Why did Joseph Mawle leave LOTR: Rings of Power?

A Peaky Blinder alum has been cast to replace Joseph Mawle in the LOTR franchise

Joseph Mawle as Adar in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1

Orc leader Adar will look different in season 2 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, as actor Joseph Mawle, who originated the role in season 1, has left the Amazon Prime Video series.

Mawle’s exit from The Rings of Power was first revealed last week when Amazon Studios announced seven new actors who are joining the cast of the show for its season 2. These series newcomers include Peaky Blinders alum Sam Hazeldine, who is taking over the role of Adar from Mawle starting in the program’s highly anticipated sophomore run.

Sam Hazeldine as Georgie Sewell in Peaky Blinders
Sam Hazeldine as Georgie Sewell in Peaky Blinders

Why was Joseph Mawle recast as the orc leader in season 2?

Amazon did not provide any explanation for Joseph Mawle’s departure from The Rings of Power, but based on a couple of tweets from the actor himself, it looks like it was his personal decision to leave the series.

“I loved my time exploring Middle-earth and diving into Tolkien’s mythology,” Mawle wrote on Twitter following the news of Adar’s recasting. “I’m so honoured that the character was liked. He cared deeply about telling you his story. Though as an actor it remains my wish, my job description is to explore new characters and worlds. Wishing all the best to the cast and crew for S2, I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines X.”

Who is Joseph Mawle?

Joseph Mawle as Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones
Joseph Mawle as Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones

Born in Oxford, England, Joseph Mawle is best known for his role as Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones. Prior to landing the role of Adar in the LOTR franchise, Mawle also played the role of Detective Inspector Jedediah Shine in the mystery drama series Ripper Street, Jesus Christ in the TV drama The Passion, and Odysseus in the Trojan miniseries Troy: Fall of a City. He also appeared in the TV film Birdsong, in which he earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the BAFTA TV Award for his performance as Jake Firebrace.

Mawle will be next seen in the historical drama project The Way of the Wind, which is a retelling of several episodes in the life of Jesus Christ.  

Who are the other new actors joining The Rings of Power season 2?

In addition to Sam Hazeldine, who is replacing Joseph Mawle in the role of Adar, The Rings of Power also cast Gabriel Akuwudike (Hanna), Yasen ‘Zates’ Atour (The Witcher), Ben Daniels (Jupiter’s Legacy), Nia Towle (Persuasion), Nicholas Woodeson (Silent Witness), and newcomer Amelia Kenworthy in yet-to-be-disclosed roles for season 2 of the series.

“Since its premiere, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been bringing audiences together to experience the magic and wonder of J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnificent Middle-earth. To date, season one is the top original series for Prime Video in every region and has been viewed by over 100 million people worldwide, a truly global hit that speaks to the universal nature of powerful storytelling. We welcome these wonderful actors to our ‘fellowship’ and look forward to telling more incredible Second Age stories in season 2,” said Vernon Sanders, Head of Global Television, Amazon Studios, in a press release, announcing the new additions to the show’s cast.

In an interview with Deadline last October, showrunner Patrick McKay revealed that the new season will introduce the ancient elf Cirdan, and it’s possible that this character will be played by one of the actors mentioned above.

“Cirdan will be a part of the adventure moving forward in season 2,” McKay told the news outlet. “We’ve cast a wonderful actor to play him that we will announce at some future date. But part of the fun of telling a story in Middle-earth is that there’s [sic] all these wonderful canon characters that you’ve met season 1 and then there are additional canon characters that we will get to in future seasons. If you know the lore, you know, anybody is a fair game who might have been a part of the world at this time.”

What will happen in The Rings of Power season 2?

Plot details about The Rings of Power season 2 are being kept under wraps. But showrunner Paul McKay told Deadline that the show’s sophomore run won’t be the same as the first season, especially after it was revealed in the season 1 finale that Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) is actually Sauron.

Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

“Season 2 is fundamentally different in that our main villain is out and about and doing his thing,” explained McKay. “I think in some ways, it’s going to [be] grittier, more intense, maybe a little scarier. Certainly, it has a lot of the same other tonal ranges that you find in the show, which we feel are really sort of fundamental to feeling like you’re in Middle-earth, but once Sauron is openly on the move and working his plans, things get rather interesting.”

Deadline’s Inside The Ring Episode 8 | The Rings of Power | Prime Video

When will The Rings of Power season 2 come out?

The Rings of Power season 2 doesn’t have a release date yet, but filming for the upcoming season is ongoing in the United Kingdom. This is a big departure from season 1, which was shot in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies were filmed.

Sources: Amazon Studios, Deadline, GameSpot
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