Markella Kavenagh, who plays the lead character in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” reveals how the Harfoot characters will trample on Hobbit custom. The highly anticipated series on Amazon Prime Video was created by Star Trek Beyond showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay and is based on the appendices to “The Lord of the Rings“ that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote. Since Rings of Power takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before “The Lord of the Rings,” it can be considered a precursor to that film series.
With a large cast of new characters, Rings of Power will bring back younger versions of Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo). While Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs are well-known, viewers will be exposed to a new Hobbit-related race known as Harfoots, including Lenny Henry’s grandfather Sadoc Burrows and the enigmatic Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot (played by Markella Kavenagh). Fans have been curious about how exactly the Harfoots will vary from the Hobbits of the Shire ever since the inclusion of the Harfoots in Rings of Power was first revealed.
Kavenagh emphasized some critical distinctions between the Harfoots and Hobbits during a recent interview with Collider at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 when addressing her character. Kavenagh then discussed how Rings of Power intends to break from Hobbit custom. Check out her remarks below:
I think she has an innate curiosity, that’s for sure. And I think I really wanted to make sure that it didn’t come across as something that was purely out of just selfish interest in the unknown, that she’s very aware she’s had to bear this responsibility. And she’s had to from a really young age to care for her siblings, and her family, and the community, in a way that she’s probably had to grow up a bit too quickly. And so I thought that it just made sense to ground that in in wanting to subvert Harfoot tradition, to improve the quality of life and that that’s where the curiosity into the unknown comes from as well. She leads with the idea that a fear of risk can be greater than the risk itself. And she’s just constantly pushing that, but sometimes it gets people into a bit of danger but it’s with the best of intentions.
According to Tolkien’s mythology, the Harfoots settled in the Misty Mountains’ lower foothills and the Vales of Anduin and cultivated friendly relationships with the Dwarves who frequently passed through the High Pass, are the ancestors of Hobbits. Due to their inherent curiosity, the Harfoots were also the first people to wander westward into Arnor, where they were known as halflings by the Dnedain. The Harfoot family would keep moving until they eventually settled in the Shire, which they colonized and lived peacefully for many years up to the Scouring of the Shire, an event Peter Jackson’s films famously ignored.
In The Hobbit and “The Lord of the Rings,” Bilbo and Frodo Baggins famously left their home for separate adventures, but Hobbits are typically happy to live calm, quiet lives in the Shire. This contrasts sharply with how the Harfoots will be portrayed in Rings of Power because their wandering lifestyles were essential for them to overcome the challenges they encountered. When “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” debuts in September, audiences can follow the Harfoot family as they travel to the West.