The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Preview

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The first episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will air on Amazon Prime on September 1, 2022. Or should I say the first two episodes as Amazon airs two episodes on its premiere date. The balance of the 8 episode season will be released on the next six consecutive Fridays.

The Rings of Power is based on The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. This is what Amazon bought the rights to. It is not, however, a retelling of those stories already filmed by Peter Jackson. This series is giving the back story of those timeless books and movies. JRR Tolkien writes extensively about the history of Middle-Earth in The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-Earth all books that were edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher and published after the author’s death.

These books are not on the table to be made into films, so the creators of The Rings of Power rely exclusively on the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings. These can be found at the end of The Return of the King. The Appendices run about 105 pages in a trade paperback edition. The writers also rely on the stories of the past that are told in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Chapter Two. Of Book One, The Shadow of the Past, and Chapter Two of Book Two, The Council of Elrond From The Fellowship of the Ring come to mind. There are however other sources in these books. Stories told in prose and poetry run throughout The Lord of the Rings, giving even more details to the story Amazon is about to tell.

We know amazingly little about The Rings of Power as far as the full storyline though many have tried to guess.  The writers met behind closed doors and taped windows to keep this tale under wraps.  I for one prefer to keep it that way.  I’m looking forward to being surprised and hopefully delighted.

The Lord of the Rings takes place in The Third Age of Middle-Earth. There were two ages prior to those stories. The First Age And Second Age of Middle-Earth are well brought out in The Silmarillion and The History of Middle Earth but I think there is enough good material to make a cohesive storyline concerning The Second Age in The Lord of the Rings and that is what this series will attempt to do. Some of the things we can take educated guesses at are, the forging of all the rings of power including the one ring, the enslavement of the mortal kings to the nine rings given to men, these kings become the ring wraiths or black riders, and the romance of Aragorn and Arwen. The series is slated to take place over five seasons each season containing eight episodes.

Some characters and actors to look forward to in The Rings of Power include; Morfydd Clark as Galadriel, Robert Aramayo as Elrond, Maxim Baldry as Isildur, Lloyd Owen as Elendil, Benjamin Walker as Gil-galad, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Miriel and for you Downton Abbey Fans Charles Edwards (Michale Gregson in Downton) as Celebrimbor the Elven smith who forges the rings.  Basically, this character helps start all the trouble.

The series list of producers is as long as my arm so we will forgo that. The series was developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick Mckay. the theme music was written by Howard Shore who wrote the music for the Lord of the Rings films. The series composer is Bear McCreary, well-known in the science fiction/fantasy community for his work on Godzilla, Agents of Shield, Constantine, Eureka, and Warehouse 13. Production locations include New Zealand and The United Kingdom.  Production companies include Amazon Studios, The Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. I list the production companies for a reason.

Make a mental note to yourself that The Tolkien Estate and The Tolkien Trust are both involved in the production of this series. Also in May of this year, a contingent of Tolkien scholars and enthusiasts were invited by Amazon to England to see some clips of The Rings of Power and meet with some of the production team. I understand they came away hopeful as the production team seemed to care about Tolkien as much as they did. This all to say let’s stop the nonsense.

Sometimes I think social media is the worst thing ever happening to our culture.  Suddenly everyone is an expert on everything and we just can’t wait to be judge, jury, and executioner for every new thing that comes along. This has been displayed continually since the original announcement of The Rings of Power. All we have seen so far are clips and I find myself intrigued, but others are going off wholeheartedly on this being some kind of travesty. My point being is no one has seen it yet.  Since it has not been seen it cannot be judged and anyone who judges something that they have not seen is simply foolish. Come on people, lighten up, and think positively. I believe there is a lot of hope for this series.

At least on paper, it seems to be being overlooked by The Tolkien Estate and Trust. These folks know all too well how much people care about The Lord of the Lings and its history. They aren’t going to let anyone mess too much with a product they have been entrusted with. We have reports that those involved with the show seem to love the books and that is encouraging, most of all we get to go back to Middle-Earth. What a privilege to live in these times where we can visually tell these stories. September first can’t come soon enough for me.