Watch the teaser for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is nearly upon us, with episode one of eight streaming on Prime Video from 2 September.
In November 2017, Amazon signed a £180m contract with the Tolkien Estate, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema to bring Middle Earth to the small screen. In total, Amazon’s investment in the project would come in at a mammoth $1 billion, guaranteeing two seasons at a cost of almost $500m apiece.
Read more: How far did Frodo walk in Lord of the Rings?
But The Rings of Power will not be the Middle Earth we know and love from Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of Tolkien’s trilogy nor his later nine hour long version of The Hobbit.
The Rings of Power will be set thousands of years before Bilbo Baggins left the Shire on his unexpected journey with a gang of dwarves and while there will be a couple of familiar names, the show will be delving deeper into Tolkien’s mythical lore.
The series will be based primarily on the appendices Tolkien wrote for The Lord of the Rings that greatly expanded on the series’ mythology and fictional history with the rights to the books and most of the characters held by different parties. The Tolkien Estate also have control over creative concepts to ensure the series does not significantly diverge from what the author originally wrote.
In charge of the show are JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who have worked as a writing partnership since high school. The duo are best known for their uncredited work on Star Trek: Beyond and it was reported that JJ Abrams recommended the pair to Amazon for the series.
Spanish filmmaker JA Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, A Monster Calls) will direct the first two episodes.
Read on for everything you need to know about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power release date
Amazon Prime Video confirmed that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be released on the streaming service on Friday, 2 September, 2022. However, not all episodes will be available to watch at once.
Following the premiere, episodes will then be released weekly onto Prime Video, which will be the only place to watch the show.
Coincidentally, 2 September is also the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins.
Production on the extremely costly show began in pre-pandemic times in February 2020 in New Zealand, but did not conclude until August the following year after Covid-19 shut down workplaces worldwide. The second season will shoot in the UK, and is expected to begin shooting soon.
The Lord of the Rings: The Power of the Ring cast
Much like previous trips to Middle Earth, The Power of the Ring will feature a vast ensemble cast. In the lead is Robert Aramayo who will play a younger version of Elrond who fans will remember was played by Hugo Weaving in Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
Aramayo is best known for his role as a young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones and for starring in Netflix’s Behind Her Eyes.
Maxim Baldry will also star as Isildur who Tolkien fans know is the one who originally took the One Ring from Sauron.
Swedish born Welsh actor Morfydd Clark will portray Galadriel who was famously played by Cate Blanchett in the film series.
Perhaps the most notable name among the cast is Sir Lenny Henry. The actor and comedian will be playing Sadoc Burrows, who is a Harfoot – a precursor to the Hobbits.
The other actors that round out the main cast are Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Markella Kavenagh, Simon Merrells, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Charlie Vickers, Benjamin Walker and Daniel Weyman.
Will Poulter was originally cast in the lead of Elrond before scheduling conflicts forced him to drop out and be replaced with Aramayo.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power plot
Amazon has said that the show will be set in the 3441 year period before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. This is more commonly known as the Second Age.
The Rings of Power synopsis reads: "Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history.
"This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.
"Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.
"From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone."
As such, beyond some of the Elf characters, don’t expect any other Lord of the Rings favourites to appear in the show.
The show’s creators have already confirmed that Sauron will not appear in the first season but the character is expected to appear later in the five-season run.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power trailer
A teaser trailer for the show was released on 13 February and originally premiered during Super Bowl LVI.
Amazon reported that the trailer received 257 million views in 24 hours, a record for any Super Bowl advertisement.
You can watch the trailer above.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is stream on Prime Video from 2 September.