8 Actors Who Could Slay As Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings Series

Kim Taylor-Foster
TV Fantasy
TV Fantasy Streaming

The new Lord of the Rings series, which Amazon is currently developing, will reportedly follow a young Aragorn. Or at least Season 1 will. Played in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy by Viggo Mortensen, Aragorn has an indomitable spirit mixed with a vulnerability that makes him both worthy of admiration and invites identification.

Tolkien described Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings as being lean, physically, as well as dark and tall with “a shaggy head of dark hair flecked with grey, and in a pale stern face a pair of keen grey eyes.”

While it hasn’t been revealed exactly what age Aragorn will be, we can speculate that the series will focus on his time under the care of Elrond in Rivendell, when, at the age of 20, he first discovers his true origins which had been kept a secret from him growing up.

Whoever takes on the role will need to match Mortensen’s considerable acting chops, while also bringing bags of charisma and likeability. So who could fit the bill?

Nicholas Hoult

He’s already playing the revered author in a new film about J. R. R. Tolkien’s young life, so it would be a real kick to see the British star crop up as the lead in the Lord of the Rings series. He’s tall and lean with dark hair so fits Tolkien’s vision of the character. But crucially, Hoult also has the Hollywood credentials and clout to carry a series that’s set to be the most expensive ever made.

Aidan Turner

Aidan Turner looks the part, and has the pedigree.

Turner is already a huge star in Britain as the star of 18th century brooding Cornish drama Poldark. He also has previous experience when it comes to Tolkien – having starred as Kili the dwarf in The Hobbit films. But that shouldn’t go against him, since he has Aragorn’s characteristics in spades. He’s even pretty tall, coming in at around 6 feet. It falls a little short of the 6’6” measurement Tolkien had Aragorn down as, but it’s substantially taller than dwarf stature. His age may go against him, however. Though Turner is youthful looking, at 35 he might be considered a little too mature to pass for the 20-year-old ranger.

Isaac Hempstead Wright

Isaac Hempstead Wright could pull it off.

While Kit Harington might be the obvious first choice to play Aragorn having proven himself in Game of Thrones as Jon Snow, he’s perhaps a little too synonymous with the George R. R. Martin series to convincingly pull off the character. But how about Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Snow’s younger brother Bran Stark? He’d bring all that experience gained on a huge-budget, global-hit show with him – not to mention an army of fans.

Dylan O’Brien

Make no mistake about it, Dylan O’Brien is a huge talent. Having been the breakout star of massively popular series Teen Wolf, O’Brien also made his name starring in the Maze Runner films. Last year saw him break into more adult fare with a tremendous turn in R-rated action thriller American Assassin opposite Michael Keaton which cemented his reputation as a budding action star – perfect for the Lord of the Rings lead, in fact.

Finn Wolfhard

Finn Wolfhard could grow up with the series.

At 15, the Stranger Things star might be a little young to pass for a 20-year old Aragorn – but depending on where in the son of Arathorn’s story the series picks up, Wolfhard could be perfect. Particularly if, as the series progresses, he ages as the story unfolds across the seasons. At this stage, it’s reported that The Lord of the Rings will have at least five seasons.

Kodi Smit-McPhee

This Australian actor plays Nightcrawler in the X-Men films. But perhaps the most critical of his past roles is as the boy in The Road. Opposite the man who played his father in the lo-fi post-apocalyptic drama — none other than Viggo Mortensen. There would a certain poetry in seeing Smit-McPhee take on the role of a young Aragorn. But more than that, he’s already proved he’d be very capable via his work on the big screen in Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and more, as well as TV mini-series Gallipoli.

Timothée Chalamet

Having left a huge impression on Hollywood last year with his turns in Call Me By Your Name, for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and Greta Gerwig’s similarly recognized Lady Bird, Chalamet would undeniably rival Mortensen when it comes to realising Aragorn on screen. Having also featured in Homeland, Chalamet would bring a certain amount of gravitas to the series. And immense talent, of course.

Rohan Chand

Rohan Chand makes a mean Mowgli.

Like Finn Wolfhard, Chand’s casting as the heir of Isildur would depend on the age at which we first meet Aragorn. But the young New York-born actor has already impressed in the likes of Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren, as well as Dwayne Johnson blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. And that’s not to mention his turn as the titular Mowgli in Andy Serkis’s upcoming live-action retelling of The Jungle Book.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.