The Rings of Power Season 2 Set Photo Confirms Return of Missing Lord of the Rings Character

It would appear that a major character from The Rings of Power survived the seemingly unsurvivable.

The Lord of the Rings Rings of Power Season 2 Missing Character
Photo: Amazon Prime Video

This article contains spoilers for season 1 of The Rings of Power and a likely character return for season 2.

In the penultimate episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1, Elendil’s (Lloyd Owen) eldest son Isildur (Maxim Baldry) is seemingly crushed by a burning building while rescuing Queen Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and others during the orcs’ attack on the Southlands. Isildur is presumed dead by his father and fellow soldiers, and they mourn him as such. However, a set photo from the filming of The Rings of Power’s second season seem to indicate that Isildur somehow survived the collapse and the fire and is very much alive.

Isildur’s survival may come as a surprise to some, but for those familiar with the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy and/or J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, his perceived death at the end of last season was significantly more shocking. Isildur is a crucial part of The Lord of the Rings’ story, and while The Rings of Power definitely has some room to make changes, killing off Isildur seemed like an odd choice given his role in Middle-earth’s future.

For anyone not familiar with Isildur’s future, he is an important member of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and is responsible for separating Sauron from the One Ring during the war of the Second Age in Middle-earth. Separating Sauron from the Ring appears to defeat him, but what Isildur doesn’t quite realize is that Sauron’s power lives on within the Ring. Instead of destroying the One Ring, he decides to keep it for himself. By keeping the power of the Ring alive, Sauron is able to grow in power and return in the Third Age. Keeping the Ring also led to Isildur’s death at the hands of surviving Orcs who were drawn to its power. After falling to the Orcs, Isildur’s body and the Ring lay in the Gladden River until the Ring was found again by Déagol and Sméagol.

Ad – content continues below

He may have been the one to defeat Sauron in the Second Age, but had Isildur just destroyed the Ring like Elrond urged him to, then Sauron may have actually been defeated for good. Bilbo and Frodo Baggins would have been able to just live their lives in The Shire and the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings likely wouldn’t exist. But because Isildur failed to destroy the Ring, Frodo is left to finish the job in the Third Age.

Knowing how Isildur’s story ultimately ends in the novels and movies, it will be interesting to see where The Rings of Power takes the character in season 2 and how he survived. Will he try to reconnect with his father and let him know he’s alive, or will Isildur take this opportunity to start fresh away from his influence? How soon will he join the fight against Sauron? In an interview with Vanity Fair before the first season, series co-creator Patrick McKay said that he and J.D. Payne wanted to make Isildur’s story sympathetic and “trace that guy to the tragic, final decision rather than the mistake of a fool.” After watching the Southlands fall and nearly dying this season, he may not have the same “optimism and immaturity” that he once did, but at least we’ll get to see how this trauma affects his story and leads him to this future.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is currently filming its second season and is slated to return to Amazon Prime Video sometime in 2024.