Tolkien Gateway

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

"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 The Lord of the Rings refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Lord of the Rings (disambiguation).
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Amazon - The Lord of the Rings - The Rings of Power.png
J.R.R. Tolkien
John D. Payne and Patrick McKay
ProducerJ.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (showrunners)
Starringsee below
DistributorAmazon Prime Video
Released2 September 2022 (first episode's schedule)
CountryUnited States, United Kingdom, New Zealand
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 upcoming television series and an adaptation of 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 will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring.[2] The series is scheduled to be released on 2 September 2022.[3]


[edit] 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[4]

[edit] Cast and characters

In alphabetical order

Actor Role
Cynthia Addai-Robinson[5]
Robert Aramayo[6] Elrond[7]
Unknown Actor King Durin III[8]
Owain Arthur[6] Prince Durin IV[7]
Maxim Baldry[5] Isildur[7]
Ian Blackburn[5]
Nazanin Boniadi[6] Bronwyn[7]
Kip Chapman[5]
Morfydd Clark[6] Galadriel[7]
Ismael Cruz Cordova[6] Arondir[7]
Anthony Crum[5]
Maxine Cunliffe[5]
Charles Edwards[7] Celebrimbor[7]
Will Fletcher
Trystan Gravelle[5]
Sir Lenny Henry[5]
Ema Horvath[6]
Thusitha Jayasundera[5]
Markella Kavenagh[6] Elanor "Nori" Brandyfoot[9]
Joseph Mawle[6]
Fabian McCallum[5]
Simon Merrells[5]
Geoff Morrell[5]
Tyroe Muhafidin[6] Theo[10]
Peter Mullan[5]
Sophia Nomvete[6] Princess Disa[7]
Lloyd Owen[5]
Augustus Prew[5]
Megan Richards[6]
Dylan Smith[6]
Peter Tait[5]
Alex Tarrant[5]
Charlie Vickers[6] Halbrand[7]
Leon Wadham[5]
Benjamin Walker[5] High-King Gil-galad[11]
Daniel Weyman[6] The Stranger[12]
Sara Zwangobani[5]

[edit] 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.[13] 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.[14] The rights have been said to have cost close to $250 million.[15] Amazon Studios will cooperate with the Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

The series being set in the Second Age was predicted by Tolkien Society Chair Shaun Gunner in February.[18]

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.[19] In an interview with the German Tolkien Society, scholar Tom Shippey stated that events from the First and Third Ages are "off-limits".[20]

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.[21]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic production of the series was suspended.[22] On 9 May 2020 the New Zealand Film Commission has allowed the production of film and TV to continue in the country.[23]

In December 2020, Bryan Cogman left the series for Entertainment One, after completing work on the scripts for season one.[24]

On 24 March 2021, Amazon Studios announced that Wayne Che Yip has joined the creative team, as both a co-executive producer and director.[25]

On May 2021, it was announced that Charlotte Brändström will direct another two episodes.[26]

On September 2021, it was reported that Howard Shore and Bear McCreary are in talks to compose the soundtrack for the series.[27]

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.[28]

[edit] 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".[29]

Will Poulter was cast for an unknown role in September 2019[30] however in December it was reported that he left the series due to scheduling conflicts.[31] This was later confirmed by Poulter in an interview.[32] He was replaced by Robert Aramayo who was reported to be playing a character named "Beldor".[33]

In October 2019 it was reported that Maxim Baldry[34] and Joseph Mawle has joined the cast, the latter playing "Oren", the lead villain of the series.[35]

In December 2019 there were reports of Ema Horvath[36] and Morfydd Clark joinining the cast, it was said that Clark is to play a "young Galadriel".[37]

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.[6]

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.[5]

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.[38]

In July 2021 Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and Beau Cassidy were added to the first season's cast that July.[39] A third of the first season's 124 speaking roles, including seven of the 32 major recurring roles, went to New Zealand actors.[40]

[edit] Filming

[edit] Season 1

Promotional image

Although pre-production on the series reportedly began in June 2018 in Auckland, filming began on 14 March 2020[41] in Auckland primarily at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios.[42] Location filming took place around Auckland in February.[43] Filming for the first two episodes was expected to continue through May,[44] 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.[45]Production was scheduled to resume in mid-October and continue until late June 2021.[46] 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.[47] 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.[48]

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,[49] and filming on the series resumed on September 28.[50] Bayona completed filming on his episodes by December 23,[51] with production on further episodes set to begin in January 2021 following a two week break for Christmas.[52] Yip confirmed that he had begun filming his episodes by March,[53] and Brändström was in New Zealand for production on the series when she was announced as director in May.[54]

[edit] 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.[55]

On 3 February 2022, Amazon Studios revealed a series of character posters for the series.[56] On 10 February, a "first look" was revealed with photos of some of the characters,[57] followed by the release of the teaser trailer on 13 February during Super Bowl LVI.[58] The official watch party for the trailer was hosted on YouTube by[59]

