Rings of Power’s Stranger actor on istar magic and season 2

Daniel Weyman both has the best or hardest job on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Since falling out of the sky like a meteor, Weyman’s the Stranger has spent most of season 1 studying the lay of the land and upending life for Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and her insulated harfoot neighborhood, leaving him with just a few strains of dialogue and the occasional mystical magic second.

But Weyman’s time on The Rings of Power press tour has been practically as rigorous — as in, every thing he may presumably say could be a spoiler. Is his character Gandalf? Sauron? Saruman? Radagast? Tom Bombadil? Other? The prying has been countless, however when your character is a strolling thriller field, that’s half of what you join. The Rings of Power season 1 finale answered a couple of questions — we all know the Stranger isn’t Sauron, however is an Istar (or wizard), like Gandalf.

How did Weyman, whose earlier work ranges from HBO’s Gentleman Jack to the Sandman audio drama, strategy the anomaly? And what’s in retailer for season 2? Polygon spoke to the actor, who was in London the place the subsequent season of The Rings of Power is at present being filmed, to ask every thing we may presumably think about him answering concerning the Middle-earth’s largest unknown.

[Ed. note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity, and contains spoilers for all of The Rings of Power season 1.]

Polygon: The Stranger isn’t only a mysterious character; he’s just about a strolling thriller field. How a lot did the artistic group need you to find out about him, and how a lot did you need to know?

Daniel Weyman: Pretty early on the showrunners made it clear that they we had been actually keen on following his story within the current. So they weren’t massively keen on overreach of the place this character goes to go or something that we needed to tie in there. I believe they allowed fantastic resonances to look in heaps of completely different scenes and episodes, not only for my character, however for others as nicely, that followers can return and take a look at the supply materials and make up their very own minds. Lots of them are very completely different. Up till this one comes out, I believe there was a wholesome quantity who thought the Stranger is likely to be very darkish.

So it feels prefer it’s ongoing, and it’s truly been fairly joyous to movie as a result of anytime I’ve come to a scene, beginning within the crater, I haven’t had to consider something previous what’s in entrance of me within the script. He is aware of nothing when he wakes up. All I needed to focus on was what that feeling is likely to be like in his physique, coming round in a crater with smoke, with fireplace, with rock, wanting like an terrible warzone, and then this very unusual being in entrance of him, who I believe in the beginning he can’t even separate from nature itself. Is this factor he’s taking a look at like fireplace or like air or like water? It’s very elemental. The nice pleasure is taking the subsequent season to construct on that. But I don’t have to challenge into the long run.


Image: Prime Video

Are you an actor who appears to be like to actual life to construct a personality? Was there something to attract from whereas enjoying an amnesiac bearded wizard from Middle-earth?

I discovered that being in New Zealand, the place we had been welcomed to only unbelievable open arms, and having the ability to expertise some of the traditional Maori tradition that’s there, one thing concerning the land and the best way they use land or respect land, the truth that my character was barefoot, the truth that I grew my beard so it was longer than I’ve ever grown it earlier than, plus the truth that I used to be sporting garments that had been probably not garments, simply issues to maintain him heat, that each one grounded me in one of the simplest ways, which was into nature. I felt I used to be half of the world.

The showrunners had additionally given me some movie references once we had been doing the audition course of. One of those that I held on to most was Frankenstein, the 1931 movie, particularly the place we see [the monster with the little girl]. In that scene particularly, we will’t say whether or not the monster is evil or good. We can definitely say that some of the consequences of his habits are horrible. But as soon as that habits has been accomplished, the remainder of society treats him in a really completely different approach and type of turns him into an evil creature. They type of write his future for him, don’t they? But I actually liked the enjoyment that he has in smelling that flower. I used to be massively excited by seeing the flower float on the water, and when he first sees the kid, and they’ve this second you suppose that is going to be terrible. Then you suppose, Hang on, is {that a} snort? And then he picks her up and you’re like, Oh, that is gonna be OK, and then, no, he dumps her within the lake and she drowns. That was a little bit touchstone for me, for the Stranger, that I discovered actually, actually useful.

Understandably, most of what you may say concerning the Stranger would represent spoilers for future seasons, so listed below are some burning questions on season 1: How a lot of a ache within the ass was the beard?

I began to develop it in October 2019. I began auditioning August ’19, however by October it was clear {that a} beard is likely to be helpful for the half. And so I began to develop it, and it was solely itchy for a couple of days. But my beard may be very grey, it’s nearly a white beard. But clearly we dyed that up.

Your beard could possibly be neither grey nor white.

So we dyed that and they saved trimming that clearly to the size that they wished. But after I wasn’t filming, I’d let it develop. And then we had COVID and over the size of time that we weren’t filming, I let it develop, and it was insane. It was essentially the most ludicrous beard. Friends wouldn’t acknowledge me. I loved going there with him. It modified my physicality, and who I believed I used to be.

The Stranger confronts three white cloak warriors standing in a triangle pattern in the forest in Rings of Power

Image: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

You have a battle in opposition to Sauron’s disciples within the season finale — what’s the key to waving your palms round like you will have magical powers and wanting cool?

The very first thing for me was that we didn’t attempt and make something look cool. But there was an excellent motion coach […] however she had nice insights into how you can make bodily actions correctly rooted in one thing aside from “But I really want to make it look really cool and really magic!”

The rule of thumb for us was all the time that the magic — and we didn’t actually name it magic, we known as it the vitality that flowed by means of him — was all the time exterior. He was all the time channeling vitality from nature, above himself or beneath himself, and he was the conduit. He was the divining rod for this vitality. It flowed by means of him usually with out his actual understanding of why or how you can management it. But it meant that his physicality throughout that wasn’t actually his personal both. It was how he responded to this stupidly great amount of vitality coursing by means of him. And so it was completely different in several moments. I hope that we get to discover that as season 2 goes ahead.

What was it wish to throw a warg? It regarded heavy.

I’m happy you say that as a result of that was powerful. And they made it powerful. Most of that was blue display as a result of I clearly was a distinct scale to Markella Kavenagh and the remainder of the harfoots, so once we lastly got here to movie that they knew that the shot that they wished had them within the background, so I needed to be within the foreground in opposition to the blue display and the animal was held by a little bit blue particular person wearing a full blue bodysuit. And they held this animal up. It had a little bit bit of fur on its again, but it surely was mainly a big blue sack and it was very heavy and they saved placing extra weight in it as a result of they stated I wasn’t making it look heavy sufficient. I can’t keep in mind how heavy it bought, however I do keep in mind after doing a number of takes saying, “Guys, this is pretty heavy!” And them saying, “Yeah, but it’s reading!”

Do you suppose you’ll get a hat in season 2? Seems like you may get a hat.

What else, huh? That’s actually good query. I haven’t considered it in any respect. People at numerous factors requested me about sneakers. “Wouldn’t he have some shoes by now?” And I used to be all the time like, “No, he just is with the harfoots.” The solely beings that he is aware of are the harfoots and they don’t have sneakers! Why would he? How would he? Where would he?

Yeah, we’ve been questioning if the Stranger ever put on underpants.

Yes, it was a beautiful pair of underpants he wore.

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