The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

From Tolkien Gateway
"What news from the North, Riders of Rohan?" — Aragorn
This article is about a current event; it is subject to frequent revision as more information becomes available.
The name Rings of Power refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Rings of Power (disambiguation).
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Amazon - The Lord of the Rings - The Rings of Power.png
WriterNovel:
J.R.R. Tolkien
Screenplay:
John D. Payne and Patrick McKay
ProducerJ.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (showrunners)
Starringsee below
DistributorAmazon Prime Video
Released1 September 2022 (first episode's release date)
CountryUnited States, United Kingdom, New Zealand
LanguageEnglish
WebsiteOfficial website
IMDbIMDb Profile

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, otherwise known as The Lord of the Rings on Prime, is an online television series and it is based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is created and produced by Amazon Studios working alongside the Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Set in the Second Age of Middle-earth,[1] it explores new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring.[2] The story spaning across thousands of years is condensed into a single point in time to avoid time jumps.[3] The first two episodes were released on 2 September 2022.[4]

Premise

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.
—Official synopsis[5]

Source material and copyrights

The showrunners said that they wish to "come up with the novel Tolkien never wrote and do it as the mega-event series".[3] They explained that they only have the copyrights to adapt The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings along with it's Appendices, without the rights to The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales or other books that contain vast majority of Tolkien's writings on the Second Age.[6]

Episodes

Season one

  1. A Shadow of the Past
  2. Adrift
  3. Adar
  4. The Great Wave
  5. Partings
  6. Udûn

Cast and characters

In alphabetical order

Season one

Actor Role
Cynthia Addai-Robinson[7] Queen Regent Míriel[8]
Robert Aramayo[9] Elrond[10]
Owain Arthur[9] Prince Durin IV[11]
Maxim Baldry[7] Isildur[12]
Ian Blackburn[7] Rowan
Nazanin Boniadi[9] Bronwyn[13]
Kip Chapman[7] Rían
Morfydd Clark[9] Galadriel[14]
Ismael Cruz Córdova[9] Arondir [15]
Anthony Crum[7] Ontamo
Maxine Cunliffe[7] Vilma
Charles Edwards[16] Celebrimbor[17]
Trystan Gravelle[7] Pharazôn[18]
Sir Lenny Henry[7] Sadoc Burrows[19]
Ema Horvath[9] Eärien[20]
Thusitha Jayasundera[7] Malva
Markella Kavenagh[9] Elanor "Nori" Brandyfoot[21]
Joseph Mawle[9] Adar
Fabian McCallum[7] Thondir
Simon Merrells[7] Revion
Geoff Morrell[7] Waldreg[22]
Tyroe Muhafidin[9] Theo[23]
Peter Mullan[7] King Durin III[6]
Sophia Nomvete[9] Princess Disa [24]
Lloyd Owen[7] Elendil[25]
Augustus Prew[7] Médhor
Megan Richards[9] Poppy Proudfellow[26]
Dylan Smith[9] Largo Brandyfoot[27]
Peter Tait[7] Tredwill
Alex Tarrant[7] Valandil
Charlie Vickers[9] Halbrand[28]
Leon Wadham[7] Kemen[29]
Benjamin Walker[7] High-King Gil-galad[30]
Daniel Weyman[9] The Stranger[31]
Sara Zwangobani[7] Marigold Brandyfoot[32]

Production

Fourth map of Middle-earth, released by Amazon on 6 March 2019

In November 2017, it was reported that Amazon Studios were in discussion with Warner Bros. Television and the Tolkien Estate about developing a series based on The Lord of the Rings.[33] Later, in November, Amazon Studios announced they have secured the rights to develop a multi-season television series set in Middle-earth with the potential for spin-offs.[34] The rights have been said to have cost close to $250 million.[35] Amazon Studios will cooperate with the Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.[35]

On 13 February 2019, Amazon's newly created Twitter account associated with the show posted the quote "I wisely started with a map.", taken from Tolkien's Letter 144.[36] On 15 February the Twitter account released a map of Middle-earth along with a line of the Ring Verse, over the next few weeks different versions of the map were released with each successive one including more labels than the previous as well as more lines from the verse. On 7 March the final map was released which showed a wider view of Middle-earth, including the island of Númenor and the final post "Welcome to the Second Age".[1] Tom Shippey and artist John Howe had worked on the accuracy of the maps, however dedicated fans had detected several mistakes and anachronisms.[37]

The series being set in the Second Age was predicted by Tolkien Society Chair Shaun Gunner in February.[38]

On 27 July 2019 a video was published that introduced the creative team; J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay were announced as the showrunners, the writing team consisting of Gennifer Hutchison, Helen Shang, Jason Cahill, Glenise Mullins, Justin Dohle, Stephany Folsom and Bryan Cogman, Belén Atienza, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly and Lindsey Weber as executive producers, Ron Ames as co-producer, Kate Hawley as costume designer, Rick Heinrichs as production designer and Jason Smith as visual effects supervisor. The team will also include Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey and artist John Howe. Bayona will direct the first two episodes.[39] In an interview with the German Tolkien Society, scholar Tom Shippey stated that events from the First and Third Ages are "off-limits".[40]

