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The Lord of the Rings (TV series)

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This article is about a current event; it is subject to frequent revision as more information becomes available.
The name The Lord of the Rings refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Lord of the Rings (disambiguation).

The Lord of the Rings (TV series), otherwise known as The Lord of the Rings on Prime, is an upcoming television series adaptation of the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is created and produced by Amazon Studios working alongside the Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. Set in the Second Age of Middle-earth,[1] it will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.[2] The series is scheduled to be released on 2 September 2022.[3]


[edit] Premise

Amazon Studios' forthcoming series 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 the greatest villain 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 re-emergence 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 furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
—Official synopsis[4]

[edit] Cast and characters

In alphabetical order

[edit] Production

Fourth map of Middle-earth, released by Amazon on March 6, 2019

On November 2017, it was reported that Amazon Studios were in discussion with Warner Bros. Television and the Tolkien Estate about developing a series based on The Lord of the Rings.[7] Later, in November, Amazon Studios announced they have secured the rights to develop a multi-season television series set in Middle-earth with the potential for spin-offs.[8] The rights have been said to have cost close to $250 million.[9] Amazon Studios will cooperate with the Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.[9]

On 13 February 2019, Amazon's newly created Twitter account associated with the show posted the quote "I wisely started with a map.", taken from Tolkien's Letter 144.[10] On 15 February the Twitter account released a map of Middle-earth along with a line of the Ring Verse, over the next few weeks different versions of the map were released with each successive one including more labels than the previous as well as more lines from the verse. On 7 March the final map was released which showed a wider view of Middle-earth, including the island of Númenor and the final post "Welcome to the Second Age".[1] Tom Shippey and artist John Howe had worked on the accuracy of the maps, however dedicated fans had detected several mistakes and anachronisms.[11]

The series being set in the Second Age was predicted by Tolkien Society Chair Shaun Gunner in February.[12]

On 27 July 2019 a video was published that introduced the creative team; J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay were announced as the showrunners, the writing team consisting of Gennifer Hutchison, Helen Shang, Jason Cahill, Glenise Mullins, Justin Dohle, Stephany Folsom and Bryan Cogman, Belén Atienza, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly and Lindsey Weber as executive producers, Ron Ames as co-producer, Kate Hawley as costume designer, Rick Heinrichs as production designer and Jason Smith as visual effects supervisor. The team will also include Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey and artist John Howe. Bayona will direct the first two episodes.[13] In an interview with the German Tolkien Society, scholar Tom Shippey stated that events from the First and Third Ages are "off-limits".[14]

On 17 September 2019, Amazon Studios announced that the series will be filmed in New Zealand.[2]

On 18 November 2019, Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke announced a second season renewal for the series.[15]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic production of the series was suspended.[16] On 9 May 2020 the New Zealand Film Commission has allowed the production of film and TV to continue in the country.[17]

In December 2020, Bryan Cogman left the series for Entertainment One, after completing work on the scripts for season one.[18]

On 24 March 2021, Amazon Studios announced that Wayne Che Yip has joined the creative team, as both a co-executive producer and director.[19]

In May 2021, it was announced that Charlotte Brändström will direct another two episodes.[20]

In September 2021, it was reported that Howard Shore and Bear McCreary are in talks to compose the soundtrack for the series.[21]

[edit] Casting

On 22 July 2019, it was reported that Amazon has made its first cast for the new series that Markella Kavenagh was in talks to play a character named "Tyra".[22]

Will Poulter was cast for an unknown role in September 2019[23] however in December it was reported that he left the series due to scheduling conflicts.[24] This was later confirmed by Poulter in an interview.[25] He was replaced by Robert Aramayo who was reported to be playing a character named "Beldor".[26]

In October 2019 it was reported that Maxim Baldry[27] and Joseph Mawle has joined the cast, the latter playing "Oren", the lead villain of the series.[28]

In December 2019 there were reports of Ema Horvath[29] and Morfydd Clark joinining the cast, it was said that Clark is to play a "young Galadriel".[30]

On 15 January 2020, the series' official social media confirmed the castings of Kavenagh, Aramayo, Mawle, Horvath and Clark as well as revealing new members of the cast; Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers and Daniel Weyman.[6]

In December 2020, it was announced that 20 actors have been added to the cast; Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry (reported to have joined back in October 2019), 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.[5]

In March 2021, Tom Budge announced that he had departed the series after filming several episodes. He explained that Amazon had decided to go in a different direction with his character after reviewing the first episodes.[31]

In July 2021 Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and Beau Cassidy were added to the first season's cast that July.[32] A third of the first season's 124 speaking roles, including seven of the 32 major recurring roles, went to New Zealand actors.[33]

