Fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films have a fairly set image of Elven ruler Galadriel: an etherial, mystical figure who looks a lot like Cate Blanchett. Prime Video’s new series Rings of Power, however, gives us a younger, more grounded and fiery take on the character, courtesy of actor Morfydd Clark.
At a recent Rings of Power press day, io9 got a chance to speak with Clark about how the series let her explore a new, more action-oriented interpretation of Galadriel—and how she balanced that with the future version of the character as the glowing, seemingly all-knowing creature we meet in the later years of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
“I think her serenity and wisdom is definitely hard-earned, and something I was not aware of,” Clark said. “I knew The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. And yes, the Elves there have kind of reached a serenity. But actually, the Elves caused a lot of damage and they did a lot of intense, stupid things—they used to make each other jump off buildings and stuff. Loads of Elves were, like, sentenced to death and things—they were really messy! So that was really interesting to find all that out.”
Clark also took some real-world inspiration from her portrayal. “I also think that some of the most serene older people I know—when they tell you about their lives, you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that makes sense that now you’re so calm because you’ve been through it.’ But it was really fun and it was really interesting to think about: as an immortal being, can you be young? And something I clung on to is that if there was any sort of naivete to the Elves, it would probably be arrogance, and that causes a lot of mess at times. With the best intentions, when you’re that powerful and don’t know your limits, it can be a bit dangerous.”
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power hits Prime Video on September 2.
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