Lord of the Rings Adds 20 Cast Members, and We Have No Idea What They're Doing

We’re the hobbits, trying to figure out who in this crowd of actors has been cast in the new LOTR show.
We’re the hobbits, trying to figure out who in this crowd of actors has been cast in the new LOTR show.
Screenshot: New Line Cinema/Warner Bros

The Second Age of Middle-Earth has received a bit of a population boost, but the One Bezos to Rule Them All isn’t saying just what a ton of new arrivals in the Lord of the Rings streaming Amazon series are actually going to be doing.

This morning Amazon Studios revealed a whopping twenty new members of the cast for its prequel Middle-Earth series, joining the previously announced stars as production continues in the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy universe’s cinematic home of New Zealand. Deep breath, because here they all are:

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  • Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Power, The Accountant)
  • Maxim Baldry (Years and Years, Doctor Who)
  • Ian Blackburn (Shelter)
  • Kip Chapman (Top of the Lake, 6 Days and Fantail)
  • Anthony Crum (Hush)
  • Maxine Cunliffe (Power Rangers Megaforce, Divinity)
  • Trystan Gravelle (The Terror, A Discovery of Witches)
  • Sir Lenny Henry (Commonwealth Kid, Doctor Who)
  • Thusitha Jayasundera (Midsomer Murders, Young Dracula)
  • Fabian McCallum (You, Me, & The Apocalypse)
  • Simon Merrells (Knightfall, The Wolfman)
  • Geoff Morrell (Cloudstreet)
  • Peter Mullan (Westworld, Cursed)
  • Lloyd Owen (Miss Potter, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles)
  • Augustus Prew (Into the Dark)
  • Peter Tait (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
  • Alex Tarrant (Filthy Rich, Night Riders)
  • Leon Wadham (Power Rangers Beast Morphers)
  • Benjamin Walker (The Ice Road, Jessica Jones)
  • Sara Zwangobani (Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King)

Phew! That’s a lot of people. Talented people, with credits and everything! But Amazon isn’t telling us anything beyond that. Well except that seven of them—Blackburn, Chapman, Crum, Cunliffe, Tait, Tarrant, and Wadham—are New Zealand natives, while “the remaining international ensemble cast” come from Australia, Sri Lanka, the UK, and the U.S. That’s the extent they’re willing to tell you right now.

Are they playing heroes or villains? Númenóreans? Elves? Dwarves? Hobbits? Mythical creatures of Tolkein lore? Are they background roles or major stars? Literally...anything? Anything would be nice to know when you’re shipping a truckload of movie, TV, and stage stars down to New Zealand to get angsty about Sauron, presumably? We don’t know. Amazon does, probably.

Alright, keep your secrets. We’ve got plenty of time to wait till Lord of the Rings hits Prime Video sometime in 2021.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

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WasGTIthenGTOthenNOVAthenGTInowA4

So, what’s everybody’s thoughts on this whole thing? Are we going to get a LotR quality product, or a Hobbit one?

I want it to be good, but I’m not sure I expect it to be.