Meet Ismael Cruz Córdova, the Rings of Power Disruptor

I can’t believe it’s 2022 and we are still having ‘first’, but I am here for it all day. Congrats, Ismael! ~ V


Córdova is the first person of color to portray one of Tolkien’s elves onscreen, and he says he relates to his character in a few ways—including, as someone caught within the intersections of multiple communities, feeling “othered.”


Many kids aspire to become what they see onscreen. Some might dream of being a superhero or perhaps a daring detective or a celebrated athlete. Ismael Cruz Córdova couldn’t wait until he could be an elf. And lucky for him, that’s exactly what he is as the star of The Rings of Power, now streaming on Amazon.

Growing up in the mountains of Puerto Rico, Córdova recalls always feeling connected to the nature around him and how that drew him to the elves he read about.

Then, after finally saving up enough money for his first television set as a teen, he was mesmerized by the interworkings of the silver screen while watching the behind-the-scenes footage of The Lord of the Rings.

It was so impactful that it cemented his intention to find his way to Hollywood. But despite a lifelong love for the world of Tolkien, Córdova is still processing his involvement in The Rings of Power.

It hits you in different waves, like the first time I got to New Zealand and did my costume fitting. That was so incredibly moving to me for so many reasons. Or the first time that I went to set. It’s all these waves of unprecedented, epic proportions. I think it might finally hit when we go to Comic Con as well and first get to interact with these die-hard fans.

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