On 6 May, Amazon invited several notable Tolkien fans to an event at London, where they met the showrunners and were shown some finished footage. Of those attendees who talked about the experience, all expressed positive impressions of both the creators and the product.[60]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Welcome to the Second Age:" dated 7 March 2019, Twitter (accessed 30 January 2020)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Amazon Studios Announces New Zealand as Location for Its Upcoming Series Based on The Lord of the Rings" dated 17 September 2019, Amazon (accessed 18 September 2019)
  3. This also is the day of death of Professor J.R.R. [email protected], "A new journey beings" dated 2 August 2021, Twitter (accessed 2 August 2021)
  4. Justin Sewell, "EXCLUSIVE: Official Show Synopsis for Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS Series" dated 12 January 2021, TheOneRing (accessed 13 January 2021)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’ Series at Amazon Adds 20 Actors to Cast" dated 3 December 2020, Variety (accessed 3 December 2020)
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 "Meet the first members of our fellowship. #LOTRonPrime" dated 15 January 2020, Facebook (accessed 15 January 2020)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 The Lord of the Rings on Prime, "Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Series Rises: Inside The Rings of Power" dated 10 February 2022, Vanity Fair (accessed 11 February 2022)
  8. burning questions about amazons the rings of power, "Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Series: FAQ" dated 14 February 2022, Vanity Fair (accessed 16 February 2022)
  9. The Lord of the Rings on Prime, "Markella Kavenagh is Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot" dated 14 February 2022, Twitter (accessed 14 February 2022)
  10. The Lord of the Rings on Prime, "Tyroe Muhafidin is Theo. #LOTRROP #RingsofPower" dated 19 April 2022, Twitter (accessed 19 April 2022)
  11. The Lord of the Rings on Prime, "Benjamin Walker is High King Gil-galad" dated 14 February 2022, Twitter (accessed 14 February 2022)
  12. The Lord of the Rings on Prime, "Daniel Weyman is The Stranger" dated 14 February 2022, Twitter (accessed 14 February 2022)
  13. Daniel Holloway, "'Lord of the Rings': Amazon, Warner Bros. in Talks for Series Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 3 November 2017, Variety (accessed 30 January 2020)
  14. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’ Series Moving Forward at Amazon With Multi-Season Production Commitment" dated 13 November 2017, Variety (accessed 31 July 2019)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Nellie Andreeva, "Amazon Sets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series In Mega Deal With Multi-Season Commitment" dated 13 November 2017, Deadline (accessed 30 January 2020)
  16. "“I wisely started with a map” — J.R.R. Tolkien" dated 13 February 2019, Twitter (accessed 30 January 2020)
  17. "Interview with John Howe", Narnia Fans (accessed 25 June 2020)
  18. "Shaun Gunner on Twitter" dated 18 February 2019, Twitter (accessed 15 February 2020)
  19. "Meet our Fellowship" dated 27 July 2019, Twitter (accessed 30 January 2020)
  20. Tobias M. Eckrich, "Exclusive interview with Tom Shippey concerning LOTRonPrime" dated 29 July 2019, Deutche Tolkien Gesellschaft (accessed 6 August 2019)
  21. Nellie Andreeva, "‘The Lord Of the Rings’ Series Gets Early Season 2 Renewal By Amazon, Sets Season 1 Hiatus" dated 18 November 2019, Deadline (accessed 17 March 2020)
  22. Chris Keall, "Coronavirus: Amazon's Lord of the Rings production in West Auckland shut down" dated 15 March 2020, The New Zealand Herald (accessed 17 July 2020)
  23. "Covid 19 coronavirus: Avatar, Lord Of The Rings filming resumes in NZ" dated 9 May 2020, The New Zealand Herald (accessed 17 July 2020)
  24. Lesley Goldberg, "Bryan Cogman Moves Overall Deal to eOne (Exclusive)" dated 7 December 2020, The Hollywood Reporter (accessed 15 December 2020)
  25. Matt Grobar, "Wayne Che Yip Boards ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Series As Director & Co-EP, Will Helm Four Episodes Of Amazon Original" dated 24 March 2021, Deadline (accessed 5 April 2021)
  26. Matt Grobar, "‘The Witcher’ Director Charlotte Brändström Joins Amazon’s ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Series" dated 13 May 2021, Deadline (accessed 21 August 2021)
  27. "Howard Shore and Bear McCreary to soundtrack LOTR on Prime series" dated 19 September 2021, (accessed 20 September 2021)
  28. @LOTRonPrime, "Title Announcement" dated 19 January 2022, Twitter (accessed 19 January 2022)
  29. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’ Series at Amazon Taps First Cast Member (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 22 July 2019, Variety (accessed 22 October 2019)
