Ostensibly seeking to assuage the many fears currently held by The Lord of the Rings fans towards Amazon’s The Rings of Power, actor Charles Edwards has assured that the upcoming series does not “stray” from the tone of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved series, but rather has dutifully “achieved” it.
RELATED: Tolkien Scholar Who Praised Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Confirms He Is Consulting On Return To Moria Video Game
Edwards, who is set to portray Celebrimbor in Amazon’s adaptation of the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books respective appendices, provided his opinion on the production’s quality during an interview with Fandom centered around his upcoming take on the Elven blacksmith.
Renowned as Middle-Earth’s greatest craftsman, Celebrimbor is mentioned only a few times throughout Tolkien’s ancillary The Lord of the Rings material, and while these moments never provide him with a fully developed character, they do provide a brief outline of the man responsible for forging for series’ eponymous rings.
In The Peoples of Middle-Earth, the 12th volume of The History of Middle-Earth legendarium, Tolkien’s son Christopher writes that, of Celebrimbor, his father said that he was “a heroic defender of Eregion in the Second Age war against Sauron, was a Teler, one of the three Teleri who accompanied Celeborn into exile.”
“He was a great silver-smith, and went to Eregion attracted by the rumours of the marvellous metal found in Moria, Moria-silver, to which he gave the name mithril,” the author detailed. “In the working of this he became a rival of the Dwarves, or rather an equal, for there was great friendship between the Dwarves of Moria and Celebrimbor, and they shared their skills and craft-secrets. In the same way Tegilbor was used for one skilled in calligraphy”
RELATED: Lenny Henry Says Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power Sees “People Of Colour Taking Up Space In The Centre Of A Fantasy Series”
In Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien notes that Celebrimbor later becomes “Lord of Eregion and the greatest of their craftsmen,” as well as the fact that “he was descended from Feanor.”
According to a timeline of the Second Age featured in the Appendix, when Sauron places the One Ring on his finger for the first time after infiltrating Orodruin under the guise of Annatar and manipulating the Gwaith-i-Mírdain craftsmen into helping him forge the Rings of Power, Celebrimbor is one of the first who “perceives the designs of Sauron.”
Out of caution for Sauron’s machinations, as noted in The History of Galadriel and Celeborn Celebrimbor, Celebrimbor responds by sending the Three Rings of the Elves – which, as noted in The Silmarillion, “were forged by Celebrimbor alone” – far away from Eregion.
Enraged by this act of defiance, The Dark Lord proceeds to capture Celebrimbor and torture him for information on the remaining Rings’ location, an act which eventually results in the craftsman revealing “where the Seven were bestowed.”
RELATED: The 10 Most Evil Lord Of The Rings Characters, Ranked
“This Celebrimbor revealed, because neither the Seven nor the Nine did he value as he valued the Three,” wrote Tolkien. “The Seven and the Nine were made with Sauron’s aid, whereas the Three were made by Celebrimbor alone, with a different power and purpose.”
Accepting that he could learn no more from the Elf, Sauron proceeds to kill Celebrimbor, thereafter charging into subsequent battles “bearing as a banner Celebrimbor’s body hung upon a pole”.
Published on June 28th, the interview began with Edwards speaking to Celebrimbor’s role in the series and explaining to Fandom UK Editor Kim Taylor-Foster, “He’s the Lord of Eregion — and being a lord is something akin to royalty — which is very close to Khazad-dûm.”
“He’s actively trying to turn Eregion into a place of excellence,” said the actor. “And he is working with the Dwarves towards that end to try and capitalize on their talents and their creativity.”
RELATED: Game Of Thrones Creator George R.R. Martin On Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power: “It’s Kind Of A Weird Deal”
He continued, “In our story, Celebrimbor encourages and assists Elrond to visit Khazad-dûm and to court the Dwarves. He may have an ulterior motive for that, but Celebrimbor is very much in support of working together…neither race would have produced the wonders that they had, that they created, without the aid of the other.”
