We are quickly approaching the launch of Amazon Prime Video's Lord of the Rings prequel series. Little by little, the streamer has treated fans to intriguing teaser content that makes waiting for the show's fall release all the more difficult — we just want to return to Middle-earth now! The new series is set at the start of the Second Age. It takes place long before the events of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which include Bilbo Baggins finding the One Ring and his nephew Frodo going on a mission to destroy it.
The show is already the most expensive television series made thus far and has been renewed for Season 2 in advance of its premiere. As more information is released — including its official title, The Rings of Power, and new teaser images — TV Guide is keeping an eagle eye out for any and all spoilers about the upcoming series. We've compiled the premiere date, casting news, and all the plot information currently out there. Here's what we know so far.
Amazon dropped the first trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power during Super Bowl LVI. The clip includes glimpses of Robert Aramayo as the half-Elven, half-human Elrond, Owain Arthur as the dwarven prince Durin IV, and Morfydd Clark as Galadriel.
On Feb. 3, the show's official Twitter account shared nearly two dozen teaser posters, zoomed in on what appear to be the hands of key characters from the show. Some of these hands hold weapons, from a metal hammer to a broken sword. Others hold foods like acorns and an apple. The photos also show the different clothing worn by each individual, from golden armor to dirty tunics. See some of the images below, and more on the official The Rings of Power Twitter account.
On Jan. 19, Amazon revealed the official title of the new series with an intensely cool video (that could make for a potential opening credits sequence). The series will be called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The narrator of the teaser — who seems to be Welsh actress Morfydd Clark, who plays young Galadriel — also clues in viewers to how many rings we are dealing with in this prequel series. "Three rings for the elven kings under the sky. Seven for the dwarf lords in their holes of stone. Nine for mortal men, doomed to die. One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne in the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie," she says. Sounds very ominous indeed! The title confirms that the show will focus on Sauron's rise to power, which involved forging 20 rings in order to take control of Middle-earth.
Mark your calendars for fall 2022: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere Friday, Sept. 2. The news of the premiere date was accompanied by a first look image.
Season 1 will be eight episodes. Amazon announced at the Television Critics Association 2020 winter press tour that the series' first season will span eight episodes. Details on how long each episode will run haven't been announced.
It will be a prequel. Amazon has confirmed that the television series will be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth. The Second Age lasted 3,441 years, and it ended with the downfall of the Dark Lord Sauron, the antagonist in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
A Game of Thrones alum will lead the series. Robert Aramayo, who played young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, is set to star. He replaces Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Midsommaractor Will Poulter, who dropped out over a scheduling conflict.
The rest of the cast is coming together. Amazon confirmed in January 2020 that Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Daniel Weyman, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, and Markella Kavenagh had officially joined the series.
In December 2020, Amazon announced even more names on the cast list. These included Maxim Baldry, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, newcomer 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.
No details have been given about the actors' characters.
It's coming from fantasy and sci-fi heavy hitters. JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who previously worked on Star Trek 4, have been tapped to helm the series, and Game of Thrones writer and producer Bryan Cogman has signed on to consult on the series. The creative team will also include executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), and Sharon Tal Yguado, along with writers Gennifer Hutchinson (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), and Jason Doble (Stranger Things). Stephany Folsom (Toy Story 4) joins Cogman as a consulting producer, while Ron Ames and Helen Shang (Hannibal) will also produce. Kate Hawley has been chosen as the series' costume designer, while Rick Henrichs joins as production designer, and Jason Smith supervises visual effects, per Variety.
The first two episodes have an exciting director. Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona has been hired to direct the first two episodes of the series, Deadline reports. In a statement, Bayona said of the news, "J.R.R. Tolkien created one of the most extraordinary and inspiring stories of all time, and as a lifelong fan it is an honor and a joy to join this amazing team. I can't wait to take audiences around the world to Middle-earth and have them discover the wonders of the Second Age, with a never before seen story." His directing credits include Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Impossible, The Orphanage, and episodes of Penny Dreadful.
Peter Jackson isn't involved. The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit director confirmed to French press outlets that he is not involved in Amazon's new series.
It's already renewed for Season 2. Amazon announced in November 2019 that it had renewed the series for a second season after filming only two episodes of Season 1. Production then went on a hiatus so the bulk of Season 2 could be written. Given that Amazon reportedly committed to multiple seasons of this prequel series when it acquired the rights to Lord of the Rings (with an option for a potential spin-off), it sounds like this is just the beginning of a whole lot more Lord of the Rings content.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres Friday, Sept. 2 on Amazon Prime Video.
The Peter Jackson films (and the extended editions) are currently streaming on HBO Max.