Círdan?), or what area of Middle-earth their characters will hail from, it will be interesting to see how these characters factor into the story when The Rings of Power returns.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.