Bernard Hill played King Theoden of Rohan in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, who goes through one of the biggest transformations of any character. We first meet him as a frail, almost-blind old man who has been completed subjugated by Wormtongue. But he is released from the evil power of Saruman, and he becomes a key player in the battles of Isengard and Pelennor Fields, coming to the aid of Gondor. Theoden is the uncle of Eomer (Karl Urban) and Eowyn (Miranda Otto).
While King Theoden dies a heroic death in The Return of the King (2003), Bernard Hill has some less-than-heroic words for the recent Lord of the Rings spin-off television series The Rings of Power. Hill says he had a “wonderful time” making the Lord of the Rings movies.
When asked by Metro if he’d watched The Rings of Power, Hill responded: “No, not interested. It’s a money-making venture and I’m not interested in watching that or being in it. Good luck to them and all that stuff, but it’s not like the real thing.”
Asked if he believes the franchise would have been better if it were left as just the original trilogy, he continued: “Completely, yes. I think they were pushing it when they made The Hobbit. The Hobbit’s a tiny book. They did it well – they did it really, really well. They expanded it [but] I think you can only stretch a piece of elastic so far. I think they managed it in The Hobbit because there were some really good things in The Hobbit without a doubt.”
Sequels, prequels and spin-offs are always going to be controversial, especially if you’re as invested in the originals as the cast and crew. But fans were generally pretty happy with the direction the series took, focusing on a period of time thousands of years before the main trilogy begins.