A lot has been said about the main female characters of The Lord of the Rings and their representation in the film adaptation, but not much has been written about one of the most important supporting characters. While I’m referring to Eowyn, Arwen, and Galadriel, I am specifically referring to Marigold Brandyfoot, otherwise known as Nori’s mother in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The Unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot: Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot: Nori’s mother

The Unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot: Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot, Nori’s mother

[]The unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot, Sara Zwangobani, surprised many audience members when she took on the role of Nori’s mother Marigold Brandyfoot in the hit Broadway play Marigold Brandyfoot: My Life as an Adult Fairy. This was Zwangobani’s first time performing in public, having never acted before in her life! Not only that, but she was still planning to go to school when she auditioned and was chosen for the play.

Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot

Sara Zwangobani is an actress and she has been playing the part of Marigold Brandyfoot for over a year. She is known for her roles in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Luther. Sara also played the role of Helen on Broadway in Fiddler on The Roof, which was nominated for five Tony Awards.

Nori’s mother

Nori lived a tough life with her mom after the death of her father. They were always scraping by and living in poverty. One day, she found out that her mother was pregnant and had to drop out of school because she couldn’t afford it. She also found out that her mom had a serious illness and didn’t know how they would make it through the pregnancy.

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The Unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot

In the third week of our March Madness competition, we are excited to announce that the winner of this round is Rishi Rajgopaul with his story Marigold Brandyfoot: Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot. Congratulations!

If you haven’t read his story yet (or any of the others!), here is a summary to give you an idea of what it is about.

Who was she?

Sara Zwangobani was a Jamaican-born English actress, famous for her role in Marigold Brandyfoot from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Her father was from Jamaica and her mother was from Saint Vincent, an island in the Caribbean. She was raised in England and became interested in acting while she attended Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Although she never studied acting, she did have a few formal theatre training. At Oxford, she started reading drama books and attending performances. After school, she landed her first major film role with starring roles in William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (1999) and The Golden Bowl (2000). In 2004, at age 30, she died from ovarian cancer.

How did she die?

Although the timeline in The Lord of the Rings is fuzzy, the assumption that Tolkien had for Arwen was she would die soon after giving birth to a child. In order to avoid this tragedy, he kills her off before then. However, upon analyzing The Rings of Power, we can see that Frodo and Bilbo actually both die relatively early in their lives too – they only take up the old age and responsibilities that come with being Gandalf’s Wizard successors when their maker no longer needs them.

The Unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot: Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot: Nori's mother
The Unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot: Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot: Nori’s mother

What happened to her family?

The Bagginses and the Sackville-Bagginses have never gotten along very well, but the marriage of Bilbo to Belladonna Took set off a string of events that led to a most unusual fate for them. When Bilbo takes Belladonna to live in Bag End with him, she is still too young to marry and the trouble begins. The Sackville-Bagginses become disgruntled because they had been looking forward to marrying into a wealthy family (something they failed to do) and start pestering poor Bilbo at every opportunity. One day, when Gandalf comes visiting, he has just enough time before leaving again to see their faces through the window. What he sees makes his face darken ominously.

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What does this mean for us?

The most important aspect of The Lord of the Rings is what it has done for us. It can help with our imagination and our escape from the real world to be taken away by such a fantastic, magical land. The Rings of Power have aided us on many adventures, some in the deepest parts of Fangorn Forest or Mordor, some in Rivendell with Elrond and Gandalf, some on the high peak of Mount Doom where Frodo lost his ring to Sauron who resided there. We’ve seen these things come alive through Tolkien’s words. Through these pages we are able to meet characters like Samwise Gamgee, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli; we are able to explore Middle-earth so vividly that we can see the beauty of Lothlorien with Galadriel on the banks of Silverlode, the majesty of Minas Tirith with Denethor awaiting his son at Osgiliath.

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Is there anything we can learn from her?

After the long awaited release of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movie, the trailer for the sequel was released last week. Watching it made me recall my favorite Middle Earth family, The Bagginses. Of course there are the descendants of two sibling halflings Bilbo and Frodo; a son named Elanor and his daughter named Primula.

The Unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot: Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot: Nori's mother
The Unexpected Marigold Brandyfoot: Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot: Nori’s mother

However, these two lesser-known Baggins children are just as remarkable to me as their older cousins in their own way because they were both adopted by Bilbo. Nori is Bilbo’s firstborn, who he took care of until he left with Gandalf on the Quest to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom. During this time, Nori traveled with him, was present at Rivendell when Aragorn came through disguised as Thorongil and helped him find and rescue Gollum from Orthanc.

What role does she play in future films?

The end of The Hobbit finds the aged Bilbo returning to Bag End, where he encounters a throng of well-wishers and onlookers. Suddenly, a small figure comes running out of the house and jumps into his arms, catching him off guard. It is none other than his young cousin and heir, Frodo. But who is the little girl hugging Bilbo? Her name is Marigold Brandyfoot. As in many cultures around the world, in Tolkien’s mythology an older male relative may marry or adopt a female child to continue his family line (see Arwen Undómiel).

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