Amazon Studios The Rings of Power is five months away. We want all Spoilerites to have the best viewing experience possible and have the widest knowledge base about the Second Age of Middle-Earth. This is a weekly Let’s Get Nerdy article series highlighting a different piece of Tolkien I think you need to know about!
In past articles I have answered the question:
- What Are the Rings of Power?
- What is Númenor?
- What is the Second Age?
- Who are the Harfoots?
- Who is Prince Durin IV?
- What is Khazad-dûm?
- Who is Celebrimbor?
- What is the Last Alliance of Men and Elves?
- Who is Elendil?
The official Rings of Power on Amazon Prime Instagram account released two new character pictures last week featuring two of the original characters developed for the show – Theo and Bronwyn. The character Bronwyn has gotten a lot of discourse since her announcement because she has been given a storyline very similar to that of Lúthien.
Lúthien is an elvish predecessor (and direct ancestor of), Arwen and was the first elf to fall in love with a human – a man named Beren. Their love story is legendary in Tolkien mythology for being based on the love between J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife, Edith. In fact the names “Beren” and “Lúthien” adorn their gravestones.
The character Bronwyn is a healer in a romantic relationship with Arondir. She lives in Tirharad. This setting is also non-canonical and original to The Rings of Power streaming show. From all sources connected to The Rings of Power, Tirharad is referred to in terms that suggest it may only exist during The Second Age. Bronwyn will be played by actor Nazanin Boniadi (Hotel Mumbai, Homeland).
Arondir is a Silvan Elf played by Ismael Enrique Cruz Córdova (Mary Queen of Scots, Miss Bala), who is also an
original character developed for The Rings of Power. There is a canonical elf named Aerandir who appears in The Silmarillion and was a prominent character involved with the Valar. I don’t necessarily think a lot of Aerandir’s story will be ported over onto Arondir, but names are important and it feels worthy of pointing out the similarities.
Traditionally in Middle-Earth the elves are most known for their healing powers. Rivendell, for example, is known as “The Last Homely House” and Lord Elrond (to be portrayed in The Rings of Power by Game of Thrones alum, Robert Aramayo), is one of the more celebrated healers over the history of Middle-Earth. It’s not really until The Third Age (when the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place), when places like The Houses of Healing show up in Minas Tirith, Gondor and characters like Éowyn are noted for their healing abilities. This could make Bronwyn a real stand-out – or potential outcast.
During an all-hands meeting by Amazon Globalit was confirmed actor Tyroe Muhafidin (Caravan), will play a character named Theo who is Bronwyn’s son.
Theo appears to be human, although there has been no confirmation of his paternity. In my opinion there’s a very real chance Theo could be the son of Arondir. This could position him similarly to Arwen and Aragorn’s eldest, Eldarion (who we see briefly in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), being the intersection and inheritor of two different races. Per the photo above it certainly appears as though Theo is going to be put in a position of danger.
Could this be the fall/burning/destruction of Tirharad I alluded to above?
Overall the photos don’t reveal much. As with many stills, combined with other statements we can draw context. If Bronwyn is a healer, a single mother, and in a romantic relationship with a character of a different race there’s a good chance she lives like medieval witches or healing women. On the outskirts of both their city and civilization. Which makes her exactly the type of characters likely to team up with the series leads (Galadriel, Elrond, Isildur), in the true Tolkien sense of being outsiders.
Consider Frodo Baggins – an orphaned, educated even for his class, willing to break with societal traditions to save the world even when the opportunity presents itself repeatedly. As a Catholic raised in a Protestant country, highly educated, war veteran, he very likely felt like an outsider, thus infusing many of his most impressive characters with this same quality: Gandalf, Aragorn, Faramir.
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