Isildur, one of the youngest kings in Middle-earth’s history, also had the briefest reign. He is the son of Elendil and one of the two main protagonists in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings . However, this Numenorean sailor quickly became the king that led his kingdom to ruin when he refused to destroy the One Ring by throwing it into Mount Doom where it was forged. Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate

Who Is Maxim Baldry

Baldry recently starred in the BBC’s critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings prequel, the story of Isildur, the half-elven prince who inherits his father’s Elven ring and is ultimately doomed to watch it be destroyed. Baldry is set to reprise this role for Amazon Prime’s multi-season drama The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power as Isildur has become a warrior and king by this point. In the series, he must battle against Sauron as well as his own fate to save the rings of power.

Who was Isildur?

Maxim Baldry is best known for his role as Andy Nicholson in The Forsyte Saga. Baldry brings the tragedy of Isildur to life; he is seen as a Numenorean sailor who will eventually become a warrior and king. The writers wanted to explore Isildur’s story more than the source material so the audience would feel that it ends in tragedy rather than foolishness.

Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate
Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate

In the film, this has been accomplished by changing the focus from Sauron to an invasion from neighbouring tribes. For many years, there was an agreement between Sauron and Isildur about how the land would be divided between them but when Sauron refused to honour their agreement, war ensued. They were both killed in battle, but Sauron survived and continued his reign of terror while only being remembered as a tyrant or madman.

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Appreciating Tolkien’s prose

The Lord of the Rings is not an easy read. I’ll say that up front. The characters are so rich and vibrant, the story is so complex, and the language is ornate. Yet for all the problems Tolkien’s prose may have, it has amazing advantages too. It paints pictures in your mind without you even realizing it. It weaves tales that resonate for days after you finish reading them. It invites the reader to explore their thoughts and feelings about the world around them and ponder what makes them happy or sad.

Being an authentic character

The writers wanted to explore Isildur’s story more than the source material so the audience would feel that it ends in tragedy rather than foolishness. However, this resulted in difficulties trying to portray Isildur as an authentic character. One of the biggest challenges was portraying his romance with Elrond’s daughter Arwen. In order to show how much they love each other and make their relationship convincing, Baldry had to create his own version of one of their scenes together. The writers also changed some of Isildur’s dialogue from Elvish (which is not spoken by anyone except for elves) into Westron (which is what humans speak), and even made him a descendant of ancient Roman general Julius Caesar.

Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate
Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate

Researching your character

Maxim Baldry is one of the actors in the movies to play Isildur. The writers wanted to explore Isildur’s story more than the source material so the audience would feel that it ends in tragedy rather than foolishness. Baldry studied by reading about how King David’s son, Solomon (son of Nathan), was wounded in battle and died from his injuries, leading him to believe that Isildur perished from wounds he suffered from Sauron when he attempted to cast him down.

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Bringing history alive on set

Maxim Baldry who plays Isildur was thrilled to be a part of the production and learn more about his character. His sword fighting experience helped to make his performance as Isildur believable. He also describes how much he enjoyed wearing the costume which is made of canvas, linen, and leather for authenticity. It is hot and heavy, Baldry said about playing the role of Isildur.

Interview with Maximilian

This is Maximilian Baldry, the voice of Isildur in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. We talked about the importance of Isildur’s story in this video game and his personal insights as an actor into what makes this character so special.

Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate
Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Isildur in the Lord of the Rings?

The Lord of the Rings revolves around The Rings of Power, which the titular character, Frodo Baggins, has to destroy in order to save Middle Earth. One Ring has already been taken when Isildur is warned by Elrond that Sauron will come after him to reclaim the Ring because it is within his territory.

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Frodo then has to send him on his quest and as a result, Sauron never gets the ring he desires.

How did Isildur become a Nazgul?

Though the movie doesn’t detail exactly how Isildur became a Nazgul, it’s implied that this happened after he put on the ring. The idea is that evil forces did something to him and turned him into one of them. This theory also gets across the message that just because you have power doesn’t mean you are worthy of it.

What happened to Isildur and the One Ring?

Knowing that Sauron will eventually regroup and attack Middle-earth again, Isildur takes the One Ring from Sauron’s hand and delivers it to Mount Doom to be destroyed. He can’t go himself because he is fatally wounded during the battle of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men against Sauron. Instead, his son Elendil lights the volcano and throws in the ring.

Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate
Isildur: A Numenorean King with a Tragic Fate

Where did Isildur live?

The Last Alliance was the greatest conflict to take place in Middle-earth’s Third Age. This great battle marked the end of Sauron’s Dark Power and gave hope for peace for Middle-earth once again. The battle, however, also foreshadowed and doomed Isildur, son of Elendil, to his tragic fate. When he pulled out the One Ring from Sauron’s finger after striking him down, he could not resist it and put it on his own finger. From that moment on, Isildur knew that this had been part of the Ringwraith’s plan all along.

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