[edit] Filming

Although pre-production on the series reportedly began in June 2018 in Auckland, filming began in 14 March 2020[34] in Auckland primarily at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios.[35]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Welcome to the Second Age:" dated 7 March 2019, Twitter (accessed 30 January 2020)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Amazon Studios Announces New Zealand as Location for Its Upcoming Series Based on The Lord of the Rings" dated 17 September 2019, Amazon (accessed 18 September 2019)
  3. @LOTRonPrime, "A new journey beings" dated 2 August 2021, Twitter (accessed 2 August 2021)
  4. Justin Sewell, "EXCLUSIVE: Official Show Synopsis for Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS Series" dated 12 January 2021, TheOneRing (accessed 13 January 2021)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’ Series at Amazon Adds 20 Actors to Cast" dated 3 December 2020, Variety (accessed 3 December 2020)
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 "Meet the first members of our fellowship. #LOTRonPrime" dated 15 January 2020, Facebook (accessed 15 January 2020)
  7. Daniel Holloway, "'Lord of the Rings': Amazon, Warner Bros. in Talks for Series Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 3 November 2017, Variety (accessed 30 January 2020)
  8. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’ Series Moving Forward at Amazon With Multi-Season Production Commitment" dated 13 November 2017, Variety (accessed 31 July 2019)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Nellie Andreeva, "Amazon Sets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series In Mega Deal With Multi-Season Commitment" dated 13 November 2017, Deadline (accessed 30 January 2020)
  10. "“I wisely started with a map” — J.R.R. Tolkien" dated 13 February 2019, Twitter (accessed 30 January 2020)
  11. "Interview with John Howe", Narnia Fans (accessed 25 June 2020)
  12. "Shaun Gunner on Twitter" dated 18 February 2019, Twitter (accessed 15 February 2020)
  13. "Meet our Fellowship" dated 27 July 2019, Twitter (accessed 30 January 2020)
  14. Tobias M. Eckrich, "Exclusive interview with Tom Shippey concerning LOTRonPrime" dated 29 July 2019, Deutche Tolkien Gesellschaft (accessed 6 August 2019)
  15. Nellie Andreeva, "‘The Lord Of the Rings’ Series Gets Early Season 2 Renewal By Amazon, Sets Season 1 Hiatus" dated 18 November 2019, Deadline (accessed 17 March 2020)
  16. Chris Keall, "Coronavirus: Amazon's Lord of the Rings production in West Auckland shut down" dated 15 March 2020, The New Zealand Herald (accessed 17 July 2020)
  17. "Covid 19 coronavirus: Avatar, Lord Of The Rings filming resumes in NZ" dated 9 May 2020, The New Zealand Herald (accessed 17 July 2020)
  18. Lesley Goldberg, "Bryan Cogman Moves Overall Deal to eOne (Exclusive)" dated 7 December 2020, The Hollywood Reporter (accessed 15 December 2020)
  19. Matt Grobar, "Wayne Che Yip Boards ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Series As Director & Co-EP, Will Helm Four Episodes Of Amazon Original" dated 24 March 2021, Deadline (accessed 5 April 2021)
  20. Matt Grobar, "‘The Witcher’ Director Charlotte Brändström Joins Amazon’s ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Series" dated 13 May 2021, Deadline (accessed 21 August 2021)
  21. "Howard Shore and Bear McCreary to soundtrack LOTR on Prime series" dated 19 September 2021, (accessed 20 September 2021)
  22. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’ Series at Amazon Taps First Cast Member (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 22 July 2019, Variety (accessed 22 October 2019)
  23. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of The Rings’ Series at Amazon Casts Will Poulter (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 4 September 2019, Variety (accessed 22 October 2019)
  24. Joe Otterson, "‘Lord of the Rings’: Will Poulter No Longer Attached to Amazon Series (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 12 December 2019, Variety (accessed 13 December 2019)
  25. Will Richards, "Will Poulter explains why he left Amazon's 'Lord Of The Rings' TV series" dated 12 July 2020, NME (accessed 17 July 2020)
  26. Nellie Andreeva, "'The Lord Of the Rings': Robert Aramayo To Star In Amazon TV Series" dated 7 January 2020, Deadline (accessed 15 January 2020)
  27. Jeff Sneider, "Exclusive: ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Adds ‘Years and Years’ Star Maxim Baldry" dated 15 October 2019, Collider (accessed 13 December 2019)
  28. Nellie Andreeva, "'The Lord Of The Rings': Joseph Mawle To Star In Amazon Series" dated 21 October 2019, Deadline (accessed 22 October 2019)
  29. Nellie Andreeva, "‘The Lord Of The Rings’: Ema Horvath Joins Cast Of Amazon Series" dated 10 December 2019, Deadline (accessed 13 December 2019)
  30. Justin Kroll, "'Lord of the Rings' Series Taps Morfydd Clark as Young Galadriel (EXCLUSIVE)" dated 17 December 2019, Variety (accessed 4 January 2020)
  31. "Tom Budge on Instagram" dated 14 March 2021, Instagram (accessed 5 April 2021)
  32. "Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Rounds Out Sprawling Cast (Exclusive)" dated 1 July 2021, Hollywood Reporter (accessed 21 August 2021)
  33. "Return of the Rings: Govt hopes Amazon will come back to film more seasons" dated 5 August 2021, [ Newsroom (accessed 21 August 2021)
  34. "Lord Of The Rings TV Show Director Shares A Behind-The-Scenes Photo" dated 15 March 2020, Gamespot (accessed 25 August 2021)
  35. "New $1.5b LOTR TV series set to film in Auckland" dated 30 June 2019, Newstalk ZB (accessed 25 August 2021)

[edit] External links