‘The Rings of Power’ Introduced the Legendary Isildur — Who Plays Him?

TL;DR:

  • The Rings of Power Episode 3 introduces Aragorn’s ancestor, Isildur.
  • Isildur is played by actor Maxim Baldry in The Lord of the Rings prequel.
  • The actor teased Isildur’s journey in The Rings of Power, calling him “complex.”
Maxim Baldry as Isildur in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.' He's wearing a blue shirt and standing aboard a ship.
Maxim Baldry as Isildur | Prime Video

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is introducing a number of characters original to the Prime Video series, but it’s also digging into well-known names from J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings. And The Rings of Power Episode 3 introduces Isildur, a character so pivotal that the Lord of the Rings movies open with him. Who exactly is Isildur in the Tolkien universe, and what do we know about the actor who plays him?

Who is Isildur in ‘The Rings of Power’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’?

For those who don’t recall Isildur from the opening moments of The Lord of the Rings, he’s Aragorn’s (Viggo Mortensen) ancestor who failed to destroy the One Ring after Sauron’s first reign of terror. Of course, he’s also the hero who “took up his father’s sword” and sent Sauron packing the first time. Like many of the characters in this franchise, he’s clearly multifaceted.

And The Rings of Power is taking us further back than The Lord of the Rings’ opening, showing us what Isildur was up to during the Second Age of Middle-earth. Episode 3 introduces a young version of the character, one who’s still grappling with what he wants for the future — and how it fits in with his father’s plans.

The Amazon prequel will likely depict how Isildur goes from training as a Sea Guardsman in Númenor to becoming the hero we know from The Lord of the Rings.

Actor Harry Sinclair portrayed Isildur in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Maxim Baldry is bringing the character to life in Amazon’s prequel. So, who exactly is Baldry — and where might viewers recognize him from?

Where you’ve seen Isildur actor Maxim Baldry before

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English actor Maxim Baldry brings Isildur to life in Amazon’s The Rings of Power, but this isn’t the 26-year-old star’s first time on the small screen. Baldry has appeared in a number of other projects over the past couple of decades — though probably none as massive as the Lord of the Rings prequel.

Viewers may recognize Baldry from series like Years and Years, Strike Back, and Hollyoaks. According to IMDb, he’s also made brief appearances on shows like Skins and Doctor Who. As far as films go, he’s held roles in Last Christmas and Mr. Bean’s Holiday.

Of course, The Rings Power may stand out from Baldry’s previous projects — mainly because he’s tackling a character who’s already well known and established.

‘The Rings of Power’ actor teased his character’s journey

During San Diego Comic-Con, Maxim Baldry spoke to Variety about his role as Isildur in The Rings of Power. He teased his character’s journey in the coming episodes, but he also spoke of the “weight of expectation” that accompanies such a part.

“There’s definitely a weight of expectation, knowing where your character is going,” Baldry admitted. “But the beauty of this show is that you’re able to go all the way back and start from the beginning. So, I didn’t want to think about the end. I wanted to make this legendary Tolkien character human — someone you could see yourself in. And he’s a complex young guy.”

Baldry added that one of his character’s conflicts throughout the prequel will involve balancing what he wants with what his father, Elendil (Lloyd Owen), expects from him.

“He’s at a bit of a crossroads,” the actor told Variety. “He wants to fulfill his father’s dream but also has his own dream. And he doesn’t quite know what it is yet. And so, you see this deep yearning — romantic connection — to the other.”

That longing for “the other” may be precisely what leads Isildur to the One Ring. We’ll have to keep watching The Rings of Power to see how that journey plays out. But Isildur promises to be one of the more intriguing characters in Amazon’s prequel series.

New episodes of The Rings of Power debut every Friday on Prime Video.

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