The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power star Maxim Baldry talks about his character Isildur, and his motivations to leave the island kingdom of Númenor at the end of the show’s fifth episode. The inaugural season of the new series is already halfway over, with its season finale set to air on October 14 on Prime Video. Along with Baldry, the ensemble features Morfydd Clark, Lenny Henry, Robert Aramayo, and Charles Edwards.
The Rings of Power tell a handful of stories set in author J.R.R. Tolkein’s Second Age. One of these stories is of Isildur, whose role in The Lord of the Rings sees him falling to the corruption of The One Ring after he cut it from Sauron’s hand. The Rings of Power takes place many years before that important event, with the fifth episode seeing Isildur departing Númenor for Middle-Earth, alongside Galadriel.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Baldry talks about why Isildur makes the decision he does, saying he’s grown indifferent to living on the island after the death of his mother. He says Isildur’s choice is partially one of grief and no longer feeling like he belongs on the island. He goes on to say how going to Middle-Earth is fulfilling a dream, and will lead him on the path to becoming a warrior, and ultimately the Isildur seen in The Lord of the Rings. Read his quote below:
If you go back to episode three, the island is becoming… He’s fading away from the island. Maybe he’s just growing apart from it. Maybe he’s grieving. There’s the death of his mother, which he’s suffering from. How does that play out in someone’s life? I think it varies from person to person. His younger brother, Anárion, ran away. His father’s just adopting the sort of stoic mentality which is: ‘We don’t live with the past. We move on.’ And Isildur’s like, ‘But wait, what do I feel?’ He’s growing disillusioned, I guess, with his life as a sea cadet. That moment of him traveling to Middle-Earth is a sort of youthful dream coming true. That’s why he was a sea cadet, I guess, to finally become a warrior. Maybe that is him becoming a warrior. This is him becoming a man. Maybe this is him becoming Isildur.
With The Rings of Power giving Isildur depths that the source material only alludes to, it’s curious to see how his story will unfold given that fans already know the ending. Showrunner Patrick McKay has talked about how he wants Isildur’s end to feel tragic, rather than foolish, and Baldry’s words echo that sentiment. It’s also worth noting that in the source material, Akallabêth, as part of The Silmarillion, Isildur stayed in Númenor till its destruction, only then fleeing to Middle-Earth, suggesting more changes to the character’s story.
An angry young man running from his grief to become a warrior speaks to some of the oldest stories in fiction, and hopefully, that time-honored trope will serve the character well as the series continues. McKay and his team have their work cut out for them in editing and adding to one of the greatest stories ever told with The Rings of Power, but with enough panache and passion, it’ll be worth the watch. Though Isildur’s story is heading in an unknown direction, it’ll be fascinating to see where The Rings of Power will take it next.
Source: Digital Spy