The curtain has finally been pulled back on Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series, officially titled “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” Vanity Fair has debuted first-look images and story details from the series, the first season of which cost a whopping $462 million to produce. While fans knew “The Rings of Power” was set during the Second Age of Middle Earth, now comes confirmation that original “Lord of the Rings” trilogy characters Galadriel and Elrond will appear.
“Saint Maud” actress Morfydd Clark is taking on the role of young Galadriel, played in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy by Cate Blanchett. In “Rings of Power,” Galadriel is described as a warrior who is as “angry and brash as she is clever.” Robert Aramayo, best known for playing young Ned Stark in “Game of Thrones,” takes on the role of Elrond, originally played by Hugo Weaving in Jackson’s trilogy. The Amazon series will explore Elrond’s rise to power and prominence in the elven capitol Lindon.
Another prominent elf character is Arondir, an original character created for the series and played by Ismael Cruz Córdova. Arondir is in a forbidden relationship with Bronwyn, a human village healer played by Nazanin Boniadi. Their relationship appears to mirror and swap the original “Rings” trilogy romance between human Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and elf Éowyn (Liv Tyler). Hobbits will not appear in the show, but their ancestor species called the harfoots will. Sir Lenny Henry plays a harfoot elder in the series, while Megan Richards and Markella Kavenagh star as two harfoots who “encounter a mysterious lost man.”
Viewers will also get to see the dwarf city inside the Misty Mountains in all its full-scale glory. Vanity Fair adds: “[The show] will also bring the elven smith Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) to life, as his skill with metals and magic lead to the forging of the rings…Another story line will follow a sailor named Isildur (Maxim Baldry) years before he becomes a warrior and cuts the soul-corrupting ring off Sauron’s hand, then falls victim to its powers himself.”
“The Rings of Power” hails from showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne, the former of which describes the series’ narrative as all about “the forging of the rings…Rings for the elves, rings for dwarves, rings for men, and then the one ring Sauron used to deceive them all. It’s the story of the creation of all those powers, where they came from, and what they did to each of those races.”
Perhaps of upmost importance for “Lord of the Rings” fans is confirmation that McKay and Payne are not trying to turn “The Rings of Power” into a “Game of Thrones”-style epic. The show found itself in hot water among fans last year after a report surfaced that the production had hired intimacy coordinators and ensured in the casting process that actors be comfortable with appearing in nude scenes. “Rings” fans reacted by signing a petition urging the Amazon series not to include nudity and gratuitous sex like “Thrones” did. For the record, Jackson’s “Rings” film trilogy went without sex and nudity.
According to Vanity Fair, the short answer is “no” when it comes to “The Rings of Power” having “Thrones”-level violence and sex. As McKay told the publication, “[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. 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 Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” debuts Sept. 2 on Amazon Prime Video. Check out first look images from the series below.
#TheRingsOfPower, set within Tolkien’s Second Age, will juggle 22 stars and multiple storylines—from deep within the dwarf mines to the elven kingdom of Lindon. Here, the adventures of the fellowship are still some 2,000 years in the future.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 10, 2022