'Lord Of The Rings' TV Series Finds First Cast Member In Markella Kavenagh

The Lord of the Rings TV series has found the first member of its fellowship: Markella Kavenagh. Is she playing a hobbit? An elf? A human? One of those weird talking trees? We don't know! All we know is that Kavenagh is in talks to play a character named Tyra – a name that doesn't appear in any of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth stories. Which means this is probably a brand-new character invented for the series. Or this is a code-name being used to keep things secret, keep things safe.

Here's some actual news regarding Amazon's expensive, secretive Lord of the Rings TV series. Variety reports that Markella Kavenagh is in talks to join the series as a character named Tyra. We did some serious research (translation: we looked at the index of names in The Silmarillion) and discovered that Tyra is not a character from Tolkien's work. Which means one of two things: that's just a placeholder name, or the character is brand-new and invented strictly for the series.

Kavenagh is an up-and-coming actress who recently appeared in Amazon's adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock. I suppose this isn't the flashiest of casting news, but we have so little to go on regarding Lord of the Rings that we'll take what we can get. We know that the series is going to be a kind of prequel, likely set during the Second Age. Per the Lord of the Rings Wiki:

The Second Age lasted for 3441 years and ended with the downfall of Sauron's army when he was defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men following the downfall of Númenor.

In cinematic terms, we're talking about events before the very first epic battle scene in the film adaptation Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring. When the series was announced, Amazon Studios' head of scripted series Sharon Tal Yguado said:

"The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth."

On top of that, the official press release for the series noted the show would "explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring." In other words, don't expect a whole bunch of familiar characters popping up.