Amazon Prime Video's highly-anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is coming later this year, and fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy books are excited for the series to take them back to Middle-Earth. Executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay also server as showrunners for the big budget series.
Set thousands of years before the events of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, the show details Sauron's forging of the Rings of Power, including the iconic One Ring.
Here's everything you need to know about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, including its plot details, cast, release date, trailer, and more.
The Rings of Power Plot: What is this epic fantasy about?
While The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set at the very end of the Third Age of Middle-Earth, The Rings of Power is set during the Second Age, and the story is about the rise of Sauron, the Dark Lord who manipulates the beings of Middle-Earth to hatch plans to sow chaos and bend the world to his will.
The Second Age is a period that spans over thousands of years, leaving a lot of room for stories to be told in The Rings of Power. While the show will likely focus on the return of Sauron —diminished after a war against the Elves at the behest of the First Dark Lord, Morgoth— and the forging of the Rings of Power, this period of the Middle-Earth sees the fall of the island kingdom Númenor.
The show won't just feature events from the Second Age. our first look at the series teased a glimpse back at the earliest years of creation in Tolkien's vast reckoning of Arda, the world of his epic fantasy books.
According to a recent leak from Fellowship of Fans, the Balrog will appear at some point in the first season of the Amazon series. The outlet claims that the monster will appear during the battle that's shown in the first trailer for The Rings of Power.
Empire reported that the upcoming epic fantasy series is roughly 50 hours long and covers a massive scope. Impressively, Rings of Power's cinematography and plot lines have already been planned multiple seasons in advance.
“There are things in the first season that don’t pay off until Season 5,” co-showrunner JD Payne told Empire. “We even know what our final shot of the last episode is going to be.”
Co-showrunner Patrick McKay told Empire that they're not trying to compete with Peter Jackson's Middle-Earth movies or Game of Thrones:
"Anyone approaching Lord Of The Rings on screen would be wrong not to think about how wonderfully right Jackson got so much of it,” McKay said. “But we’re admirers from afar, that’s it. The Rings Of Power doesn’t try to compete with him.”
"You can psych yourself out in keeping up with the Joneses, but one of the mantras on this was ‘go back to the source material,'" McKay said. "What would Tolkien do? Some of these other competing properties – they play one octave really beautifully, but Tolkien was playing every note on the piano. He had that variety of tones.
"There’s the whimsy, friendship and humour that Harry Potter is so beloved for – but there’s sophistication, politics, history, mythology and depth, too. So for us, it was about going deeper into what we are, rather than worrying about what other folks are doing.”
Morfydd Clark, who plays Galadriel in The Rings of Power, said she was surprised by how her character was written for the show.
Speaking to Comicbook.com, she said that the character "definitely surprised me because I thought I was a fan. I'd read The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, seen the films, but I had no idea about the First and Second Age. That was really kind of exciting to kind of learn all this extra stuff about this world that I loved." She added, "I think it's really interesting that she is so conflicted and going through so much because I feel the people in my life who ended up the most kind of chill and serene as Galadriel... have usually been through a lot. It was interesting to work with the opposites, you know? How far can she go from what we know she will become?"
Is The Rings of Power based on a book by J.R.R. Tolkien?
On June 22, 2022, HarperCollins announced that a new Tolkien publication,The Fall of Númenor, will be published on November 10, 2022. Edited by Tolkien expert Brian Sibley, the book brings together J.R.R. Tolkien's writings of the Second Age – the stories that the upcoming The Rings of Power TV series is based on.
“The book brings many of Tolkien’s writings together, and uses The Tale of Years in the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings in order to present the content in an order and a style that works well for readers,” the Tolkien Society stated.
The Rings of Power Cast: Who will star in the Amazon's new LOTR series?
The cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power includes Joseph Mawle, Robert Aramayo, Morfydd Clark, Benjamin Walker, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Markella Kavenagh, Maxim Baldry, Ema Horvath, Nazanin Boniadi, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Trystan Gravelle, Peter Mullan, Augustus Prew, Charles Edwards, Lenny Henry, Alex Tarrant, Simon Merrells, Lloyd Owen, and Thusitha Jayasundera.
Amazon also confirmed the following cast members for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Lloyd Owen, Amelie Child Villiers, Geoff Morrell, Kip Chapman, Sara Zwangobani, Will Fletcher, Fabian McCallum, Will Fletcher, Maxine Cunliffe, Leon Wadham, Peter Tait, Ian Blackburn, Anthony Crum, Daniel Weyman, Owain Arthur, Tom Budge, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Megan Richards, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete.
During April 2022's Global All Hands meeting, Prime Video revealed images for two new characters: Theo (played by Tyroe Muhafidin) and Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi).
The Rings of Power Directors and Writers: Who are the minds behind the first season?
Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay worked with multiple directors and writers to make the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The first two episodes of the show were directed by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's J.A. Bayona, and the following four episodes were directed by Doctor Who and The Wheel of Time's Wayne Che Yip, and the remaining two episodes were directed by The Witcher's Charlotte Brändström.
As for the writing staff, Breaking Bad’s Gennifer Hutchison and Hannibal’s Helen Shang worked on the series, among many others.
The Rings of Power Release Date: When will it be released on Amazon Prime Video?
Update: The first two episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set to release on Thursday, September 1, 2022 (time zone dependent); it will be exclusively available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Episodes will be released weekly on the streaming service.
