One Rings Of Power Actor Had No Clue About The 'Amazing Twist' Her Character Experiences [Exclusive]

Major spoilers ahead for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." You've been warned!

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" recently completed its first season on Prime Video. Based on the supplemental works of author J.R.R. Tolkien, the show takes place thousands of years before the Peter Jackson trilogies. This part of the fictional world's history is set before the fall of the island nation of Númenor, currently ruled by Queen Regent Tar Míriel, played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson.

Míriel has quite an arc this season, dealing with an ailing father, her nation's distrust of elves when Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) shows up on her shores, and a trip to Middle-earth to aid in the fight against an unknown enemy who ends up being Sauron (Charlie Vickers), masquerading as a man named Halbrand. During the battle against the orcs in the Southlands (now officially called Mordor), the volcano Mount Doom explodes, killing many in Míriel's army and blinding her.

I recently spoke to Cynthia Addai-Robinson about the show (as well as her new film "The People We Hate at the Wedding") and how she went about her research in terms of playing a blind woman, something she didn't know she'd have to do when she auditioned for the role. 

'I really wanted to make sure that ... it was something that did not lend itself to self-pity.

Not only did Addai-Robinson not know that this role involved blindness when she auditioned, but the first day of shooting involved scenes from episode 7, where she has already lost her sight. She recalled

"So that was really intimidating for me because I really wanted to make sure that I could not just convincingly inhabit that and portray that, but make sure that it was something that did not lend itself to self-pity. I didn't want this part of her story to be about a tragic event that happens to her and then it weakens her. And so there was an interesting opportunity to really tell the story of acknowledging and accepting a situation and somehow using it to your advantage or learning to work within that situation."

Míriel is a woman who has been competently ruling a kingdom (which was Tolkien's take on the legend of Atlantis), but she's seen visions in the palantír (a stone sphere imbued with mystical energy) which unnerved her. She watched the island get swamped with a wave, and Tolkien fans know that the island of Númenor does, in fact, disappear into the sea. It will be interesting to see where this ends up going and whether or not the series' version of Míriel will follow her book counterpart. By the way, Addai-Robinson said that she has no idea what's coming next season. 

'I was limited in terms of going out into the world, just because there was so much secrecy'

Addai-Robinson was excited about this turn in Míriel's story, but as far as the research goes, she was hamstrung a bit by the secrecy around the series and her role. She said

" I was limited in terms of going out into the world, just because there was so much secrecy. If anyone knew that I, as an actor, was sort of attempting to ask questions or go to, say, a school for the blind, that potentially was going to give a lot of information away. So I was able to speak to an individual and try to just ask questions around what that does in terms of your mindset. 

Because in a lot of ways, it sort of brings your world within. And also, you have your heightened senses to experience the world through the other senses. As a creative choice and challenge for this character, there's definitely a lot to mine, but I also love the idea of it becoming an asset as opposed to a perceived weakness."

Before social media, it was much harder to know what actors were preparing for. These days, viewers are far more aware of contracts, casting, and what's coming. It would have been very easy to put two and two together if it got out that she'd been studying at a school for the blind. Plus, the character doesn't have this injury in the books. It would have been a huge spoiler. Whether or not Míriel's injury stays or she regains her sight, such a departure might have colored the reactions to the Prime Video series. 

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is currently streaming season 1 in its entirety on Prime Video.