Fans of The Lord of the Rings media franchise returned to Middle Earth on Thursday (September 1) when the first two episodes of the fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered on Prime Video. It is set ages before writer J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
One actor who has been receiving a lot of attention before the premiere of the series and during the last 24 hours is actor Ismael Cruz Córdova (Miss Bala) who portrays a silvan elf named Arondir. With two episodes now released, Córdova, who was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, has become the first person of color to be cast as an elf in a Tolkien film or TV project.
“It feels like a confirmation that the journey that I started many, many years ago when I became an actor is coming to fruition and that I’m on the right path,” Córdova told Remezcla during a recent interview. “I feel I’ve felt ready.”
It looks like many Rings of Power viewers feel the same way and plenty of them are giving a shout out to Córdova for the way he started the season. “Ismael Cruz Córdova is a KING,” one Twitter user wrote after watching the first two episodes. “So compelling. Nonstop gravitas. Arondir is like if an Elf was a Jedi knight. I’m so glad we get to see a Puerto Rican performer helping lead this, and with such a great performance.”
There were also plenty of fans who immediately became thirsty when Córdova showed up on screen. “Well hello Arondir!!” someone tweeted. “Ismael Cruz Córdova is a f—ing snack, and you can’t tell me otherwise!!”
Many praised the dynamic between Córdova’s Arondir and Bronwyn, a human mother and owner of an apothecary. She is played by actress Nazanin Boniadi. “[I] thought everyone was brilliant in Rings of Power. I can’t stop thinking about how much I loved Ismael Cruz Córdova and Nazanin Boniadi.”
Here are a few more thoughts posted to social media about Córdova’s screen presence. Something tells us he’s going to build quite a fanbase as the season continues.