Here's the premiere release schedule based on your region:
- 6 pm PDT - Thursday, September 1
- 9 pm EDT - Thursday, September 1
- 10 pm Brazil - Thursday, September 1
- 2 am UK - Friday, September 2
- 3 am CEST - Friday, September 2
- 5:30 am IST - Friday, September 2
- 10 am JST - Friday, September 2
- 11 am AU - Friday, September 2
- 1 pm NZ - Friday, September 2
Here are the release schedule for the weekly episodes following the premiere:
- 9 pm PDT - Thursdays
- 12 am EDT - Fridays
- 1 am Brazil - Fridays
- 5 am UK - Fridays
- 6 am CEST - Fridays
- 9:30 am IST - Fridays
- 1 pm JST - Fridays
- 2 pm AU - Fridays
- 4 pm NZ - Fridays
Prime Video's list of movies and TV shows coming in September 2022 includes The Rings of Power.
The Rings of Power Trailer: Has Amazon released a teaser or full trailer already?
On Feb. 13, during the Super Bowl, Prime Video has released the first trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, giving us a glimpse of the main characters of the show as well as the various locales of the Second Age of Middle-Earth.
Watch the trailer for The Rings of Power below:
“What else is out there,” asks an unseen narrator as the trailer fades in. The teaser hints at the danger to come for the key characters of their varied lands, but story details are still being kept under wraps.
Amazon announced that the first teaser racked up 257 million views from across the world within the first 24 hours of premiering online, setting a Super Bowl record. This is the highest number of any entertainment trailer (movie, television, or streaming) that has ever premiered during a telecast of the Super Bowl.
On July 14, Prime Video released a "main teaser" for The Rings of Power:
On July 22, a new three-minute trailer for Rings of Power was released at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. Watch the trailer below:
On Aug. 2, Prime Video released a new featurette for The Rings of Power, which you can watch below:
On Aug 22, Prime Video released a new promo for The Rings of Power that focuses on the show's antagonist, Sauron.
"The enemy does not sleep. It waits," a narrating Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) explains in the clip, which mostly consists of previously-released footage from the series. "A dark and cunning sorcerer. He has not one name, but many. We knew him as Sauron."
On Aug. 23, Prime Video released the final trailer for The Rings of Power, which feature a bunch of new epic footages and more focus on Galadriel's story. Watch the final trailer below:
The Rings of Power News: Are there any other updates for the show?
New images of Galadriel And Celebrimbor
Empire Magazine has shared a look at Middle-Earth characters Galadriel and Celebrimbor:
Speaking to Empire, showrunner JD Payne confirmed that Sauron is one of Middle-Earth's greatest villains. A central character in Sauron's rise to power is Celebrimbor, the elven smith who was manipulated into helping forge the Rings of Power.
"We're excited to be bringing him to Middle-earth. He's very mysterious," Payne said.
Celebrimbor is played by Charles Edwards (The Crown); Galadriel will be played by Morfydd Clark (Pride & Prejudice and Zombies).
Speaking to Empire, she said that making The Rings of Power was like "being on a school trip" in that she took lessons in swimming, riding, and climbing.
There will be female orcs in Rings of Power
During an interview with IGN, members of the Rings of Power production team talked in-depth on how the new series will portray The Lord of the Rings's familiar villains, and they confirmed that the new Amazon show will have female orcs.
The Rings of Power got help from J.R.R. Tolkien's grandson
Showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay revealed that they received invaluable assistance from Simon Tolkien, the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien. According to the showrunners, Simon brought a unique perspective of someone who grew up surrounded by his grandfather's works to the production of The Rings of Power.
"The first time we met Simon Tolkien, we had to pinch ourselves — here we were, sitting across the table from the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien himself," McKay told Entertainment Weekly. "And that was only the beginning of what has proven to be an extremely enriching and rewarding dialogue. His insights, attention to detail and passion for both the characters and the overall architecture of The Rings of Power are woven throughout the pages of our story. Working with Simon has been the experience of a lifetime."
In a statement, Tolkien said, "I have enjoyed assisting Amazon Studios in connection with the series, and in particular providing input to JD Payne and Patrick McKay on matters including my grandfather's original writing."
The Rings of Power Season 2 will feature a new elf character
The showrunners revealed that The Rings of Power Season 2 will feature the debut of Círdan the Shipwright, who is among the oldest and wisest of the Elves. "We don't want to give too much away, but one character we're excited for folks to meet in season 2 is Círdan the Shipwright," co-showrunner J.D. Payne told TIME. "In the time of our story, he's the oldest of all known Elves in Middle-earth—in fact he lived so long, he had a beard."
The Rings of Power Reviews: What are the critics and fans saying?
Thanks to a special screening from Amazon Prime Video, a few lucky fans have already seen The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Along with exclusive access to the viewing, fans also got to meet the showrunners and creative behind the highly-anticipated epic fantasy series.
First reactions have made their way online, and they look promising.
Twitter user Tolkien Professor, who also happens to be the President of Signum University and scholar of J.R.R. Tolkien, says that he feels the "show is in very good hands."
One fan said, “I was excited by the footage and am looking forward to the show even more now.”
Another fan gushed over the aesthetics of the show, saying, “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power looks like it should, sounds like it should, and feels like a return to the comfortable universe we all love.”