“So clearly, we’re in a time of peace, certainly in terms of working relationship, and he has a great respect for them,” said Edwards. “And Dwarves have a reputation as being fanatical workers, and jewellers, and crafters, and Celebrimbor very much respects that.”
Turning to how the series would flesh out the character of Celebrimbor based on his aforementioned sporadic mentions, the actor told Taylor-Foster, “What we are spoiled with in this enterprise, particularly in my case, is that Celebrimbor is mentioned in The Lord of the Rings as the forger of the Rings — briefly.”
“He’s not a footnote, but he’s a sidenote,” he said. “The other source for our shows is the appendices for The Lord of the Rings, in which Tolkien makes lots of notes and ideas about characters that aren’t quite set in stone. Tolkien had two or three versions of Celebrimbor, none of which he settled on.”
RELATED: New The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Rumor Claims To Reveal Plot Details About First Episode
“There’s actually a little note scrawled in a margin by Tolkien saying ‘not sure about this, should have changed it’, or something along those lines,” Edwards recalled. “In order to start building a character, that’s very exciting. There’s a blueprint, but there hasn’t been any colouring in and it’s down to me and everyone else to create him. That has been really exciting.”
“So, considering the two or three versions that Tolkien had of the character, which in themselves differ from each other, our version is a composite,” he affirmed. “And then a little bit more.”
To this end, Edwards elaborated that, “He’s reached a point, in our story, in his existence where he is starting to doubt himself.”
“And I think what drives him is a manic obsessive desire to create,” he said. “Above and beyond what he has already created, he wants to surpass all that has gone before. And because he’s reached this juncture, he starts to doubt himself and his validity.”
“He lives in a very long shadow of an ancestor, shall we say, whose achievements were considerable,” Edwards asserted. “And he has always wanted to try and eclipse [that]. Some would say he’s already done that, but he doesn’t believe that he has.”
RELATED: The Lord Of The Rings Actor Viggo Mortensen Questions What Source Material Amazon Is Using For The Rings Of Power Series
Further, Edwards said that his incarnation of Celebrimbor is “searching; he wants something which is as yet unknowable.”
“We find him in quite a confused place,” the actor teased. “But this rocks his belief in himself and makes him vulnerable, and vulnerable to predators. He’s become very single-minded about wanting to conquer, creatively, and to come up with something that’s going to be the be-all and end-all.”
The actor then offered a brief anecdote of his first time walking onto The Rings of Power’s set, telling Taylor-Foster, “Obviously, when you’re building a character and starting to work towards a performance, you can’t wait to see what’s going to be brought to you, in terms of what he is and in terms of costume, which are extraordinary.”
Specifically recalling the first time he saw Celebrimbor’s “abode, his place of work”, Edwards exclaimed, “When I walked on set I was astonished –bowled over — simply to see the forge … and all his extraordinary antiquities around the place.”
“To see his tools, and he has a little antechamber with a velvet chaise longue in it,” he pointed out. “Love that. I didn’t know that that was going to be there. I love that … he likes to go and have a little lie down on his velvet chaise longue when things get [a bit much]. Made total sense to me.”
Drawing the interview to a close, Taylor-Foster asked Edwards if he could provide any insight into how much Peter Jackson’s iconic cinematic adaptation of the core The Lord of the Rings trilogy had influenced the series, to which the actor responded, “This is set some 3000 years earlier” before subsequently offering his opinion that, “in both instances, and in any adaptation of Tolkien, the vital element is to get the tone right.”
“The moment we stray — or anyone strays — from that, that’s when it becomes false,” he declared. “And I know for certain that simply doesn’t [happen here]. That’s out of the question in our series; we’ve achieved that [tone].”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set to debut on Prime Video on September 2nd.
What do you make of Edwards’ takes on Celebrimbor and The Rings of Power? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!
NEXT: The Lord Of The Rings Fan Site Describes Fans Critical Of The Rings Of Power As “Toxic,” Questions Their Fandom