The Rings of Power season 2 drops a big name star as key character is recast

Adar addresses his orc army by fire light in The Rings of Power episode 6
The Rings of Power season 2 has lost one of its big name actors. (Image credit: Prime Video)

The Rings of Power season 2 will see a new actor portray Adar after Joseph Mawle surprisingly departed the project.

Announced in a press release, Amazon Studios confirmed that Mawle has been replaced by Sam Hazeldine (Peaky Blinders) in the second season of its hugely popular Prime Video show. 

No reason has been given for Mawle's departure. Amazon declined to comment when we reached out for an official statement on the matter.

Despite being replaced as the orc leader, Mawle had nothing but good things to say about his time on The Rings of Power season 1. Taking to his personal Twitter account after the news broke, the former Game of Thrones actor expressed gratitude for being able to play a small but significant role in J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary world:

As well as recasting the role of Adar, Amazon that announced six other actors (alongside Hazeldine) have been added to The Rings of Power season 2's cast:

  • Gabriel Akuwudike (1917, War of the Worlds)
  • Yasen ‘Zates’ Atour (The Witcher season 2, Young Wallander)
  • Ben Daniels (The Crown, Jupiter's Legacy)
  • Nicholas Woodeson (Rome, Silent Witness)
  • Nia Towle (Persuasion)
  • Amelia Kenworthy (N/A)

Amazon hasn't confirmed which characters these actors will play, but Hazeldine and his fellow stars will all have "recurring roles" in one of the best Prime Video shows, according to the studio's press release.

The Rings of Power's showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne have already confirmed that Cirdan the Shipwright – one of Middle-earth's oldest elves – will appear in season 2. Woodeson is the oldest of these new cast members, so he's a logical fit for the role of Cirdan, in our opinion.

In a brief statement accompanying the new cast announcements, Amazon's Head of Global Television Vernon Sanders said: "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 two."

The Rings of Power's cast additions reveal comes just 10 days after another big announcement surrounding the show. On November 21, a Rings of Power docuseries was released on Prime Video, which details the development of the series' expensive first season.

Meanwhile, production on The Rings of Power season 2 began in late October, with principal photography taking place in the UK instead of New Zealand. No release date has been set for the show's return, but we suspect it won't arrive until sometime in 2024.

For more content centered on Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel series, read our Rings of Power season 1 ending explained article. Alternatively, find out when one Rings of Power star learned he was playing Sauron and why The Stranger's big reveal was held back from the cast until the final few months.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

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