Fans of The Lord of the Rings are finally getting a first look at some of the main characters who will be featured in the upcoming LOTR TV series, The Rings of Power – and the cast is diverse.
One of those characters is Arondir, a silvan elf, who will be portrayed by Afro-Latine actor Ismael Cruz Córdova. According to Vanity Fair, the Puerto Rican actor is set to be the first person of color to play an elf onscreen in a Tolkien project.
Córdova’s casting, of course, doesn’t come without controversy. It seems there are people upset that The Rings of Power will feature a more diverse cast than filmmaker Peter Jackson’s trilogy. While some LOTR nerds are concerned about things like tone and timelines, others are actually criticizing the fact that not all the characters are as white as Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel.
The creative team behind The Rings of Power and others aren’t sitting idly by without defending the decision to make Middle-Earth more diverse.
“It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of [author J.R.R.] Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like,” Lindsey Weber, a co-executive producer of the series, told Vanity Fair. “Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.”
Although Córdova will be breaking new ground in the new LOTR series (and the fact that the original trilogy is 99.9 percent white), there was at least one other Latine actor who made an appearance in two of the movies: Gino Acevedo, who got the chance to play a dwarf in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and a seaman in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The first teaser trailer for The Rings of Power will premiere during the Super Bowl this Sunday (February 13) and we hope to see Ismael Cruz Córdova in it.