Every Main Character In Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power, Ranked Worst To Best

Amazon's highly anticipated journey into Middle-earth has finally arrived, expanding on a time period only briefly touched on in J.R.R. Tolkien's novels. "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is a daring, glossy, and thrilling original series that explores the Second Age of Middle-earth, approximately 5,000 years before the events of Peter Jackson's beloved "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Following characters both new and familiar, the series will explore how the Rings of Power came to be, and how the dark lord Sauron rose to power. 

Drawing primarily on the material in the appendix of "The Lord of the Rings," "The Rings of Power" is one of the most exciting attempts to create original material in the Middle-earth canon. As a result, it has several fascinating new characters for viewers to dissect and enjoy, such as Halbrand and Disa, along with existing fan-favorites like Galadriel and Elrond. Here, we've ranked every main character in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," from the worst to the best.

12. Lord Celebrimbor

We meet Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), a mercurial figure, when King Gil-galad assigns Elrond to work under him. The elf is a master smith and architect who, with the younger elf's help, plans to build a forge that will change Middle-earth forever. Thanks to Tolkien's writing, particularly "The Silmarillion" and "The Fellowship of the Ring," we know that Celebrimbor ultimately crafts the Rings of Power; as such, this forge may be designed to create the rings themselves. In the books, Celebrimbor tries desperately to keep Sauron from usurping the rings' power, but ultimately fails. 

As of this writing, we haven't seen much of Celebrimbor yet, so it's unclear how the "The Rings of Power" will portray him politically and ethically, particularly in relation to the rings. Whether he wants to change the world for the better or for his own selfish purposes remains to be seen. However, for better or worse, he is likely to serve as a mentor to Elrond. At this point, it seems like Celebrimbor may be a tragic figure whose idealistic pursuits will, sadly, lead to one of the greatest evils Middle-earth has ever seen, but at this point it's too soon to say.

11. High King Gil-galad

As the high king of the elven realm of Lindon, Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) rules in an age after the elves have fought and defeated Middle-earth's original villain, Morgoth. However, while many of his subjects, especially Galadriel, warn him that evil still lurks in the realm, he chooses to believe that all the danger is gone. Instead, Gil-galad champions peace, even going so far as to send Galadriel to the Undying Lands as a reward for her service — or, perhaps, to get rid of her. Like many characters from the books, we already know Gil-galad's fate: Sam sings a song in remembrance of him in "The Fellowship of the Ring," describing him as an Elven king who ultimately died at Sauron's hands. 

Though Gil-galad's sacrifice helps Isildur beat Sauron, "The Rings of Power" makes it seem like he also contributed to Sauron's ascendance. Furthermore, it's uncertain whether Gil-galad is a politician who's desperately trying to keep the peace and making poor decisions as a result, or if he has ulterior motives that will eventually cause his demise. Regardless, by ignoring the counsel of his soldiers, Gil-galad is unwittingly inviting Sauron to his front door, a decision that will have lasting impacts for both him and Middle-earth.

10. Isildur

Fans of Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy may remember Isildur (played on the big screen by Harry Sinclair) from the opening prologue of "The Fellowship of the Ring," where he defeats Sauron and captures the One Ring. While Isildur brings the ring to Mount Doom with Elrond, he refuses to throw it into the fire to destroy it. The Isildur we meet in "The Rings of Power," portrayed in the series by Maxim Baldry, is younger and has yet to be corrupted by the dark powers of the ring, but he's still confused in spirit. 

Though Isildur struggles to live up to his father's ideals, he's literally called down a different path when he hears a voice speaking to him from the West. While his father's family was once aligned with the elves, the men now serve the kingdom of Númenor, which largely shuns the Eldar. It could be that the curiosity that drives Isildur to explore his heritage, though innocent enough, is the same trait that will ultimately lead him to claim the One Ring. Because we know his fate, Isildur is a delightfully complex character to watch, especially at this very human moment in his journey.

9. Captain Elendil

Introduced as he's rescuing Galadriel and Halbrand, Elendil (Lloyd Owen) is perhaps the closest character "The Rings of Power" has to someone like Aragorn — with good reason. Fans of the original trilogy may remember Elendil as the mythical figure who served as the first king of Gondor, making him Aragorn's distant ancestor. A soldier who fights for Númenor and a single parent to his two children, Isildur and Earien, Elendil isn't afraid to give his kids some tough love. When Elendil tries to make Isildur follow in his footsteps, however, his son bucks against his authority and strives to find his own way forward, forcing Earien to act as a mediator between the two. 

