The stars of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy are showing their support for the Rings of Power cast after the Amazon series came under fire for casting Black actors as elves, dwarves and Hobbits. Ismael Cruz Córdova revealed that he’d been receiving “pure and vicious hate speech” over the past two years after being cast as the Silvan elf Arondir, and Amazon turned off ratings for the show after being review-bombed.
Elijah Wood, who played Frodo in the films, posted a photo of himself and former costars Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin) wearing shirts featuring ears of the different Middle-earth races in varying skin tones, along with the phrase “You Are All Welcome Here” written in Elvish.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) September 7, 2022
Sean Astin, who played Frodo’s best friend Sam, also posted a selfie of himself wearing a hat with the same phrase.
— Sean Astin (@SeanAstin) September 7, 2022
Córdova received the message loud and clear, responding with “Much love.”
His Rings of Power costar Benjamin Walker (High King Gil-galad) added, “Thank you, guys.”
In a tweet from the official Rings of Power account, the cast also released a message of solidarity. “We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of color are being subjected to on a daily basis,” the statement read. “We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.”
“J.R.R. Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. Rings of Power reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.” Read the full statement here.
Set during the Second Age, thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, Rings of Power spans many different locations, from “the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor” as old and new characters etch out legacies that will last long after they are dead.
Episodes 1 and 2, which are currently streaming on Prime Video, found Galadriel — spoiler alert — turning down an opportunity to return to Valinor and encountering the Southlander Halbrand on the Sundering Seas. Meanwhile, Harfoots Nori and Poppy found a mysterious being they’ve nicknamed the Stranger, who fell from the sky.
“They end up in a lot of mischief, a little bit of trouble and a lot of adventure. It’s very exciting,” Megan Richards, who plays Poppy, previously told TVLine.