Fans of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have reason to celebrate this week. Not only is season 2 of this epic series already under production, but according to The Hollywood Reporter a new character has also been announced for next season. Círdan, one of the oldest elves in Middle-earth, is set to join The Rings of Power’s ensemble.
While the role has not yet been cast for The Rings of Power, the Amazon series will not be this character’s first live-action appearance. In Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Círdan is played by Michael Elsworth and appears briefly in the first and third films. In The Fellowship of the Ring, he can be seen as one of the three Elven ring-bearers during Galadriel’s (Cate Blanchett) opening speech. In Return of the King, you’ll spot him in the background when Frodo (Elijah Wood), Galadriel, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Gandalf (Ian McKellan), and Bilbo (Ian Holm) board the ship at the Grey Havens.
Círdan may not have been a major character in the film trilogy, but he plays an important part in Middle-earth’s history and J.R.R. Tolkien‘s legendarium, including during the Second Age of Middle-earth during which The Rings of Power is set. At the end of the First Age, Círdan became a friend and ally to eventual Elven High King Gil-galad – the two fought together in the Great Battle against Morgoth and his evil forces.
During the Second Age, Círdan is one of the oldest and wisest Elves in Middle-earth. He helps the survivors of the war of the First Age form the Elven port city of Grey Havens and gives up his dream of sailing west to lend his gift of foresight to the Elves. Círdan received this gift from the Valar (god-like immortal beings) for his loyalty during the First Age, and it helps him provide guidance to the Elves as they rebuild and regain their strength post-war.
Later on in the Second Age, Círdan, like Galadriel, is hesitant to forge the rings of power, his foresight likely showing him hints of the rings’ future and Annatar/Sauron’s true intentions. But when Sauron’s plan is ultimately revealed, Círdan puts aside his hesitation to wield the Elven ring Narya – the ring of fire. Círdan also fights alongside Gil-galad once again as his lieutenant in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. After Sauron is defeated in the Second Age, Círdan is one of the Elves, along with Elrond, who urges Isildur to throw the One Ring into Mount Doom. We all know how that went.
After losing his friend Gil-galad in the war against Sauron in the Second Age, Círdan retreats to Grey Havens, where he rules over the city through the Third and Fourth Ages. He eventually gives Narya to Gandalf and helps the Third Age ring bearers go west from Grey Havens after their journey to Mordor is complete.
In other words, including Círdan in The Rings of Power season 2 is a no-brainer for the series. There aren’t many Elves in Tolkien’s work that live for as long as he does, and his history in Tolkien’s work is very much intertwined with several of the stories being explored on the show. It’ll be particularly interesting to see how he’s integrated into The Rings of Power‘s main plot — the forging of the magical rings themselves — and what that all reveals about his relationship with Gil-galad.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.