On 17 September 2019, Amazon Studios announced that the series will be filmed in New Zealand.[2]

On 18 November 2019, Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke announced a second season renewal for the series.[41]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic production of the series was suspended.[42] On 9 May 2020 the New Zealand Film Commission has allowed the production of film and TV to continue in the country.[43]

In December 2020, Bryan Cogman left the series for Entertainment One, after completing work on the scripts for season one.[44]

On 24 March 2021, Amazon Studios announced that Wayne Che Yip has joined the creative team, as both a co-executive producer and director.[45]

On May 2021, it was announced that Charlotte Brändström will direct another two episodes.[46]

On September 2021, it was reported that Howard Shore and Bear McCreary are in talks to compose the soundtrack for the series.[47]

On 19 January 2022, a first teaser was released announcing the official title for the series: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.[48]

Casting

On 22 July 2019, it was reported that Amazon has made its first cast for the new series that Markella Kavenagh was in talks to play a character named "Tyra".[49]

Will Poulter was cast for an unknown role in September 2019[50] however in December it was reported that he left the series due to scheduling conflicts.[51] This was later confirmed by Poulter in an interview.[52] He was replaced by Robert Aramayo who was reported to be playing a character named "Beldor".[53]

In October 2019 it was reported that Maxim Baldry[54] and Joseph Mawle has joined the cast, the latter playing "Oren", the lead villain of the series.[55]

In December 2019 there were reports of Ema Horvath[56] and Morfydd Clark joinining the cast, it was said that Clark is to play a "young Galadriel".[57]

On 15 January 2020, the series' official social media confirmed the castings of Kavenagh, Aramayo, Mawle, Horvath and Clark as well as revealing new members of the cast; Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers and Daniel Weyman.[9]

In December 2020, it was announced that 20 actors have been added to the cast; Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry (reported to have joined back in October 2019), Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells, Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker and Sara Zwangobani.[7]

In March 2021, Tom Budge announced that he had departed the series after filming several episodes. He explained that Amazon had decided to go in a different direction with his character after reviewing the first episodes.[58]

In July 2021 Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and Beau Cassidy were added to the first season's cast that July.[59] A third of the first season's 124 speaking roles, including seven of the 32 major recurring roles, went to New Zealand actors.[60]

Filming

Season one

One of the promotional posters released on February 2022

Although pre-production on the series reportedly began in June 2018 in Auckland, filming began on 14 March 2020[61] in Auckland primarily at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios.[62] Location filming took place around Auckland in February.[63] Filming for the first two episodes was expected to continue through May,[64] with a four or five-month production break then planned during which footage for the two episodes would be reviewed and writing on the second season would begin.[65]Production was scheduled to resume in mid-October and continue until late June 2021.[66] However, filming was placed on hold indefinitely in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 800 cast and crew members told to stay home.[67] In early May, the majority of filming for the first two episodes was confirmed to have been completed before the COVID-19 shutdown. Filming on the series was allowed to resume then under new safety guidelines from the New Zealand government, but, instead of completing filming for the first two episodes at that time, the filming shutdown segued into the intended production break, with filming for the first two episodes set to be completed once filming on further episodes was ready to begin.[68]

It was reported that the TV series was one of seven film and television productions that were granted exemptions to allow cast and crew members to enter New Zealand while its borders were closed to non-New Zealanders due to COVID-19. The exemptions were granted before June 18 by Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, and applied to 93 members of the production as well as 20 family members. Around 10 percent of the series' crew were believed to be non-New Zealanders, and many of them had remained in the country during its pandemic lockdown and did not require exemptions. Pre-production on further episodes began by July 2020,[69] and filming on the series resumed on September 28.[70] Bayona completed filming on his episodes by December 23,[71] with production on further episodes set to begin in January 2021 following a two week break for Christmas.[72] Yip confirmed that he had begun filming his episodes by March,[73] and Brändström was in New Zealand for production on the series when she was announced as director in May.[74]

Marketing

On 19 January 2022, Amazon revealed of the series' full title. Instead of creating a title reveal with visual effects, the studio released an announcement video in which the letters of the title are physically cast from molten metal while an excerpt of the "Ring Verse" from The Lord of the Rings is read in voiceover. The video was directed by Klaus Obermeyer, who worked with special effects supervisor Lee Nelson under advisement by veteran special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull.[75]

On 3 February 2022, Amazon Studios revealed a series of character posters for the series.[76] On 10 February, a "first look" was revealed with photos of some of the characters,[3] followed by the release of the teaser trailer on 13 February during Super Bowl LVI.[77] The official watch party for the trailer was hosted on YouTube by TheOneRing.net.[78]

On 14 July, Amazon released another trailer for the series online.[79]

On 23 August, Amazon released the final trailer for the first season's series online.[80]

Reception

The Rings of Power received mixed reviews upon release.[81][82]

See also

External links

References

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