Who are the best Rings of Power characters? Set during the Second Age of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy epic, Amazon’s hit TV show The Rings of Power has seen both new and old faces return for the latest outing in the Lord of the Rings IP. But after the events of The Rings of Power season 1, let’s be honest, there are some fictional individuals that stand out from the rest of the new Middle-earth pack.
Telling the story of the rise of Sauron and the creation of ‘The One Ring‘, The Rings of Power has taken viewers to every corner of the fantasy world and has deep-dived into all the races living in Tolkien’s realm. So far in the fantasy series, we have seen new Dwarves, been introduced to Harfoots, and sea-bound Kingdoms. And, of course, we’ve witnessed beloved Lord of the Rings characters such as Galadriel be showcased in a whole new light too.
There may be plenty of choices when it comes to The Rings of Power line-up, but we here at The Digital Fix have consulted our Palantír, to work out who is really the top dog when it comes to Tolkien’s franchise. Taking into account everything we’ve seen from the TV series so far and the cliffhangers going into future seasons, here are the ten best Rings of Power characters.
Who are the best Rings of Power characters?
- The Stranger
Galadriel has always been regarded as one of the best The Lord of the Rings characters, so it should shock no one to see her name on this list. Arguably the main protagonist of The Rings of Power, Galadriel is the primary figure leading the fight against evil in Middle-earth… even when the high king of the elves, Gil-Galad, begs her to stop.
Galadriel doesn’t stop (sorry, Gil-Galad), and instead keeps fighting, adamant for revenge against Sauron – who killed her brother Finrod. The Rings of Power highlights Galadriel’s emotional journey from a hot-headed fighter to the character that we see later in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies.
Galadriel in the Second Age is younger than what we’ve seen before, and The Rings of Power shows us a new side to her as she goes through experiences that will enhance her wisdom. Writing-wise, it’s captivating to see how Galadriel’s personality will shift as she grows into the ultimate elven Lord.
We’ll be frank, the true MVPs of The Rings of Power season 1 were the Dwarves, and leading the charge was the straightforward and hilarious Durin. The son of Durin III and prince to the kingdom Khazad-dûm, Durin is a savvy go-getter who dreams of advancing the kingdom of the Dwarves – much to the dismay of his overly cautious father.
Despite being a classic Dwarve archetype from Tolkien’s lore, Durin also defines himself as unique thanks to his friendship with Elrond, and willingness to help the Elves once he discovers Mithril. He has a massive heart, puts his kingdom and his friends first, and, although he is yet to be crowned, has shown us time and time again that he will make an outstanding king.
As mentioned above, he is also funny to boot and is the most playful character in The Rings of Power, often teasing Elrond and cracking one-liners. Without him, the entire series wouldn’t be half as entertaining or enjoyable to watch.
Ok, so this pick may be controversial to all you die-hard Tolkien experts at first glance, but Halbrand makes for a perfect villain for The Rings of Power season 2. Halbrand was first introduced into the series as a stranded human posing as the lost king of the Southlands.
After developing a semi-romantic relationship with Galadriel and effectively tricking everyone, he was actually revealed to be Sauron (aka Morgoth‘s servant and the new big bad of Middle-earth) in disguise, gasp. In Tolkien’s writing, Halbrand never existed. Instead, the Dark Lord disguised himself as an elf named Annatar – needless to say, this character reveal was a shock to everyone.
Halbrand makes our list because he is full of potential. With Sauron heading to Mordor, set to build his Orc army and more Rings of Power, he is the most exciting character in the Amazon series, period.
When it comes to level-headed diplomats, the half-elf Elrond is unbeatable. Elrond, the follower of Gil-Galad, has proven himself to be full of integrity, respect and wisdom despite his young age…well, young in elven terms, I mean, anyway.
Like Galadriel, The Rings of Power shows us a very different version of the character to the one we see in Jackson’s fantasy movies. Here, Elrond isn’t the Lord of Rivendell. Instead, he is a humble apprentice, following the commands of others. But, that doesn’t stop him from breaking the rules – especially when his best friend Durin is involved.
Without Elrond and Durin’s friendship, the elves and Middle-earth would have been doomed. Let’s be honest, if we didn’t have Elrond’s stellar people (or should we say Dwarve) skills, Mithril would still be hidden in the mountains. As you can see, the character is already impressive, despite his inexperience, and in the future seasons of the show, Elrond will undoubtedly continue to amaze us all.
The biggest question mark of The Rings of Power so far has been The Stranger. A powerful ‘man’ who literally fell from the sky, The Stranger entered the show with a bang and has already proven himself to be a major power player every time he is on screen.