Elendil also finds himself in a difficult position politically when he saves Galadriel. Queen Regent Miriel is suspicious of his relationship with the lost warrior, and suspects that he's loyal to the elves, a dangerous accusation in Númenor. However, Elendil's willingness to work with other races will play an important role in the coming war against Sauron. Elendil and his family are a huge part of Tolkien's mythology, and getting to see his human side will undoubtedly add more layers to this legendary character. However, at this point in the series, it feels like his story is just getting started.

8. Elrond

While many "The Lord of the Rings" fans know him as the wise host of the eponymous Council of Elrond, the younger elf we meet in "The Rings of Power" still has much to learn. At this point in his journey, Elrond (Robert Aramayo)'s service to Celebrimbor takes him to the dwarven kingdom of Khazad-Dum, where he enlists the help of his old friend, Durin. However, the rekindling of their relationship is a bit rocky due to Elrond's long absence. His possible exploitation of Durin seems to foreshadow the political leader he will become, as well as the mistakes he will learn from along the way. 

"The Rings of Power" also delves into a complication in Elrond's backstory that hasn't really been explored outside of "The Silmarillion." Elrond and his brother Elros are both half-elves. While Elrond embraced his elven heritage, Elros followed his human side, and became the first king of Númenor. Elrond's lineage has come up multiple times in relation to his friend Galadriel, and may hint at the importance of the upcoming relationship between elves and men. Additionally, though they've shared little screen time thus far, hardcore fans will also appreciate Galadriel and Elrond's intimate friendship, which showcases both characters' respective strengths and weaknesses.

7. Princess Disa

Female dwarves are somewhat of a foreign concept in Tolkien's writing; Gimli even jokes about their puzzling rarity in the film version of "The Two Towers." This makes Durin's wife, Disa (Sophia Nomvete), a refreshing character to include in the series, and helps to further build out the mythology of dwarves. While many dwarves appeared in Peter Jackson's films, none were Black or female. And yet, Disa instantly feels like a natural part of this world, even though she's very much a brand-new character. 

As her husband's right hand, Disa deftly navigates the relationship between Durin and Elrond, supporting Durin's goals while protecting him from the elves' ulterior motives. Nomvete has an incredibly warm screen presence, and her character has lots of narrative potential. In fact, it seems like she may already play a major role in the dwarves' political affairs. As the tension escalates between the dwarves and elves over the discovery of mithril, Disa's intelligence and strategic mind may be key to the future of Durin and Elrond's friendship. With so many possibilities for where she may go, Disa is one of the most exciting parts of "The Rings of Power."

6. Nori Brandyfoot

One of the quirks of "The Rings of Power" is its timeline. It takes place in Middle-earth, a place that even casual fans know quite well, but it's set thousands of years before Tolkien's most famous stories. As a result, even familiar creatures are very different. In this series, we meet the ancestors of hobbits, who are known as harfoots and are nomadic in nature. Yet, like their descendants, the harfoots are not adventurous. They tend to stick close to home, which makes the young, free-spirited Nori (Markella Kavenagh) an outlier in her community. 

When a giant stranger falls from the sky, Nori is convinced that it's her moment to go on a grand adventure. Dragging her reluctant best friend, Poppy, along with her, Nori makes friends with the stranger, but may be putting both her beloved family and larger harfoot community in danger by doing so. While Nori has a lot to learn, her kind heart and pure spirit make her incredibly lovable. Thus far, the elves are the ethical centerpiece of "The Rings of Power," much like hobbits were the moral core of "The Lord of the Rings." This makes Nori's woodsy presence grounding and nostalgic, while also offering long-time fans something new.

5. Halbrand

As portrayed by Tolkien, men are the race most susceptible to moral failings like greed, hubris, and a lust for power. "The Rings of Power" seems to be using this archetype as a way to amplify the tension between men and elves, which is further highlighted by the introduction of Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), a man who saves Galadriel from drowning. The two become tentative allies, although Halbrand himself is entirely a mystery. As one of the series' original characters, little is known about his origins or fate. 

However, Halbrand is already a wildly compelling character.  Beyond his undeniable chemistry with Galadriel, he has gradually revealed his strength, intelligence, and strategic thinking in Númenor. This leads Galadriel to deduce that he must be the rightful king of the Southlands, which could make him analogous to Aragorn. On the other hand, the Southlands are the region of Middle-earth that ends up becoming Mordor. As a result, Halbrand could fail to take the throne, might end up allying with the bad guys, or may be lying about his identity and turn out to be someone else entirely. He's one of the show's few truly mysterious characters, making him, and his relationship with Galadriel, one of the more gripping parts of the series.

