One of the best character arcs in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is when Elrond (Robert Aramayo) travels from Eregion to Khazad-dûm with Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) to reunite with Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) after twenty years. It’s a pivotal moment early in the season that changes a lot for Durin, especially concerning his relationship with his father, King Durin III (Peter Mullan).
While speaking to Awards Radar on Zoom during a virtual press day, actor Owain Arthur explained the process that went into crafting the strong friendship between Durin, Elrond, and Disa (Sophia Nomvete):
“We started off on the right foot. The three of us hit it off immediately. The nature of the first time we, Elrond, Durin, and Disa together meant that there had to be a lot of gaps to fill because of Elrond’s return. I’m not sure the writers knew that we would be that close to each other, but we discovered that they must have been through something quite life-changing together to form that bond because, you know, we’re not supposed to be friends yet, traditionally speaking. We spent lots of time together to form that bond, and Robert and I actually went on a little adventure together. For Durin’s relationship with Disa, we spoke a lot about how they love each other, how much passion they have, who’s the boss at various times, and how they lean on each other at different moments.
I’ve personally not worked as hard for a role right at the very beginning as I have done on this show, so it was really exciting to be able to do that. To play a different being was also very special. What was great about the world we’re creating is that it’s not normal. You can’t pick up the phone and dial 911. It’s completely different, and having to play that role was a gift in itself, and being able to explore the differences between a dwarf and an elf was another layer that we could add on.”
Sophia Nomvete expanded on what Arthur said by explaining that “the friendship between Owain, Rob, and me is very strong. That foundation, which is the opening scene that you see, that dinner scene was rehearsed the longest. I’m sure we broke a record of being the longest rehearsed scene ever, in terms of our work, because we worked on it for about a year. By the time we actually shot it, it was about a year to the day that we arrived. It was the scene we had in front of us, which is what we knew. We also worked on backstories.
Where does Disa sit with it? Disa loves Elrond because she sees the love that Durin has for Elrond, she sees the gap that needs filling. He needs to return to Durin to fill that happiness and have his best friend back. There is also an ambitious side to Disa that we see throughout the show. She is fighting for a more liberal Khazad-dûm in season one. So she knows it serves her husband’s happiness and the allyship of the Elves and the Dwarves. That serves a really important purpose for the evolution and survival of Khazad-dûm. So I think that is where she is. She fights for that triangle to work.”
You can check out our full conversation below and see all episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video:
[Some of the quotes in the article have been edited for length and clarity]