Filming for season one of Amazon Prime’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ series officially ended on August 3 this year. But there’s still a long time before it actually hits screens – the scheduled release date is September 2, 2022. That means there’s lots of time to delve into the behind-the-scenes info and speculate on what the show will be about.
A statement released by TheOneRing.net in January 2021 revealed a plot outline for the series. The new ‘Lord of the Rings’ series will actually have almost nothing to do with the ‘Lord of the Rings’. It’s set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, potentially thousands of years before the events of the movies, which take place in the Third Age.
It also won’t be tied into the plot of ‘The War of the Rohirrim’, an anime movie being developed by Warner Bros. that focuses on the adventures of Helm Hammerhand, a historical figure mentioned briefly in ‘The Two Towers.’
This means the showrunners have positioned themselves into a bit of a dark area in J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium. Most of what fans of the books know about the Second Age comes from a short story included in the ‘Silmarillion’ called the ‘Akallabeth’, which details the downfall of the island of Numenor.
However, Numenor won’t be the only location viewers get to see in the Prime series. TheOneRing.net claims that the dwarf kingdoms of the Misty Mountains and the “elf-capital of Lindon” will also feature. The statement also claims that the series will see “the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen.”
If it’s the Second Age, then presumably that refers to Sauron, who was just a big glowing eyeball in the movies but might get more of a role here. Still, that part of the statement is veiled in mystery. Is it possible the show might include some flashbacks to Morgoth, the first dark lord who is the main antagonist in ‘The Silmarillion’?
The current casting features Joseph Mawle, who played Benjen Stark in HBO’s adaptation of ‘Game of Thrones’, as one of the villains in the series. The name for his character is Oren, who does not feature prominently in Tolkien’s works. Another ‘Game of Thrones’ actor, Robert Aramayo, is allegedly replacing Will Poulter as one of the series protagonists, Beldor. Rounding out the cast list is a familiar name, with Morfydd Clark playing a younger version of the Lady Galadriel.
The fact that the show will run in an area more thinly covered by the original author could work either for the show or against it. One controversial decision the showrunners made was hiring intimacy coordinator Jennifer Ward-Lealand. What level of intimacy they are planning is still under wraps, but many fans of Tolkien’s largely sexless, Catholic-inspired fantasy series are worried this means the show is going down the ‘Game of Thrones’ route and will be showing graphic sex scenes.
After committing to 5 seasons, which should round out at about $1 billion to make, ‘The Lord of the Rings on Prime’ revealed they would not be returning to New Zealand to film season 2, which will instead be filmed in Britain.