“If You’re Going To Do Tolkien, Do It Right”: The Rings Of Power’s Charles Edwards And Ben Walker On The Detail And Accuracy Of The Show

“My workshop is full of detail,” Charles Edwards tells TheGamer, so engrossed in his role he refers to his character Celebrimbor’s fictional Eregion workshop as his own. “It's a testament to the care and dedication of the amazing [crew working behind the scenes]. Every department on the show is working at the very top of their game, and as you've probably gathered from watching episodes one and two, it is extraordinary television.

“I have a display case, which is glimpsed briefly by the camera. However, every single little thing in there is labelled, it probably has some Tolkienian connection to something way back in the First Age, and that's very moving, actually, the care that has gone into it and the thoughtfulness.”

The Elvish cities of Eregion, where Celebrimbor dwells, and Lindon, from where Ben Walker’s Gil-galad rules as High King are some of the most lavish sets I’ve ever seen, and it seems it was the same up close too. No expense was spared for The Rings of Power, it's the most expensive TV show ever made, after all. Walker encourages fans to pause the show so they can make out every detail in the background, (“do it, you're gonna want to do it!”), and explains that this level of care is what he believes will make the show so rewatchable in the coming years.

“It's not a series that you're going to binge watch and flush,” he says. “This is one you keep going back to and you're gonna get something new every time – much like when you reread [Tolkien’s] writing.”

He also emphasises that the details all help to tell The Rings of Power’s story, whether fans notice them or not. In particular, Gil-galad’s costume has detailing that embodies his character, at least in Walker’s mind.

“Gil-galad has this set of rings that kind of encapsulate the duality of who I think he is,” he tells me. “And they're beautiful and intricate and kind of like some of the Pope would wear. But when he makes a fist, they start to kind of interlock into these gnarly looking brass knuckles – you don't want to piss that guy off. But that is him, even that detail is a little opportunity for storytelling. And it makes our job easier. But most importantly, I think it's the bare minimum: if you're going to do Tolkien, do it right or don't do it at all.”

Both actors remained tight-lipped when I enquired about Aeglos, Gil-galad’s legendary spear. However, one special Elvish implement appears in The Rings of Power’s first two episodes; Fëanor’s hammer, the very tool that was used to craft the Silmarils and cause untold destruction during the First Age of Middle-earth. The ripples of repercussions of Fëanor’s handiwork also, albeit inadvertently and indirectly, caused much of the strife in the Second and Third Ages, too. Edwards remembers the moment he picked up the prestigious heirloom on set.

“Picking [the hammer] up in that scene, it's the first time I'd seen it that day,” Edwards explains. “And that's the first thing I saw when I came around the corner: there it was, and it was lit beautifully [with] a bit of sunlight. And I thought, well, ‘wow, that's really that's really special to have that.’ I didn't know that was going to be there. That was extremely exciting.

“And yeah, one day it might find its way to my house. It belonged to my grandfather,” says Edwards, blurring the lines between actor and character once more. “It’s an heirloom – technically, it's mine.”

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