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The hotly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a prequel to the beloved film franchise—and, given that Prime Video reportedly spent $465 million on the first season, it's also the most expensive television show in history.
Here, everything you need to know about The Rings of Power—and how to watch the TV show come this fall.
The TV show is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Per Prime Video, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power 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."
The show isn't a direct adaptation of existing Tolkien novel.
The creators drew from Tolkien's extensive notes. "We feel like we're taking up the gauntlet that [Tolkien] himself put down," one of the showrunners, J.D. Payne, told Entertainment Weekly. "He gave us what we like to say are the stars in the sky that we have to connect and draw the constellation in."
"Tonally, we wanted [Rings of Power] to reflect [Tolkien's] main story points of friendship and good and evil," director Wayne Che Yip explained. "One of the ideas is: How far into the darkness are you willing to go to do the right thing?"
The official trailer is here.
The first teaser trailer premiered during the 2022 Super Bowl, and in mid-July, Prime released the first official trailer (watch above).
In the trailer, characters from the island kingdom of Númenor—which Tolkein describes as the greatest human civilization in the history of Middle-earth, before it fell into the ocean—are spotlighted, including Isildur (Maxim Baldry), Elendil (Lloyd Owen), Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle), and Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson).
"When it comes to playing a character that holds such a lofty position, I can't say that I necessarily relate to what it is to be a queen," Addai-Robinson tells EW. "But I think there is something relatable about how isolating that can feel, and how you're grappling with things that no one else can really understand."
The trailer also shows some of the Middle-earth realms in The Rings of Power, including "the Elven realms of Lindon and Eregion, the Dwarven realm Khazad-dûm, the Southlands, the Northernmost Wastes, the Sundering Seas, and the island kingdom of Númenór."
A new trailer dropped during Comic-Con in July 2022, showing the villainous Dark Lord Sauron:
The Rings of Power is meant for all ages.
The goal was "to make a show for everyone, for kids who are 11, 12, and 13, even though sometimes they might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it’s a little too scary," co-creator McKay told Vanity Fair.
"We talked about the tone in Tolkien’s books. This is material that is sometimes scary—and sometimes very intense, sometimes quite political, sometimes quite sophisticated—but it’s also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic. It’s about friendship and it’s about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness.”
The show premieres on September 2, 2022.
The eight part series, which filmed in New Zealand during the pandemic, will premiere the Friday of Labor Day Weekend on Prime Video.
"If people come out of this feeling like they've gone to Middle-earth, that's such a special thing," Payne explains. "Middle-earth fills us with hope, and it inspires us. There's a reason why people reach to Middle-earth when they're going through hard times."
How to watch The Rings of Power:
All eight episodes will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. New episodes will drop every Friday, starting Friday, September 2.
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