Audition for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings hints at possible recast and other casting tidbits

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Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series is one of the best kept secrets in the industry as far as production and casting news are concerned. Starring an international ensemble cast including Morfydd Clark, Nazanin Boniadi and Joseph Mawle, the show is set in the second age of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium and is rumored to depict the events leading to the forging of the One Ring and the downfall of the island-kingdom Númenor.

We previously reported on several audition scripts, featuring lines for some of the characters expected to debut in season one. It is important to keep in mind that these are codenames and it is not known who will play them yet. Today we have found another tape for the character called Loda.

Loda has already been featured in one of the scripts we transcribed earlier, so why are there new tapes surfacing now all around the same time? Our best guess is that the role may have been recast for unknown reasons. If that is true, the casting team may have sent out new scripts for the audition, as seen before, with other shows like Netflix’s The Witcher.

It is possible, that the production break due to COVID-19 has caused scheduling issues for the actor originally cast in the role, and he had to drop out. This very thing happened recently with the second season of The Witcher. Then again, this is only our take on the situation.

New Loda audition

We know that actors Joel Lambert (Mad Men, American Sniper), Chris Browning (Bosch, The 100), and Travis Johns (Fear the Walking Dead, Term Life) have submitted takes for the role of Loda. Normally, if an actor uploads an audition tape, it is an indication that they did not get the role in the end.

As can be understood from the tapes, Loda has just caught a woman trying to steal one of his horses. Remember that this is likely just a scene written for the audition and thus will not make it to the show. As is customary, the actors’ lines are coded where necessary (Citadel, Brendor Forest, Kingdom of Amerlyn). That being said, it may still be possible to guess some of Loda’s background and possibly even the environment surrounding him.

If experience teaches us anything, the videos will soon be taken down, so we have included a transcription after the cut.

Loda: Be wiser to steal the mare. That stallion will hardly get you out of [Brendor]* forest

Woman: It ‘d be an improvement to walking.

Loda: Still, I can’t let you take him, I’m afraid the king has asked me with ensuring you cause him no further turmoil. I believe he saw it as a punishment. Besides, you don’t even know where you’re going do you?

Woman: Who are you to speak to me as if you know who I am?

Loda: Ah, I have a son who runs fast and another who runs blind, and your eyes… they’re a striking resemblance to both. Or am I far from the mark?

Woman: Where and how I run are none of your concerns and you couldn’t stop me from going if you tried.

Loda: Yet you intend to go the wrong way. Were you to head north you’d run right into our rearguard, but were you to head south instead, you might be in for a much warmer reception. Here in the citadel many think the old traditions are myth, superstitions. But in the southern reaches they say there are still outlaw tribes living off the land, clinging to the old traditions, speaking the old tongue. Among our restless youths it’s become a fashionable escape to seek them out. This trend has already cost me a son, my first one that is. 

Woman: I’m sorry about your son

Loda: The Kingdom of [Amerlyn]* Is a thick volume and you have only skimmed the first page. I assure you, there is no more to be learned in our dungeons, but if you return with me as a guest, I think you find much here worthy of your interest.

* Names that are hard to understand and may be spelled differently are put in brackets.

Young actress cast in The Lord of the Rings

In other news, we can also confirm that young actress Amelie Child Villiers (Censor) has filmed scenes for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series earlier this year. The name of her character and the role she plays in the show have not been disclosed yet.

Amelie Child Villiers. Photo credits: Dasa Wharton

While Amazon has not given a release date for The Lord of the Rings yet, the internet is abuzz with rumors about a possible involvement of composer Howard Shore and production company Weta Workshop, both known for their work on Peter Jackson’s trilogies.

It may be a while yet, since we hear anything official about the project, so we’re down to guessing. In the meantime, make sure to follows our Foreign Affairs twitter, where we’ll update you on anything we can find out about The Lord of the Rings and other upcoming fantasy shows!

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