From fireballs and soundwaves to defeating a gang of witches, The Stranger is an impressive fighter who promises to showcase new abilities and powers with every upcoming confrontation heading his way in season 2. There is also the fact that we still don’t know his true identity – like it or not, we are invested and are constantly waiting for the character to turn up to see if he drops any more clues.
We know The Stranger is a wizard on a journey to the kingdom of Rhûn, but whether he will be exposed as a blue wizard or Gandalf remains to be seen, and we can’t wait to find out.
The saying ‘behind every great man, is a great woman’ also extends to Dwarves. Disa is an undeniable powerhouse who, despite her limited screen time in Rings of Power season 1, has proven herself to be irreplaceable to the Dwarven Kingdom of Khazad-dûm.
The wife of Prince Durin IV, Disa, is often seen setting her husband on the right track, supporting his belief and desire for change, and is also an impressive mountain expert in her own right. Whether it is singing to the mountain, knowing the ins and outs of mining, and respecting minerals, Disa is a picture-perfect Dwarve (minus the beard) and the ideal princess in general.
She is kind, wise, and loving — constantly saving Durin from his own doubts. Disa also steals every scene she appears in with her powerful presence. We can’t wait to see what she will be up to in the next chapter of the show!
Just as Hobbits played a vital role in The Lord of the Rings, their ancestors, Harfoots, are important pieces in The Rings of Power. However, the bravest and most memorable halfling out of the hairy-footed pack is Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot.
Nori isn’t like most Harfoots. She isn’t strictly cautious by nature and is instead curious. In episode 1 of the series, she encounters The Stranger and takes care of him. If hoarding a magical being twice your size wasn’t impressive enough, she made the decision at the end of the first season to follow her gut and break away from the rest of the Harfoots – joining The Stranger on his journey instead.
Like Frodo Baggins, Nori carries an air of innocence about her. She has proven herself to be a kind soul, looking out for others and striving to do what she believes is right always. Nothing beats a keen underdog, and Nori’s upcoming adventures will be something to behold for sure.
Arondir is an Elf soldier who was stationed at the Southlands after Morgoth’s defeat to keep the ancestors of the villains’ followers in check. Although he is a totally new character, Arondir is a classic example of one of Tolkien’s elves from his literary work. Now before you curse me down, let me explain.
He is agile, performing cool stunts and feats during battle. He is suffering from displacement after the War of Wrath, leaving him emotionally conflicted about his place in Middle-earth. And finally, he is a literal tree hugger too – it is everything Tolkien ever wanted. Basically, Arondir embodies the essence of Tolkien while offering fresh viewpoints regarding elves for the series to explore.
He is also in the middle of a romance with the human woman Bronwyn – which is exciting in its own right, as Tolkien himself wrote that there have only been three love stories between elves and humans in the franchise.
Theo, like The Stranger, is one of the most intriguing characters of The Rings of Power, going into season 2. In season 1, we were introduced to the young boy of The Southlands, who started off as an outcast living a normal life… until he found Sauron’s sword hilt that would later transform the landscape into Mordor.
Although the sword is no longer in his possession, Theo has been seen firmly tempted by the dark side and its power on more than one occasion. Seems like we may have a potential future Ringwraith on our hands! We are excited to see how and if Theo will follow Sauron – abandoning his mother, Bronwyn.
Since Theo is a kind lad who constantly fights for and puts his mother first, seeing his upcoming battle with temptation is going to be a tense journey. Going into Rings of Power season 2, Theo definitely stands out – cementing his place among our top character picks.
Oh, Adar — or should we say the elf we had bet money on being Sauron? Well, despite not being the Dark Lord, you still made quite the impact. Adar is one of the Brotherhood of Darkness, aka the first lot of Orcs that were created by Morgoth. From the beginning, he stood out as an eerie figure and is one of the most intriguing villains we have seen on TV and in Middle-earth.
Adar, like Sauron, is trying to build a new Middle-earth, one in Morgoth’s image and, most importantly, a haven for orcs. But unlike Sauron, Morgoth, and even Saruman (who created Uruk-hai in the Lord of the Rings movies), Adar has sentimentality towards the evil creatures and doesn’t see them purely as chess pieces.
In the Rings of Power, we have seen Adar cry for Orcs’ deaths, heard how he fought Sauron for using them as tools, and even express a sense of family with the darkness when he was interrogated by Galadriel. We’ve never seen a villain genuinely love or care about another living soul in the franchise – making Adar stand out as exciting and unique.
If you are after more Rings of Power content, here are our guides to the Silmarils and the history of Celebrimbor. If you prefer your fantasy a bit darker then check out our guide to the House of the Dragon season 2 release date.