  30. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of The Rings’ Series at Amazon Casts Will Poulter (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 4 September 2019, Variety (accessed 22 October 2019)
  31. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’: Will Poulter No Longer Attached to Amazon Series (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 12 December 2019, Variety (accessed 13 December 2019)
  32. Will Richards, "Will Poulter explains why he left Amazon's 'Lord Of The Rings' TV series" dated 12 July 2020, NME (accessed 17 July 2020)
  33. Nellie Andreeva, "'The Lord Of the Rings': Robert Aramayo To Star In Amazon TV Series" dated 7 January 2020, Deadline (accessed 15 January 2020)
  34. Jeff Sneider, "Exclusive: ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Adds ‘Years and Years’ Star Maxim Baldry" dated 15 October 2019, Collider (accessed 13 December 2019)
  35. Nellie Andreeva, "'The Lord Of The Rings': Joseph Mawle To Star In Amazon Series" dated 21 October 2019, Deadline (accessed 22 October 2019)
  36. Nellie Andreeva, "‘The Lord Of The Rings’: Ema Horvath Joins Cast Of Amazon Series" dated 10 December 2019, Deadline (accessed 13 December 2019)
  37. Justin Kroll, "'Lord of the Rings' Series Taps Morfydd Clark as Young Galadriel (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 17 December 2019, Variety (accessed 4 January 2020)
  38. "Tom Budge on Instagram" dated 14 March 2021, Instagram (accessed 5 April 2021)
  39. "Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Rounds Out Sprawling Cast (Exclusive)" dated 1 July 2021, Hollywood Reporter (accessed 21 August 2021)
  40. "Return of the Rings: Govt hopes Amazon will come back to film more seasons" dated 5 August 2021, [ Newsroom (accessed 21 August 2021)
  41. "Lord Of The Rings TV Show Director Shares A Behind-The-Scenes Photo" dated 15 March 2020, Gamespot (accessed 25 August 2021)
  42. "New $1.5b LOTR TV series set to film in Auckland" dated 30 June 2019, Newstalk ZB (accessed 25 August 2021)
  43. "EXCLUSIVE:Spy Report from the Set of Amazon's LOTR with photos" dated 21 February 2020, Deadline (accessed 26 December 2021)
  44. "Lord of the Rings TV: Amazon Studios puts out call for homes for cast and crew" dated 21 February 2020, Stuff (accessed 26 December 2021)
  45. "‘The Lord Of the Rings’ Series Gets Early Season 2 Renewal By Amazon, Sets Season 1 Hiatus" dated 19 January 2020, DEADLINE (accessed 26 December 2021)
  46. "Lord of the Rings TV: Amazon Studios puts out call for homes for cast and crew" dated 19 January 2020, (accessed 26 December 2021)
  47. "Coronavirus: Amazon's Lord of the Rings production in West Auckland shut down" dated 15 March 2020, NZherald (accessed 26 December 2021)
  48. "New Zealand Returns To Production, Paving Way For ‘Avatar’ Sequels & ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Series To Resume Filming" dated 7 May 2020, Deadline (accessed 26 December 2021)
  49. "Revealed: The six productions joining Avatar in getting border exemptions" dated 3 July 2020, (accessed 26 December 2021)
  50. "Amazon’s ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Resumes Production In New Zealand, Netflix’s ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Next" dated 28 September 2020, Deadline (accessed 26 December 2021)
  51. "Amazon's Lord Of The Rings Pilot Has Wrapped Filming" dated 25 December 2020, ComicBook (accessed 26 December 2021)
  52. "Spy: Lunch of the Rings? The LOTR star spotted on Waiheke" dated 19 December 2020, NZherald (accessed 26 December 2021)
  53. "‘Lord of the Rings’ Series Adds Director Wayne Che Yip as Co-Executive Producer" dated 24 March 2021, Variety (accessed 26 December 2021)
  54. "‘The Witcher’ Director Charlotte Brändström Joins Amazon’s ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Series" dated 13 May 2021, Deadline (accessed 26 December 2021)
  55. "Prime Video's The Lord of the Rings TITLE REVEAL - EXCLUSIVE Behind the Scenes images" dated 3 February 2022, Polygon (accessed 4 February 2022)
  56. "Amazon’s first Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power character posters are a guessing game" dated 4 February 2022, Polygon (accessed 4 February 2022)
  57. Anthony Breznican and Joanna Robinson, "Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Series Rises: Inside The Rings of Power" dated 10 February 2022, Vanity Fair (accessed 9 April 2022)
  58. Erin Carson and Jennifer Bisset, "Amazon Introduces 'Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' in New Trailer", CNet (accessed 9 April 2022)
  59. "Official LOTR Trailer Watch party for Prime Video’s Rings of Power to be hosted by TORn!", (accessed 9 April 2022)
  60. Urulókë, "Sentiments from the London Rings of Power event" dated 10 May 2022, Tolkien Collector's Guide (accessed 12 May 2022)

[edit] See also

[edit] External links