The first-look photos from Amazon Prime Video’s much-anticipated upcoming fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are here. The pictures, which reveal the major characters of the show, were revealed in a detailed story about the show in Vanity Fair. Earlier, character posters unveiled by the streamer had hidden faces of the character, so this is the first real look at them.
There are characters we already know from the Peter Jackson-directed trilogy, like Galadriel and Elrond (albeit essayed by younger actors), but most are unfamiliar and some are even invented specifically for the series and did not exist in Middle-earth before.
The Vanity Fair piece says the Galadriel we know from Jackson’s movies, played by Cate Blanchett, was wise and serene, but the one in the show (Morfydd Clark) is younger and as “angry and brash as she is clever”. She is certain that evil is looming closer than anyone realises, and is seen clad in full battle armour.
The role of Elrond, the ruler of Rivendell (Hugo Weaving’s character in the films) is played by Robert Aramayo, who we saw as a young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones.
Other major characters include the dwarven prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), dwarven princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete), silvan elf Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi).
Created by JD Payne and Patrick McKay, The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth as opposed to the main story’s third age. With an estimated budget of $1 billion, the series is by far the most expensive television production ever. It is also the more expensive than any movie ever made.
Both Payne and McKay are newcomers in showrunning, and being given the responsibility of a project. They said they felt like hobbits of LoTR, who were similarly bestowed with the responsibility of taking the One Ring from their idyllic home Shire to Mount Doom and destroy it.
Payne said in the Vanity Fair piece, “We felt like hobbits. We felt like two very small people in a very big world who had just been entrusted with something that meant so much to so many different people.” The showrunners found themselves quoting Frodo’s famous line from the end of The Fellowship of the Ring. “Patrick and I will often look at each other in challenging moments of the show and say, ‘I’m glad you’re with me, Sam.’ ”
McKay added, “He’s Sam. Just kidding, I’m Sam.” Sam refers to LoTR’s primary protagonist Frodo’s trusty gardener and best friend who accompanied him to Mount Doom. All in all, the series, if the money is really put to good use, looks like the TV event of our lifetime. Such production values are unheard of in a small screen project.
As the title suggests, The Rings of Power is set before the events of JRR Tolkien’s tome. The story and the characters will centre around the forging of Sauron’s Rings, so the Dark Lord will be involved, and not just as a giant eye but in his corporeal form. Sauron forged a total of twenty rings, by which he meant to seduce the rulers of all races of Middle-earth to evil and control all the peoples through the One Ring, the ring that controlled every other ring of power.
The full synopsis of the series reads, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power 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 one of the greatest villains 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 reemergence 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 farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere with its eight-episode season 1 on September 2, 2022.