Sam Hazeldine talks replacing Game of Thrones vet Joseph Mawle as dark elf Adar in The Rings of Power

The Rings of Power cast and crew tease new villains and new rings in the upcoming second season of Amazon's Lord of the Rings show. Also, the original movie trilogy is back in theaters!
Joseph Mawle (Adar)
Joseph Mawle (Adar) /

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is returning for a second season this August, and there's going to be some changes. At the end of season 1, the Southland man Halbrand was revealed to actually be Sauron, the aspiring dark lord of all Middle-earth. He'll be back in season 2, now taking on a more pleasing form and going by the name of Annatar. The character of Adar, a dark elf who created the land of Mordor as a home for the orcs, will also be back, although he's played by a new actor: Sam Hazeldine, stepping in for Joseph Mawle, whom Game of Thrones fans may remember as Benjen Stark.

“For me, the appeal was that he's a dark character, but he doesn't see himself as a villain. He's just trying to protect his children, the Uruk,” Hazeldine told Entertainment Weekly. “So he's doing what he feels he has to do to save them from the genocide, whether that would be from Sauron, who sees them as cannon fodder, or from the elves.” 

"[A]t the beginning of the season, Adar is kind of in an existential crisis because he doesn't really know what to do next. Sure, they're going to have to deal with various attacks, but he's finished what he set out to do. He took on the responsibility of caring for these children of his and finding them a home, and now he’s done that. This sets up his call to adventure in season 2."

Although Adar and Sauron are both baddies, they are enemies themselves. I guess it's hard for villains to work together since they're mistrustful by nature. As for Hazeldine replacing Mawle in the role, it doesn't sound like there are any hard feelings: “I know Joseph, I worked with him years ago. I think he's a fantastic actor, and I really loved what he did in the first season. So it was actually a pleasure to take the baton from him. Obviously we don't look the same, but the character is instantly recognizable.”

We'll also find out more about how Adar became who he is; it's not every elf who ends up being a caretaker for the orcs. “There was an offer for power and for something else, which you'll find out later on in the show, and Adar willingly took the deal,” Hazeldine hinted. “It's kind of like he took a red pill and was duped. He was horrifically tortured and maimed.”

"Horrifically tortured and maimed" sounds like another day in Middle-earth. “[S]eason 2 starts with a bang, and I was even surprised at how kind of bloodthirsty and violent it is,” Hazeldine said. We'll find what he means when The Rings of Power season 2 premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Thursday, August 29.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - 108
Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) /


Season 2 will also catch us up with Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), who struck up a partnership (or more?) with Halbrand before he revealed himself as Sauron. Sauron also helped the elves forge three Rings of Power before he was unmasked. Galadriel will wear her ring, Nenya, for the first time in season 2.

"It's a very special moment when Galadriel finally gets to put on her ring, Nenya," producer Lindsey Weber told Empire Magazine. "Something we hope we've captured in cinematic fashion at the opening of Season 2. This season we get to play with some of the storytelling around what the rings do and, I think most importantly, what they do to our characters when they're wearing them. They change people in ways that might be good, and ways that might be less good."

"[We see] a real different side to Galadriel. She's humbled. She's had to own up to her mistakes. She's had to accept that her intuition maybe isn't always perfect. She's had to face the question of whether she's wrong and decide which way to go to set right what she's had a hand in unleashing on Middle-earth."

Galadriel still wears Nenya thousands of years after the events of The Rings of Power in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, so we assume it doesn't do too much damage to her. Also, Sauron has a lot of other rings to make if the show wants to live up to its title.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 /

Watch the extended editions of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy in theaters this weekend

We still have a couple months before The Rings of Power season 2 arrives, but if you're itching to return to Middle-earth before that, you have options. For the next few weekends, select theaters are showing the extended editions of all three movies in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, originally released from 2001-2003. The Fellowship of the Ring is playing on Saturdays (June 8, 15 and 22), The Two Towers is playing on Sundays (June 9, 16 and 23), and The Return of the King is playing on Mondays (June 10, 17 and 24).

This is a limited release, so the movies arne't playing in every theater across the country, but check your area to see if they're playing near you.

Next. House of the Dragon season 2 has a new opening credits sequence. House of the Dragon season 2 has a new opening credits sequence. dark

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h/t The One Ring, Screenrant, Collider