4. King Durin III

As the heir to the dwarven kingdom of Khazad-Dum, Durin (Owain Arthur) literally breaks ground to discover new riches. Like many dwarves, Durin's bravado and pride belie a vulnerable warmth. After initially challenging his estranged friend to a contest that the elf is destined to lose, Durin invites Elrond to his home to meet his wife and two children. While Elrond rekindles their friendship for transactional purposes, Durin's genuine love for his friend leads to a renewal of the trust between them. Whether or not that's a good thing for Durin remains to be seen.

Durin's faith in Elrond is so strong that he tells the elf the truth about the new ore he is mining: mithril. "The Lord of the Rings" fans know the importance of this metal, which is lightweight but nearly indestructible, and which saves not one but two members of the Baggins family. Durin is a minor character in Tolkien's extended works, but he does eventually wield a dwarven Ring of Power. Whether he and Elrond work together with Celebrimbor to forge the rings, using mithril to do so, remains to be seen. However, it seems like these two stories are inextricably linked; thankfully, Elrond and Durin seem to be the perfect foils for each other. Even better, they play off one another in a way that doesn't rehash familiar Tolkien archetypes.

3. Bronwyn

Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) is one of the humans who resides in the Southlands, a territory that's already scarred by war. The politics of this region are very important, with elves serving as watchers over the land due to the men who live there having previously sided with Sauron's precursor, Morgoth. While many of Bronwyn's kin resent the elves and their oversight, Bronywn's gentle spirit leads her to form a friendship — and, eventually, more — with Arondir, symbolically aligning her with the forces of good. 

This is important because Bronwyn's son, Theo, has found a tool of Sauron's that attracts orcs and other evil creatures. While Theo hates Arondir and the elves, Bronwyn's growing relationship with Arondir saves them time and again from Theo's ignorant and dangerous mistakes. Another original character created for the series, Bronwyn's romance with Arondir and parenting of Theo feels refreshingly grounded, particularly in light of the previously limited portrayals of women in Tolkien adaptations. With no predetermined ending for her story, Bronwyn has all of the pieces she needs to become one of the most compelling characters in "The Rings of Power."

2. Arondir

Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) is an elf who's assigned to watch over the Southlands, where he meets Bronwyn and her son, Theo. Though there is plenty of tension between the elves and men, Arondir and Bronwyn can't help but be attracted to each other. Despite his better instincts (and his orders), he protects the healer and her family long after he's supposed to move on from his post. Steely and quiet, Arondir is heroic in the classic ways many of Tolkien's characters are, although the conflicts that elves face in this time period add some extra complications 

As one of the first elves we've seen in a Tolkien adaptation who isn't white, Arondir's difficulties with men feel more subtextually layered. While the men under his watch resent the elves' distrust, Arondir is simply trying to perform his duty. As a result, whether intended or not, the Southlanders' hatred of the elves and Arondir can be read as a critique of real-life racism, bringing a much-needed modern element to Middle-earth. Besides his backstory, Arondir is also an incredible warrior who has delivered many of the show's most jaw-dropping fight scenes. As one of the series' most enthralling characters, Arondir's journey promises to be captivating to watch.

1. Galadriel

Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) is not the same elf we meet in "The Fellowship of the Ring." While the Galadriel we come to know in the films is older, wiser, and more resigned, the version of the character that appears in "The Rings of Power" is a warrior determined to avenge her fallen older brother, Finrod. Though most of the elves — and the residents of Middle-earth in general — have been lulled into a false sense of security, Galadriel knows deep down that evil, led by Sauron, is coming. "The Rings of Power" hosts a sprawling ensemble full of many characters and stories, but Galadriel is positioned as our primary protagonist. It's a fitting choice, as her heroic and wise nature allows her to move through Middle-earth's various realms with ease. 

However, Galadriel feels like less of a political actor than Elrond. Instead, she seems more driven by her personal mission. Like the show's other pre-existing characters, we know Galadriel's fate, which makes her portrayal in "The Rings of Power" all the more fascinating. While the Galadriel most of us are familiar with is an isolationist who provides guidance to Frodo and the Fellowship — and little else, although her small gifts do come in quite handy — her younger incarnation is a fierce warrior who would never sit on the sidelines. The writers have undeniably set up a profound journey for Galadriel, and we can't wait to experience it with her over the course of the series.