One of the leading stars of Rings of Power has said that Rings of Power season 2 will continue efforts to increase racial representation and diversity in Middle-earth. Rings of Power season 1 was the first time that audiences had seen a version of Middle-earth which included racial diversity within the different races of Middle-earth.
For example, there were Elves, Dwarves, Númenóreans, and Men from various Black and other non-white backgrounds. This was celebrated by many as opening up Middle-earth and the fantasy series genre in general to wider audiences, as well as making important strides for real-world diversity. There were also a vocal minority who rallied against the racially diverse castings.
However, that criticism won’t stop Rings of Power season 2 from continuing to expand its racially diverse pool of actors. Ismael Cruz Córdova, a Puerto Rican actor who plays the Elf Arondir, has spoken to about the situation, saying that the upcoming second season of the TV series won’t go backwards due to any criticism. reported by Variety, the actor said he “absolutely” believes in continuing to represent real-life diversity with the series, before saying “I think this is the beginning. I think we would be remiss to not do that — to stop there.”
He also went on the expand on the emotional toll that the backlash had had on him, saying ” “I was viciously and consistently attacked with the most violent, painful racism. You wake up bombarded by violence online where people are telling you that you shouldn’t exist — that your skin colour has ruined their favourite childhood books.”
However, he shared the positive impact that the racial diversity in Rings of Power has had as well. “There’s so much love and people cosplaying as Arondir, sending love, making fan art and saying, ‘We’re here for you. We see the negativity, but we’re gonna flood your inbox with positivity.’ This has changed history, and there is a big movement behind this.”
For more on Middle-earth, check out our guides to the Rings of Power characters Elrond, Galadriel, Durin, and Celebrimbor. Or find out more about the new Lord of the Rings movie War of the Rohirrim, as well as its characters Helm Hammerhand, Wulf the Dunlending, Freca the Dunlending, and Hèra.